Spring is in the air and Allegra and Zyrtec are sold out at drug stores across Seattle—that can only mean one thing. It's time for the Seattle International Film Festival! 

This year SIFF celebrates the festival's 50th anniversary and there is a lot to look forward to. As Stranger contributor Chase Hutchinson reported last month, "Not only is it a really strong year of films, but the even better news is the SIFF Cinema Workers Union recently ratified their first contract after coming together to form a union last year."

For the past few weeks, we've been combing through dozens of SIFF films to find some of the best the fest has to offer, and this year is full of treasures. There are many memorable documentaries, following everything from grasshoppers and bears to Luther Vandross and LARPing teens, as well as thrillers that are as sublime as they are sinister. (I Saw the TV Glow will “tear open your mind and soul.”) There’s a can’t-miss bittersweet love story, a moving coming-of-age story set in Norway’s stunning tundra, and more than one powerful drama that will leave you pondering life’s big questions long after the popcorn bucket has run empty. 

Of course, there were also a few duds. (Why, Harmony Korine? Why?) But that’s part of the wonder of SIFF, right? No matter what you choose to see, you get to tuck into a dark theater and escape into another world for a couple of hours… sometimes with chocolate popcorn.

SIFF films show in theaters May 9-19 and select films will be available for streaming May 20-27. Get tickets and see the full schedule at siff.net. And seriously, unless you enjoy being bored by mundane trainwrecks (filmed in infrared for some reason?!!?) consider skipping Korin's hyped-up Aggro Dr1ft and opt for one of our several recommended films instead. We put an asterisk next to all the titles we especially enjoyed to make it easy. We're here for you.

Happy SIFFing!

399: Queen Of The Tetons COURTESY OF SIFF

*399: Queen of the Tetons

USA, 2024 (90 min.)

Dir. Elizabeth Leiter

Blame it on the Tetons… or on a royal family-esque paparazzi… or on cowboys who want the laws to change so they can hunt grizzly bears. Whoever's fault it is, the grizzly bear matriarch named "399" is in danger. This gorgeous nature documentary follows 399's biggest fans as the bear navigates life in Grand Teton National Park as a single mother of four. (She's technically raised 18 cubs, but these four are the ones 399's rearing in the film.) The subject's passion for 399 was contagious and I found myself loving this mama bear myself. The most aggressive characters in the film were humans, not bears, which affirmed my answer to the telling question: "If you were alone in the woods, would you rather encounter a bear or a man?" BEAR. Especially if it was a badass mother celebrity like 399. RACHEL STEVENS

Screening Sunday, May 12 at Shoreline Community College and Monday, May 13 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian. Also available online May 20-27.

Admissions Granted COURTESY OF SIFF

*Admissions Granted

United States, 2024 (90 min.)

Dir, Miao Wang and Hao Wu

This documentary explores Affirmative Action policies, those specifically related to Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard. This lawsuit, spearheaded by Harvard students and applicants, protests Affirmative Action. The group claims that race-conscious admissions programs negatively impact students by enforcing a “cap” on how many Asian Americans are accepted. Citing instances of highly qualified Asian American applicants who had been rejected or waitlisted, SFFA argues that students in this group would have been admitted to Harvard had they been non-Asian. The film also examines proponents of Affirmative Action through interviews with students, Harvard educators, and legal advocates who argue that dismantling Affirmative Action to pursue a colorblind admissions process will severely limit student body diversity by drastically reducing the amount of Black and brown students admitted. Admissions Granted will leave you critically considering the difference between equity and equality. It will also leave you saying, “Wow. Higher education is so fucked.” BRITTNE LUNNISS

Screening Sunday, May 12 at Majestic Bay and Monday, May 13 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

Aggro Dr1ft

USA, 2023 (80 min.)

Dir. Harmony Korine

Bless the hearts of all who take the plunge into the occasionally nightmarish though mostly mundane infrared vision from the maniac Harmony Korine, but his latest is many miles away from his best work. Aggro Dr1ft centers on an assassin who only succeeds at killing your interest and speaking like he was plucked right out of Grand Theft Auto. It's terrible. Seeing it at the theater formerly known as the Cinerama will likely be among the most wildly unique ways anyone gets to experience it, though it also will just be a very big way of seeing a film that is actually very small. CHASE HUTCHINSON

Screening Friday, May 17 at SIFF Cinema Downtown.

