SIFF 2013 Films

About 111 Girls

Iraq | 79 minm | Nahid Ghobadi
A hapless government emissary roams the Iranian desert in search of the women of the title, a gaggle of desperate Kurds who have threatened to take drastic measures if their demand for husbands aren’t met immediately. Surprisingly goofy for much ...

The Act of Killing

Denmark | Norway | United Kingdom | 115 minm | Joshua Oppenheimer
The Act of Killing is a shape-shifting documentary exploring the horrifying history of Indonesia, where government-approved paramilitary organizations exterminated between 500,000 and a million "Communist dissidents" over a single year. The year was 1965, and when director Joshua Oppenheimer took ...

The African Cypher

U.S. Premiere | South Africa | 89 minm | Bryan Little
From impoverished Soweto pantsula dancers who sport orange Chuck Taylors and communicate via elaborate whistles to Cape Town b-boys with uniformly gorgeous bodies, perfect teeth, and a fiercely articulated sense of purpose, this documentary depicts a fascinating array of South ...

After Winter, Spring

France | USA | Judith Lit
Is there anything cuter than a farmer rubbing the fuzzy face of an hour-old calf, asking, “Is there anything cuter than this?” Yes: when the farmer and the calf and the question are all French, as is the case in ...

The Almost Man

Norway | 80 minm | Martin Lund
Henrik is a ridiculously awkward Norwegian man who tries to start loud arguments about abortion in the grocery store with his wife for yuks. He and his friends are still drinking and carrying on like they’re in their early twenties, ...

The Attack

Belgium | Egypt | France | Lebanon | Qatar | 102 minm | Ziad Doueiri
The Attack begins in a Tel Aviv police car that’s transporting an Arab doctor, Amin Jaafari, to his posh apartment, which is being searched for evidence. He can’t believe his stable and safe world has been turned upside down so ...

Barzan

USA | 80 minm | Alex Stonehill
A brisk but depressing documentary about Sam “Barzan” Malkandi, who emigrated from Iraq to Seattle and watched his family prosper here for years. After 9/11, he found himself arrested, detained in jail for years, and finally deported for an ephemeral ...

Between Valleys

U.S. Premiere | Brazil | Germany | Uruguay | 80 minm | Philippe Barcinski
How secure is your way of life? This is a story about a man who loses everything. Vicente has a professional job, a wife, a son, a house, a stable world. Through a series of events, his life completely unravels. ...

Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton

USA | 83 minm | Eric Slade
Part of a group of bohemian poets, philosophers, and dancers who made radical art, James Broughton was a poet, a pioneer of queer filmmaking, a teacher, and a free-spirited man who had a dynamic and amazing life, and who knew ...

Blackbird

Canada | 106 minm | Jason Buxton
In a fit of rage, a teenaged outcast makes a careless threat online. The next thing he knows, the police have circled his house and then he’s stuck in juvie with a bunch of rampaging delinquents for planning a school ...

Celluloid Man

India | 150 minm | Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
What this superb and atmospheric Indian documentary makes clear is that every work cinema, no matter how low or how bad, needs to be stored and preserved. Directed by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, the film is about P.K. Nair, an Indian ...

Cockneys vs. Zombies

United Kingdom | 88 minm | Matthias Hoene
Just when you think the zombie movie is finally spent as a genre, along comes a shiny little low-budget comedy like Cockneys vs. Zombies to prove you wrong. A pair of East London kids rob a bank to help save ...

Computer Chess

USA | 91m | Andrew Bujalski
Wikipedia says people call director Andrew Bujalski the "Godfather of Mumblecore." While that’s a godawful nickname that no human being should ever utter, if you’ve ever seen Bujalski’s other films—Funny Ha-Ha, Beeswax, some contributions to Hannah Takes the Stairs—you could ...

Concussion

USA | 93 minm | Stacie Passon
Abby is a fortysomething woman who takes care of the house and kids while her wife works as a busy attorney. They live in a wealthy suburb in a big house, and she and her friends exercise a lot. Unfulfilled ...

