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					                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

1:1                                                               2 DAYS IN PARIS

Denmark 2006, Danish with English subtitles,                      France/Germany 2006, English and French with
35mm, 90 min                                                      English subtitles, 35mm, 96 min
Director: Annette K. Olesen                                       Director: Julie Delpy
Screenplay: Kim Fupz Aakeson                                      Screenplay: Julie Delpy
Cinematography: Kim Høgh Mikkelsen                                Cinematography: Lubomir Bakchev
Cast: Mohammed-Ali Bakier, Joy K. Petersen,                       Cast: Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Daniel Brühl
Anette Støvelbæk, Helle Hertz, Subhi Hassan, Jonas                Print Source: Rezo Films
Busekist, Brian Lentz, Paw Henriksen, Nassim Al-
Dosom, Rose Copty, Trine Appel                                    Julie Delpy's directorial debut which she also edited,
Print Source: Danish Film Institute                               wrote and produced – and of course, stars in
                                                                  – follows two days in the relationship of a New York-
This beautifully controlled film takes place in a                  based couple, French photographer Marion and
housing estate that was built with a Utopian vision               American interior designer Jack, as they attempt to
in mind. But the hopes and dreams of the architect                revitalise their relationship with a romantic holiday
come into stark contrast with the built reality a few             in Europe.
decades later.                                                    After a botched trip to Venice where they both
Taking place just outside Copenhagen, the film                     came down with gastroenteritis, they have higher
begins with a young man being brutally beaten and                 hopes for Paris. But unable to speak French, Jack
taken to hospital in a coma. Police blame members                 feels confused and alienated, a condition which
of the immigrant Muslim community and their                       isn't improved by constantly running into Marion's
post-9/11 racial profiling soon catches fire in the                 flirtatious ex-boyfriends.
minds of the inhabitants of the housing estate.                   Destined to be the comedy of the year, Delpy’s
Meanwhile, the Muslim boyfriend of the comatose                   film resembles the Richard Linklater films of Before
boy’s sister is convinced that his own brother was                Sunrise and Before Sunset in which she also starred
behind the attack.                                                and helped to workshop dialogue. But 2 Days in
This is a cross-cultural drama with much substance                Paris is altogether funnier and edgier than those
and depth, providing a sense of lyricism absent                   wonderful films while at the same time maintaining
from the lives of the characters. Going beyond                    their sense of delicacy and charm. A delicious treat
simplistic notions of race and culture to explore                 that amidst all the humour, seriously questions our
issues that are globally significant, this is a film that           human capacity for lifelong monogamy.
is all too resonant in a world that is increasingly
racially divided.
 23 Musgrave 10h00; 30 Suncoast 12h00                              26 Sneddon 20h00; 30 Sneddon 20h30
 Danish director Annette K Olesen was born                         Julie Delpy was born in Paris in 1969 and is
 in 1965. Olesen has directed short films and                       an actress, singer, director and Academy Award-
 award winning documentaries. Her feature debut,                   nominated screenwriter. Her acting roles include,
 Små ulykker (Minor Mishaps) (2002), won The                       amongst many others, Europa Europa (1990);
 Blue Angel Award in Berlin. Her second feature,                   Three Colors: Blue (1993); Before Sunrise (1995);
 Forbrydelser (In Your Hands) (2004), was also selected for        Waking Life (2001); Before Sunset (2004); Broken Flowers
 the official competition in Berlin and is recipient of numerous    (2005); and The Hoax (2007). After directing two shorts, 2 Days
 international awards.                                             in Paris is her feature directorial debut.

32   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                          PANORAMA FEATURES

AACHI AND SSIPAK                                         AFTER THE WEDDING
(AACHI WA SSIPAK)                                        (EFTER BRYLLUPPET)

Korea 2006, Korean with English subtitles,               Denmark 2006, Danish with English, 35mm,
35mm, 90 min                                             122 min
Director: Joe Bum-jin                                    Director: Susanne Bier
Screenplay: Jung Hye-Won, Jang Sang-Kyun                 Screenplay: Anders Thomas Jensen
Cinematography: Kim Youn-Ki                              Cinematography: Morten Søborg
Cast: Ryu Seung-Bum, Yim Chang-Jeong, Hyun Young,        Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Badett Knudsen, Rolf
Shin Hyae-Chul, Lee Gyu-Hwa, Seo Hye-Jeong               Lassgård
Print Source: Studio 2.0                                 Print Source: Danish Film Institute

Scatological from its opening premise onwards, Aachi     Jacob Petersen has dedicated his life to helping
and Ssipak is a wickedly inventive piece of animation.   street children in India. When the orphanage he
Aachi and Ssipak are ‘independent entrepreneurs’ in      heads is threatened by closure, he receives an
a future where the government wants a monopoly           unusual offer. A Danish businessman, Jørgen, offers
on the only source of energy – human excrement.          him a donation of $4 million dollars. There are,
In order to achieve this, they keep the population       however, certain conditions. Not only must Jacob
addicted to popsicles. At birth, citizens get a sensor   return to Denmark, he must also take part in the
implanted that records their bowel movements. But        wedding of Jørgen's daughter. The wedding proves
the one-popsicle-a-day policy doesn't go down            to be a critical juncture between past and future, and
well with the Diaper Gang, a group of aggressive,        catapults Jacob into the most intense dilemma of
addiction-fueled babies led by the Diaper King.          his life.
Joe Bum-Jin's manic animation film is way out there       Occupying a unique space between thriller and
on the edge of taboo and acceptability. Filled with      family drama, After The Wedding has a rare emotional
apocalyptic pop culture references such as Mad           power and a powerful grasp of metaphor. Shot on
Max and Akira, this is a high-octane romp through        digital video often with a handheld camera, the film
the full spectrum of vulgarity and rudeness. It's        uses a combination of familiar cinematic ingredients
deeply hilarious, utterly violent and a delightfully     and intense performance to powerful effect. An
crazy antidote to both Disney and the increasingly       unpredictable drama about ideals and obligation
dominant Japanese anime form.                            that will keep you glued to your seat.

Filmmaker in attendance.
27 Musgrave 20h30; 29 Suncoast 22h30                      22 Suncoast 16h00; 25 Suncoast 22h15
 Joe Bum-Jin’s Aachi & Ssipak is preceded by Up           Susanne Bier was born in 1960 and graduated
 & Down Story (1997) which won the grand prize            from the National Film School of Denmark in
 at the Seoul International Animation Festival.           1987. She made her feature debut in 1990 with
                                                          Freud Flytter Hjemmefra (Freud Leaving Home)
                                                          which received a number of international plaudits.
                                                          In 2004, her film Brødre (Brothers) received an Audience Award
                                                          at Sundance and Best Acting awards at San Sebastian.

                                                  Durban International Film Festival 2007                            33
                                              PANORAMA FEATURES

ANTONIA                                                             AVIDA

Brazil 2006, Portuguese with English subtitles,                     France 2006, French with English subtitles,
35mm, 90 min                                                        35mm, 83 min
Director: Tata Amaral                                               Director: Benoît Delepine and Gustave Kerven
Screenplay: Roberto Moreira, Tata Amaral                            Screenplay: Benoît Delepine and Gustave Kerven
Cinematography: Jacob Sarmento Solitrenick                          Cinematography: Hugues Poulain
Cast: Negra Li, Leilah Moreno, Cindy, Quelynah,                     Cast: Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern, Velvet,
Thaide                                                              Fernando Arrabal, Bouli Lanners
Print Source: Elo Audiovisual                                       Print Source: Films Distribution

In Vila Brasilandia, a suburb of Sao Paolo, four                    Strange almost beyond belief, Avida is a tribute to
girls who work as backup vocalists start their own                  surrealism and more specifically the work of Salvador
rap group called Antonia. Initially it seems like a                 Dali, around whose work the film gravitates. Amidst
guaranteed plan but the girls' dream of living off                  this visual and conceptual weirdness, the film also
their music soon comes up against the barriers of                   finds the time and space to include a meditation on
poverty, violence and male chauvinism. The struggle                 man's inhumane treatment of animals, as well as
to get themselves heard and make ends meet                          providing a social critique of class structure.
soon puts their friendship with each other under                    Described as a cross between Monty Python, Jacques
pressure.                                                           Tati and a slideshow of New Yorker cartoons,
But Antonia is not a film about vulnerable women in                  Avida's real concern is the cruel inconsistency of
a harsh society. On the contrary, the girls are models              life. Although the imagery is often disgusting and
of assertiveness and perseverance and eventually it                 extremely alienating – to the point where it might
seems like all their efforts might pay off. Featuring               make David Lynch nervous – the film's wildness and
four genuine Brazillian R&B and hip hop stars in the                implacable madness will no doubt be the very thing
lead roles, who are essentially playing themselves in               that earns it a permanent place in the cult movie
a story about their own lives, Antonia is filled with                canon.
vital energy, great music and an irrepressible spirit.              Stylishly shot in black and white, the film's plot – if
With great performances and relaxed but controlled                  you can call it that – involves a deaf-mute and two
direction, this is not a candy-coated motivational                  ketamine addicts who kidnap the dog of uber-plump
vehicle but a piece of solid dramatic cinema.                       billionaire Avida. But Avida proves too intelligent for
                                                                    the criminals and soon has them under her control.
Screening as part of the Poverty and Inequality Film
 22 Musgrave 22h00; 29 Suncoast 22h00                               26 Sneddon 18h00; 30 Nouveau 22h45
 Tata Amaral is one of Brazil’s most awarded                         French comedian, actor, and director Benoît
 filmmakers. Her first feature-length film, Um Céu                      Delépine, known for his satirical activities on Canal+,
 de Estrelas (1997), was elected by critics as                       and fellow French comedian, actor and director
 one of the three most important national films                       Gustave Kervern, first worked together in Aaltra
 in the 1990s, and won 18 international awards                       (DIFF 2004), which they wrote, directed, and starred
 including Best Film at the Boston and Trieste film festivals. Her    in. Aaltra, which enjoyed substantial critical success,
 2000 film Através da Janela won ten different awards in Brazil       was followed by Avida, which was awarded Official
 and abroad.                                                         Selection at the Cannes Film Festival (2006).

34   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

AVIVA MY LOVE                                                      BILLO, IL GRAND DAKHAAR

                                                                   Italy/Senegal 2006, Italian and Wolof with
Israel 2006, Hebrew with English subtitles,                        English subtitles, 35mm, 110 min
35mm, 107 min                                                      Director: Laura Muscardin
Director: Shemi Zarhin                                             Screenplay: Marco Bonini, Mbacke Gadji, Laura
Screenplay: Shemi Zarhin                                           Muscardin, Lucilla Schiaffino
Cinematography: Itzik Portal                                       Cinematography: Teresa Punzi
Cast: Asi Levy, Rotem Abuhav, Dror Keren, Levena                   Cast: Marco Bonini, Paolo Gasparini, Luisa De Santis,
Finkelstein                                                        Thierno Thiam, Susy Laude, Lella Costa, Paul N'Dour,
Print Source: Lilach-Adler                                         Carmen De Santos, Daba Soumarè, Boubacar Ba
                                                                   Print Source: Marco Bonini
Aviva is a hard-working cook in a hotel in the small
northern Israeli town of Tiberias. Although her life               Billo is a young Senegalese man who smuggles
is filled with challenges, she is finally fulfilling her              himself to Italy. He has dreams of being a fashion
lifelong dream. For years Aviva has been writing but               designer and selling his garments to the couture
she has never gone so far as to attempt getting her                market, but ends up like so many other immigrants,
work published. Instead she has kept her remarkable                selling CDs and DVDs. He is arrested for doing so but
writing hidden from the world. Then one day, her                   then charged with being an Islamic terrorist because
sister Anita introduces her to Oded, an accomplished               he has the same name as a suspected terrorist. He is
novelist who lectures creative writing.                            subsequently released and gets a chance to work in
While Aviva chases her literary dream, she still                   the fashion industry and fall in love. But a life and a
has to take care of her unemployed husband, her                    wife are waiting for him back in Dakar.
wayward children, her unstable mother, and most of                 Co-produced by Youssou N'dour, this is a heart-
all her sister, who has become perhaps a little too                warming film that is filled with an overwhelming
involved in Aviva's life.                                          optimism despite the hard time that Billo has of
In many ways, Aviva's contents and themes are                      things. The film's success is due in no small part from
familiar but they are given a freshness with careful               a winning performance from Thierno Thiam as the
direction from Shemi Zarhin and a standout                         central protagonist.
performance from Assi Levy as the eternally put-                   Billo rises above a slew of films about the North
upon Aviva. And although the film makes no                          African experience in Europe. Without deferring to
mention of the Israel-Palestine conflict, the mere                  stereotypes, Laura Muscardin gives us a film whose
fact that people are living the normal lives detailed              central message is one of shared humanity.
in Aviva, is in itself a political statement.
                                                                   Filmmaker in attendance.
22 Musgrave 18h00; 26 Nouveau 12h00                                 28 Ekhaya 18h00; 01 Suncoast 16h00
 Writer and director Shemi Zarhin has won                           Italian director Laura Muscardin's films include
 numerous awards including Best Script for his                      Children of Open City (2004); Giorni (Days)
 1995 film Leylasede which participated in over                      (2001); and Coeur - Il cuore, Le (1998). She won
 200 festivals across the world. He is also the                     the Outstanding Emerging Talent Award at the L.A
 recipient of seven Israeli Academy Awards for                      Outfest and the Jury Award for Best Feature Film
 Mesekunet and 20 prizes from festivals around the world for his    at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, both for Giorni.
 2003 film Hakochavim Shel Shlomi.