Bonjour Switzerland

Switzerland, 2023 (88 min.)

Dir. Peter Luisi

You can bet your bottom dollar that this film will be a SIFF hit. Why? One, it is a "wacky comedy." Two, it's about the importance of multiculturalism (many cultures can happily co-exist). Three, it has a little romance. Four, it shamelessly advertises the beauty (urban and natural) of the landlocked country. Five, it's a total fantasy—Switzerland votes to make one of its four official languages (German, French, Italian, Romansh) the only official language. The initiative's proponents promise that this unification will be good for business and save Switzerland a ton of money. Everyone expects the winner will be German, the country's most spoken language, but it turns out to be the second-most spoken language, French. The German speakers seem to accept this unhappy result, but the Italian ones don't. They protest on the streets and form a secret resistance movement. The film has a happy ending. CHARLES MUDEDE

Screening Saturday, May 11 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian and Sunday, May 12 at Majestic Bay. Also available online May 20-27.

Disco Afrika: A Malagasy Story COURTESY OF SIFF

Disco Afrika: A Malagasy Story

Madagascar, 2023 (81 min.)

Dir. Luck Razanajaona

Disco Afrika: A Malagasy Story concerns what can best be described as the post-colonial blues. Meaning, it's about how the country's independence movement failed to structurally transform its society. Nothing much changed after Black rule was established in 1960. The very poor remained very poor, the very rich remained very rich, and political oppression persisted. This is how the film's main character, Kwame (Parista Sambo), sees things. His father, a revolutionary and disco composer and singer, was killed by Black rulers; his friend was killed by Black soldiers; his other friend makes money from exploiting Black people. The movie is a touch slow but has its moments. CHARLES MUDEDE

Screening Friday. May 17 and Sunday, May 19 at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Also available online May 20-27.


The Etilaat Roz

Afghanistan, 2022 (92 min.)

Dir. Abbas Rezaie

Brace yourself for a different kind of journalism documentary—one where reporters and editors are trapped inside a chilling prison of the Taliban's making. The Etilaat Roz, named after Afghanistan's preeminent corruption-busting newspaper, begins one day before Afghanistan's drastic Taliban takeover in August 2021. It takes place entirely inside the paper's increasingly fraught offices as its vigilant editor-in-chief ceases the print edition, helps his colleagues seek asylum, and shifts to an online publication model. Harrowing conversations and reveals of anti-journalist violence make this an important document of modern, ongoing Afghani turmoil, but a confusing subtitle translation and a lack of sequences outside the paper's offices make it a less clear and colorful document than its featured reporters would likely produce on the same subject. SAM MACHKOVECH

Screening Sunday, May 12 and Monday, May 13 at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Also available online May 20-27.

*Green Border

Poland, 2023 (147 min.)

Dir. Agnieszka Holland

The feel-bad movie of the fest that proves once more that acclaimed director Agnieszka Holland is one of the best to ever do it. This unflinching portrait of the modern refugee crisis in Poland upset the right-wing leaders there for all the right reasons. Following a Syrian family who travel through Belarus to find a better life, it is split into parts that don’t fully cohere as much as they intersect. Shot in stunning black-and-white that gives life to both compassion and cruelty, it is a poetic yet punishing watch about a subject that would demand nothing less. CHASE HUTCHINSON

Screening Wednesday, May 15 at SIFF Cinema Downtown and Thursday, May 16 at Majestic Bay.

Girls Will Be Girls COURTESY OF SIFF

Girls Will Be Girls 

India, 2024 (118 min.) 

Dir. Shuchi Talati

This film is the slowest slow burn ever to slow burn. It’s like watching two cars approach each other at 1 mph, waiting to see if either will speed into a crash. If you’ve read “sexual rebellion” in any descriptions and expected something punchier, scale yourself back to an accurately awkward coming-of-age story. You will likely be cringing down a memory lane of your own firsts. Set between a tight-laced Indian boarding school and the main character's home, 16-year-old Mira (Preeti Panigrahi), her mother Anila (Kani Kusruti), and Kesav Binoy Kiron as the fuck-boy Sri each do a solid job at playing within the dichotomy of mature and immature. While things slowly, slooowly unfold in Mira’s romantic awakening, the film holds a more valuable underlying plot in the dynamic between young mother and teen daughter. NICO SWENSON

Screening Monday, May 13 at Shoreline Community College and Wednesday, May 15 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian.