The Crash Reel

USA | 109 minm | Lucy Walker
It starts with a press conference of Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce talking about snowboarding, and then training on a half-pipes in Aspen and Park City, flying high through the air like it’s nothing in the world. Then, in the middle ...

Crystal Fairy

Chile | 98 minm | Sebastián Silva
Seems like it’s been years—Superbad, maybe?—since we’ve seen Michael Cera in a movie with a truly dirty sense of humor. And we’ve never seen the Cera we meet in Crystal Fairy: In this Chilean comedy, Cera plays an asshole American ...

Die Welt

Netherlands | Qatar | Tunisia | 80 minm | Alex Pitstra
Abdallah is a 19-year-old kid lucky to have a crap job at a “video store” renting pirated DVDs of Hollywood blockbusters to people who don’t give a damn when he explains that Transformers 2 misrepresents Arabs. Ultimately, he schemes with ...

Doch (The Daughter)

Russia | 110 minm | Alexander Kasatkin
Proof the no one investigates evil (or spiritual depravity) better than the Russians can be found in this film by Alexander Kasatkin and Natalia Nazarova. Set in a small town, the movie is about a serial killer who preys upon ...

Drinking Buddies

95 minm | Joe Swanberg
Drinking Buddies is about the tight friendship between Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson), two coworkers at a brewery who flirt, share lunch, and go out for drinks—and who are both romantically involved with other people (Anna Kendrick, Ron ...

The East

USA | 116 minm | Zal Batmanglij
Indie darling Brit Marling and director Zal Batmanglij's sophomore effort takes the hypnotically paranoid vibe of Sound Of My Voice and improves on the rest. Ellen Page and hunky Alexander Skarsgård head up a homegrown terrorist group dedicated to avenging ...

Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story

USA | 98 minm | Brad Bernstein
Before watching Far Out Isn’t Far Enough , I thought I had never heard of Tomi Ungerer, despite the film’s claim that he was once one of the most popular children’s book authors. But I have! And so have you! ...

Filmistaan

India | 117 minm | Nitin Kakkar
If you've been itching to see an aspiring Bollywood actor direct his own hostage video for a group of hilariously grumpy Pakistani terrorists, this is the film for you. Sunny, our insanely cheerful protagonist, gets mistaken for an American journalist ...

Forbidden Voices

Switzerland | 96 minm | Barbara Miller
Female blogger Yoani Sanchez has been branded the youngest enemy of Cuba for criticizing her country’s government. Blogger Farnaz Seifi explains that in Iran, “Women are considered half of the man—injuring a man’s genitals in a car accident costs more ...

Furever

USA | 80 minm | Amy Finkel
Humans love their pets SOOOO much. When the animals die, people want to memorialize them, anything from burying them in pet cemeteries to making jewelry from their cremains to freeze-drying them (“He’s not the same as he was, but it’s ...

Horses of God

U.S. Premiere | Belgium | France | Morocco | 115 minm | Nabil Ayouch
Like the Brazilian film City of God, the Moroccan film Horses of God opens with little kids playing soccer in a slum. The game reveals personality traits that will set the course of their lives, from drug dealing to fruit ...

The Human Scale

Denmark | 83 minm | Andreas M. Dalsgaard
Rather than going to watch The Human Scale, maybe we should all chip in and buy tickets for every Seattle-area public official, instead. It’s a documentary about how for decades, city planners have judged the success of cities by how ...

I Declare War

USA | 94 minm | Jason Lapeyre
A group of 12-year-olds play war in the neighborhood woods. Though they brandish toy guns and sticks, we see things from their POV, where bullets and mortars rain havoc all around. Over the course of a hot summer afternoon, jealousy ...

In the Fog

Belarus | Germany | Latvia | Netherlands | Russia | 128 minm | Sergei Loznitsa
For a 128-minute movie that mostly takes place in the misty forests of Nazi-occupied Belarus, In the Fogis strangely compelling. A young partisan and his deputy emerge from the forest at the home of a peasant who is suspected of ...