                                                          Durban International Film Festival 2007                                  35
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

THE BOSS OF IT ALL                                             BROKEN PROMISES 2

                                                               South Africa 2007, English, Video, 127 min
Denmark 2006, Danish with English subtitles,                   Director: Kumaran Naidu
35mm, 100 min                                                  Screenplay: Kumaran Naidu
Director: Lars von Trier                                       Cinematography: Kumaran Naidu
Screenplay: Lars von Trier                                     Cast: Parry Govender, Kogie Naidoo, Maeshni Naiker,
Cinematography: Lars von Trier                                 Alisha Ramsunder, Derosha Moodley, Kajal Maharaj,
Cast: Iben Hjejle, Jens Albinus, Peter Gantzler                Neel Pillay, Ashrika Seeripat, Sathie Moodley, Bruce
Print Source: Danish Film Institute                            Gounder, Rani Pillay, Roshni Moodley, Suren Naiker,
                                                               Kumaran Naidu
Lars von Trier returns to DIFF screens with a                  Print Source: Africom and Garuda Motion Pictures
hilarious and unnerving comedy in which the owner
of an IT firm wants to sell out. The trouble is that            From writer, editor and director Kumaran Naidu
when he established his firm he invented a non-                 comes this hilarious Durban comedy about a family
existent company president to hide behind whatever             experiencing great strain on a number of fronts. Reuben
unpopular steps needed taking. When the potential              and Natasha have solved their marital differences, and
purchaser insists on negotiating with the president            Natasha is getting along much better with her mother-
face to face, the owner has to take on a failed actor          in-law, Amsugi. But with the arrival of Amsugi’s sister
called Kristoffer to play the part. Kristoffer really          tensions mount and great mayhem ensues. And when
throws himself into the role, forging complicated              Amsugi’s husband, the always inebriated Tony, sets off
relationships with the loyal staff and questioning his         to Johannesburg, things really fall apart.
character's motivation, while becoming a pawn in a             This is a charming and entertaining film that takes a
game that sorely tests his dubious moral fibre.                 very human look at the lives of individuals caught in
This is a delightful farce with an extremely funny             a web of gossip, love and hate, all infused with the
script and strong comic performances. Explosive                humor of South African life.
and anarchic, the film slips into brilliance despite the        Broken Promises achieved cult status in South Africa,
director's suggestion at the beginning of Boss of It           Canada and the UK and managed the awe-inspiring
All that this is a trifling experience.                         feat of selling nearly 150 000 copies on DVD. Like
The film is also notable for a technique called                 the previous film, Broken Promises 2 is digitally shot
Automavision, in which Von Trier was able to limit             on a tiny budget and like I Wish I Was in Jail the film
human influence on filmmaking by choosing the best               illustrates that immersion in our local popular culture
possible fixed camera position and then allowing a              is sure to deliver dividends in the local DVD market.
computer to choose when to tilt, pan or zoom.                  Filmmaker in attendance.
 23 Nouveau 18h00; 28 Musgrave 22h00                           23 Sneddon 18h15
 Internationally acclaimed director Lars von                    Broken Promises 2 is Johannesburg-based
 Trier graduated from the National Film School                  Kumaran Naidu’s third feature film and follows
 of Denmark in 1983. Trier has had seven films                   the phenomenally successful Broken Promises
 in selection for competition at Cannes and has                 and Run for your Life. Naidu has written, directed,
 received many major festival awards for his films,              produced, and edited all of his films.
 including Dancer in the Dark which received the Palme d’Or.

36   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                            PANORAMA FEATURES

BUNNY CHOW                                                        CASHBACK

                                                                  UK 2006, English, 35mm, 92 min
                                                                  Director: Sean Ellis
                                                                  Screenplay: Sean Ellis
South Africa 2006, English, 35mm, 90 min                          Cinematography: Angus Hudson
Director: John Barker                                             Cast: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Shaun Evans,
Screenplay: David Kibuuka, Salah Sabiti, Joey                     Michelle Ryan
Rasdien, John Barker                                              Print Source: Gaumont
Cinematography: Zeno Petersen
Cast: Kagiso Lediga, David Kibuuka, Kim Engelbrecht,              When art student Ben Willis is dumped by his
Joey Rasdien, Keren Neumann, Angela Chow                          girlfriend Suzy, he becomes unable to sleep. To
Print Source: DV8 Films                                           pass the long hours of the night, he starts working
                                                                  the late night shift at a local supermarket. There he
Unfettered by politics, guilt or earnestness, Bunny               meets a colorful cast of characters, all of whom have
Chow is a South African film which follows the raucous             their own 'art' in dealing with the boredom of an
weekend journey of three stand up comedians.                      eight-hour-shift. Ben's particular artistic approach is
Egos run high as Kags, an arrogant womaniser,                     that he imagines himself stopping time. This way,
Joey, a devout but conflicted Muslim, and Dave,                    he can appreciate the infinite beauty of the frozen
an innocent and naive dishwasher with dreams of                   world and the people inside it – especially Sharon,
making it big on the comedy scene, embark on a                    the quiet checkout girl, who might just hold the key
classic South African road trip.                                  to solving the problem of Ben's insomnia.
Their destination is Oppikoppi, South Africa's biggest            Based on an Oscar-winning short, this is one of
rock festival and non-stop party, and the trio slip out           the most exciting and inventive films to come out
of their normal lives for a few increasingly absurd days          of Britain this decade. Utterly charming and sweetly
with the help of vast quantities of drugs and rampant             erotic, Cashback is directed with flair and confidence
sex. Along the way, true love is encountered and the              by Sean Ellis who clearly understands that cinema
rock festival's stages are conquered with their loose-            still has the magical power to realise our innermost
cannon comedy. But in the course of their adventures,             fantasies.
they get a bit more than they bargained for.
A raucous road-trip comedy that is the all more
enjoyable for occupying a contemporary South
African landscape, and like the culinary dish after
which it is named, it's delicious and filled with a
diversity of ingredients.

Filmmaker in attendance.                                          Filmmaker in attendance.
23 Sneddon 16h30; 30 KwaSuka 20h00                                 24 Suncoast 20h00; 29 Sneddon 20h30
 John Barker was born in Durban and studied                        Sean Ellis began his film career with still
 graphic design at the Durban University of                        photography and was named one of the UK’s
 Technology. He has written and directed numerous                  top ten photographers. He then went on to
 short films including, amongst others, State                       write and direct two award-winning short films.
 (1996), Rasta Dogs (1998), Lick (1999), and The                   Cashback has won awards at twelve international
 Last Days of Anna Van Storm (2004). He also produced and          film festivals. Ellis is currently in post-production for his second
 directed Blu Cheez (2003), hailed as South Africa's first music    feature, The Broken.
 mockumentary. Bunny Chow is his first feature.

                                                         Durban International Film Festival 2007                                    37
                                         PANORAMA FEATURES

THE CATHEDRAL                                                COVER BOY…
(LE CATHEDRALE)                                              THE FINAL REVOLUTION

Mauritius 2006, Creole with English subtitles,               Italy 2006, Italian with English subtitles, 35mm,
Video, 78 min                                                97 min
Director: Harrikrisna Anenden                                Director: Carmine Amoroso
Screenplay: Ananda Devi                                      Screenplay: Carmine Amoroso, Filippo Ascione
Cinematography: Donald Delorme                               Cinematography: Paolo Ferrari
Cast: Ingrid Blackburn, Ashwin Anenden, Gaston               Cast: Luca Lionello, Eduard Gabia, Chiara Caselli,
Valayden, Dharman Mootien, Geeta                             Francesco Dominedò, Gabriel Spahiou, Luciana
Print Source: Cine Qua Non Ltd                               Littizzetto
                                                             Print Source: ISTITUTO LUCE
The Cathredral is rare feature film from Mauritius.
Gently lyrical and beautifully observed, the film             Cover Boy tells the story of Ioan, a young Romanian
chronicles a single pivotal day in the life of young         who arrives in Rome, and after struggling to
Lina. Despite her poor existence, and an eternally           survive as an illegal immigrant is “discovered” by
demanding and hypochondriac mother, Lina exudes              a photographer who thinks that there is something
an infectious happiness.                                     grittily authentic about his looks.
Each day Lina dances in front of the cathedral,              At the centre of the film is the relationship between
which narrates this story. One day, a chance meeting         Ioan and Michele, a janitor in Rome’s main train
with a photographer forces Lina to make the choice           station who takes pity on him and sublets his
between leaving her family and friends behind her,           apartment to him. Michele is a legal immigrant
or staying in her situation and persevering. This is         – from the South of Italy – but his outsider status
the day that Lina grows up.                                  forms a binding link between the two men. As
The Cathedral is a delicate narration set against            director Carmine Amoroso examines the somewhat
the beautiful and unusual landscape of Port-Louis,           homoerotic relationship between the two men,
capital of Mauritius.                                        wider social and political territory is also explored.
                                                             With fine acting and acute social observations,
                                                             Amoroso has created a film that is both a portrait of
                                                             a friendship and a treatise against consumerism and
                                                             the over-importance of status.
Filmmaker in attendance.
Screening as part of the Indian Ocean Panorama.              Filmmaker in attendance.
 23 Musgrave 16h00, 24 Musgrave 20h30                        29 Musgrave 22h15; 30 Nouveau 18h30
 Mauritian Harrikrisna Anenden is a dedicated                 Carmine Amoroso was born in 1963 in the
 producer of awareness-raising documentaries on               Abruzzo region of Italy, and studied for a
 diseases, and has worked extensively for the World           Literature degree in Rome. As a writer he has had
 Health Organisation (WHO). His documentaries                 work published in several short story anthologies,
 like L’Argile et la Flamme (The Mystery Disease)             and is the author of the screenplay of the critically
 have won many awards worldwide. The Cathedral, based on a    acclaimed Parenti Serpenti by Mario Monicelli. In 1996, he wrote
 short story by Ananda Devi, is his debut feature.            and directed Come mi vuoi, an Italian-French co-production, and
                                                              the first Italian film on the transgendered community.

38   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

CURSE OF THE GOLDEN                                                DANCING BELLS
FLOWER (MAN CHENG JIN                                              (CHALANGGAI)

                                                                   Malaysia 2006, Tamil, Malay and Mandarin with
                                                                   English subtitles, 35mm, 99 min
                                                                   Director: Deepak Kumaran Menon
Hong Kong/China 2006, Mandarin with English                        Screenplay: Vimala Peruman
subtitles, 35mm, 111 min                                           Cinematography: Albert Hue, Mohd. Abdul Halim
Director: Zhang Yimou                                              Cast: Dhaarshini Sankran, Ramesh Kumar, Kaplana
Screenplay: Zhang Yimou, Wu Nan, Bian Zhihong                      Sundraju, Bala Sundram, Shangkara, Ramli Ibrahim,
Cinematography: Zhao Xiaoding                                      Gandhi Nathan, Amir Muhammad
Cast: Chow Yun Fat, Gong Li, Jay Chou, Liu Ye,                     Print Source: One Hundred Eye SDN. BHD.
Chen Jin, Ni Dahong, Li Man, Qin Junjie
Print Source: United International Pictures                        Muniammah is a devoted mother who constantly
                                                                   struggles to support her two children and keep her
With his follow-up to the instant contemporary                     house in shape without any help or support from her
classics, Hero and The House Of Flying Daggers,                    husband Raja. Tired of his lazy ways, Muniammah
Curse of the Golden Flower once again sees                         kicks him out of the house.
Chinese master Zhang Yimou take the wuxia form                     After giving Raja the boot, Muniammah does her best
to new highs. With images of unparalleled beauty,                  to look after her family with the money she earns from
and infused with a little more of the drama more                   her modest flower booth. Her eleven year-old daughter
prominent in his earlier films, he takes us once more               Uma dreams of being a dancer, but her teenage son
into the Chinese royal court.                                      Siva has more materialistic goals. He works at a local
Political machinations are unfolding under the rule                car wash and longs to earn more money.
of Emperor Ping. The Emperor and his Empress                       One day, Siva joins his best friend in taking a client's
Phoenix are at loggerheads, and the Empress begins                 Mercedes for an impromptu joyride. When the drive
to suspect that the medicine the Emperor forces upon               ends in disaster, he vows to do the right thing
her is actually poison. The Empress courts the favours             despite the pressure from his frightened friend.
of the Emperor’s sons through various means and the
scene is set for a beautifully bloody conclusion.                  Using this simple story as a basis, director Deepak
                                                                   Menon draws a complex and moving portrait of
Yimou's ambitious attempt to blend martial arts action             Tamil family life in Malaysia, delicately and humanely
with Shakespearean melodrama is solidly triumphant,                depicting the struggles of surviving economic
with astoundingly beautiful visuals and inspiring                  hardship and family breakdown. Yet another example
performances from Gong Li and Chow Yun Fat.                        of the extraordinary cinema coming out of Malaysia.
22 Suncoast 18h15; 30 Nouveau 20h30                                 29 Musgrave 16h00; 01 Musgrave 12h00
 Zhang Yimou is an internationally acclaimed                        Deepak Kumaran Menon was born in Malaysia in
 filmmaker and cinematographer. He made his                          1979. He has worked as a producer, film director,
 feature directorial debut with Red Sorghum (1987).                 animation director and director of photography
 His films include: Raise the Red Lantern (1992); The                for several films. As a film director, he has been
 Story of Qiu Ju (1992); To Live (1994); Shanghai                   awarded prizes such as Best Alternative Cinema
 Triad (1995); Keep Cool (1997); Not One Less (1999); The Road      and Special Jury Award from international festivals for Chemman
 Home (1999); Happy Times (2000); Hero (2002); House of Flying      Chaalai. Dancing Bells received Special Mention at Rotterdam
 Daggers (2004); and Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005).    in January 2007.

                                                          Durban International Film Festival 2007                                39
                                          PANORAMA FEATURES

DAY WATCH                                                    DAYS OF GLORY (INDIGENES)

                                                             France/Morocco/Algeria/Belgium 2006, French
                                                             and Arabic language with English subtitles,
Russia 2006, Russian with English subtitles,                 35mm, 119 min
35mm, 139 min                                                Director: Rachid Bouchareb
Director: Timur Bekmambetov                                  Screenplay: Olivier Morelle, Rachid Bouchareb
Screenplay: Timur Bekmambetov, Laeta Kalogridis              Cinematography: Patrick Blossier
Cinematography: Sergei Trofimov                               Cast: Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri, Roschdy, Sami
Cast: Konstantin Khabensky, Aleksei Chadov, Yuri             Bouajila, Bernad Blancan, Mathieu Simonet
Kutsenko, Igor Lifanov, Sergei Lukyanenko, Rimma             Print Source: Films Distribution
Markova, Vladimir Menshov, Nikolai Olyalin, Mariya
Poroshina, Galina Tyunina, Viktor Verzhbitsky, Valeri        A massive international hit, the Oscar-nominated
Zolotukhin                                                   Days of Glory explores the actions of the Moroccan
Print Source: Nu Metro                                       and Algerian men who fought side by side with
                                                             French soldiers to liberate France during the Second
This much anticipated sequel to the Russian sci-fi/           World War, but whose place in French history has
fantasy blockbuster Night Watch, more than lives up          gone largely unacknowledged.
to its hype. Like the first film, Day Watch is still full of   The year is 1943, and four North African men enlist
Soviet gothicism. Darkness and gloom prevail, and            in the French army to liberate that country from
Moscow still looks a little like a cold day in hell. But     Nazi oppression. They enlist despite the fact that
the film does manage to be a little visually brighter         they have never set foot on French soil and have
than its predecessor.                                        to fight both the German enemy as well as ongoing
Day Watch is set in the imaginary world of the               discrimination from the French. Days of Glory ranks
novels of Sergei Lukyanenko where the forces of              with the very best war films made in the last few
darkness and lightness are balanced in a delicate            decades. But while films such as Platoon and Thin
truce. But with the discovery of a dead member of            Red Line indulge in an abstracted purity, Bouchareb's
the Day Watch, it seems that this fragile balance is         film contains a powerful political context for the
in jeopardy.                                                 meaninglessness of war.
In what is sure to be a guaranteed cult classic,             With superb acting and vivid cinematography, this
director Timur Bekmambetov reprises state of the             is a must-see, both for fans of war films and for
art visual effects, high-octane action sequences and         everyone else.
blood-curdling horror as the truce lies on the very
brink of being broken, threatening all out warfare.
 26 Suncoast 22h30; 30 Suncoast 22h00                        22 Sneddon 20h15; 28 Suncoast 22h00
 Timur Bekmambetov, born in 1961, is a                        Rachid Bouchareb, born in France in 1953, is a
 Russian-Kazakh film and advertisement director.               French-Algerian director. After a period working on
 He directed the immensely popular Night Watch                French television, and co-founding a production
 (Nochnoi Dozor) in 2004. Other films include:                 company, he directed his first feature, Baton
 The Arena (2001) and Escape from Afghanistan                 Rouge (1985). His much acclaimed subsequent
 (1994).                                                      films include, amongst others, the Oscar-nominated Dust of Life
                                                              (1995); and Little Senegal (in competition at the 2001 Berlin
                                                              Film Festival).