*Grasshopper Republic

USA, 2023 (94 min.)

Dir. Daniel McCabe

Grasshopper Republic begins with an incredibly niche premise—the capture and sale of grasshoppers as food—and opens up to the broader question of where "natural order" begins and ends. In his twist on the "nature" documentary, Daniel McCabe zooms in on everything from delicate grasshopper larvae to work-savaged human faces, while a narration-less narrative follows a procession of tangled, overwrought grasshopper traps from cities to farms, and from centuries-old jungles to disastrous mudslides. Every person and animal in this film gets a fair moment to perch silently, examine its surroundings, and do whatever it can to survive—and McCabe's greatest success is to portray each of these moments without judgment, and with incredible beauty. A must-watch—especially once its sky explodes with dense, green clouds of harvested grasshoppers. SAM MACHKOVECH

Screening Monday, May 13 at SIFF Cinema Downtown and Wednesday, May 15 at AMC Pacific Place. Also available online May 20-27.

Hitchcock’s Pro-Nazi Film COURTESY OF SIFF

Hitchcock’s Pro-Nazi Film

France, 1987 (203 min.)

Dir. Daphne Baiwir

Many things are wrong with this French documentary about one of the 20th century's greatest directors, Alfred Hitchcock. For one, its title, Hitchcock’s Pro-Nazi Film (Le Film pro-nazi d'Hitchcock) is misleading. Hitchcock's Lifeboat, apparently the doc's subject, is not a pro-Nazi film, as some famous American journalist with a bone to pick absurdly claimed. But anyone who has watched the film, which, admittedly, is far from the circle of Hitchcock's British and American masterpieces, knows that it's about the world coming to terms with the rise of Nazi Germany. Also, the doc is really about John Steinbeck—the director, Daphne Baiwir, heaps way too much praise on the hack and his relationship with Hollywood. As for Hitchcock, he is neither here nor there. Also, the doc's use of music is atrocious. If you love Hitchcock, I recommend you sit this one out. CHARLES MUDEDE

Screening Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

*I Saw the TV Glow

USA, 2024 (100 min.)

Dir. Jane Schoenbrun

You will always remember where you were when you saw I Saw the TV Glow, the latest from the exciting director Jane Schoenbrun. It tears open the mind and soul to lay bare what it means to be alive in all its transcendent yet terrifying detail. Telling the story of two teens—perfectly played by Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine—who connect over a show known as The Pink Opaque, I Saw the TV Glow is a stunningly evocative experience about culture, transness, and exploration that feels like it is creating its own cinematic language. It’s not only the most inventive work of modern independent horror since We're All Going to the World's Fair, Schoenbrun’s previous feature, which was also outstanding, but it’s the type of film that feels like it will only worm its way even further into the recesses of the mind the longer we have the honor to reflect on it. CHASE HUTCHINSON

Screening Friday, May 10 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian and Saturday, May 11 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.


*In Our Day

South Korea, 2023 (84 min.)

Dir. Hong Sang-soo

Nothing happens in the world of In Our Day. A cat runs off, a poet drinks an ill-advised beer, and three women murmur over a box of interesting toiletries. But disguised within the film's mundanity are serious reflections on the cosmic mysteries of identity, grief, vulnerability, and life itself. (In Our Day asks direct questions that you might be wondering about, too, like "What is it to live?" and "What is all of this?") If you're familiar with Hong Sang-soo's reticent, observational style, this likely comes as no surprise. If you're not, expect something akin to Aki Kaurismaki and Eric Rohmer's storytelling—people talk, people think, and then the film ends. It leaves you thinking, too. The 84-minute runtime is well worth it. LINDSAY COSTELLO

Screening Friday, May 10 at Majestic Bay and Sunday, May 19 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

*July Rhapsody

Hong Kong, 2002 (103 min.)