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Italy | 112 minm | Elio Petri
Filmed in 1970, this Italian crime drama follows a police inspector in Rome who murders his lady friend and purposefully leaves clues to see if anyone will charge him with the crime. Music by the legendary Ennio Morricone.

It’s All So Quiet

Germany | Netherlands | 94 minm | Nanouk Leopold
I’d like there to be a heaven where all the tragic gay characters in movies go to fuck merrily forever. Its First Couple would have to be Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger’s character in Brokeback ) and Helmer, the farmer’s ...

Jin

Turkey | 122 minm | Reha Erdem
Move over Run, Lola, Run—this gorgeous film about a young Kurdish guerilla breaking away from her regiment may be the best film in living memory about a woman running. Jin is 17 years old and isn’t safe anywhere but the ...

Jump

Ireland | United Kingdom | 88 minm | Kieron J. Walsh
As an American, what struck me most about the Irish film Jump was the significance of the gun. A stubby, run-of-the-mill revolver, purchased by a thug out for revenge, is treated—even by his fellow thugs—like some talisman of unspeakable evil ...

La Playa D.C.

Brazil | Colombia | France | 90 minm | Juan Andrés Arango
Teenage Tomas (Luis Carlos Guevara) lives off and on the streets of Bogotá in this gritty but beautifully shot drama. His two brothers variously trouble him and help him, disappear and reappear; his world is not a pretty one, but ...

A Lady in Paris

Belgium | Estonia | France | 94 minm | Ilmar Raag
Jeanne Moreau! You would like to feast your eyes on the grand lopsided-lipped gal as she tears it up even at 85? You would, you would. A Lady in Paris , called An Estonian in Paris in non-English-speaking release, is ...

Last Flight to Abuja

U.S. Premiere | Nigeria | United Kingdom | 78 minm | Obi Emelonye
This film is exactly the meeting point between Hollywood and Nigeria called Nollywood. Directed by Obi Emelonye, It has a big Hollywood sound, look, and even action sequence (true, the plane crash near the end of this movie has got ...

A Man Vanishes

Japan | 130 minm | Shôhei Imamura
Why are hundreds of people disappearing in Japan every year? How did this intolerable phenomenon become commonplace? And what happened, specifically, to Tadashi Oshima, a 32-year-old plastic salesman, who was among them? This award-winning 1967 documentary investigates.

Moon Man

France | Germany | United Kingdom | 95 minm | Stephan Schesch
A beautifully animated movie based on a children's book that miraculously doesn't suck. It's about the man in the moon grabbing hold of a comet's tail and crashing down to earth. The man in the moon looks more like a ...

My Dog Killer

U.S. Premiere | Czech Republic | Slovakia | 90 minm | Mira Fornay
Nothing quite says “this movie is not going to end well” than an opening shot of a young Czech skinhead teaching a pit bull named Killer how to attack an inanimate object. The more we learn about young Marek (played ...

Nightfall

Hong Kong | 107 minm | Roy Chow
Nightfall opens with one of the most brutal beatings you’ve probably ever seen in a movie, a prison shower beatdown full of head trauma, broken limbs, and full-on shivving. Then it cools down for a while as we meet a ...

Northwest

Denmark | 100 minm | Michael Noer
A pair of young, drugged-up petty thieves try to move into the big time in this somber movie about Copenhagen’s criminal underworld starring real-life teenage brothers Gustav and Oscar Dyekjaer. Northwest is more of a slow-paced character study than, say, ...

Orange Honey

Portugal | Spain | 100 minm | Imanol Uribe
It’s easy to make a Spanish Civil War film romantic: First, because it’s Spain, where both the revolutionaries and the fascists drink wine, quote literature, and dress to impress. Second, because it’s the early 20th century, and the technology—telephones, typewriters, ...