40   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                            PANORAMA FEATURES

DOES IT HURT?                                                     DOL

                                                                  Iraq/Kurdistan/France/Germany 2006, Kurdish
                                                                  with English subtitles, 35mm, 90 min
Macedonia/The Netherlands/UNMI Kosovo 2007,                       Director: Hiner Saleem
Macedonian, English and Dutch with English                        Screenplay: Hiner Saleem
subtitles, Video, 98 min                                          Cinematography: Andreas Sinanos
Director: Aneta Lesnikovska                                       Cast: Nazmî Kirik, Belçim Bilgin, Sipel Dogu Lesar
Screenplay: Aneta Lesnikovska                                     Erdogan
Cinematography: Lennert Hillege                                   Print Source: mîtosfilm
Cast: Irina Ristik, Igor Dzambazov, Dejan Lilik, Visar
Vishka                                                            The title of the film Dol refers to a traditional Kurdish
Print Source: AKA Film                                            tambourine which is used in the middle of both
                                                                  funerals and festivities. This direct intimacy between
It is more than a decade since the Dogma manifesto                happiness and sadness is a major theme of the
came into existence, but according to Macedonian                  movie.
film-maker Aneta Lesnikovsa, it has been living in the
                                                                  In the fight for an independent Kurdish state, Azad
Balkans forever. She swears it's time to kill Dogma.
                                                                  sees his wedding transform into a gun battle with
But how far will she go to make it come true?
                                                                  a Turkish military unit. He is forced to abandon his
A striking debut feature which blurs the line between             new bride and seek refuge in Iraq.
fiction and reality, Does It Hurt? marks the 10th
                                                                  Even as Kurdish director Hiner Saleem gazes
anniversary of the infamous Dogma manifesto that
                                                                  unflinchingly at the political reality of his people,
has had such a far-reaching impact on contemporary
                                                                  he still manages to finds wry humour in the most
                                                                  unlikely situations. Filled with minimalist and almost
Lesnikovska came up with the ingenious idea to dupe               choreographic images of a damaged earth, Dol is
her friends into believing that she had foreign funding           both a journey through the fascinating landscape of
to make a film, and that they were all going to be in it.          the Kurdish mountains and also a portrayal of the
In the name of research she shot loads of footage of              damage inflicted by war on a people whose claim to
her friends telling their life stories. Her camera captures       the countryside they have occupied for generations
visual sequences of the absurdity, humor and survival             remains unacknowledged.
techniques of a land and people in transition.
The result is Does It Hurt?, a very clever film, and a
moving testament to friendship whose true subject
is ultimately its own construction.
24 Musgrave 22h15; 30 Musgrave 10h00                               21 Suncoast 18h00; 22 Musgrave 16h00
 Aneta Lesnikovska has studied art and                             Filmmaker, painter and author Hiner Saleem
 archaeology at the University of Kiril and Metodij                was born in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1964. He studied
 in Macedonia and graduated in audiovisual art at                  political science in Milan, Italy. In 1992, after the
 the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. She                     First Gulf War, he filmed undercover footage of the
 then went on to have numerous expositions of her                  living conditions of Iraqi Kurds which was shown
 video and new media work. In the last few years she has worked    at the Venice Film Festival. He went on to make five award-
 in several major film projects in Macedonia. Does It Hurt? The     winning films.
 First Balkan Dogma is her feature debut.

                                                         Durban International Film Festival 2007                           41
                                           PANORAMA FEATURES

DREAMS (AHLAAM)                                                 DREAMS OF DUST
                                                                (REVES DE POSSIERE)

Iraq/UK/The Netherlands 2006, Arabic with                       France/Canada/Burkina Faso 2006, French and
English subtitles, 35mm, 110 min                                Bambara with English subtitles, 35mm, 86 min
Director: Mohamed Al-Daradji                                    Director: Laurent Salgues
Screenplay: Mohamed Al-Daradji                                  Screenplay: Laurent Salgues
Cinematography: Mohamed Al-Daradji                              Cinematography: Crystel Fournier
Cast: Asel Adel, Basher Al Maijde, Mohamed Hashem               Cast: Makena Diop, Rasmané Ouedraogo, Fatou
Print Source: Humanfilm                                          Tall-Salgues
                                                                Print Source: WIDE Management
While it is a miracle that any films are coming out of
Iraq at the moment, it is a far greater miracle that            Makena Diop, who gave such an arresting performance
films of the calibre of Dreams are being made. Taking            in 2005 DIFF favourite The Hero returns to our
place amid the uncertainty, confusion and horror of             screens in this tale of a Nigerian peasant who hopes
a psychiatric hospital in war-torn Baghdad in 2003,             to put his past behind him by working in a gold mine
the film tells the story of Ahlaam, a bewildered                 in Burkina Faso.
woman who is confined to the asylum in the wake                  Set in Essakane in northeastern Burkino Faso,
of witnessing the violent arrest of her husband on              Mocktar Dicko works long, hard hours in a gold
her wedding day. Deeply damaged, she lives in a                 mine for almost no remuneration. He has evidently
state of continual delusion and her name – meaning              experienced some tragedy in the past, which often
dream – refers both to her mental state and to the              haunts him as he goes about his daily tasks in the
dream of a free, egalitarian Iraq.                              deplorable conditions of the mine, where each
Dr Mehdi works at the hospital. He is a hard-working            descent might be his last. The film explores Mocktar's
idealist who has been exiled to the institution despite         ability to cope with past mistakes while ensuring a
his abilities. He longs for a free Iraq where the human         better future for those around him.
desire for truth and goodness will triumph over the             Beautifully filmed on location, the film does a good
brutality with which his country has become so intimate.        job of capturing the misery that is the lot of many of
Ali is a patient and a shell-shocked former soldier whose       those who live in Burkino Faso.
fearless insanity may be the hospital’s only hope.
Dreams was filmed under harrowing conditions,
with its cast and crew subject to kidnappings from
both sides. And from the centre of this terrible war            Screening as part of the Poverty and Inequality Film
they have made a film that is both disturbing and                Festival.
transcendently beautiful.                                       Filmmaker in attendance.
 22 Sneddon 16h00; 01 Suncoast 12h00                             26 Musgrave 18h00; 29 Suncoast 18h00
 Mohamed Al-Daradji was born in 1978 and                         Laurent Salgues was born in France in 1967, and
 studied Theatre Directing at the Fine Art Institute             studied film and television in France and the USA.
 in Baghdad. After studying cinematography                       Since 2003, he has worked as a scenario writer
 abroad, Al Daradji worked for a variety of media                for television and the cinema. Dreams of Dust is
 production companies as a cameraman. He has                     his debut feature.
 shot, directed and produced numerous commercials, short films
 and documentaries since 1998. Dreams is his feature debut.

42   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                            PANORAMA FEATURES

DRY SEASON (DARATT)                                               EDEN

France/Belgium/Chad/Austria 2006, French and                      Germany/Switzerland 2005, English, 35mm,
Arabo-Chadian with English subtitles, 35mm,                       98 min
93 min                                                            Director: Michael Hofmann
Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun                                    Screenplay: Michael Hofmann
Screenplay: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun                                  Cinematography: Jutta Pohlmann
Cinematography: Abraham Haile Biru                                Cast: Josef Ostendorf, Charlotte Roche, Devid
Cast: Ali Bacha Barkaï, Youssouf Djaoro, Hisseine                 Striesow, Max Rüdlinger, Leonie Stepp
Aziza, Khayar Oumar Defallah                                      Print Source: The Match Factory
Print Source: Pyramide International
                                                                  Michael Hoffman's quiet, poignant film explores
The year is 2006. The place is Chad. The country’s                love, jealousy, and perhaps most importantly, the
government has granted amnesty to all war criminals               transforming power of food. A character study of
in a manner similar to that of South Africa. 16-year-             friendship and intimacy, the film centres on the
old Atim is given a revolver by his grandfather in                relationship between Eden, a beautiful waitress
order that he may kill Nassara, the man who took the              who, although married, is deeply lonely, and Gregor,
life of his father. He leaves his village for N’djamena           a socially awkward and stubborn chef who has
in search of this man he has never met. He quickly                the ability to prepare food so delicious as to be
tracks him down. The former war criminal now leads                physically erotic.
a life of domestication as a married man and the                  Although entirely platonic, the relationship between
owner of a small bakery. With the intention of killing            Eden and Gregor soon leads to small-town gossip,
him, Atim gets himself hired as an apprentice baker.              which in turn rouses the ire of Eden's husband
Intrigued by Atim, Nassara teaches him the secrets                Xavier. And once Xavier tastes Gregor's “cuccina
of making bread and over the weeks a strange                      erotica”, he realises that he has to take drastic action
relationship forms between the two men.                           or risk losing his wife.
The themes of forgiveness and reconciliation                      This is a film filled with nuance that is both
explored in Dry Season remain as urgent as ever                   heartbreaking and heartwarming, deftly dealing
in our already war-scarred century on a particularly              with issues of aloneness and redemption. In the
war-scarred continent. Dry Season is a devastating                memorable and sensuous tradition of Eat Drink
looks at the consequence of civil war and its effect              Man Woman and Like Water for Chocolate, Eden is a
on individuals.                                                   dream of a film, tailor-made made for foodies.

23 Ekhaya 18h00; 28 Suncoast 18h00                                 23 Nouveau 14h15; 27 Sneddon 18h00
 Mahamat-Saleh Haroun was born in Abéché,                          Michael Hofmann was born in 1961. He worked
 Chad in 1960 and studied filmmaking and                            as a commercials designer and director before
 journalism in France. Haroun made his feature                     becoming a freelance writer and director in 1991.
 debut as a director in 1999 with Bye Bye which                    After directing documentaries, several shorts and
 was awarded Best First Film at the Venice Film                    penning a number of screenplays, Hofmann made
 Festival. His 2002 film Abouna was selected for the Director’s     his feature film debut with Der Strand von Trouville (1998).
 Fortnight at Cannes. Dry Season (Daratt) is his third feature.

                                                         Durban International Film Festival 2007                                 43
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

FACES OF A FIG TREE                                           A FAMILY SECRET (LE
                                                              SECRET DE MA MERE)

Japan 2006, Japanese with English subtitles,
35mm, 94 min
Director: Kaori Momoi                                         Canada 2006, French with English subtitles,
Screenplay: Kaori Momoi                                       35mm, 86 min
Cinematography: Shiji Kugimiya                                Director: Ghyslaine Côté
Cast: Hanako Yamada, Kaori Momoi, Saburo Ishikura,            Screenplay: Martin Girard, Ghyslaine Côté
Katsumi Takahashi, Ryo Iwamatsu, Ken Mitsuishi,               Cinematography: Pierre Mingot
Makiko Watanabe, Hiroyuku                                     Cast: Ginette Reno, Céline Bonnier, David Bolutin
Print Source: Open Sesame Co., Ltd.                           Print Source: Seville Pictures

Faces of a Fig Tree is the directorial debut of Kaori Momoi   On New Year's Day, a storm rages in Montreal while a
whom we saw on South African screens in Memoirs of            large group of friends and family gather in a funeral
a Geisha. Straddling the gulf between madness and             home to pay their respects to Jos, who died in his 70s.
idiosyncrasy, Momoi's distinctive vision informs a film        Despite the solemnity of the occasion, a celebratory
that is like nothing you've ever seen before.                 atmosphere starts to take hold among the people
The Kadowaki family lives in a traditional Japanese           gathered to console Jos's daughter Jeanne and his
wooden house with a fig tree in the yard and a patriarch       ex-wife Blanche. Over the course of the day, through
at its centre. The atmosphere is rough, but warm-hearted      the memories of those gathered to mourn, Jeanne
with continual banter between the house's inhabitants.        learns surprising secrets about her family's past.
Then one evening the father sets off for Tokyo to             This delightful French comedy from Quebec is
take a secretive night job at a construction site. He is      highly entertaining and visually engaging. The
in fact repairing old building work that his company          “family secret" gradually unfurls with intelligent use
had executed shoddily many years ago, and which is            of colour, music and a superbly written script that
about to be discovered in the course of renovations.          is constantly twisting and turning. One minute its
But his actions sow mistrust in his family and                serious drama, the next it's deeply comedic.
barely after returning, he dies from a sudden brain           A Family Secret was a huge box office hit in Canada.
hemorrhage. His wife loses her emotional balance,             With it's sparkling ensemble cast and perfectly
his daughter discovers that she is adopted, and their         controlled direction, it's easy to see why.
whole world starts to unravel.
Gorgeous to look at, and truly unique, Faces of a Fig
Tree is a remarkable portrait of a family dealing with
grief in their own unusual way.
 26 Nouveau 20h30; 28 Musgrave 18h00                          22 Nouveau 16h00; 24 Nouveau 14h15
 Actress, writer and director Kaori Momoi was                  Director, writer, and actress Ghyslaine Côté was
 born in Tokyo. Since the 1970s, Momoi has                     born in 1955 in Montréal, Québec. Her work,
 received many awards for her distinctive presence             amongst others, includes: Secret de ma mère,
 and performance in numerous films. In 2005, her                Le (2006); Elles étaient cinq (2004); Pin-Pon: Le
 role in Memoirs of a Geisha brought her great                 film (1999); Pendant ce temps... (1998) – winner
 international acclaim.                                        of the Festival Grand Prize at the Stony Brook Film Festival

44   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                           PANORAMA FEATURES

FOURTEEN (JU-YON-SAI)                                     FROSTBITE

Japan 2006, Japanese with English subtitles,              Sweden 2006, German and Swedish with English
35mm, 114 min                                             subtitles, 35mm, 96 min
Director: Hiromasa Hirosue                                Director: Anders Banke
Screenplay: Takahashi Izumi                               Screenplay: Daniel Ojanlatva
Cinematography: Hashimoto Kiyoaki                         Cinematography: Chris Maris
Cast: Hirosue Hiromasa, Namiki Akie, Kagawa               Cast: Petra Nielsen, Jonas Karlström, Grete
Teruyuki                                                  Havnesköld, Carl-Åke Eriksson, Måns Nathanaelson,
Print Source: PIA Film Festival                           Thomas Hedengran
                                                          Print Source: Swedish Film Institute
Fourteen begins with a schoolgirl, Ryo, stabbing a
female teacher in the back. After the opening credits,    Who would have thought that there was still fresh
we see that the grown-up student Ryo has become a         life in the vampire genre. Swedish director Anders
high school teacher herself. Now a continual witness      Banke's Frostbite is a gothic, bloody horror tale
to the kind of cruelty she inflicted on her teachers,      heavily laden with doses of black humour that far
Ryo is forced to confront her own past. But that          transcend the conceptual slapstick of the average
doesn't stop her from becoming a target of abuse          American horror flick.
for students, even while she tries to take a less         The film opens in 1944 in the Ukraine, where a
authoritative stance.                                     group of soldiers become estranged from their unit
With a beautiful washed-out quality and polished          and lost in the wilderness. Seeking shelter in an old,
direction from Hiromasa Hirosue, Fourteen is an           seemingly empty house, they soon discover they are
uncompromising analysis of the gaps that exist            not alone. Cut to contemporary Swedish Lapland,
between generations, and suggests that adults are         where single mother Annika and her daughter are
not as distanced from their teenage selves as they        settling into their new home.
might imagine.                                            Annika is a scientist who works under the well-
This bitterly honest film, unrelenting in its portrayal    respected, octogenarian geneticist Gerhard Beckert.
of intergenerational helplessness, points to Hiromasa     But Beckert, it seems, was one of the soldiers in
Hirosue as a talent to look out for in the coming         that cabin and has for the past sixty years been
years.                                                    attempting to make a super-race of vampires. When
                                                          Annika's daughter steals some pills from his lab and
                                                          takes them to a party, things get out of hand. Cue
                                                          plenty of blood and plenty of laughs.