Dir. Ann Hui

The key moment in this film happens like this: As a Hong Kong poetry teacher, Mr. Seng (Tou Chung Hua), tells his student/lover, Man-ching (Anita Mui), that he is moving to Taiwan, his face goes out of focus. This simple distortion perfectly captures the blow experienced by Man-ching. She doesn't want him to go; she wants to be with him forever. Not happening. She has to, in the words of the Gap Band, "Wake up early and find me another lover." And Man-ching does—a fellow student who eventually becomes a high school poetry teacher, Lam Yiu-kwok (Jacky Cheung). They get married, raise two boys, and live in a small apartment. Their marriage, however, hits the rocks when Mr. Seng returns to Man-ching near the end of his life and Lam discovers that one of his students, Choi-lam (Karena Lam), has a crush on him. At first, the teacher resists. He is just like that Police tune, "Don't Stand So Close to Me." But his student will not take no for answer. Don't miss this bittersweet movie. CHARLES MUDEDE   

Screening Saturday, May 18 at SIFF Cinema Downtown.

Luther: Never Too Much COURTESY OF SIFF

*Luther: Never Too Much

United Kingdom, 2024 (101 min.)

Dir. Dawn Porter

Whether you know Luther Vandross for his prolific career as a background singer (appearing on countless classics like David Bowie's Young Americans and Chic's C'est Chic), his sensual R&B ballads, or his iconic bop "Never Too Much," (which was lipsynced on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 14), the point is that you know him. Dawn Porter's new documentary on the angel-voiced luminary chronicles his career through archival footage and talking head-style interviews with legends like Mariah Carey, Dionne Warwick, and Jamie Foxx. In terms of filmmaking, this film does not reinvent the wheel—it's your standard PBS-style doc. However, the captivating live performances of Vandross make for a highly entertaining watch. Plus, the film digs deep into his experiences with fatphobia, racism, and homophobia in the music industry. AUDREY VANN

Screening Friday, May 10 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian and Sunday, May 19 at AMC Pacific Place.

*Memories of a Burning Body 

Costa Rica, Spain, 2024 (90 min.) 

Dir. Antonella Sudasassi Furniss 

All other directors should be taking notes on Antonella Sudasassi Furniss's genius way of weaving documentary into dramatic film. Patch-work reflections from three women’s lives are lucidly quilted into a narrative of love, sex, sexism, aging, and so much more. A content warning is necessary, the film grapples with heavy subject matter including sexual assault and domestic violence, but these topics and stories are handled with great care as Sol Carballo (playing the part of “Woman”) masterfully encapsulates all three lived experiences into one body. The film is in Spanish with subtitles and is well worth the watch. NICO SWENSON

Screening Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15 at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Also available online May 20-27.

*The NeverEnding Story

West Germany, 1984 (94 min.)

Dir. Wolfgang Petersen

After directing Das Boot, a film about the crew of a Nazi submarine, Wolfgang Petersen, made a fantasy film, The NeverEnding Story. Though not as wonderfully bizarre as Jim Henson's Labyrinth (1986), it does have an existential monster called the Nothing—it's something like a black hole that sucks the life out of a fantastic world. The movie also has a great theme produced song by the master of disco-techno, Giorgio Moroder, "Never Ending Story." It's a super-dreamy new wave tune with a chorus that sends you to the region just above the clouds. Sure, Labyrinth has David Bowie, but his performance of the Goblin King is far more impressive than his songs on the film's soundtrack. None comes even close to "Never Ending Story." CHARLES MUDEDE 

DJ NicFit will provide a live soundtrack to the film. Screening Tuesday, May 14 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian.

*The New Boy 

Australia, 2023 (96 min.) 

Dir. Warwick Thorton 

Who doesn’t love a movie with Cate Blanchett? That being said, she’s not the main focus of this movie in a really good way. Aswan Reid (the titular Aboriginal boy) is supported by an amazing cast in delivering a truly brilliant work of magical realism. Set in a 1940s Australian monastery, this film both literally and metaphorically depicts the insidious violence of colonial cultural erasure. Symbolism runs wild as the plot makes quick turns from moments of near comedy, to mystical absurdity, to an unnerving bleakness that hits exactly where it’s supposed to. The New Boy is an important and impactful conversation starter that is not one to miss! NICO SWENSON

Screening Saturday, May 18 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian and Sunday, May 19 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.



Taiwan, 2023 (95 min.)

