What to watch on day three of the Dubai International Film Festival
Time Out Dubai staff
A Screaming Man: A tale of a father and son’s soured relationship in war-torn Chad. Former swimming champion Adam is in his early 60s, and is the pool attendant at a luxury hotel resort. But when new management takes over, Adam is demoted in favour of his son, Abdel. He silently seethes with jealousy. (15+) Arabic, French. English subtitles. Runtime: 92 minutes. MOE9, 21.15. A Stone’s Throw Away: Sebastian Hiriart’s debut feature is an imaginative reflection on the desire and need of so many Mexicans to find their way, whatever the obstacles, to the promised land of the United States. Jacinto Medina, a 21-year-old shepherd in the north of Mexico, is profoundly bored by his uneventful life and lack of opportunity. One day he stumbles upon a keychain lying on the ground engraved with an image of Sprague River, Oregon and, seeing it as a sign, sets out to return it to its owner. (12+) Spanish. English subtitles. Runtime: 95 minutes. MOE11, 21.45. All About My Father: For more than 70 years, Elius Sfeir has been working as a barber in Beirut, at some of the country’s most exclusive and refined salons. Now a spry octogenarian, he has a lifetime of memories to share, which he does generously in this movie, a fascinating portrait of a man who, over the years, has coiffed the heads of politicians, princes and presidents. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 75 minutes. MOE12, 22.15.
An Unfinished Letter:
For details, see Monday 13. (15+) Bengali. English subtitles. Runtime: 130 minutes.MOE10, 15.15. Repeat screening
Confessions: Yuko Moriguchi is a well-meaning teacher, in charge of a class at a junior high school. Worn down, not only by the rowdy class’s unruly behaviour, but by the mysterious, unsolved death of her three-year-old daughter, one day she shocks her class by announcing she knows the identity of her daughter’s killers – two of her pupils. (18+) Japanese. English subtitles. Runtime: 106 minutes. MOE11, 18.45. Darkness: A small, sweet, nostalgic film about the life of a postman in a bygone era. Set in the early years of the UAE’s existence, we meet a postman whose daily life revolves around two major touchstones – his job and his son. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime 18 minutes. MOE6, 20.15. World premiere
End of Animal: Heavily pregnant Sun-young is in a taxi returning to her home town Tae Ryong, Korea. She is sharing the taxi with a mysterious man, who appears to know a lot about Sun-young. On a deserted back road, he makes the car stop and begins counting down to zero, when a cataclysmic event occurs. (18+) Korean. English subtitles. Runtime: 114 minutes. MOE5, 18.45. Genpin: Deep in the heart of a forest in central Japan, a clinic hosts women seeking a natural childbirth. Run by Dr Tadashi Yoshimura, who has personally attended more than 20,000 births over 40 years, the Yoshimura Clinic in Aichi Prefecture is a haven of calm and tranquility. (15+) Japanese. English subtitles. Runtime: 92 minutes. MOE5, 21.30. Honey: The final instalment of director Semih Kaplanoglu’s trilogy about a young poet named Yusuf, who we meet here as a six-year old, learning the harsh realities of life when his beekeeper father disappears in the forest. (12+) Turkish. English subtitles. Runtime: 103 minutes. MOE7, 21.30. I Wish I Knew: In this fascinating documentary, based on personal recollection, 18 people from three cities – Shanghai, Taipei and Hong Kong – recall their lives in Shanghai. Their personal experiences, like 18 chapters of a novel, tell stories of life in Shanghai from the ’30s to 2010. (15+) Mandarin. English subtitles. Runtime: 118 minutes. MOE7, 18.30.
Jack Goes Boating: Jack (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a 40-something New York limo driver who drifts through life. His best friend Clyde and Clyde’s wife Lucy introduce him to shy, timid Connie, thinking the pair would be perfect together. But as Jack and Connie begin shyly, almost reluctantly, dating, their matchmakers’ own marriage faces some problems. (18+) English. Runtime: 89 minutes. MOE2, 18.30. Editor's pick Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child: For details, see Monday 13. (PG) English. Runtime: 90 minutes. MOE11, 16.15.
Koundi and the National Thursday:
For details, see Monday 13. (15+) French, Maka. English subtitles.Runtime: 86 minutes. MOE6, 15.15. Repeat screening
A detailed, intelligent and insightful account of late Beatle John Lennon’s eight-year residency in the US. Drawing on a wealth of interviews with contemporaries, friends, colleagues and family, this film captures the unvarnished essence of Lennon by focusing on the human, flawed, helplessly honest man behind the decades of accumulated mythology. (15+) English. Runtime: 115 minutes. JBR, 20.00.