24 Nouveau 12h00; 01 Sneddon 14h00                         23 Nouveau 22h15; 24 Sneddon 22h15
 Hiromasa Hirosue was born in 1978 in Kochi,               Anders Banke studied film directing at the Order
 Japan. His debut feature The Lost Hum (Hanauta-           of the Red Banner of Labour Pan-Russian State
 dorobo) won the NETPAC Award at the 35th                  Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. He has
 International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2005.            directed shorts, music promos, TV commercials
                                                           and documentaries. Frostbite is his feature debut.

                                                   Durban International Film Festival 2007                      45
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

GLUE                                                              GRACIE

Argentina 2006, Spanish with English subtitles,
35mm, 115 min
Director: Alexis dos Santos
Screenplay: Alexis dos Santos
Cinematography: Natasha Braier
Cast: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Nahuel Viale, Ines
Efron, Verónica Llinás, Héctor Díaz, Florencia Braier             USA 2007, English, 35mm, 97 min
Print Source: The Bureau Film Company                             Director: Davis Guggenheim
                                                                  Screenplay: Karen Janszen, Lisa Marie Petersen
This tender and vibrant coming-of-age tale is set                 Cinematography: Chris Manley
in a somewhat depressing Patagonian town where                    Cast: Carly Schroeder, Dermot Mulroney, Andrew
the emptiness of the landscape provides a visually                Shue, Elisabeth Shue
broad stage on which to explore the emergence of                  Print Source: Videovision Entertainment
desire that defines adolescence. 15-year-old Lucas
and his friend Nacho hang out, ride bikes, play                   From Davis Guggenheim, director of An Inconvenient
prankish games, sniff glue and, of course, obsess                 Truth which opened the festival last year, comes this
about sex. When a girl called Andrea appears on the               inspirational story of a teenage girl who overcomes
scene both Lucas and Nacho are drawn to her. At the               the death of her brother and, against all odds,
same Lucas is clearly attracted to Nacho. Then, one               achieves her dream of playing competitive soccer at
night, a weekend sniffing marathon brings things                   a time when girls' soccer did not exist.
to a head and alters forever the pair's teen slacker
existence.                                                        When her older brother Johnny, star of the high
                                                                  school soccer team, is killed in a car accident, Gracie
This honest and revealing portrayal of the many                   decides to fill the void left on her brother's team by
confusions and experimentations of teen sexuality                 petitioning the school board to allow her to play on
is sure to hit home for teens and adults alike. With              the boy's soccer team in his place. In the process
fantastic cinematography which perfectly conveys                  she also brings her family together in the face of
the confusion of adolescence, and a searing Violent               their tragedy.
Femmes-centred soundtrack, Glue is a moving,
dynamic film from an exciting new talent.                          Dermot Mulroney, Elisabeth Shue, and Carly
                                                                  Schroeder star in this heartwarming sports drama
                                                                  inspired by actual events in the life of actress and
                                                                  producer Shue whose brother was the sports star in
                                                                  their family, but died in a tragic accident.
 23 Sneddon 14h15; 27 Sneddon 22h00                               29 Musgrave 20h00; 01 Musgrave 20h00
 Alexis Dos Santos, born in Buenos Aires, studied                  Davis Guggenheim was born in 1964 and
 architecture at the University of Buenos Aires,                   graduated from Brown University in 1986. He is an
 acting in Spain and Buenos Aires, filmmaking in                    Academy Award-winning American film, television
 Buenos Aires and directing at the National Film                   and documentary director and producer.
 and Television School in the UK. He has made
 numerous short films that have toured the film festival circuit.
 Glue is his debut feature.

46   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

HALF MOON (NIWEMANG)                                               HEARTLINES

Iran/Iraq/Austria/France 2006, Kurdish and Farsi
with English subtitles, 35mm, 114 min                              South Africa 2006, English, IsiZulu, SeSotho and
Director: Bahman Ghobadi                                           IsiXhosa with English subtitles, Video, 95 min
Screenplay: Bahman Ghobadi                                         Director: Angus Gibson
Cinematography: Nigel Block, Crighton Bone                         Screenplay: Angus Gibson
Cast: Ismail Ghaffari, Allah Morad Rashtiani, Hedieh               Cinematography: Dewald Aukema
Tehrani, Golshifteh Farahani, Hassan Poorshirazi                   Cast: Mpho Joseph Molepo, Mduduzi Mabaso, Thabo
Print Source: Stadtkino Filmverlein und                            Tshabalala, S’thandiwe Kgoroge, Mbongeni Ngema
Kinobetriebsgesellschaft m.b.H                                     Print Source: Curious Pictures

Mamo is a renowned Kurdish singer who is heading                   From prolific South African filmmaker Angus Gibson
to Iraqi Kurdistan along with ten of his sons to give a            comes this final episode of the popular and critically
concert after years of silence. The occasion is a special          acclaimed television series.
performance after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Mamo’s               In this timely and relevant South African story
music is composed through the essence of a woman’s                 Manyisa, a young man with a cruel past and an
voice and so he needs to take a woman singer along.                uncertain future, is released from prison. He is
But woman are forbidden from singing in Iran and so                offered a new chance by Pastor Jacob. The pastor
the troupe are obliged to make the trip illegally.                 is well-meaning but Manyisa, convinced that a
Vacillating between comedy and tragedy, Half Moon                  kind deed is never without motive, is suspicious of
is full of shimmering magic and haunting landscapes.               Jacob's generosity.
At the same time, it is unafraid to approach the                   At the same time, his old guardian, crime-lord Bra
contemporary realities of the region, albeit with ironic           Stone, wants him back and Jacob learns that Bra
wit. In the process, it expresses an essence of the                Stone murdered his younger brother a few years
Kurdish condition – that when you have nothing else,               ago, perhaps with the involvement of Manyisa. It
you must face life with humour and intelligence.                   is clear that redemption will not be without pain.
Half Moon, along with Bahman Ghobadi’s other films,                 Heartlines is part of a broader social project to move
represents an important moment in cinema. But more                 people away from professed values such as trust
than that, it creates a cultural map for a country –               and compassion to actual lived values as a means
Kurdistan – that doesn't exist on the political map.               of facing the challenges facing our society. The story
Ghobadi’s film tells the world about this country and               of Manyisa, in its own small way, expresses thus
also reaffirms for Kurdish people their very existence              hopeful possibility.
in a world that continually tries to deny it.
Screening as part of New Crowned Hope.
 29 Nouveau 18h00; 30 Suncoast 16h00                               26 Ekhaya 14h00
 Bahman Ghobadi began his career as an industrial                  Angus Gibson began his filmmaking career in
 photographer and short filmmaker which won him                     the early 1980s with the television drama Jasone,
 many domestic and international awards. His                       and in 1984 made his first documentary, Kosi Bay.
 debut feature A Time for Drunken Horses (1999)                    He directed and edited, with William Kentridge,
 was awarded the Camera d’Or at Cannes and                         Freedom Square & Back of the Moon. Some of his
 established him as one of Iran’s most promising and interesting   other documentaries include: Soweto, a history; 7 Up South Africa;
 directors.                                                        Mandela, Son of Africa, Father of a Nation. He also developed and
                                                                   co-directed the phenomenally successful television series Yizo Yizo.

                                                          Durban International Film Festival 2007                                    47
                                        PANORAMA FEATURES

THE HOME SONG STORIES                                       THE HOST (GUIMUL)

 Australia 2007, English and Mandarin with                  Korea 2006, Korean with English subtitles,
 English subtitles, 35mm, 105 min                           35mm, 119 min
 Director: Tony Ayres                                       Director: Bong Joon-ho
 Screenplay: Tony Ayres                                     Screenplay: Bong Joon-ho, Hah Joon-won, Baek
 Cinematography: Nigel Bluck                                Chul-hyun
 Cast: Joan Chen, Qi Yuwu, Joel Lok, Irene Chen, Steve      Cinematography: Kim Hyung-goo
 Vilder, Darren Yap, Annette Shun Wah, Kerry Walker         Cast: Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il,
 Print Source: Fortissimo Films                             Bae Doo-na, Ko A-sung
                                                            Print Source: Cineclick Asia
 In The Home Song Stories, the incomparable Joan
 Chen plays glamorous Shanghai nightclub singer             This horror flick was a box-office phenomenon in
 Rose, who marries a sailor from Melbourne and              Korea, and a hit at Cannes, but it looks set to gain a
 moves with her two children to Australia. When the         much larger audience as a permanent addition to the
 relationship withers after just one week, the Rose         cult canon. It is the rarest of monster flicks, in that it
 sets her sights on Sydney.                                 has all the thrills and scares of a commercial film but
 Following a string of affairs, she gets seriously          also manages to subtly incorporate insightful socio-
 involved in a tempestuous affair with a younger            political analysis.
 man but becomes enraged when he takes note of              The host is an incredible monster so ugly it’s beautiful.
 her daughter's blossoming beauty. Beautifully shot,        Balletic and terrifying, it sets about a murderous
 and brilliantly acted, this tragicomic and semi-           course in Seoul. When the monster captures the
 autobiographical film perfectly conveys the dilemma         daughter of vendor Gang-du, he and the rest of his
 of a mother torn between her maternal instincts and        dysfunctional family embark on a thrilling rescue
 her desire to find personal happiness.                      mission.
 With luxuriant visuals and a touching script, The          The tagline for The Host is “it is lurking behind you”,
 Home Song Stories speaks bittersweet volumes about         and the film does indeed confirm our innermost
 distance, diaspora and the notion of belonging.            human fear of dark, undefined danger that is just out
                                                            of sight. A mad, frenetically imaginative film about
                                                            the demons that haunt us from without and within.
                                                            Funny, moving, scary and searingly intelligent, The
                                                            Host is a monster movie classic.

 23 Nouveau 16h00; 01 Sneddon 18h45                         23 Sneddon 22h45; 24 Suncoast 22h00
 Tony Ayres is an award-winning writer and                   Bong Joon-ho was born in Daegu, South Korea
 director of both fiction and documentary films.               and studied at the Korean Academy of Film Arts,
 His first feature, Walking on Water, had its world           where he directed his graduation film, Incoherence
 premiere at the 2002 Berlin International Film              (1995). He made the short films White Man and
 Festival, where it won the Teddy Award. Prior               Memories of My Frame before directing his first
 to this, Ayres made a number of acclaimed documentaries,    feature, Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), followed by Memories
 including the prize-winning China Dolls and Sadness.        of Murder (2003).

48   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                         PANORAMA FEATURES

HOUNDS (JAGDHUNDE)                                           I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP
                                                             ALONE (HEI YANQUAN)

Germany 2007, German with English subtitles,
35mm, 85 min
Director: Ann-Kristin Reyels                                 Taiwan/France/Austria 2006, Malay, Mandarin and
Screenplay: Marek Helsner, Ann-Kristin Reyels                Bengali with English subtitles, 35mm, 115 min
Cinematography: Florian Foest                                Director: Tsai Ming-Liang
Cast: Constantin von Jascheroff, Josef Hader,                Screenplay: Tsai Ming-Liang
Luise Berndt, Sven Lehmann, Judith Engel, Ulrike             Cinematography: Liao Pen-Liang
Krumbiegel, Marek Harloff                                    Cast: Lee Kang-Sheng, Chen Siang-Chyi, Norman Bin
Print Source: MDC Int.                                       Atun, Lee Long-Yu
                                                             Print Source: Stadtkino Filmverlein und
Hounds is a gently observed story of closeness               Kinobetriebsgesellschaft m.b.H
and distance which examines the fragile structures
of families. After his parents' divorce, Lars moves          After seven features set mainly in Taipei, director
from the city to a farm to live with his father Henrik.      Tsai Ming-Liang returns to his birthplace of Malaysia
As they are not from the area, the two of them live          with a film unlike anything he has done before.
in isolation, and since Lars barely communicates             I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone features a cast of
with his father, his only emotional intimacy is with         multicultural characters set against the crowded, neon-
his two dogs. But things change when Lars meets              lit streets of Kuala Lampur. After being robbed and
Marie, who is deaf. They quickly develop a friendship        attacked one night, Hsiao Kang, a homeless Chinese
which tumbles forward into love and together they            man, is taken in by a group of Bangladeshi workers.
roam the beautiful winter countryside. Marie's father,       One of them, Rwang, allows him to share her mattress
however, is unhappy with the union.                          with him while Chyi, a waitress at a local coffee shop,
When Henrik's sister-in-law, with whom he has been           is filled with lust for him. As Hsiao recuperates, he
having an affair, arrives at the farm followed by Lars's     finds himself caught between the two women, as well
mother with her own lover in tow, things get eventful.       as Chyi’s female boss. At the same time, a haze of
This is a charming coming of age story that intersects       humidity is rising in the city, becoming so thick that it
with that of an awkward dysfunctional family comedy.         begins to stink of its population’s perspiration.
With a tiny budget, young director Ann-Kristin Reyels        Tsai Ming-Liang’s latest film extends his exploration
has produced a small, sublime gem.                           into the connections, desire and love that unites
                                                             people in the multicultural cities of the 21st century.

                                                             Screening as part of New Crowned Hope.
21 Musgrave 22h00; 23 Suncoast 14h15                         25 Nouveau 20h30; 01 Nouveau 20h00
 Ann-Kristin Reyels was born in 1976. Between                Tsai Ming-Liang was born and raised in Kuching,
 1997 and 2001 she worked as an intern                       Malaysia in 1959. In 1977, he moved to Taiwan
 and assistant on various film and television                 to study film and drama at the Chinese Culture
 productions. She studied directing at the HFF film           University. With films like Rebels of the Neon God,
 and television academy between 2001 and 2007,               Vive l’Amour, which won the Golden Lion at the
 producing a number of short films before her first feature,   1994 Venice Film Festival, Tsai established himself as a major
 Hounds.                                                     new voice in Asian cinema. His films have won numerous awards,
                                                             most recently the Berlin Silver Bear for The Wayward Cloud.