Our Children

Belgium | France | Luxembourg | Switzerland | 111 minm | Joachim Lafosse
The stars of A Prophet (Niels Arestrup and Tahar Rahim) reunite for this unsettling fact-based drama, about a Belgian mother of four (Emilie Dequenne) whose claustrophobic home life attains a terrible terminal velocity. Director Joachim Lafosse makes some cogent points ...

Paradise: Faith

Austria | France | Germany | 120 minm | Ulrich Seidl
Missionary Anna Maria spends her days unaccompanied, quietly flourishing under the burden of so many precise religious duties. She reasons calmly with nonbelievers, sings hymnals in stark rooms, and briskly flagellates her naked body any time she deserves it. Suddenly ...

Paradise: Love

Austria | France | Germany | 120 minm | Ulrich Seidl
Because Teresa is unable to find men willing to look past her “saggy breasts, wrinkles, and fat ass,” the middle-aged and outwardly prim Austrian gives sex tourism a try. Paradise: Love follows her very difficult journey in Kenya, as she ...

Pieta

South Korea | 104 minm | Kim Ki-duk
Here is what the main character, Lee Kang-do, of this profoundly philosophical film does for a living: He wakes up, visits the cluttered workshop of a man who has run out of time on a debt he owes to a ...

Redemption Street

U.S. Premiere | Serbia | 97 minm | Miroslav Terzi
What better setting for a gloomy political thriller than Serbia, where wartime guilt still haunts an entire generation? An earnest young investigator stumbles into a murky case that turns into a hornet’s nest as he figures out that members of ...

Scrapper

World Premiere | USA | 87 minm | Brady Hall
Stoic 40-something Hollis rises at 4 every morning to scavenge metal on Seattle’s streets to help pay for the care of his ill mother. His friendless, routine existence gets ruptured when he encounters a brash teenaged girl, tied up in ...

Short Stories

U.S. Premiere | Russia | 105 minm
After a Moscow publisher rejects an author’s fiction collection, the manuscript mysteriously affects the employees who read it. This clever framing device allows Segal to satirize modern Russian society. The first act renders absurd the couples-consulting industry while the second ...

Short Term 12

USA | 96 minm | Destin Daniel Cretton
Short Term 12 is set at a residential facility for high-risk kids, overseen by a staff not far from childhood themselves. Leading the charge is Grace (Brie Larson), a twentysomething of remarkable self-possession. These are kids who have experienced things ...

A Tribute to the Music of Muscle Shoals with Patterson and David Hood

USA | 102 minm
Patterson Hood is an acclaimed solo artist and a member of the even more acclaimed Drive-By Truckers. David Hood is his father, and the co-founder of the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound recording studio, where the elder Hood also worked as ...

Twin Peaks/An Evening with Kyle MacLachlan

94 minm | David Lynch
Kyle MacLachlan (who younger readers might better recognize as the mayor of Portland from Portlandia) relives the height of his popularity in this special screening of the pilot episode of David Lynch’s legendary TV series, Twin Peaks, along with clips ...

Two Lives

Germany | Norway | 97 minm | Georg Maas
Good lord, the final scene in this historical spy thriller is a work of art in itself. It’s quiet and distant and icy-beautiful, showing only a landscape with water, fire, earth, air, a placid surface with murder and horror trapped ...

A World Not Ours

Denmark | Lebanon | United Kingdom | 93 minm | Mahdi Fleifel
In 1948, during the Arab-Israeli War, more than half a million Palestinians fled their homes and became refugees, setting up camps in neighboring counties and hoping they’d be able to return home soon. The Ain El-Helweh refugee camp in Lebanon ...

You Will Be My Son

France | 102 minm | Gilles Legrand
Faced with the unappetizing prospect of bringing his only child into the family business, a stubborn winemaker (Niels Aretrup) begins looking for other candidates. Director Gilles Legrand veers expertly between grand tragedy and pokerfaced comedy, including a moment with a ...