Cuts From KIFF Vol III: Not A Happy Ending


                        Time flew very quickly during the last five days and it was already the penultimate day (17th November) of the KIFF 2016. Cristian Mungiu presents the corruption network of Romania through a doctor who is drawn into the net trying to secure a future for his daughter who is going to graduate from school in his film, Bacalaureat (aka Graduation). It presents the corrupt in a developed country fighting their way through personal problems trying to buy their way out of it. The country and family merges into one another for the doctor who is the protagonist. Barakah Meets Barakah is a fun filled emotionally strong drama showing the lives and society of the modern Saudi Arab; without being overtly critical Mahmoud Sabbagh gives a transparent look of the contemporary Arab society with state control, superstitions, female discrimination and other impositions. Soleen Yousef’s graduation feature House Without Roof is an absorbing drama with beautiful landscape complimenting the emotional journey in the story about a three adult siblings bonding putting away their differences and becomes spiritually healed after the death of their mother trying to fulfill her final wish. Iciar Bollain shows the journey of a movement and the true meaning of an agitation filled with sentiments and human relationship in her film The Olive Tree. Newspaper-clippings series: this is name given to the last two films of the duo Kristina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov, Urok (aka The Lesson) and Glory, which I enjoyed at Nandan I. it shows the state of Bulgarian politics and state bureaucracy where a common man is made a hero and then a scapegoat, ultimately driving him mad.

                                My original “master schedule” had the Golden Leopard winner at Locarno, Godless it but it was changed to Death in Sarajevo, the winner of the Jury Grand Prix or Silver Bear at the Berlinale. When I arrived at Nandan I in the morning of the final day (18th November), I was irritated on learning that the film was again changed again to 2014’s Golden Bear winning Black Coal, Thin Ice, which I have watched before. Left with no other choice, I decided to watch it again on the “wonder screen” of Nandan I; and no doubt the experience was much better than on a 17” screen. Emir Kusturica’s On The Milky Road is a continuation of his Palm D’Or winning Underground; it is not literally an extension but the continuation seems obvious with the use of animals as metaphors to human, the political undertone, the surrealist nature, fantasies and his extensive use of the musical score. The Light On The Hill by Ricardo Velarde is film that deals with the traditions and superstitions of locals of Peruvian villages in the scenic and mystic hills; it upholds the moral values and age old customs still prevalent in some of the areas. Next to Sisir Mancha for the documentary Fight Remo Fight about a young genius, who has hearing difficulty and he is slowing losing his ability to hear.  It presents the facts very well and opens the eye to the varied problems faced by especially abled people. Goutam Ghose’s documentary  Ray: The Life And Works of Satyajit Ray is bit tiring and mismatched to other works of the director though Aparna Sen’s commentary and Ray’s interviews giving insight to his life an works gives a certain soul it.

                             After the sixty hours cinema in seven days, I was dazed at the variety of films I watched and a bit sad as the festival ended because it seemed the seven days simply whizzed in a matter of seconds…

My Original Master Schedule
The Feature Films I Saw at KIFF 2016

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