                                                    Durban International Film Festival 2007                              49
                                              PANORAMA FEATURES

IRINA PALM                                                          JINDABYNE

Belgium/Germany/Luxemburg/Great Britain/                            Australia 2006, English, 35mm, 123 min
France 2007, English, 35mm, 103 min                                 Director: Ray Lawrence
Director: Sam Garbarski                                             Screenplay: Beatrix Christian, based on the story “So
Screenplay: Philippe Blasband, Martin Herron                        Much Water So Close to Home” by Raymond Carver
Cinematography: Christophe Beaucarne                                Cinematography: David Williamson
Cast: Marianne Faithfull, Miki Manojlovic, Kevin                    Cast: Laura Linney, Gabriel Byrne, Deborra-lee
Bishop, Siobhán Hewlett, Dorka Gryllus, Jenny Agutter               Furness, John Howard, Leah Purcell
Print Source: Pyramide International                                Print Source: Celluloid Dreams

Rock icon Marianne Faithful gives her damaged but                   Jindabyne is Ray Lawrence's first film since Lantana,
radiant all to this edgy and delightful British comedy.             one of the hits of 2003’s DIFF. Based on a tale by
Faithful plays Maggie, a 50-something widow who                     Raymond Carver (whose work was also adapted by
maintains her fidelity to her dead husband, and who                  Robert Altman for Short Cuts), Lawrence’s new film is
is desperately in need of money to pay for lifesaving               an ambitious hybrid of family melodrama and post-
medical treatment for her ill grandson.                             colonial concerns. Moving Carver’s tale to the small
In the course of several failed attempts at finding a                isolated town of Jindabyne in New South Wales, the
job, Maggie finds herself in the streets of London's                 film looks at the conflicts between the townspeople
Soho where a small poster in the window of a sex                    and the nearby Aboriginal community.
parlour catches her eye. The poster reads “Hostess                  At the film’s centre, both physically and metaphorically,
wanted”, and Maggie, too desperate to realise the                   is an artificial lake which sustains the town but which
implications of the job, goes inside. And so, tempted               was created by submerging an ancient aboriginal
by the generous remuneration, and affirmed by the                    settlement. And around the water’s edge every action,
fact that men still find her desirable, the respectable              no matter how banal, has the potential for the most dire
widow comes to work at a city sex club under the                    of consequences. So when a bunch of guys go fishing,
alter ego of Irina Palm, so named for the services                  discover a corpse, and then leave it there until they
rendered by Maggie's beautiful hands.                               finish their idyllic trip, there is no doubt that it will lead
But Soho is only a short distance from the                          to trouble. Once they return from their excursion, the
neighbourhood where Maggie lives and her double                     truth escapes and the tensions in the town explode.
life soon attracts threatening gossip.                              Featuring superb performances from Laura Linney
                                                                    and Gabriel Byrne, and sumptuous cinematography,
                                                                    this is cinema at its most sophisticated and
                                                                    emotionally challenging.
 22 Sneddon 18h15; 28 Sneddon 20h15                                 21 Sneddon 20h15; 22 Sneddon 22h30
 Sam Garbarski was born in Krailing near Munich                      Ray Lawrence was born in London and grew up
 in 1948 and moved to Belgium aged 22. Between                       in Australia. He is one of Australia’s most highly
 1997 and 2003 he directed more than 50                              regarded directors. He has directed the features
 commercials, many of them award-winning. He                         Bliss, which was screened at Cannes (1985) and
 directed his first short film in 1998, and made his                   Lantana (2001).
 debut as a feature director in 2003 with Le Tango Des Rashevski,
 which proved a hit on the international festival circuit.

50   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                          PANORAMA FEATURES

THE JOURNALS OF                                              THE LEGACY (L'HERITAGE)

                                                             Georgia/France 2006, English, French and
                                                             Georgian with English subtitles, 35mm, 76 min
Canada/Denmark 2006, Inuktitut with English                  Director: Temur Babluani, Géla Babluani
subtitles, 35mm, 112 min                                     Screenplay: Géla Babluani, Temur Babluani, Jacques
Director: Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn                    Dubuisson
Screenplay: Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn                  Cinematography: Tariel Meliava
Cinematography: Norman Cohn                                  Cast: Sylvie Testud, Stanislas Merhar, Olga Legrand,
Cast: Paka Innuksuk, Leah Angutimarik, Neeve                 Pascal Bongard, Giorgi Babluani, Leo Gaparidze,
Irngaut-Uttak, Natar Ungalaaq, Samuellie Amaaq               Augustin Legrand
Print Source: Isuma                                          Print Source: MK2 Diffusion

Zacharias Kunuk's first feature length film Atanarjuat         Three young French friends arrive in Tbilissi in
(The Fast Runner) was one of the delights of DIFF 2005.      Georgia to check out a castle one of them has
With its epic scope and unique interpretation of ancient     inherited. They engage the services of interpreter
myths, it upended preconceptions about cinema.               Nikolai and set off on a two-day bus trip through
His new film (co-directed with long-time artistic             rural Georgia. During the trip, they meet an old man
collaborator Norman Cohn) is an account of the first          and his grandson traveling with an empty coffin.
contact between European explorers and the Inuit             They discover that the coffin is for the old man and
people and looks at how the Inuits respond to a              that he has volunteered himself for execution in his
world that is rapidly changing. Poetic and elliptical,       village in order to end a long-running blood feud.
The Journals of Knud Rasmussen is a challenging              Warned not to intervene, the friends nevertheless
film, but its deeply beautiful collage of images and          accompany them on their dark quest, thinking that
dialogue holds ample reward.                                 they can take intrusive actions to prevent what they
                                                             see as an avoidable tragedy. But things do not work
Based on the journals of its title, the film takes place
                                                             out as anyone has planned.
in the Canadian arctic in 1912 and focuses on the
relationship between Avva, an aging shaman, and              The strange strength of this tale of a cultural clash
his favourite daughter, Apak. Both have experienced          between the city and the country is that you’re never
tragedy and Apak, who is also a shaman, spends much          really quite sure who the story is about, what the
of her time in the spirit world visiting her first husband.   best course of action is, or even whose side to be
                                                             on. Winner of the Special Jury Award at Sundance.
Kunuk has created a stirring family drama as well
as a powerful account of two cultures colliding. The
result is as heart-breaking as it is beautiful.              Filmmaker in attendance.
21 Sneddon 22h30; 23 Nouveau 12h00                           24 Nouveau 18h00; 30 Sneddon 22h30
 Zacharias Kunuk was born in Kapuivik. In 2001,              Temur Babluani, born in Georgia in 1948, made
 his first feature film, Atanarjuat, won the Camera            his first film in 1979, and has won numerous
 d’Or at Cannes. He is an accomplished short film             awards for his work. His son Géla Babluani was
 and documentary director. Norman Cohn was born              born in Georgia but moved to France at the age of
 in New York City. He has contributed to shorts,             seventeen. He is a producer and director, and, like
 documentaries and dramatic features, including              his father, is also much acclaimed and awarded.
 Atanarjuat, which he co-wrote, co-produced, co-
 edited and photographed.

                                                    Durban International Film Festival 2007                        51
                                                PANORAMA FEATURES

LINDA LINDA LINDA                                           MADEINUSA

Japan 2005, Japanese with English subtitles,                Peru 2006, Spanish with English subtitles,
35mm, 114 min                                               35mm, 122 min
Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita                                Director: Claudia Llosa
Screenplay: Wakako Miyashita, Kôsuke Mukai,                 Screenplay: Claudia Llosa
Nobuhiro Yamashita                                          Cinematography: Raul Perez Ureta
Cinematography: Yoshihiro Ikeuchi                           Cast: Magaly Solier, Carlos de la Torre, Yiliana Chong,
Cast: Du-na Bae, Jason Gray, Yu Kashii, Aki Maeda,          Ubaldo Huaman, Melvin Quijada
Shiori Sekine                                               Print Source: The Match Factory
Print Source: Bitters End, Inc
                                                            Claudia Llosa's imaginative debut film uses a
Linda Linda Linda is a teen underdog comedy that            classical structure that is infused with the deeply
tells the story of four high school girls and their band    personal. Essentially about the clash between old
preparing for a performance at a school festival. Only      and new in a strange Andean village in Peru, this
three days before their planned performance the             is a tale of 14-year-old girl named Madeinusa who
band has a fight, and guitarist Kei, drummer Kyoko           lives in the isolated village. Her father is the town
and bassist Nozumi are forced to recruit a new lead         mayor, whose disturbing sexual advances towards
vocalist for their band.                                    his daughter garner a jealously from her sister. Her
Finding a new vocalist is not so easy, however, and         mother, meanwhile, has fled to Lima.
eventually, the girls find themselves sitting on a brick     At the film's centre is a strangely delightful premise.
wall and decide that the next person that walks by will     The extremely religious village has the unusual belief
be their new singer. After a couple of false starts, they   that between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, sin
choose Korean exchange student Son, although her            does not exist since, God is dead and can't see
comprehension of Japanese is a bit rough. From there,       what's happening. Into this bizarre atmosphere
it’s a classic race against time as the group struggles     arrives a young geologist from the big city who will
to learn the 80s punk-pop song by the Japanese              change Madeinusa's life forever.
group The Blue Hearts called “Linda Linda”.                 Despite the fact that its plot structure flows directly
Yamashita has created a warm, complex and                   from the Hollywood Western, Llosa's film is an
inspiring teenage romp which will leave you with a          authentically Peruvian masterpiece. Filled with
wide and enduring grin on your face. Featuring some         fantastic touches, she presents a world that is a
great performances, and original music by Smashing          strangely alien fusion of indigenous beliefs and
Pumpkin, James Iha, as an added bonus.                      Christian faith.

 23 Sneddon 12h00; 30 Sneddon 16h15                         24 Musgrave 12h00; 26 Musgrave 14h00
 Nobuhiro Yamashita was born in Aichi in 1976.               Claudia Llosa was born in Lima in 1976, and
 His first three features Hazy Life, No One’s Ark, and        received a degree in cinematographic direction
 Ramblers were screened at numerous international            (1998) and a Masters Degree in TV and Cinema
 film festivals, and won him comparisons to Jim               Script at the Escuela de Artes y Cine TAI, Spain.
 Jarmusch. He is widely regarded as one of the               Thereafter she specialized in Cinematographic
 most promising young Japanese filmmakers.                    Direction at New York University. Her film Madeinusa, developed
                                                             at the Sundance Screenwriters, won the best original script at
                                                             the Havana Film Festival. Madinusa is her debut feature.

52    Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                                 PANORAMA FEATURES

THE MAGIC FLUTE                                                  MAKING OF

UK/France 2006, English, 35mm, 135 min                           Tunisia/France/Germany/Morocco 2006, Arabic
Director: Kenneth Branagh                                        and French with English subtitles, 35mm, 120 min
Screenplay: Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Fry                         Director: Nouri Bouzid
Cinematography: Roger Lanser                                     Screenplay: Nouri Bouzid
Cast: Joseph Kaiser, Amy Carson, René Pape, Lyubov               Cinematography: Michel Baudour
Petrova, Benjamin Jay Davis, Silvia Moi, Tom Randle,             Cast: Lotfi Abdelli, Lotfi Dziri, Afef Ben Mahmoud,
Ben Uttley, Teuta Koço, Louise Callinan, Vanessa                 Fatma Ben Saïdane, Foued Litaïem
Ashbee, Kim-Marie Woodhouse, Rodney Clarke,                      Print Source: CTV Services
Charne Rochford
Print Source: Celluloid Dreams                                   Making Of tells the story of Bahta, a 25 year-old
                                                                 Tunisian who leads a troupe of break dancers. But
In Branagh’s spectacular interpretation of the classic           after the eruption of hostilities in Iraq in 2003,
opera, Mozart's Queen of the Night enters the battle             he falls in with a group of fundamentalists, whose
on a WWI tank. Set on the eve of the First World War,            brainwashing is intended to make him a suicide
this magical drama sends Tamino forth on a perilous              bomber.
journey in pursuit of love, light and peace in a world           Director Nouri Bouzid adds further complexity and
afflicted by darkness, death and destruction.                     ambiguity by providing a framing story in which the
In the ensuing chaos he is transported to a twilight             actor playing Bahta doesn't know how the film will end,
world caught between dream and nightmare where                   and he and the director have conflicts of their own.
he is rescued from certain death by a trio of field               Bouzid's film about the making of a terrorist/freedom
nurses. What follows is a spectacular musical                    fighter works brilliantly. With its topical subject matter,
adventure in which the destiny of two young lovers               a lively sense of place and an intelligently conceived
may determine the fate of nations and the lives of               central character, this is a cogent and powerful piece
millions.                                                        of cinema. The film's concerns are made all the
Beautiful to look at, with superb acting and glorious            more urgent by Michel Baudour's constantly shifting
music, Branagh has enhanced his epic rendering with              cinematography which reflects the untamed energy
much help from CGI effects and a new translation of              of the film's protagonist.
Emmanuel Schikaneder's original libretto by Stephen

25 Nouveau 18h00; 30 Nouveau 16h00                                23 Suncoast 12h00; 29 Sneddon 16h00
 Emmy Award-winning, Academy Award nominated                      Born in Sfax, Tunisia in 1945, Nouri Bouzid
 British actor and film director Kenneth Charles                   began film studies in Brussels in 1968. After his
 Branagh was born in 1960 in Belfast in Northren                  release from prison for association with a radical
 Ireland. He received initial acclaim in the UK for his           socialist group, he worked as an assistant director
 stage performances, and came to be well-known                    on several foreign films shooting in Tunisia, as well
 for his film adaptations of Shakespeare’s writings.               as many Tunisian features. Bouzid has won numerous awards
                                                                  for his films which have established him as a significant figure
                                                                  in Maghreb cinema.

