Language: Arabic (Some Hebrew)
Director: Rani Massalha
This is an important film. It is lovely & heartfelt at the same time hard hitting & audacious.
Plot: Yacine is a veterinarian of the only remaining Palestinian zoo. His 10 year old son Ziad has a special bond with the 2 giraffes at the zoo, When the male giraffe is killed in an Israeli air raid, Ziad & his father set on a mission to steal a giraffe from an Israeli zoo & smuggle it back into Palestinian territories. The film is inspired by real life events.
The film portrays the terrible, hostile & stale conditions the Palestinian people have to live & face every single day, how they've been relegated to quite literally being prisoners in their own land. In one striking scene as a group of young boys are sitting & playing around when an Israeli military vehicle swoops in & asks them to 'Go back home' they flailingly reply "We ARE home".
This bleakness of reality is countered by telling us the story from the perspective of the child. The green eyed Ahmad Bayatri gives an endearing performance as Ziad to whom the heart instantly reaches out. Ultimately that is what Giraffada's appeal is, it's a story with a lot of heart. Sadly thousands of Palestinian children like Ziad are losing the essence of their childhood every single day. At least 'Giraffada' gives us a tale where a brave father fights to keep his child's innocence alive. This is my favourite film at the fest till now. It made me feel thankful for the freedom I have in my country.
Beyond All Boundaries
Language: English, Hindi & Marathi
Director: Sushrut Jain
Check out the trailer below.
Beyond All Boundaries - NEW TRAILER from Sushrut Jain on Vimeo.
60 Going On 12 (12 Ans D'Age)
Director: Fredric Proust
Some terrific acting all round, an easy to follow, brisk screenplay only elevates its status.
This was my 4th French film at the fest & yet my knowledge of the language starts with 'Oui' & ends with 'Merci'. Sigh.
Director Rituparno Ghosh
This played as part of a retrospective to pay tribute to the late Rituparno Ghosh. It was his last full length film
I love myself a good whodunnit where a detective solves a crime & that exactly what 'Satyanweshi' is. Though it takes it's own leisurely pace to unravel which I felt at certain brief instances was bordering on dull, the moody atmospherics, wonderful eery background score & an authentic recreation of the period it is set in create an absorbing mystery.
Bad Hair (Pelo Malo)
Director: Mariana Rondon
It's a film about a 9 yr-old boy obsessed with his hair living with his thankless single mom who never fully appreciates him & would be a nominee for the 'worst mom ever' award if ever there was one
The scenes with the children are quite adorable (The little girl playing Junior's beauty queen aspirant neighbour is a hoot)..In turns funny & stoic I thought it was well made but felt something missing. Probably my sleep.