10 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 44th Festival des 3 Continents

These are ten films you shouldn’t miss at the Festival des 3 Continents (France) which will take place from November 18 – 27, 2022 in Nantes and across the Loire-Atlantique region.

Autobiography by Makbul Mubarak – France, Indonesia, Singapore, Poland | 2022 – 115 minutes

With his father in jail and his brother abroad for work, young Rakib has become the caretaker of a retired general’s house where his family has worked for several generations. When the general returns home to run an electoral campaign in this rural area – which he intends to modernise by dint of expropriations – Rakib begins to work for him and discovers a mixture of pleasure and fascination as he draws closer to this powerful figure. The general takes him under his wing, but his shady influence leads the young man to stray a little further from his own principles. A retrospective gaze on the experience of adolescence during the final years of Indonesia’s military dictatorship, this first feature film raises precise questions about the subterfuges induced by a violence that had infiltrated the cogs of the political and social machinery, to the point of sparking disgust and revolt. FM


Broker by Hirokazu Kore-eda – South Korea | 2022 – 129 minutes

After a stay in France for The Truth (2019), Kore-eda spent time in South Korea and recruited several local stars to continue digging into the same theme: a meditation on the family and conditions of filiation, a daydream on forging ties between people, explored through the escapade of two crooks and a mother with her baby, who all set out to sell the child. The theme of adoption and the dark context (child trafficking) hang heavy over this true family film whose plot jubilantly blends whodunit and road-movie. However, this is to celebrate more deeply what the cinema of Kore-eda softly strives to capture: the utopia of a reinvented family. AR


Glorious Ashes by Bui Thac Chuyen – France, Vietnam, Singapore | 2022 – 106 minutes

Pregnant Hau marries the taciturn fisherman Duong, but he is madly in love with Nhan, who had chosen to marry Tam. The two couples, soon to become two families, are neighbours living on either side of the canals that run through the village, between the lagoon and the mangrove… The geography of the place takes hold of the imagination and the mise en scène. Director Bui Thac Chuyên brings to life his romantic theatre, often with humour, when small boats are manoeuvred or scooters break down, and shows the symbiotic relationship of bodies to their environment. A fire is smouldering below the still waters (the peaceful village activity is filmed only briefly). But also, this powerful daydream of space and the elements – water, fire, silt – nourishes the interplay of passions. The gaze, invited to physically cross through this world, catches, at each temporal ellipsis, the feverish obsession of characters bewitched. FM


Itim by Mike De Leon – Philippines | 1976 – 107 minutes

The nod given by Itim to Antonioni’s Blow Up does not mean that the film takes the path of an applied (or even emphatic) homage. For his debut directorial feature, Mike De Leon instead reveals a personal and multi-faceted, almost syncretic inspiration, blending fantastic borders, enigmatic rites, occultism and religious statuary, but also the direct proximity of young heroes tormented by a past that “does not pass”, with an acute sense of space, light and suspense. The film stands superbly on the border between worlds. It revealed the actress Charo Santos, a veritable appearance set in the seductive game of chiaroscuro (“Itim” means “black” in Tagalog). FM

Jet Lag by Zheng Lu Xinyuan – Switzerland, Austria | 2022 – 111 minutes

What is the substance of Jet Lag? Does it lie in the geographical and temporal comings and goings that lead the filmmaker from a return trip to China mid-pandemic to the memory of a earlier trip to Myanmar, with her family – and incidentally, from a plane to a hot air balloon. Is it in the evocation not only of family relationships, following the footsteps of a great grandfather who went missing and a grandmother whose disappearance she fears, but also in the love relationship with her girlfriend whose body is sometimes close, sometimes distant? In the texture of black and white and in the prolific video material that captures a thousand bursts of ordinary and at times sublime beauty, as in the captivating scenes of intimacy? In evaporated memories or the news of a political revolution? A filmed diary with endless displacements, constantly decentred, Jet Lag nonetheless weaves a form where the world’s vibrations become organised, albeit mysteriously. FM


Love Life by Koji Fukada – Japan, France | 2022 – 123 minutes

In the films of Kōji Fukada, everything is a question of balance and Love Life is no exception. Firstly because the life of Taeko, his spouse Jiro, and his son Keita resembles a game whose rules seem to have been well learnt. What’s more, the youngster is a othello champion. Everything fits perfectly into their small box-like apartment where they are preparing to welcome family and friends. But what is there to hang onto when everything unexpectedly collapses? Mourning, guilt, confused relationships between generations, compassion, romantic itineraries, Fukada’s sinuous scenario resembles a succession of stutterings where, at each step, the characters could well lack moderation in their quest for redemption. JB


Nobody Knows by Hirokazu Kore-eda – Japan | 2004 – 141 minutes

The children have been abandoned by their mother and left to fend for themselves in a Tokyo apartment. The eldest sibling, Akira, tries to keep up the appearance of normal life, but the money soon runs out. What follows is an impressive portrait of children and their marginal existence, with its terrible and luminous moments. Shot in Super-16, the film prioritises natural lighting and a hand-held camera. Kore-eda adapts a news story from 1988, transposing it to the years he was shooting. He experiments with various techniques he had picked up from his documentary experience in order to direct the actors. The incarnation of Akira by the young Yuya Yagira won the best actor award at Cannes in 2004. FM


Shivamma by Jaishankar Aryar – India | 2022 – 104 minutes

It might be tempting to question a very contemporary tendency of India’s young indie cinema to revive a neorealist vein. For all that, Shivamma did not steal a bicycle. A poor middle-aged and unedu- cated woman, she dreams somewhat ingenuously of a little justice and is seduced by the direct marketing methods of the Nuracle energy drink. She glimpses the hope of improving her precarious day-to-day life. “I will do it!” becomes her creed… we need to believe in something. Somewhat cantankerous and stubborn, Shivamma’s determination soon becomes the sign of her blindness. Refusing to idealise the figure of the poor, Jaishankar Aryar takes Shivamma’s naivety as the starting point of a subtle moral tale, in which the non-professional actors could well be the real protagonists. JB


The Novelist’s Film by Hong Sang-soo – Korea | 2022 – 92 minutes

You have to remove your blinkers to see Hong Sang-soo’s new film, and also get used to his sometimes blinding black and white. What is there, “in front of your face” to reprise the title of a previous film by the Korean master, as immense and tiny as The Novelist’s Film? A round made of coincidences and reunions that leads a woman writer who no longer writes to meet an actress who no longer acts. The actress is played by Hong Sang-soo’s muse, Kim Min-hee. Like the other characters, she is filmed from a distance. Then suddenly, in extremis, our eyes open wide to flowers, colours, her face, a camera; then suddenly we see: a declaration of love and a film from cinema or, in other words, the same thing. AR


Tokyo Story by Yasujiro Ozu – Japan | 1953 – 136 minutes

An ageing couple set out to visit their adult children. Initially welcomed with due respect, the parents gradually become burdensome for the family who drift back into the frenzied rhythm of the city. Only Noriko, the widow of their son who died during the Pacific War, finds time for them. The children pay for them to stay at a health spa far from Tokyo. A harrowing baring of family emotions, Ozu’s masterpiece is also a snapshot of post-war social changes and a meditation on time – the time that makes up our daily lives.


For more information, please visit:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.