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35th Istanbul Film Festival – Asian Presence 2016

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Ten Asian films will be screen during the Istanbul Film Festival here is more information about them.

The 35th Istanbul Film Festival (IKSV) will take place from April 7th to the 17th in Istanbul (Turkey). Sadly this year there will be no Asian movie present at the International Competition. Two Asian movies will be screen at the “Human Rights in Cinema” section, one in the “From the World of Festivals” section, one in the “Young Masters” section, five in the “Mined Zone” section and one in the “Hidden Gems” section.

Human Rights in Cinema
This section is dedicated to raises public consciousness and sensitivity to human rights related issues.

Behemoth (Bei xi mo shou) by Zhao Liang – China | 2015 – 90 min

In the Old Testament, the mountains are the domain of a monster named Behemoth; in modern times the vast mining industry has taken the monster’s place. With a violent roar, the mountain spews iron ore and coal with infernal billowing smoke that leaves those working there struggling against fatigue and suffocation. The silence of the dreamlike Chinese landscapes is broken only by the thundering cacophony of explosions set to create a new entrance to the mine. The iron ore wheezes and cracks as it’s transformed into steel; growling trucks enveloped in black clouds carry their loads to and fro. The sheep farmers and their herds have been driven off the bright green pastures to make way for the ever-expanding mining industry; sick miners with ruined lungs are lying, dying, in the hospital. The “monster’s minions” have transformed a mountain paradise into an industrial zone surrounded by ghost towns of brand-new, deserted apartment blocks.
Interrogation (Visaaranai) by Vetri Maaran – India | 2015 – 106 min.
A group of immigrants (Pandi, Murugan, Afsal and Kumar) are detained by the local state police, tortured and forced to admit to a crime they have no knowledge of. When all hope seems to be lost, a policeman from their hometown speaks on their behalf at the court hearing, setting them free. The policeman asks for a return favor and the boys oblige, oblivious to the ill fate that awaits them. As they unwittingly bear witness to a political treason, the system seeks to silence them, at any cost. But Pandi is determined to be heard.

From The World of Festivals
This section shows films by prominent directors that have been shown at world festivals and mostly won awards.

Right Now, Wrong Then by Hong Sang Soo – South Korea | 2015 – 121 min.
Chun-Soo (Jung Jae-Young) arrives in Suwon one day earlier than scheduled. He has a special lecture to give the next day. Chun-Soo decides to visit a palace and meets Hee-Jung (Kim Min-Hee) there. Hee-Jung is a painter and she lets Chun-Soo see her workroom with her paintings. In the evening, they go out eat and drink together. There, Chun-Soo reveals something unexpected to Hee-Jung.

Young Masters
This section presents the debut or second films of directors who are acclaimed for their genuine approach while bringing a breath of fresh air to the world cinema.

The Black Hen (Kalo pothi) by Min Bahadur Bham – Nepal

A temporary ceasefire gives a war-torn village in Nepal a much needed break and spreads joy among the residents. The two young friends Prakash and Keiran feel the change and embark on an adventure to find the hen that they both helped raise. »The Black Hen ‘is a striking debut about friendship across class boundaries.

Mined Zone
This section especially appeals to explorer cinephiles for its pioneering, unorthodox films with either a distinctive style, approach, technique, or expression, which are sharp at times and experimental at others.

A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis) by Lav Diaz
Philippines | 2015 – 486 min.
This is the chronicle of the search by Gregoria de Jesus – one of the few women leaders of the Philippine resistance against Spain – for the body of her husband, Andres Bonifacio, who was executed on a mountain by a rival faction of the rebellion.
Afternoon (Na r ixia wu) by Tsai Ming-liang – Taiwan | 2015 – 137 min.
Lush jungle and a building in ruins are the ideal stage for a film-confession that defies storytelling and goes beyond conversation on cinema. Tsai Ming-Liang and his actor Lee Kang-sheng confess and put on stage a pièce in which attention and slowness are in tune with the rhythm of memory. The unveiling of Tsai Ming-liang’s filmmaking: from Stray Dogs to the most intimate notes of the director-actor relationship.
No no sleep (Wu wu mian) by Tsai Ming-liang – Taiwan | 2015 – 34 min.
Continuation of Journey to the west (2014). Tsai Ming-liang translate the slow walking of the monk to Tokyo, only this time instead of spending time in the city street the movie takes place inside the baths where the monk is accompany by a Japanese man with the same name.
Vapor (Mok mae rim) by Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Thailand | 21 min.
The clouds descend onto a village and engulf it for a day. They touch the roof tiles, the beds, the chairs, the carpets, the grass, and the bodies, infecting everything with the fever of white stupor.
The Whispering Star (Hiso Hiso Boshi) by Sion Sono – Japan | 2015 – 100 min.
A humanoid robot delivery woman muses on the mystery of human nature as she drops off parcels around the galaxy. A spaceship shaped like a Japanese bungalow careens through the galaxy. It carries a humanoid robot named Yoko (Megumi Kagurazaka), a sort of interstellar UPS delivery person. Her job is simple: to distribute packages to human beings scattered across sundry planets. But with so much spare time between deliveries, Yoko begins to wonder what’s in those packages.

Hidden Gams

Belladonna of Sadness (Kanashimi no Beradonna) by Eiichi Yamamoto – Japan | 1973 – 100 min.
The third and last of the Mushi Pro Animerama films, The Belladonna of Sadness is an adaptation of French historian Jules Michelet`s novel of the story of Joan of Arc: La Sorcière. The obvious and salient feature of this film is the unique way in which it was animated using a blend of still illustrations and full animation. Intended for `art house` venues rather than a more general audience like the first two Animerama films, Belladonna comes across as by far the more sophisticated and successful production, its strikingly original visuals largely responsible for the film’s visceral impact.
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