MAMI just released its line-up for the 2018 Mumbai Film Festival and we can barely contain our excitement. For film buffs, film industry vets, aspiring filmmakers or perhaps even just a curious spectator, MAMI promises to be a cinematic experience with something fantastic for everyone. This year, which marks the festival’s twentieth anniversary, the festival will feature more than 180 films across a range of countries, subjects, styles and genres.
Unfortunately, it would be humanly impossible to watch every film – try as one might – but an all-access pass can get you into the season’s best. From bizarre post-modern comedies to hard-hitting and exclusive political documentaries, we put together a list of our favourite international films you shouldn’t miss at MAMI this year.
[Here’s our list of must-watch Indian films at MAMI this year.]
I. Three Faces – Se Rokh (Iran)
Jafar Panahi and Behnaz Jafari travel to a charming mountain village to help a local girl break free of her parents’ over-protectiveness. They are warmly welcomed but find that even amongst the most generous communities, age-old traditions don’t change that easily.
II. A 12 Year Night (Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, France)
Like most of Latin America, Uruguay in 1973’s military dictatorship resulted in lots of political turmoil and violent secrecy. A Twelve Year Night is the story of three prisoners sent clandestinely to solitary confinement for twelve years – one of whom later became the president of Uruguay.
III. BlackKklansman (USA)
Set amidst the social turmoil and civil rights movements of the early 1970s, BlackKklansman traces the powerful journey of Ron Stallworth – the first African-American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department – as he takes on the dangerous search to expose the Ku Klux Klan. Directed by Spike Lee, this film is marked as one of the greatest films to release in 2018.
IV. Rafiki (Kenya, South Africa, France, Lebanon, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, USA)
Two Kenyan girls resist the political rivalries and conservative nature of their families, and support each other in the pursuit of their dreams. Rafiki is a beautiful film that explores their love in an unwelcoming culture.
V. Generation Wealth (USA)
Generation Wealth is a personal journey into the profligate culture of global capitalism. From the moral bankruptcy of the American Dream to the obsession with celebrities, money and glamour, Lauren Greenfield’s documentary is a thoroughly engaging dive into the human costs of consumerism and the narcissistic world we live in today.
VI. And Breathe Normally (Sweden, Belgium, Iceland)
On a remote edge of Iceland’s gorgeous peninsula, the lives of two women intersect under unexpected circumstances. The women, an asylum seeker from Africa and a struggling single Icelandic mother, form an intimate bond that transcends geopolitical turmoil and reveals our shared humanity.
VII. Amal (Egypt, Lebanon, france, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Qatar)
In the center of the Tahrir Square during the Egyptian Revolution, Amal is the poignant coming-of-age story of a 14-year-old girl navigating her first relationship and searching for her identity in a country on the brink of change.
VIII. Diamantino (Portugal, France, Brazil)
An international football sensation-turned-disgraced celebrity, Diamantino is a whimsical, satirical comedy that captures one man’s delirious existential crisis as he sets out to confront fascism, the refugee crisis and even genetic modification.
IX. Manta Ray (Thailand, France, China)
Manta Ray gives a poignant face to one of the worst refugee crises in recent history. Near a coastal village of Thailand, by the sea where thousands of Rohingya refugees have drowned, a local fisherman finds an injured man lying unconscious in the forest. The film follows the life of this mysterious stranger, who slowly begins to take over the fisherman’s life.
X. Matangi/Maya/M.I.A (Sri Lanka, USA, UK)
You might know her as the international pop icon M.I.A. of Paper Planes fame. This film is an autobiographical visual collage featuring personal tapes and inspirational videos shot by Maya Arulpragasm and her friends over the last 22 years, capturing her journey from an immigrant teenager in London to who she is today.
XI. Roma (Mexico)
Alfonso Cuaron’s latest masterpiece, Roma is the emotional story of two domestic workers finding love and solidarity with a middle-class mother of four, set in a politically tumultuous Mexico where social hierarchies, race and caste are as ubiquitous as ever before.
XII. Boy Erased (USA)
When the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town is outed as gay, he has to choose between a conversion therapy program or permanent ostracisation from everyone he loves. Starring Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton and Troye Sivan, this film is a must.
XIII. The Field Guide to Evil (Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Poland, Turkey, USA)
An anthology of eight films from around the world, The Field Guide to Evil is a deep dive into myths, folklore and legends that were created to explain humanity’s deepest fears, setting the stage for what is now a widely popular film genre.
XIV. Touch Me Not (Romania, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Czech Republic)
Longing for intimacy yet deeply scared of it, Touch Me Not is a real exploration into the lives of three people working to challenge their defense mechanisms, face cultural taboos and find love in the most unexpected of ways.
XV. The Eyes of Orson Welles (USA)
An exclusive look into the politically charged, passionate and brilliant world of legendary director Orson Welles through his own eyes – this documentary features never-seen-before paintings and sketches of the man himself.
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