Dir. Li Wei Chiu

Combine the cheesy, low-cost CGI of the Sing! movie series with the dystopian future of Blade Runner, and you have Pigsy, the feel-bad cartoon of the summer. A man and two talking animals must figure out what's gone wrong with a plan to send the "most productive" members of society to an idyllic city in the sky. This scheme, it's worth noting, analyzes all human and animal lives for their future potential, and every bad plot twist stems from someone rejecting this draconian control. If there's a not-so-bleak wrinkle in Pigsy, it's been lost in translation—literally, as the film's Mandarin-to-English captions are currently ChatGPT-caliber nonsense. Not a ton to love here, unless you're roughly 4 years old and can thus enjoy the expressive animation and a few bombastic martial arts sequences without reading the captioned curse words. SAM MACHKOVECH

Screening Tuesday, May 14 at AMC Pacific Place and Wednesday, May 15 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian.

The Primevals

USA, 2023 (90 min.)

Dir. David Allen

The intricate stop motion animation by the late David Allen (The Howling, Young Sherlock Holmes) amazes, but the writing does not. In The Primevals, an expedition to find a live Yeti in the Himalayas discovers a lost world of hominids and lizard men. Shot in the summer of 1994, and shelved over financial difficulties, Allen worked piecemeal on the film until his death in 1999. He was only 54. A successful fundraising campaign in 2019 enabled an original effects artist, Chris Endicott, to finish Allen's stop-motion sequences. It's pulp that evokes the '50s creature feature and fantastical '80s adventure films like Clash of the Titans. The best of this genre are romantic adventures suffusing action with deliberate cheese. The Primevals is not that, and it's frustrating because the film couches brilliant animated sequences (like Allen's giant snarling ape, alive with expressive detail) between live actors stumbling through hackneyed dialogue. The Primevals is perfect for someone who knows who Ray Harryhausen is, and can enjoy a movie for the sheer magic of stop motion. VIVIAN MCCALL

Screening Friday, May 10 and Tuesday, May 14 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian. Also available online May 20-27.

Red Rooms

Canada (Québec), 2023 (118 min.)

Dir. Pascal Plante

Every festival will have one major disappointment that, while you can see its potential, never fully comes together in the end. A psychological thriller of sorts about a model whose life becomes consumed by the trail of a serial killer, it's drawn understandable comparisons to something like David Fincher’s Zodiac. The trouble is, save for a fantastic performance by Juliette Gariépy, it is just not nearly as bold as it thinks it is. For every terrifying moment that has the power to sear itself in your mind, like one surrounding the world’s worst cosplay, the rest slips away. CHASE HUTCHINSON

Screening Tuesday, May 14 at Majestic Bay and Wednesday, May 15 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.


USA, 2024 (96 min.)

Dir. Alison Tavel

Can a little-known synthesizer carry a film? Just about. Director/writer Alison Tavel's quest to learn about her revered instrument-inventor father, who died in a car crash when she was a newborn, translates into a heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting portrait of a troubled genius. Don Tavel (1952-1988) invented the Resynator, an instrument-controlled, monophonic, rack-mount analog/digital synthesizer with a propensity to generate distinctively bizarre sounds. Even though superstars such as Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, and Peter Gabriel dabbled with it, the Resynator never became mass-produced, and Tavel was crushed by its failure. Finding one of the few existing Resynators in her grandmother's attic, Alison becomes obsessed with getting it working and into the hands of prominent musicians around the world—and views the instrument as key to knowing and demystifying her dad, whose life had more darkness than she'd realized. DAVE SEGAL

Screening Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Also available online May 20-27.



Canada, 2023 (115 min.)

Dir. Meredith Hama-Brown

Finding a balance between the sinister and the sublime, this is a film that exists right on the edge of becoming a full-fledged ghost story just as it grounds itself in genuine emotions. Seagrass, magnificently crafted by writer-director Meredith Hama-Brown, focuses on a family that is coming apart despite going on a trip meant to pull them together. It reveals how the most painful parts of life can come from those we are closest to. With a spectacular performance by former Seattleite Ally Maki, it’s a film that sneaks up on you just as all that’s on the margins does to the characters. CHASE HUTCHINSON

Screening Monday, May 13 at Majestic Bay and Tuesday, May 14 at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Also available online May 20-27.



United Kingdom, Finland, Belgium, 2024 (110 min.) 

