Stranger Says: When an infertility plague sweeps the land, a man and a woman from two feuding Sri Lankan villages must venture into a haunted forest to seek a resolution. Tagging along for the trip is a “Strange Doctor” who wastes no time in living up to his nickname. Writer-director Suba Sivakumaran’s magically realistic, horror-tinged road trip certainly generates an impressive mood, especially given the bare-bones production values. Unfortunately, the second half bogs way down, stranding the characters in a series of frustratingly static poses. Still, this debut does cast a spell, even if only intermittently. (ANDREW WRIGHT)
SIFF Says: The tragic and bloody real-life ethnic conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka inspired this magical-realist fable, in which a man and a woman from antagonistic communities must meet to remove the curse that afflicts both sides.