30 Films you cannot miss at the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival (Part 3)


We present the last part of our list of films you cannot miss at the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival that will take place from March 19th to April 5th, 2018.

Season of the Devil

Season of the Devil (Ang Panahon ng Halimaw) by Laz Diaz
Philippines | 2018 – 234 min.
Section: Masters & Auteurs | The Master (Asian Premiere)

Another twist from the Golden Leopard and Golden Lion winner Lav Diaz – a musical. Or rather, an antimusical, whose choruses and recitatives are imbued with Brechtian confrontations of politics and mythology. Filmed in black and white and set in a Filipino village suffering under martial law in the 1970s, everyone is constantly watching, waiting, intimidating, killing… and singing, whether soldiers, villagers or resistance. Once again, Diaz probes the wounds of Filipino history to produce a haunting film with universal resonance.

April 5th, 2018 | Thursday | Hong Kong City Hall – 7:30 pm


Sennan Asbestos DisasterSennan Asbestos Disaster by Hara Kazuo – Japan | 2017 – 215 min.
Section: Documentaries | A Dedicated Filmmaker Hara Kazuo

A documentary forged through a decade of struggle by asbestos workers to win recognition and compensation from those who allowed them to toil in life-threatening circumstances, in an area known for asbestos from the Meiji period until now. Their humble questions, challenges and gains are punctuated by the sickness and death of those who we come to know as activists and human companions. Even with a court win, the film does not bask in triumph but challenges the legitimacy of the courts, industry and government that finally acknowledged a few, but overlooked the suffering and deaths of many.

March 25th, 2018 | Sunday | Hong Kong Arts Centre – 6:30 pm
—> Post-Screening talk with Hara Kazuo <—


Sunshine that Can Move Mountains

Sunshine that Can Move Mountains by Wang Qiang – China | 2017 – 109 min.
Section: Pan-Chinese Cinema | Chinese Cinema Now

Tenzin Banjue, a young Tibetan monk, takes a long journey home to visit his brother who is in a vegetative state. Despite finding himself enamored of his brother’s fiancée, he refuses his mother’s demand to stay and marry her. Wang Qiang’s debut feature is a poignant portrait of Tibetans defending a vanishing culture with their sacred traditions. Combining spiritual musings and nature’s beauty, it’s an ode to pure love and the wisdom that brings light to life.

March 30th, 2018 | Friday | Festival Grand Cinema – 9:30 pm
April 1st, 2018 | Sunday | Grand Kornhill Cinema – 7:30 pm


The Deserted

The Deserted (VR) by Tsai Ming-Liang – China | 2017 – 55 min.
Section: Gala Presentation – Galas

Hsiao Kang is recuperating from an illness in the mountains. Unable to communicate with his late mother who visits and cooks for him, or the female ghost lives next door, his only companion is a lone fish who swims with him in the bathtub. Iconoclastic art house veteran Tsai Ming-Liang, in his debut virtual reality work, integrates the artistry of cinematography with technological dynamism, and creates a dreamlike 3D space in which viewers can thoroughly live a fragment of the characters’ personal journeys, and immerse into their contemplation of life, death and memory.

March 31st, 2018 | Saturday | Communication and Visual Arts Building, Hong Kong Baptist University – 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:00 pm, 7:30 pm
April 1st, 2018 | Sunday | Communication and Visual Arts Building, Hong Kong Baptist University – 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:00 pm, 7:30 pm
April 2nd, 2018 | Monday | Communication and Visual Arts Building, Hong Kong Baptist University – 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:30 pm
After the last screening there will be a Master Class. Please register online at the HKIFF website.

Fee $180 | Please arrive 15 minute before the screening.
Important: Audiences who are suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, claustrophobia, epilepsy and physical discomfort or affected by drugs or alcohol and pregnant women are not recommended to participate in the VR screenings.

The Seen and Unseen

The Seen and Unseen (Sekala Niskala) by Kamila Andini
Indonesia, Netherlands | 2017 – 86 min.
Section: World Cinema | Indie Power

Hauntingly beautiful sophomore effort by Indonesian filmmaker Kamila Andini, yet revealing a clear vision infused with a poignant lyricism and bittersweet tragedy. Telling a simple story of two young twins becoming separated by the slow death of the brother, Tantra, Andini lets the sister, Tantri, explore worlds beyond the real, ever-present nature of the rice paddies into realms where folklore, dance and a superb childlike enactment of a cockfight unite the children even as their life paths diverge.

