The Seattle International Film Festival 2019 runs from May 16–June 9. See details on all the films here, and find out about parties here.

SIFF 2019 Films

The Third Wife

Vietnam | 2018 | 94m | Ash Mayfair
May, a 14-year-old girl in 19th-century Vietnam enters a dysfunctional polygamous marriage to an older wealthy landlord who demands a male heir in this beautiful, sensuously shot tale that interrogates the patriarchal practices of both May’s time and our own.

This Is Not Berlin

Mexico | 2019 | 105m | Hari Sama
Stranger Says: Film critic Nate Jones (or his editor) wrote a good headline in his review of This Is Not Berlin for Vulture: “The Movie That Will Make You Want to Become a Pansexual New-Wave Performance Artist in 1980s ...

A Thousand Girls Like Me

Afghanistan | 2018 | 76m | Sahra Mosawi-Mani
An inspiring documentary portrait of a young Afghani woman, who after being raped and impregnated repeatedly by her father, is determined to see him brought to justice.

Timeless Beauty

France | 2018 | 85m | Deyan Parouchev
This lush and inspiring doc explores how the fashion industry is expanding its definition of "beauty" beyond merely young and thin to embrace older, ethnically diverse, and nontraditional models of all kinds.

To the Stars

USA | 2019 | 111m | Martha Stephens
An elegant black-and-white drama set in 1960s Oklahoma about a sweet, withdrawn farmer’s daughter who challenges her repressive upbringing when she makes friends with the new girl in town.

Top End Wedding

Australia | 2019 | 103m | Wayne Blair
Viewers love this sweet story of a young Indigenous woman whose mother goes missing when she brings her non-Indigenous fiancé home to Australia's Northern Territory. Will Lauren be able to find her mama and reconcile with her? A young Australian ...

Touch Me Not

Romania | 2018 | 125m | Adina Pintilie
At times explicit but never prurient, this cool and cerebral exploration of sexuality and intimacy lies on the cusp of documentary and fiction, touching on issues of loneliness and body image.

A Tribute to Regina Hall

One of America’s most reliable and underrated character actresses, Regina Hall has found much of her success in that most difficult of onscreen endeavors—making people laugh. An actor, activist, spokesperson, and journalist, her body of work is as broad as ...

Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts

USA | 2019 | 91m | Nick Zeig-Owens
Stranger Says: I know this much is true: (1) Trixie Mattel did not deserve to win RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 3, and (2) Trixie is one of the funniest people ever to appear on that show. BenDeLaCreme should ...

Troop Zero

USA | 2019 | 97m | Bert & Bertie
Stranger Says: Any film that has Viola Davis and Allison Janney in one lineup (not to mention Jim Gaffigan and Mike Epps) is one you want to watch. Set in 1977, Troop Zero is about a misfit 9-year-old girl ...

Twin Flower

U.S. Premiere | Italy | 2018 | 96m | Laura Luchetti
A young woman, on the run and traumatized into silence, and an undocumented immigrant from the Ivory Coast team up for protection as they travel across a bleak Sardinia.


Switzerland | 2018 | 86m | Mohcine Besri
Among the characters we meet in this drama set in a Casablanca hospital: a young boy with an illness, his small-town parents, his city-dwelling uncle, and the idealistic doctor on whom all their hopes depend.


New Zealand | 2019 | 90m | Nicole Whippy
Watch eight vignettes centered on Indigenous women from Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Kuki Airani (Cook Islands), Samoa, Niue, and Aotearoa (New Zealand)—studies of femininity and strength. A sequel of sorts to SIFF 2018’s breathtaking WARU, featuring eight vignettes directed ...

Van Goghs

Russia | 2018 | 102m | Sergey Livnev
A famed, aging conductor with dementia and his talented but troubled artist son are forced to set aside their differences before it’s too late in this emotional melodrama featuring Russia and Poland’s two biggest stars.

Virgin & Extra: The Land of the Olive Oil

Spain | 2018 | 90m | José Luis López Linares
Take a trip to sunny Jaen, the Spanish province that produces 20% of the world's olive oil—some say it's the best of all—and follow its production from tree to table.


Ukraine | 2018 | 106m | Roman Bondarchuk
Full of striking and memorable visuals, Roman Bondarchuk's debut feature chronicles the surreal encounters of a government official stranded in the bleak badlands of Ukraine.

Watch List (Maria)

World Premiere | Philippines | 2019 | 94m | Ben Rekhi
In this crime thriller out of the Philippines, a widowed mother is forced to enter Manila’s dark underworld of cops, criminals, and drugs after her husband is murdered under mysterious circumstances.