                                                          Durban International Film Festival 2007                            53
                                               PANORAMA FEATURES

ME, THE OTHER (IO, L'ALTRO)                             MEN AT WORK (KARGARAN
                                                        MASHGOOLE KARAND)

Italy 2007, Italian with English subtitles, 35mm,
72 min
Director: Mohsen Melliti                                Iran 2006, Farsi with English subtitles, 35mm,
Screenplay: Mohsen Melliti                              75 min
Cinematography: Maurizio Calvesi                        Director: Mani Haghighi
Cast: Raoul Bova, Giovanni Martorana                    Screenplay: Mani Haghighi
Print Source: Tree Pictures                             Cinematography: Koohyar Kalari
                                                        Cast: Mahnaz Afshar, Ahmad Hamed, Mamoud Kalari,
Two men, an Italian named Guiseppe and a Moroccan       Reza Kianian
exile named Yousef, work on a fishing boat together      Print Source: Iranian Independents
in Italian waters. They have done so for years – they
bought the boat together – and are like brothers. But   Based on an idea by the Iranian master Abbas
when an act of terror is committed by someone with      Kiarostami, Men at Work is a very funny investigation
exactly the same name as the Moroccan character,        into the male ego. Four longtime friends, all well into
the relationship deteriorates. The post 9/11 notion     middle age, are returning from a skiing trip when
of the Muslim suspect, begins to consume both the       they encounter a massive, phallic rock blocking their
shortwave radio-waves in the area and the two men's     path. In stereotypically male fashion, they decide
friendship, bringing devastating results.               that they must topple it over the cliff’s edge.
This is a small film, gripping, well-acted and tightly   After a while two women pass by, one of whom
directed. Although nearly all scenes take place on      is married to one of them. She stays out of the
a boat, the film's story easily spreads out into a       argument while her best friend begins quarrelling
broader exploration of globalised war and conflict.      with the guys about moving the rock.
Crossing the divide between drama and thriller with     What follows is an hilarious catalogue of failures as
ease, this highly engaging film sheds new light on       the men try a variety of ideas. As they do so, they
the notion of collateral damage. With a superb          discuss sport, their lives and, of course, the women
screenplay behind it, Me, The Other reduces the         in their lives. This wry exploration of masculine
follies of nations to the follies of individual men.    determination is a playfully satiric comedy with
                                                        universal appeal.

Filmmaker in attendance.
 24 Suncoast 14h00; 30 Musgrave 20h00                    27 Suncoast 18h00; 30 Nouveau 12h00
 Tunisian-born director and human rights                 Mani Haghighi is a renowned Iranian filmmaker
 researcher Mohsen Melliti has been in exile in          and screen writer. He holds a M.A. in philosophy
 Italy since 1991. He has directed short films and        from the University of Guelph, 1997 and an M.A.
 documentaries. Io, L’altro is his first feature film.     in cultural studies from Trent University, 2000.
                                                         Following Abadan (2003), Men at Work is his
                                                         second feature film.

54   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                           PANORAMA FEATURES

NINA’S HEAVENLY DELIGHTS                                        NO REGRET

UK 2006, English, 35mm, 96 min                                  Korea 2006, Korean with English subtitles,
Director: Pratibha Parmar                                       35mm, 114 min
Screenplay: Andrea Gibb                                         Director: Leesong Hee-il
Cinematography: Simon Dennis                                    Screenplay: Leesong Hee-il
Cast: Art Malik, Kilvinder Ghir, Laura Fraser, Shelley          Cinematography: Yun Ji-un
Conn                                                            Cast: Lee Han, Lee Young-hoon, Cho Hyun-chul
Print Source: Fortissimo Films                                  Print Source: Fortissimo Films

Nina Shah is a fiercely independent young Indo-                  Leaving the country orphanage where he grew up,
Scottish woman who, like many immigrants the world              Sumin goes to Seoul to study art design. But after
over, suffers from an identity crisis. Having left home         losing his job at a factory due to layoffs, he ends up
after a fight with her father, she is forced to return when      working as a rent boy in a gay bar. There he meets
the old man dies. But she is returning to many of the           Jaemin who comes from a rich and conservative
things that she was running away from, and both old             family that doesn’t accept his sexual identity. Initially
ghosts and new ghosts continue to haunt her.                    Sumin resists Jaemin's advances but eventually he
At the film’s centre is the curry house that Nina’s              succumbs. After experiencing a brief happiness as
father used to run, and whose food he used to                   passionate lovers, Sumin and Jaemin’s relationship
prepare with such loving devotion. It is this love that         disintegrates into heartache and tragedy.
Nina needs to find if she is to win the “Best of the             A powerful and emotionally rewarding gay romance
West” curry competion, a highly coveted prize in the            that turns abruptly into violence. With assured
world of British Indian cuisine. To add to the masala,          direction and beauitfully intense performances, No
Nina is starting to fall in love with family friend Lisa.       Regrets is one of the best gay dramas to come out
Nina’s Heavenly Delights is an assured debut                    of Asia and makes a fine companion piece to Wong
from Pratibha Parmar who also wrote the script                  Kar Wai's recent masterpiece Happy Together. With
and produced the film herself. Taking modernity,                 vivid characters and graphic sex, this is a film fulled
sexuality and arranged marriages in its stride, the             with joy, sadness and remarkable beauty.
film represents a cultural and generational paradigm
shift that suggests its okay to change, that some rules
should be rewritten and that some things are worth
holding onto.
Screening in association with the Out In Africa Gay             Screening in association with the Out In Africa Gay
and Lesbian Film Festival.                                      and Lesbian Film Festival.
27 Nouveau 20h00; 30 Suncoast 18h00                             24 Sneddon 14h00; 28 Sneddon 22h30
 Pratibha Parmar was born in Nairobi, Kenya and                 Born in South Korea in 1971, Leesong Hee-il is
 came to England with her family in 1967. She                   an independent filmmaker who has made several
 studied at Bradford University for her B.A. Hons,              short films, mostly concerning gay relationships.
 and studied at the Cultural Studies Centre at                  No Regret is his debut feature, which he wrote,
 Birmingham University. Pratiba is a Board member               directed and edited.
 of Women in Film and Television (UK) and The Directors Guild
 of Great Britain. Nina’s Heavenly Delights is her debut as a
 producer and feature director.

                                                       Durban International Film Festival 2007                        55
                                                PANORAMA FEATURES

     DIFF CLOSING FILM                                                 PARAGUAYAN HAMMOCK
PAN'S LABYRINTH                                                        (HAMACA PARAGUAYA)

Spain 2006, Spanish with English subtitles,                            Spain/Germany 2006, Guarini with English
35mm, 112 min                                                          subtitles, 35mm, 78 min
Director: Guillermo del Toro                                           Director: Paz Encina
Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro                                         Screenplay: Paz Encina
Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro                                      Cinematography: Willi Behnisch
Cast: Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Doug Jones, Ivana                    Cast: Georgina Genes, Ramon del Rio
Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Alex Angulo, Federico Luppi                      Print Source: Stadtkino Filmverlein und
Print Source: Videovision Entertainment                                Kinobetriebsgesellschaft m.b.H
One of this year's most eagerly anticipated films,                      This debut from Paz Encina is the first feature film
and the winner of several Academy Awards, Pan's                        to come out of Paraguay in nearly three decades.
Labyrinth has been received with universal acclaim.                    Sublimely minimalist, this is a striking meditation
Guillermo del Toro adds to his cult cannon of                          on time and memory, loss and love, as an elderly
darkness (Chronos, The Devil's Backbone) with a film                    couple sits in the jungle and waits for an impending
that straddles the fantastic and the tragic.                           rainstorm. This is a film about waiting. Waiting for
The year is 1944 and the Spanish Civil War has just                    rain. Waiting for a son for who has gone off to war.
come to an end. Carmen and her daughter Ofelia                         Waiting for the heat to dissipate. Waiting for the
move into the house of her new husband, the                            future to change. But everything stays the same.
sadistic, fascist Captain Vidal.                                       Encina's reductionist approach is driven home in a 15
Finding her new life too painful to bear Ofelia finds                   minute opening sequence in which an old man and
escape in a mysterious labyrinth next to the sprawling                 woman emerge from the forest in long shot. Their
family mansion. There she meets the mythical Pan                       non-stop bickering eventually reveals that the country
who informs her that she is the long lost princess of a                is at war and they have not heard from their soldier
magical kingdom. But to discover the truth, Ofelia will                son in a very long time. With a stylistic boldness
have to complete three different tasks, tasks for which                that counterpoints the film's patient approach,
no human experience could prepare her. And so she                      Encina uses the relationship between the man and
becomes drawn into a magical world that runs parallel                  the woman to explore a national metaphor.
to an already dangerous and haunting reality.                          The central message of the film is perfectly conveyed
Del Toro combines the fantasy of fairy tales with                      with fantastic acting, a resonant soundtrack and
the real horror and excess of war to startling effect.                 carefully controlled direction from Encina.
Unmissable.                                                            Screening as part of New Crowned Hope.
 30 Suncoast (Supernova) 19h00;                                         26 Musgrave 16h15; 29 Nouveau 16h00
 01 Sneddon 20h45
                                                                        Paz Encina was born in Asución, Paraguay in
 Guillermo del Toro began making Super 8 films in his                    1971. She graduated from the Paraguayan
 youth. In 1985, he started Necropia, a special-effects                 University of Cinema in 2001 with a Masters
 company, and worked as a make-up supervisor for                        in Cinematography and went on to teach at the
 nearly a decade. In 1993, he completed his feature                     Catholic University of Asución and the Paraguayan
 directorial debut, Cronos. Since then, he has produced several films    Institute of the Arts and Sciences of Communication. Her short
 and directed Mimic (1997), The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Blade II       films include La Siesta (1997), Los Encantos del Jazmin (1998),
 (2002), and Hellboy (2004). Pan’s Labyrinth is his sixth film.          Hamaca Paraguaya (2000), and Supe que Estebas Triste.

56    Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                            PANORAMA FEATURES

PARIS JE T'AIME                                                   PARTING SHOT (PAS DOUCE)

France 2006, English and French with English
subtitles, 35mm, 120 min
                                                                  France/Switzerland 2007, French with English
Director: Bruno Podalydès, Gurinder Chadha,
                                                                  subtitles, 35mm, 85 min
Gus Van Sant, Joel and Ethan Coen, Walter
                                                                  Director: Jeanne Waltz
Salles, Daniela Thomas, Christopher Doyle, Isabel
                                                                  Screenplay: Jeanne Waltz
Coixet, Nobuhiro Suwa, Sylvain Chomet, Alfonso
                                                                  Cinematography: Hélène Louvart
Cuarón, Olivier Assayas, Oliver Schmitz, Richard
                                                                  Cast: Isild Le Besco, Lio, Steven de Almeida, Yves
LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Wes Craven, Tom
                                                                  Verhoeven, Christophe Sermet
Tykwer, Frédéric Auburtin, Gérard Depardieu,
                                                                  Print Source: Pyramide International
Alexander Payne
Screenplay: Various
                                                                  The film takes place in a remote mountain region
Cinematography: Various
                                                                  where a 24-year-old female nurse, Fred, works
Cast: Bruno Podalydès, Florence Muller, Leïla Bekhti,
                                                                  in the only hospital. Fred tries to kill herself but
Cyril Descours, Marianne Faithfull, Elias McConnell
                                                                  fails, instead wounding 14-year old Marco, who is
Print Source: Nu Metro
                                                                  admitted to her ward. Everyone in town thinks that
The beautiful and loving tribute to Paris features some of        a crazy hunter is responsible for the shooting. As
contemporary cinema’s greatest directors and many of              Marco gradually realises who really shot him, a new
its brightest acting stars. 21 directors, including Oliver        life begins for him and Fred.
Assayas, Sylvain Chomet, Joel and Ethan Coen, Wes                 Parting Shot is a protest against the social isolation
Craven, Alfonso Cuarón, Christopher Doyle, Alexander              induced by Western society with its blend of heartless
Payne, Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas, Tom Twyker,                 competition and promise of easy happiness. But
Gus Van Sant and South Africa’s Oliver Schmitz, get to            despite its themes, this is a film that is neither gloomy
work with actors Fanny Ardant, Juliette Binoche, Steve            nor despairing nor melodramatic. Instead it uses its
Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Gérard Depardieu, Marianne                 dark energy to institute a value system that involves
Faithfull, Ben Gazzara, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bob Hoskins,           growth and change and perhaps a happiness that
Emily Mortimer, Nick Nolte, Natalie Portman, Miranda              is authentic.
Richardson, Ludivine Sagnier and Elijah Wood.
                                                                  This is the story of the recovery of two souls,
Witty, romantic and unforgettable, the film is both                filled with emotion, absurdly funny moments and,
a gorgeous tour of the city of light and packed with              inevitably, violent relapses. Parting Shot is a carefully
fantastic little stories. The filmmakers are all clearly in love   considered and patient film which shows us that
with Paris and the French capital couldn't have asked for         it is possible to free ourselves from the traps and
a sweeter or less pretentious love letter in return.              illusions that we build into our lives.
 23 Nouveau 20h00; 26 Suncoast 18h00                               22 Nouveau 20h00; 23 Musgrave 14h00
                                                                   Jeanne Waltz was born in Switzerland in 1962
                                                                   and now lives in Portugal. She has written and
                                                                   directed a number of short films. After her 2003
                                                                   film, From Here To Joy, Parting Shot is Waltz’
                                                                   second feature film.

                                                        Durban International Film Festival 2007                         57
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

PLAYING THE VICTIM                                       PREY

                                                         South Africa 2006, English, 35mm, 92 min
                                                         Director: Darrell James Roodt
Russia 2006, Russian with English subtitles,             Screenplay: Beau Bauman, Darrell James Roodt, Jeff
35mm, 95 min                                             Wadlow
Director: Kirill Serebrennikov                           Cinematography: Michael Brierley
Screenplay: Oleg Presnyakov, Vladimir Presnyakov         Cast: Bridget Moynahan, Peter Weller, Carly
Cinematography: Sergei Mokritsky                         Schroeder, Jamie Bartlett, Conner Dowds, Marius
Cast: Yuri Chursin, Vitaly Khaev, Anna Mikhalkova,       Roberts
Liya Akhedzhakova, Marat Basharov                        Print Source: Videovision Entertainment
Print Source: New People Film Co.
                                                         South African director Darrell Roodt, responsible for
The best dark comedies are often those that contain      such politically charged films as Sarafina and the
sparkles in their darkness. Playing the Victim is a      Oscar-nominated Yesterday, changes tack with this
quirky, inventive film with a delightful premise and      absolutely terrifying lion-stalker flick. An American
an evil but charming glint in its eyes. Valya is an      businessman travels to South Africa with his son,
ambivalent young university graduate who, as             daughter and new wife. Tom hopes that this trip
per the film’s title, plays the role of the victim in     will provide an opportunity for his daughter, Jessica,
crime reconstructions – most of which are absurdly       and son, David, to bond with his new wife, Amy.
bureaucratic processes rather than forensically          But Jessica is particularly peeved at the idea of
necessary. The results of these re-enactments are        holidaying with the new wife.
digitally filmed by the lovelorn Lyuda who holds the      The kids and Amy set off on a game drive, but are
camera but is frequently distracted. Meanwhile on        soon stranded and encounter a pride of lions intent
the home front, Valya lives with his mother and his      on dining on them. This is not quite the holiday any
uncle in a world saturated by absurd banality. When      of them expected. Lost in a maze of dirt roads, the
his set-upon girlfriend, to whom he seems to feel        family desperately tries to outwit the lions, marking
only a nominal attraction, falls pregnant, it all gets   the beginning of their African nightmare. After
too much for Valya.                                      watching this terse, tense thriller you might never
Director Kirill Serebrennikov has come up with a         enter a game reserve again.
joyride of a film that veers between being dark,
suggestive and joyfully idiosyncratic.