Letters to Palestine: A documentary featuring the voices of Emiratis and UAE residents, sending their oral letters to Palestinian people living under occupation. From young to old, the Arabs captured in this film have the chance to send their stories and their love to the homes, families and children of Palestine. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime 37 minutes. MOE6, 20.15. Editor's pick
Majid: Ten-year-old orphan Majid sells books and shines shoes on the streets of Mohammedia in Morocco, while his older brother Driss dreams of Norway and Norwegian girls. Majid embarks on a journey to Casablanca to track down a photo – and memories – of his parents, a journey fraught with danger. (15+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime 116 minutes.MOE12, 19.00. Mynaa – Journey of Love: A dramatic, tense romance, set on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, eschewing typical masala movie clichés. We begin with Suruli, sitting in a prison cell in the village of Theni. A man for whom life has always been a struggle, he was arrested for beating up the brother of the girl he loves, young Mynaa, after the brother insisted she marry a man in a nearby village. (18+) Tamil. English subtitles. Runtime: 135 minutes. MOE2, 21.30. R Presumed Guilty: For details, see Monday 13. (12+) Spanish. English subtitles. Runtime: 87 minutes. MOE7, 15.45. Repeat screening Prison and Paradise: The Bali bombings of October 2002 changed the face of Indonesia. This film follows NH Ismail, a journalist at The Washington Post and former roommate of one Bali bomber, as he meets both perpetrators’ and victims’ families. (18+) Bahasa, Indonesian. English subtitles. Runtime: 93 minutes. MOE6, 18.00. Soweer: In this Emirati short, we look at a traditional game, which sees children merging reality with imagination. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 7 minutes. MOE6, 20.15. World premiere
Taxiphone: Oliver and Elena are a young Swiss couple crossing the Sahara on a truck bound for Timbuktu; the truck breaks down in a tiny settlement in the midst of the Algerian desert. Impatient to get the truck repaired and back on the road, Oliver soon starts chafing at the slow pace of life in the desert oasis. Elena, meanwhile, is fascinated by the people she meets in the village and quickly establishes herself in the community. (18+) Arabic, French, German. English subtitles. Runtime: 94 minutes. MOE6, 22.30. Tell Me Who You Are: A story concerning a family in Bamako, Mali. Tensions are rife within this household: Mimi, bored with her stifling marriage, wants to leave her husband Issa and start a new life with her lover, Aba. The resulting contradictions are a mirror image of those of the Malian middle class, existing within African society and all its traditions. (18+) Bambara. English subtitles. Runtime: 135 minutes. MOE9, 18.00. The Dead Sea: In the darkness of a blackout in Mexico City, some characters, forgotten by God, commit transgressions, murders and infidelities. The lights later come back on and, conscious of what they have done, they must atone for their sins. (18+) Spanish. English subtitles. Runtime: 83 minutes. MOE10, 19.00.
The Father and The Foreigner: Diego, a Roman bureaucrat with a handicapped son, meets Walid, a rich Syrian businessman, also the father of a severely handicapped boy. The two strike up an unusual friendship, which turns sour when it is revealed one is wanted by police for suspected terrorist activities. (18+) Italian. English subtitles. Runtime: 104 minutes. First Group Theatre, 22.30. This is my Picture When I was Dead: Athens, 1983. The press reports that four-year-old Bashir is killed during the assassination of his father, a top PLO lieutenant. A tragedy, yet what if Bashir’s death was not the end of his journey? Today, he would be 29 years old. In this experimental, original and occasionally surreal film, director Mahmoud al Massad redefines the boundaries of the documentary genre, with fascinating results. (PG) English, Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 81 minutes. MOE1, 22.00.
Tomorrow will be Better: Two young brothers, Vasya and Petya, live in a railway station in Russia. Dreaming of a better life beyond their present bleak poverty, they team up with a friend, Lapya, and set out on an epic trek to Poland, where they believe they will find a new, happy life. (18+) Russian, Polish. English subtitles. Runtime: 123 minutes. Madinat Arena, 20.00. Gala screening
Transit Cities: After 14 years away, a woman named Laila heads home and attempts to pick up her former life. Returning to Amman, disillusioned by life abroad, Laila tries to start again. But the simple home town of her past is now a very different place. (12+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 71 minutes. First Group Theatre, 19.15. World premiere
Two Guys and a Goat – The Night Before Eid: The cost of a goat is skyrocketing. What to do? Two smart chaps have an idea: steal a goat and cook it in front of its helpless owner, who has been tied up. But even the most meticulously laid plans can go awry and it’s not long before our jolly goat-rustlers find themselves in a sticky situation. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 11 minutes. MOE6, 20.15. World premiere
Winter’s Bone: For details, see Monday 13. (15+) English. Runtime: 100 minutes. MOE10, 21.45. Repeat screening
Zelal: This social documentary gives an insight into the lives of those afflicted by mental illness in Egypt today. Zelal was filmed in two large asylums and reveals the horrific conditions in which patients are expected to live. Squalor and neglect is endemic, staff are stretched to breaking point, and therapy and treatment seems non-existent. (15+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 90 minutes. MOE1, 19.00.