We Are the Radical Monarchs

USA | 2019 | 96m | Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Meet the Radical Monarchs, an Oakland-based group for girls of color who advocate for social justice in the face of the hope-crushing machine that is post-2016 American society. Follow the founding and growth of the Radical Monarchs, an Oakland-based alternative ...

We Take the Low Road

World Premiere | USA | 2019 | 94m | Domenic Barbero
Suppose you discovered the exponentially rising cost of health care was the product of a nationwide conspiracy, and you knew exactly who was responsible? One desperate solution is the premise of this stark thriller.

What Doesn’t Kill Us

Germany | 2018 | 129m | Sandra Nettelbeck
Don't fall for your patients—it's every psychotherapist's prime directive. But beleaguered divorced dad Max does anyway when he meets compulsive gambler Sophie in this German rom-com.

What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

USA | 2018 | 95m | Rob Garver
Pulsatingly subjective, exhilaratingly assertive, compulsively absorbing, Pauline Kael wrote about movies in a way they'd never been written about before. Director Rob Garver examines her life and legacy as America's most controversial critic.

What Walaa Wants

Denmark | 2018 | 86m | Christy Garland to join the Palestinian National Security Forces as one of its very few female officers. The rigors of basic training and her mother's reservations are only two of the hurdles she faces in this doc.

Who Let the Dogs Out

Canada | 2019 | 70m | Brent Hodge
Stranger Says: I always thought it was obvious who let the dogs out: the Baha Men. But in this documentary, artist and cultural curator Ben Sisto proves that the answer is a bit more complicated than that. Who Let ...

Widow of Silence

India | 2018 | 85m | Praveen Morchhale
Stranger Says: Deep within the powder keg of Kashmir, a beleaguered Muslim “half-widow” repeatedly makes the hazardous trek to the nearest government center to try to claim the death certificate of her long-missing husband. Her attempts to move on, ...

Wild Rose

United Kingdom | 2018 | 101m | Tom Harper
Ex-con Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley) yearns to break free of her humdrum Glasgow life and become a Nashville country-music star in this inspiring and toe-tapping dramedy co-starring Oscar® nominees Sophie Okonedo and Julie Walters.

The Wild

World Premiere | USA | 2019 | 60m | Mark Titus
Stranger Says: In 2014's The Breach, director Mark Titus addressed the salmon crisis in the Northwest United States—in particular, in Bristol Bay in Alaska, where a Canadian mining company threatened the ecosystem where sockeye salmon thrived. When The Breach ...

Wine Calling

U.S. Premiere | France | 2018 | 95m | Bruno Sauvard
With The Clash on the soundtrack, the central metaphor in this doc is rock: organic winemakers and their back-to-the-earth methods, prioritizing sustainability, as rebels against the wine establishment.

Winter Flies

Czech Republic | 2018 | 85m | Olmo Omerzu
Join two young men, 12 and almost 15, as they cross a chilly Czech Republic in a stolen Audi in this seriocomic and surprisingly warm road-trip movie.

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes

Canada | 2018 | 83m | Alison Reid
Stranger Says: In 1956, just after graduating college, Anne Innis Dagg went alone to South Africa to study giraffes. She was a pioneer in the research of a single animal in the wild, bringing back amazing film footage and ...

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation

USA | 2019 | 106m | Barak Goodman

X - The eXploited

Hungary | 2018 | 114m | Károly Ujj Mészáros
Stranger Says: Much of this excellent crime thriller has aerial shots of an upside-down Budapest. On the ground, there is a detective, a woman who, with dread-filled eyes, can spot the clues that other cops miss, and also make ...


Sweden | 2018 | 112m | Anna Odell
An artist hires a famous actor, and several performers to play their respective alter egos, to live in a film studio with cameras running in this hard-edged social satire of filmmaking and gender deconstruction that blurs the lines between fiction ...


United Kingdom | 2019 | 112m | Danny Boyle
Stranger Says: SIFF’s closing film is The Farewell, but the new outing from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) is playing at the same time on the last night of SIFF, and it feels like it’s the other closing SIFF ...


Egypt | 2018 | 97m | A.B. Shawky
In this unabashed heart-tugger, a man disfigured by leprosy leaves his colony, joined by an orphan, to travel across Egypt and search for the family who abandoned him as a child.

Your Turn

Brazil | 2019 | 93m | Eliza Capai
A fast-paced, multifaceted documentary following three students through Brazilian student protests as the country’s continuing economic and social crises threaten the state of public education itself.


Spain | 2018 | 104m | Icíar Bollaín
Learn about the life of famed Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta from this documentary by Iciar Bollain. Legendary dancer Carlos Acosta looks back on a troubled, transcendent life—from a tough working-class upbringing to the pinnacle of his artistry—in this heartfelt biography ...