March 27th, 2018 | Tuesday | Festival Grand Cinema – 5:00 pm
April 5th, 2018 | Thursday | The Sky – 2:15 pm


The Taste of Rice Flower
The Taste of Rice Flower (Mihua zhi wei) by Pengfei – China | 2017 – 102 min.
Section: Pan-Chinese Cinema | Chinese Cinema Now

A city woman returns to her Dai home village to find her left-behind daughter grown cold and rebellious. Their estranged relationship surges with compassion when the daughter’s best friend falls mysteriously ill and dies. Beautiful, luminous and lyrically resonant, Pengfei’s second feature contemplates the hybrid culture and values emerging from minority communities, where tradition and modernity collide. Like an enchanting dance performed inside a cave, it’s rigorously unsentimental yet bright with life at its heart.

April 1st, 2018 | Sunday | Festival Grand Cinema – 9:30 pm
April 3rd, 2018 | Tuesday | Grand Kornhill Cinema – 7:30 pm


The Widowed Witch

The Widowed Witch by Cai Chengjie – China | 2017 – 118 min.
Section: Pan-Chinese Cinema | Chinese Cinema Now

When Er Hou is widowed for the third time, the credulous locals in her village believe she is cursed. The young woman turns superstition to her advantage, rebranding herself as a shaman, peddling life advice and supernatural quick fixes in return for food and shelter. A blend of wry cynicism and magical realism, director Cai Chengjie’s debut feature examines superstition, opportunism and the moral vacuum in an impoverished part of China. Winner of Hivos Tiger Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam.

March 22nd, 2018 | Thursday | Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre – 7:15 pm
March 30th, 2018 | Friday | Festival Grand Cinema – 7:00 pm


Tremble All You Want

Tremble All You Want by Ooku Akiko – Japan | 2017 – 117 min.
Section: Kaleidoscope | I See It My Way

A surprising foray into the world of Japanese Chick Lit and the women who read, live and hide there. Actress Matsuoka Mayu is marvelously engaging as the lonely Japanese office girl, Yoshika, who fantasizes about the guy she never interacted with in high school while ignoring the bumbling – ok, obnoxious – accountant in her office at her feet. Director Ohku proves deft in sensitivities, humor and insights that go beyond Wataya Risa’s popular novel or the genre itself.

March 26th, 2018 | Monday | The Grand Cinema – 7:45 pm
March 31st, 2018 | Saturday | Hong Kong Cultural Centre – 7:45 pm


Village RockstarsVillage Rockstars by Rima Das – India | 2017 – 87 min.
Section: World Cinema | Global Vision

Adolescent Dhunu dreams of a real guitar and a rock band. Her dream is supported by her widowed mother, despite floods, crushing poverty and the rules restricting women in rural Indian society. Emergent prize-winning director Rima Das handled writing, cinematography and design for this tender yet smartly unsentimental vision of her own village. A rare story that captures and challenges those left behind in South Asian modernization.

March 25th, 2018 | Sunday | The Metroplex – 9:45 pm
March 27th, 2018 | Tuesday | The Sky – 7:30 pm


Wangdrak_s Rain BootsWangdrak’s Rain Boots (Wang zha de yuxue) by Lhapal Gyal – China | 2017 – 90 min.
Section: Firebird Awards | Young Cinema Competition

Heavy rain is good for the crops, but bad for young Wangdrak, the only boy without rubber boots in the Tibetan mountain village. When his wish for a pair of boots is finally fulfilled, he then faces a new problem: the rain stops. He now has to fight against the lama from prohibiting the rain pour. Nestled in the inimitable mountain landscape, Lhapal Gyal, the assistant director of Tharlo (40th), tells an empathetic tale of a child’s dream, with vivid imagery offering a candid glimpse of a culture steeped in ancient traditions.

March 30th, 2018 | Friday | The Grand Cinema – 2:30 pm
April 1st, 2018 | Sunday | The Grand Cinema – 7:30 pm

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