Dir. Mikko Makela 

Don’t confuse this film with the 2023 horror flick of the same name… though parts might still leave you either thrilled or covering your eyes. This daunting drama sets you on a two-hour journey of a writer by day turned sex worker at night. If you’re looking to have a pity party for a white twink with abs, then this is the picture for you. Sure, the main character does have his struggles within a voyage of self-discovery, but along the way he steps over his countless (and more interesting) POC friends and coworkers who are never given any real plot other than to be tools in his tale. The film does aspire to flip the script when it comes to sex work, so if you’re worried that it’s just another story of tropes complete with violations of consent, guilt, shame, and regret … you’re only 90% right. NICO SWENSON

Screening Sunday, May 12 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian and Saturday, May 18 at SIFF Cinema Uptown.

*Sing Sing

USA, 2023 (107 min.)

Dir. Greg Kwedar

Sing Sing is the abundantly thoughtful and terrifically acted drama closing out this year's festival. Follows a group of incarcerated men who act together in their own productions, it's more than just based on a true story. Rather, it features many of the men playing themselves, though don’t call them “non-professional actors.” They've all been putting in the time to hone their craft and the result is a film where every performance feels alive in a way most other works could only dream of. That a never-better Colman Domingo just fits in seamlessly as a part of the ensemble is a testament to their collective talents. When the curtain rises on the beauty they’ve all built, what we witness is a work of art that never papers over the injustices just as we see the men who are fighting for their humanity in a world that doesn’t value it. CHASE HUTCHINSON

Screening as part of SIFF's closing night party on Saturday, May 18 at SIFF Cinema Downtown.

The Tundra Within Me COURTESY OF SIFF

*The Tundra Within Me

Norway, 2023 (95 min.)

Dir. Sara Margrethe Oskal

Norwegian village girl (Lena) turned Oslo artist returns to her Reindeer-herding hometown, Sápmi. Lena is skeptically welcomed, drawing criticism for her feminist art, which explores gender roles in the herding community. She soon falls in love with Mahtte, a local herder who caught feelings for Lena after watching her sing in a bar. (Been there!) Set against Norway’s ethereal winter landscapes, TTWM offers a visual spectacle. (The snowy scenery and majestically cute reindeer alone make it worth seeing.) The film encourages viewers to reflect on practices of their own heritage, why they exist, and how to embrace them today. Overall, TTWM artfully explores the union of tradition and modernity, the act of resistance, and what it truly means to be “home.” The romance storyline felt unnecessary (sorry Mahtte), but alas, someone’s gotta Lena warm in the tundra! BRITTNE LUNNISS

Screening Friday, May 17 at SIFF Cinema Uptown and Saturday, May 18 at Shoreline Community College. Also available online May 20-27.


*We Can Be Heroes

USA, 2024 (86 min.)

Dir. Carina Mia Wong and Alex Simmons

In 2006, an award-winning documentary called Darkon told the story of live-action role players (LARPers) who concocted grandiose stories in the woods while swinging foam swords at each other. We Can Be Heroes tells a similar real-life story with a twist: neurodivergent kids meet at a sleepover camp that revolves around adventuring and LARPing. Over an 86-minute runtime, troubled teens battle fictional demons on the way to tearing down real ones, ranging from crushing anxiety to post-COVID acclimation to fatal diseases. The gimmick of improvised, Tolkien-esque battling, as assisted by kindhearted, hella gay camp counselors, lands somewhere between Game of Thrones and Glee on a watchability scale—which, yes, is a compliment. The film sadly leaves some kids' stories undercooked, but there's still plenty of euphoric, teenaged self-discovery to enjoy. SAM MACHKOVICH

Screening Tuesday, May 14 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian and Friday, May 17 at Shoreline Community College.

*Wings of Desire

Germany, 1987 (127 min.)

Dir. Wim Wenders

There are two angels in Wim Wenders's masterpiece Wings of Desire (or Heaven over Berlin): Damiel (Bruno Ganz) and Cassiel (Otto Sandler). The former is silly (he falls in love with a trapeze artist played by a queen of late 20th-century art house cinema, Solveig Dommartin) and spends way too much time lurking around her circus. The latter is serious and actually does his job, which is to watch over all the city's inhabitants and comfort them as best as he can (the angels are invisible). Sadly, the film, which is utterly beautiful and provides a document for West Berlin just before the fall of the wall, focuses on the silly and rather creepy angel. CHARLES MUDEDE

Screening Monday, May 13 at SIFF Cinema Downtown.

*Means we loved it!