                                                         Filmmaker in attendance.
 22 Nouveau 22h00; 25 Sneddon 22h00                      26 Musgrave 22h00; 29 Ekhaya 18h00
 Highly-acclaimed Russian stage and film director,         Darrell James Roodt was born in 1962 in
 Kirill Serebrennikov was born in Rostov-on-Don           Johannesburg and was educated at the University
 in 1969. Serebrennikov has directed more than            of Witwatersrand. With numerous internationally-
 20 plays including Jeanne d`Arc. He made his first        acclaimed films such as the Oscar-nominated
 theatrical feature film, Ragin in 2004.                   Yesterday (2004), Cry the Beloved Country (1995)
                                                          and Sarafina (1992), Roodt has been a vital contributor to the
                                                          South African film industry for more than twenty years.

58   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                            PANORAMA FEATURES

PRINCESS                                                   RED LIKE THE SKY
                                                           (ROSSO COME IL CIELO)

Denmark 2006, Danish with English subtitles,
35mm, 80 min
Director: Anders Morgenthaler
                                                           Italy 2005, Italian with English subtitles, 35mm,
Screenplay: Anders Morgenthaler, Mette Heeno
                                                           96 min
Animation: Mads Juul, Kristjan Møller
                                                           Director: Cristiano Bortone
Cast: Stine Fischer Christensen, Thure Lindhardt,
                                                           Screenplay: Cristiano Bortone, Monica Zapelli,
Tommy Kenter, Christian Tafdrup, Margrethe Koytu,
                                                           Paolo Sassanelli
Søren Lenander
                                                           Cinematography: Vladan Radovic
Print Source: Danish Film Institute
                                                           Cast: Luca Capriotti, Paolo Sassanelli, Marco Cocci,
                                                           Simone Colombari, Rosanna Gentili
Blending animation with live action, this is the
                                                           Print Source: Adriana Chiesa Enterprises Srl
story of a clergyman named August who loses his
beloved sister Christine, a former porn star known
                                                           Red Like the Sky is based on the true story of Mirco
as the Princess, to a drug overdose. He adopts her
                                                           Mencacci, one of Italy’s most famous sound editors.
five-year-old daughter Mia. Weighed down by grief
                                                           The film begins in 1971 with Mirco as a lively 10-
and guilt, August breaks down, and with Mia in tow,
                                                           year old who is crazy about the movies. One day,
he embarks on a mission of vengeance to erase the
                                                           while playing with an old rifle, Mirco shoots himself
pornographic legacy of Princess. Gradually August's
                                                           in the face. He survives but loses his sight, and his
grief turns to bloodlust and his crusade assumes
                                                           parents are forced, according to the Italian law of the
manically biblical dimensions.
                                                           time, to send him to a school for the blind.
Princess is an animated revenge tragedy that attacks
                                                           Initially, Mirco is incensed but when he discovers a
the pornography industry with fierceness. Director
                                                           tape recorder and splicing machine, he finds that he
Anders Morgenthaler, who is also the creator of
                                                           can create stories composed only of sounds and his
children's books and television, clearly has short
                                                           whole world opens up.
thrift with pornography and he has no problem
pushing reactionary buttons involving sex, violence        Mirco’s new adventures are opposed by the school
and religion.                                              authorities who are convinced that sightlessness is an
                                                           absolute handicap and that the school's pupils should
Extremely violent, unremittingly bleak and altogether
                                                           not harbour illusions that they might survive in the real
disturbing, this is nonetheless a remarkably impressive
                                                           world. But Mirco remains feisty and his perseverance
film that shifts the boundaries of cinema.
                                                           allows him and his classmates to rediscover their dreams.
                                                           In the tradition of Cinema Paradiso, Red Like the Sky is a
                                                           tribute to the power of cinema, and to Italian cinema in
                                                           particular. It is a restrained, perfectly realised narrative.
                                                           Filmmaker in attendance.
23 Musgrave 22h15; 27 Musgrave 22h15                        24 Suncoast 12h00; 30 Musgrave 18h00
 Anders Morgenthaler was born in 1972                       After attending the University of Southern
 graduated from the Danish Film School in 2002.             California (1991) Cristiano Bortone graduated
 He has created and directed several music videos           from New York University in film and television. He
 and animation TV-series. Award-winning Princess            has since directed three features and several award-
 is his debut feature-length film.                           winning documentaries. He has also collaborated
                                                            as screenwriter and script editor on several other productions.
                                                            His films include: Oasi (Oasis) (1994); Sono positivo (I am positive)
                                                            (2000); and L’erba proibita (Forbidden grass) (2002).

                                                    Durban International Film Festival 2007                                   59
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

RIVER QUEEN                                                       SANKARA

New Zealand 2005, English, 35mm, 114 min                          Sri Lanka 2006, Sinhalese, 35mm, 85 min
Director: Vincent Ward                                            Director: Prasanna Jayakody
Screenplay: Vincent Ward, Toa Fraser, Kely Lyons                  Screenplay: Prasanna Jayakody
Cinematography: Alun Bollinger                                    Cinematography: Palitha Perera
Cast: Samantha Morton, Kiefer Sutherland, Cliff                   Cast: Thumindu Dodantenna, Sachini Ayendra,
Curtis, Temuera Morrison, Anton Lesser, David                     Nilupa Heenkenda
Rawiri Pene, Stephen Rea                                          Print Source: Somaratne Dissanayake/Renuka
Print Source: Videovision Entertainment                           Balasooriya

A woman who has come to a strange new land                        South-east Asian film continues its ascendancy with
is torn between the life she knows and the new                    this stunning big screen debut from Sri Lanka's
world of possibilities that confront her in this                  Prasanna Jayakody. Infused with the aesthetics of
epic historical drama. Set in New Zealand in                      Buddhist philosophy, Sankara is a parable about the
1868 during the war between British colonists                     tensions that exist in Buddhist societies between the
and resisting Maori tribes, River Queen tells a                   desire for spiritual perfection and the satisfaction of
very human story at the centre of the conflict.                    sexual desires.
Sarah, an Irish woman, has become acquainted with                 The film begins with a monk (Thumindhu Dodantenna)
the son of one of the Maori leaders, and in time                  walking through emerald-green fields to a village
their friendship grows into something deeper and                  temple in southern Sri Lanka. The monk has come
they fall in love. When she discovers she's pregnant              to the temple to restore ancient frescoes depicting
with his child, the father has already been called off            the consequences of worldly attachments. The
to fight against the Europeans, and by the time her                frescoes are full of sexualized female figures and the
son is born, his father is dead. At the age of six, the           chaos left in their wake. While concentrating on the
boy is soon kidnapped by his Maori grandfather, and               beautiful pigments of the frescoes, the monk hears
it is years before Sarah finds him again, living with              the light tinkle of a woman's bangles and discovers
his grandfather’s tribe.                                          a hairpin, which he immediately fetishizes.
As the tribe prepares for battle against the colonisers,          Using this simple narrative mechanism to great
Sarah is caught between the two sides. With excellent             effect, Buddhist precepts are continually contrasted
performances from Samantha Morton, Kiefer                         with the power of female charms. With its beautiful
Sutherland, Temuera Morrison and Stephen Rea.                     sets and an astounding use of sound and colour,
                                                                  Sankara will appeal both to Buddhists and non-
                                                                  Buddhists alike.
 25 Suncoast 18h00; 01 Musgrave 16h00                             24 Suncoast 16h00; 01 Suncoast 14h15
 Scriptwriter and director Vincent Ward, was                       Prasana Jayakody was born in 1968 in Sri Lankan
 born in Greytown, New Zealand in 1956. After                      to a family strongly rooted in traditional Sinhala
 studying at the University of Canterbury, Ward                    values and grew up in a Buddhist environment.
 made a pair of highly regarded short films before                  His teledramas have won an unprecedented
 his first feature-length film, the lyrical yet lonely               number of National Television Awards and are
 Vigil. After a series of art-house films, Ward made What Dreams    acclaimed by the intelligentsia and public alike. He is known
 May Come starring Robin Williams in 1998.                         for his striking visuals but it his ability to articulate the Sinhala
                                                                   Buddhist ethos that is his hallmark.

60   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                         PANORAMA FEATURES

SMS SUGARMAN                                                 SOUNDS OF SAND (SI LE
                                                             VENT SOULEVE LES SABLES)

South Africa 2007, English, Video, 85 min
Director: Aryan Kaganof
Screenplay: Aryan Kaganof                                    Belgium/France 2006, French with English
Cinematography: Eran Tahor                                   subtitles, 35mm, 96 min
Cast: Aryan Kaganof, Deja Berhardt, Samantha                 Director: Marion Hänsel
Rocca, Patricia Boyer, Norman Manke, Ryan Fortune,           Screenplay: Marion Hänsel
John Matshikiza                                              Cinematography: Walther van den Ende
Print Source: DV8 Films                                      Cast: Ahmed Ibrahim Mohamed, Asma Nouman
                                                             Aden, Carole Karemera, Issaka Sawadogo, Saïd
In his latest feature film shot entirely with mobile          Abdallah Mohamed
phones, Aryan Kaganof presents us with a fresh               Print Source: Man's Film Production
narrative that is full of charm and formal elegance.
With a thoroughly original structure, SMS Sugarman           Belgian director Marion Hänsel's feature unfolds
is a remarkable visual and aesthetic accomplishment          in a desert village that is being crushed under the
and an exciting advancement for contemporary                 weight of drought and famine. While most of the
African cinema, both in its expansion of the cinematic       village's inhabitants migrate to the south in search
aesthetic and in the financial liberation that it offers.     of a better life, the educated Rahne goes against the
Audacious and innovative, both in style and                  grain, journeying to the east despite the danger of
content, the film adroitly captures a Johannesburg            war that lies in that direction.
underworld rarely seen so vividly on the screen.             Accompanying him on his journey are his wife Mouna,
Sugarman, played by Kaganof himself, is a pimp who           their three children, and a handful of sheep and
has three prostitutes, or “sugars”, in his charge. We        goats. Moving slowly across a maudlin landscape in
get to know these women's clients and their odd              relentless heat, the family are determined to survive
predilections, before a startling secret is revealed         at all costs. In coming face to face with the merciless
and things take a terrible turn.                             desert, they come closer to themselves and each
With this film, Kaganof has added another ambitious           other.
achievement to his diverse and ever-growing body             With beautiful images powerfully counterpointing the
of work.                                                     perils the family face, Hansel has made a thought-
                                                             provoking film which carries in it a simple message
                                                             about the lack of access to essential resources in Africa.
                                                             Screening as part of the Poverty and Inequality Film
Filmmaker in attendance.                                     Festival.
22 Suncoast 22h15; 23 Suncoast 22h15                          28 Suncoast 22h00; 30 Suncoast 16h00;
                                                              01 Ekhaya 16h00
 Aryan Kaganof made his first feature film while
 doing his second year at the Netherlands Film                Marion Hansel was born in Marseilles, France in
 & Television Academy. After the award-winning                1949. She has written, directed and produced
 Kyodai Makes The Big Time, Kaganof went on                   award-winning films including Between Heaven
 to make numerous prize-winning features, shorts              and Earth, The Quarry and Clouds: Letters to My
 and documentaries. In 1996, he made the world’s first 35mm    Son.
 feature film shot on Mini-DV tape.

                                                    Durban International Film Festival 2007                         61
                                            PANORAMA FEATURES

SUELY IN THE SKY                                        SYNDROMES AND A
                                                        CENTURY (SANG SATTAWAT)

                                                        Thailand/Austria/France 2006, Thai with English
Brazil/Germany/France 2006, Portuguese with             subtitles, 35mm, 105 min
English subtitles, 35mm, 90 min                         Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Director: Karim Aïnouz                                  Screenplay: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Screenplay: Mauricio Zacharias, Karim Aïnouz,           Cinematography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
Felipe Bragança                                         Cast: Nantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchia Iamaram, Sophon
Cinematography: Walter Carvalho                         Pukanok, Jenjira Pongpas, Arkanae Cherkam
Cast: Hermila Guedes, Maria Menezes, Zezita Matos,      Print Source: Stadtkino Filmverlein und
João Miguel, Georgina Castro                            Kinobetriebsgesellschaft m.b.H
Print Source: Celluloid Dreams
                                                        Syndromes and a Century from Thai director
From the director of the acclaimed Madame Sata,         Apichatpong Weerasethakul explores the ways in
comes this astounding film about a desperate woman       which we remember, and how our emotional states
who takes an extraordinary path to change her life.     can be triggered by seemingly insignificant minutae. A
After two years of living in São Paolo, 21-year-old     recreation of the lives of the director’s parents before
Hermila returns to her village in remote northeastern   he was born collides with his contemporary existence.
Brazil with her new-born son and awaits the arrival     The film takes place in two halves. The first looks at a
of her husband, Mateus.                                 woman doctor – the director’s mother – and takes place
Hemila longs for the day when her family will again     in the context in which the director grew up; the second
be whole but it soon becomes clear that Mateus is       is set in the present and examins the life of his father.
not returning.                                          In the process, Weerasethakul collapses time streams,
Stricken by poverty and a lack of hope, Hermila,        reflecting the idea of reincarnation.
taking on the name Suely, decides to enter the          Weerasethakul is part of a new guard of filmmakers
lottery business with an unusual prize. She offers,     who are reinventing film and how we see it. Instead
to the eager takers, a night in her company. This       of the social realism which stands at the centre of the
unconventional look at poverty and its effects is       western-dominated film canon, Weesethakul makes
moving, full of delight and thoroughly entertaining.    film as incantation, as prayer, as a shamanic sequence
                                                        that is inseparable from the life of the viewer.
                                                        In many ways, Syndromes and a Century is a return
                                                        to the birth of cinema, to a time when the flickering
                                                        image constituted a genuine magic. After more than
Screening as part of the Poverty and Inequality Film    century of cinema, here is a film that suggests that it is
Festival.                                               a medium which we have only just begun exploring.
 27 Suncoast 22h15; 29 Suncoast 16h00                   26 Musgrave 12h00; 01 Suncoast 20h30
 Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz was born in 1966        Apichatpong Weerasethakul, born in 1970 in
 in Fortaleza, Ceará. His 2003 film Madame Sata           Bangkok, began making films in the early 1990s,
 received numerous awards and award nominations          and has become one of the few Thai filmmakers
 internationally. Suely In The Sky is his second         to work outside the strict Thai studio system. With
 feature film.                                            three films of very original vision, Weerasethakul
                                                         has become one of the major young international filmmakers to
                                                         watch and a key figure in the emerging Thai Cinema. Tropical
                                                         Malady, his last feature, won the jury prize in Cannes in 2004.

62   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                               PANORAMA FEATURES

TAN LINES                                                     TAXIDERMIA

Australia 2006, English, Video, 97 min                        Hungary 2006, Hungarian with English subtitles,
Director: Ed Aldridge                                         35mm, 91 min
Screenplay: Ed Aldridge                                       Director: György Pálfi
Cinematography:                                               Screenplay: Zsófia Ruttkay, György Pálfi
Cast: Jack Baxter, Daniel O’Leary, Lucy Minter, Jed           Cinematography: Gergely Pohárnok
Clarke, Harry Plato Catterns, Joshua Bush, Curtis             Cast: Adel Stanczel, Csaba Czene, Geza Balkay, Peter
Dickson, Bob Nobel, Christian Willis, Theresa                 Blasko, Ivan Dengyel
Kompara, Bettina Holmes, Christine Greenough,                 Print Source: Fortissimo Films
Mary Regan, Don Atkinson
Print Source: Galloping Films                                 Taxidermia is probably the strangest film at this year’s
                                                              festival and certainly the most perverse. From its
“It is said that you, Midget Hollows, were pulled             opening moments, the film is obsessed with human
from the ocean itself. Look after your mother Midget,         flesh from a multiple of perspectives. Composed of
she caught you and she can throw you back.” And               three tales of three generations of men: a soldier
so begins the story of Midget Hollows - teenager,             with rich sexual fantasies who ejaculates fire, an
surfer, partier, pervert.                                     obese speed-eating champion and a taxidermist. At
Midget and his friends live the quintessential surf           the end of each story the connection to the next is
grommet existence and now the holidays are here,              established, the film coming together in a twisted
there’s nothing left to do but go surfing, harass the          and at times revolting whole. But dark and grim as
townsfolk and consume as much weed and booze                  the film is, its also hilariously funny, infused with a
as they can find. But when Cass arrives in town,               deep cynicism, and has a brilliant climax.
Midget is instantly attracted to his confidence,               Way off the beaten track, this is deviance, sexual and
his openness about his homosexuality and his                  otherwise, at its most entertaining and fans of the
graceful surfing ability. The two embark on a                  bizarre will love it. Just make sure not to watch it on
passionate affair, but the relationship soon begins           a full stomach!
to feel the strain of secrecy in a small towwn.
Both a gay surf movie and a tender, punk-infused
coming-of-age story, Tan Lines is a wild and
unforgettable ride of passion, love, laughs, sex, and
drugs. And of course waves.

Filmmaker in attendance.
26 Musgrave 20h00; 29 Musgrave 18h00                           21 Suncoast 22h15; 26 Sneddon 22h00
 London-based Ed Aldridge has written screenplays              György Pálfi studied directing between 1995 and
 for television and directed commercials and                   2000 at the Theatre and Film Academy in Budapest
 documentaries. Aldridge has also written and                  under Sándor Simó. Palfi’s first feature, Hukkle, won
 directed over 15 short films. Tan Lines is his debut           the Fassbinder Award of the European Film Academy
 feature.                                                      in 2003, the Gene Moskowitz Prize of Foreign Critics,
                                                               and the Hungarian Critics Award at the 33rd Hungarian Filmweek. He
                                                               shared the Best Director prize at the 35th Hungarian Filmweek for his
                                                               segment, “Shaman vs. Icarus,” in the omnibus film A Bus Came…

                                                       Durban International Film Festival 2007                                    63
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

TIME (SHIGAN)                                                      TO GET TO HEAVEN FIRST
                                                                   YOU HAVE TO DIE

                                                                   France/Tajikistan 2006, Tajikistan with English
Korea 2006, Korean with English subtitles,                         subtitles, 35mm, 90 min
35mm, 96 min                                                       Director: Djamshed Usmonov
Director: Kim Ki-duk                                               Screenplay: Djamshed Usmonov
Screenplay: Kim Ki-duk                                             Cinematography: Pascal Lagriffoul
Cinematography: Jong-moo Sung                                      Cast: Khurched Golibekov, Dinara Droukarova, Maruf
Cast: Hyeon-a Seong, Jung-woo Ha, Ji-Yeon Park, Ji                 Pulodzoda
heon Kim, Sung-min Kim, Yeong-hwa Seo                              Print Source: Celluloid Dreams
Print Source: Cineclick Asia
                                                                   Djamshed Usmonov, who gave us Angel on the
From contemporary master Kim Ki-Duk who gave us                    Right, returns with the provocatively titled To Get to
2004 DIFF favourite 3-Iron comes this tale of the                  Heaven First You Have to Die. The film chronciles
ultimate test of love. Seh-hee and Ji-woo have been                the story of Kamal, a morose young man, and his
going out for two years and are deeply in love. But                quest to restore his sexual potency. But far from a
as time passes, Seh-hee becomes increasingly jealous               sexual comedy, this quirky premise evolves into far
and obsessive, based on an underlying fear that Ji-Woo             more unsettling territory, speaking volumes about
will come to tire of her looks. And so one day, after it           the cultural shifts occurring in Central Asia.
seems that her fears are starting to materialise, she
disappears without a word, only to return to Ji-Woo’s              The film's protagnist is a twenty-year-old newlywed
life six months later with a new name and a new face               whom we first meet in a doctor's office where he is
courtesy of the plastic surgeon’s knife. Ji-Woo falls in           seeking attention for his flaccidity, which his left his
love with this new girl with the strikingly similar name           bride of three months a virgin. He leaves his small
of See-hee but his love for old girlfriend still lingers.          village and his wife and heads for the city where
And when he receives a letter from her saying that                 makes several unsuccessful attempts at seduction.
she wants to get back with him, he decides to break                However things soon take a turn for the worse
up with See-hee.                                                   and Kamal falls in with a group of criminals whose
                                                                   nefarious concerns overshadow his impotency.
An incisive and artful look at our human frailties
and the extent to which we define ourselves in the                  With highly restrained performances and direction,
reflection of others, Time seamlessly blends elements               this is a hauntingly vivid and thoroughly unpredictable
of classical tragedy with post-modernity to create a               coming of age tale.
film that is, ironically, timeless.
 25 Musgrave 22h00; 30 Musgrave 22h00                              24 Sneddon 12h00; 01 Musgrave 10h00
 After studying art in Paris, Kim Ki-duk returned to                Director, scriptwriter, editor and actor, Djamshed
 Korea as a screenwriter and made his directorial                   Usmonov was born in 1965 in Tadjikistan. He
 debut with the critically-acclaimed Crocodile (1996).              graduated from the Theater Department at
 Thirteen films followed: Samaritan Girl (2004) won                  Dushanbe Fine Arts School and has been working
 the Silver Bear Award (Best Director) at the 54th                  in the film industry since 1986. His previous films
 Berlin International Film Festival while 3-Iron (2004) won the     include Angel On The Right (2002). He currently lives between
 Leone d’Argento Award (Special Award for Best Direction) at the    Paris, Moscow and Tadjikistan.
 61st Venice Film Festival.

64   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                               PANORAMA FEATURES

TRANCE (TRANSE)                                               TWILIGHT DANCERS

Portugal/Russia/France/Italy 2006, Russian,
German, Italian and Portuguese with English
                                                              Philippines 2006, Tagalog with English subtitles,
subtitles, 35mm, 126 min
                                                              35mm, 105 min
Director: Teresa Villaverde
                                                              Director: Mel T. Chionglo
Screenplay: Teresa Villaverde
                                                              Screenplay: Ricardo Lee
Cinematography: João Ribeiro
                                                              Cinematography: Nap Jamir II
Cast: Ana Moreira, Vitor Rakov, Robinson Stéverin,
                                                              Cast: Cherry Pie Picache, Allen Dizon, Tyron Perez,
Iaia Forte
                                                              Lauren Novero
Print Source: Madragoa Filmes
                                                              Print Source: Ignatius Films
Teresa Villaverde's debut feature Os Mutante (The
                                                              Twilight Dancers dances nimbly between pastiche
Mutants) was an idiosyncratic and detached look
                                                              and social realism, giving us a complex portrait of a
at the exploitation of children, which promised fine
                                                              Phillipines where political killings are rampant, the gay
things from this bright young director. With Trance,
                                                              bar has become a symbol of society and boundaries
her third film, she returns to the similarly bleak
                                                              between showbiz, politics and prostitution have
subject matter of sexual slavery.
                                                              become increasingly blurry.
Sonia, a girl from St Petersburg, decides to seek a
                                                              The film gives us a disturbing yet gently humorous
better life in western Europe. She first gets a job
                                                              look at these realities through the eyes of three
at a car dealer in Germany. But she is suddenly
                                                              macho dancers. Dwight is young and at the peak
kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery. She is then
                                                              of his dancing career but has lost his girlfriend to a
dragged from country to country, her resistance only
                                                              politician’s son. Alfred, at 28, is past his prime and is
increasing her misery and humiliation.
                                                              kicked out of the club where he works at the start of
While her startling portrait of a young girl straddles        the film. Bert, 30, has long since given up dancing and
to the dark underbelly of Europe, Villaverde has              now works as a bodyguard for the corrupt yet eternally
made a film that is as uncompromising as it is                 jolly Madame Loca, who gets horny at the sound of
intense and poetic. Fueled by a superb performance            gunfire and who manipulates events so that these
from Ana Moreira, this is a nightmare of degradation          three twilight dancers must fight for their survival.
made all the more terrifying by the cinematic beauty          In the process, they are forced to confront issues of
at its centre.                                                love, friendship and betrayal against the backdrop
                                                              of a country which is both liberated and in chains.

                                                              Screening in association with the Out In Africa Gay
                                                              and Lesbian Film Festival.
27 Musgrave 18h00; 30 Sneddon 11h30                            29 Nouveau 22h30; 01 Nouveau 12h00
 Portuguese director, scriptwriter and editor Teresa           Mel Chionglo was born and raised in Lucena City,
 Villaverde was born in 1966. Her 1998 film, Os                 in the Philippines, and graduated from Ateneo de
 Mutante, won New Director’s Showcase Award at                 Manila University, with a BA Humanities degree.
 the Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Cinema               Between 1966 and 1976 he lived in New York
 and was nominated for Best Film at the Seattle                City and studied acting and directing at the NY
 International Film Festival.                                  Academy of Theatrical Arts under Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg.
                                                               Returning to Manila, his directorial break came in 1981 with
                                                               Playgirl. He has since made nine feature films.

                                                       Durban International Film Festival 2007                               65
                                             PANORAMA FEATURES

VENDREDI OU UN AUTRE JOUR                               WHEN WE WERE BLACK

                                                        South Africa 2006, English, IsiZulu, Tsotsitaal,
                                                        SeSotho and Afrikaans with English subtitles,
                                                        Video, 192 min
Belgium/France 2005, French with English                Director: Khalo Matabane
subtitles, 35mm, 102 min                                Screenplay: Ryan Fortune, Tumelo Padi (from an
Director: Yvan Le Moine                                 idea by Khalo Matabane)
Screenplay: Yvan Le Moine                               Cinematography: Matthys Mocke
Cinematography: Danny Elsen                             Cast: Matli Mohapeloa, Lali Dangazele, Harriet
Cast: Philippe Nahon, Alain Moraïda, Ornella Muti,      Manamela, Ndoni Khanyile, Motlatsi Mafatshe, Patrick
Hanna Schygulla                                         Mofokeng, Jerry Mofokeng, Presley Chweneyagae
Print Source: A.A. Les Films                            Print Source: Born Free Media (Pty) Ltd

Le Moine’s historical drama is liberally adapted from   Khalo Matabane, whose rivetting Conversations on
Michel Tournier’s novel of the same name. Shot on       a Sunday Afternoon won the Best South African
the gorgeous island of Reunion, Friday or Another       Feature Film award at DIFF last year, locates his next
Day takes a revisionist look at the Robinson Crusoe     project in Soweto circa 1976.
story.                                                  Fistos, an intelligent but awkward teenager, meets
It is 1759 and an actor, Philippe de Nohan, is the      Mangi the girl of his dreams. But Mangi is involved
only survivor of a shipwreck. Finding himself on        with Modise, an articulate student leader. Fistos
the beautiful, seemingly uninhabited island, Phillipe   has to both stave off the local bullies and figure
makes friends with a dog, and appoints himself          out how to win Mangi in the midst of a revolution.
governor of the island.                                 One of the most vibrant and articulate filmmaking
When Phillipe saves a man from being killed, the        voices in South Africa has made a work about
man takes on the role of Phillipe's slave. Phillipe's   innocence and naivety set against the harsh realities
interaction with Friday (named for the day he was       facing South Africa in the 70s.
saved) forces him to confront his assumptions about     A coming of age tale, this is also a story about the
race and cultural difference. At the same time,         way that history and politics serve to mould individual
the revolution in his emotions and thinking are a       identity. The film seeks to examine the ways in which
reflection of the events that would take place in        personal identities and stories coincide and relate
France thirty years later. Beautifully shot and with    to broader, political events. Complex, charming
a fine central performance, this is a remarkable and     and intelligent this is a film with universal appeal.
daring film filled with intrigue and epiphany.            Screening in two parts.
                                                        Filmmaker in attendance.
 25 Sneddon 20h00; 27 Nouveau 18h00                     (Part 1) 27 Ekhaya 18h00;
                                                        (Part 2) 29 Ekhaya 15h00
 Yvan Le Moine was born in Nice, France in 1966.
 His 1998 film Le Nain Rouge was nominated                South African director Khalo Matabane has directed
 for Best Film at the Molodist International Film        two feature films, more than ten documentaries and
 Festival and won the Grand Prix at the Bratislava       a number of short films. Matabane won the Lionel
 International Film Festival.                            Ngakane Award for the most promising South African
                                                         filmmaker. He was also awarded the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury for
                                                         his film Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon, which also won the
                                                         Best South African Feature Film at DIFF 2006.

66   Durban International Film Festival 2007
                                     PANORAMA FEATURES

WOLFSBERGEN                                             When 83-year-old Konraad writes a letter to his
                                                        relatives stating that he wishes to die, his daughter,
                                                        Maria, refuses to discuss it. Maria’s grown daughters
                                                        have problems of their own; one is in a troubled
                                                        marriage and the other is in therapy following an
                                                        Though disconnected from each other, Konraad’s
                                                        letter forces his family to deal with one other for
                                                        the first time in a long time. Darkly comic, and
                                                        beautifully observed, Wolfsbergen warmly shows a
                                                        family’s coldness to each other dissipating.
                                                        With majestic cinematography and a beautifully
                                                        written script, Wolfsbergen deals with complex
                                                        issues with honest and elegant simplicity. Intimate
                                                        without ever resorting to voueurism, Leopold's pure
The Netherlands/Belgium 2007, Dutch with                approach to film narrative is deeply rewarding.
English subtitles, 35mm, 93 min
Director: Nanouk Leopold
Screenplay: Nanouk Leopold
Cinematography: Richard van Oosterhout
Cast: Tamar van den Dop, Fedja van Huêt,                23 Musgrave 12h00; 30 Nouveau 10h00
Jan Decleir, Karina Smulders, Catherine ten             Nanouk Leopold was born in 1968 in Rotterdam.
Bruggencate, Piet Kamerman, Oscar van Woensel           She studied at the Netherlands Film and Television
Print Source: Films Distribution                        Academy and at the Rotterdam Academy of Visual
                                                        Arts. Her films include: Iles Flottantes (2001);
Dutch director Nanouk Leopold comes into her own        Guernsey (2005). She is currently working on a
as a recognisable auteur with this powerful and         film entitled Brownian Movement.
moving portrait of a Dutch family that use the notion
of euthanasia as its starting point.


                                               Durban International Film Festival 2007                       67

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