What to watch on day six of the Dubai International Film Festival
127 Hours: Acclaimed director Danny Boyle presents the harrowing true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his forearm, trapping him against a wall in a narrow, isolated canyon in Utah. Stars James Franco. (18+) English. Runtime: 94 minutes. MOE2, 15.15. Editor's Pick
2 ½: A working-class mother exists on the breadline, trying to make ends meet amid the hustle and flow of everyday life in Beirut. At the end of a long, hot summer’s day, she survives a horrific and devastating attack. (18+) No dialogue. Runtime: 94 minutes. MOE8, 12.30. Repeat screening
40: This brilliant debut feature from Turkish director Emre Sahin explores modern-day Istanbul through the eyes of three distinct protagonists: a disillusioned taxi driver, a bewildered illegal immigrant and a Turkish woman. (18+) Turkish. English subtitles. Runtime: 87 minutes. MOE12, 19.00. Repeat screening
A Tuesday: One sunny Tuesday morning in Beirut, an elderly lady walks out of an elegant boutique wearing an expensive black dress she has not paid for. A policeman stops her and the story begins. A beautifully-told little vignette, this compelling and masterfully performed narrative is a fine example of short, succinct storytelling. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 20 minutes. MOE5, 15.30.
Aayesh: Aayesh is a middle-aged man who works as a morgue security guard in a big hospital. It is a mundane, lonely life, but one day, his daily routine abruptly changes for 10 minutes. This brief interval serves to radically alter the course of Aayesh’s life. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 29 minutes. MOE5, 15.30. Repeat screening
Aftershock: Bookended by two natural calamities, huge earthquakes in Tangshan in 1976 and Sichuan in 2008, this is the story of those who survived the catastrophe, forced to rebuild their shattered lives amid the rubble and ruin of their cities. (18+) Chinese. English subtitles. Runtime: 122 minutes. MOE11, 16.15. Editor's Pick, Repeat screening
Apricots: Upon being drafted for military service, Ahmad, a determined young Syrian poet, decides to flee his country, up to his neck with labyrinthine bureaucracy, conservative family and, to top it all off, a reluctant lover. En route to Lebanon, he finds himself in an apricot orchard. How will the orange fruits inspire our poetic hero? (15+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime:19 minutes. MOE8, 12.30. Repeat screening
Bahiya… and Mahmoud: In this well-acted short, Zaid Abu Hamdan explores love in old age, and the beauty of relationships that survive a lifetime. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 14 minutes. MOE6, 18.30. World premiere
Biutiful: Uxbal is a middle-aged single father living in Barcelona. Estranged from his wife, engaged in illicit activities and running a sideline as a medium whispering to corpses, his life is a tangle of loyalties and broken dreams. (18+) Spanish. English subtitles. Runtime: 105 minutes. First Group Theatre, 22.30. Editor's Pick
Brownbook Urban Series: 10 Episodes of People: Transforming the Region A series of 10 talks with those that are transforming the UAE’s urban scene, whether it’s through food, design, arts or any other creative means. (PG) English. Runtime: 40 minutes. MOE7, 19.30. World Premiere
Cairo Exit: A powerful account of life in contemporary Cairo. Amal Iskander is an 18-year-old Coptic girl, living in Bashtel, in the slums of Cairo. Her Muslim boyfriend Tarek is planning to leave Egypt for Italy. Amal tells Tarek she is pregnant but he gives her an ultimatum – abandon the country with him, or have an abortion. (18+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 100 minutes. MOE8, 18.30. Repeat screening
Copacabana: A poignant yet comedic tale set in Belgium. Babou is a charmingly eccentric lady whose love of exuberant Brazilian music is at odds with the strait-laced dullness of Belgium. (18+) French. English subtitles. Runtime: 107 minutes. First Group Theatre, 18.00. Editor's pick
Corridor: A geeky student moves into a new apartment as he prepares for his exams at medical college. Not long after, a chain of disturbing, unsettling events take place, involving the strange girl living upstairs. (15+) Swedish. English subtitles. Runtime: 80 minutes. MOE2, 23.55. Editor's pick
Damascus Roof and Tales of Paradise: This film looks at the rich tradition of storytelling in Syria, with fables passed from grandparents to grandchildren. These stories often get lost with time and there’s a danger they will vanish forever. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime:52 minutes. MOE7, 12.30. Repeat screening
Damascus with Love: Rima, a Syrian-Jewish girl is about to emigrate from Damascus. When her father reveals an old secret to her at the airport, she cancels her trip and returns to explore the past. This long search will unveil the other face of the city, where many cultures live together in rare harmony. Through other people, Rima discovers herself for the first time. (15+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 95 minutes. MOE8, 22.00. Repeat screening
Eleanor’s Secret: Natanaël, aged seven, doesn’t know how to read, and isn’t particularly bothered until he receives a very special gift – an inheritance of priceless old story books. (G) English. Runtime: 80 minutes. JBR, 18.00.
Exhalation: The death of an ex-classmate, Yosuke, brings Naoko back to her hometown. Arriving the day before his funeral, Naoko embarks upon a road trip with her friend Sayuri. Their journey turns into one of remembrance and unspoken regrets. (12+) Japanese. English subtitles. Runtime: 22 minutes. MOE5, 12.15. Repeat screening
Garagouz: Mokhtar earns his living as a puppeteer. Using his old van, he moves between schools scattered in the Algerian countryside, encountering the prejudices and obstacles of others as he goes. (18+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 24 minutes. MOE6, 18.30.
Gaza Diver: This documentary follows the bombing of a Palestinian family’s home during the recent war on Gaza, which left members of the family dead, others terribly injured. (PG) English, Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 24 minutes. MOE7, 19.30. World premiere
Gaza-Strophe, Palestine: Directors Samir Abdallah and Khéridine Mabrouk, accompanied by their friends from the Palestinian Human Rights Centre, went to Gaza to film those left amid the rubble of buildings, families and shattered lives following the 2008/9 ‘Operation Cast Lead’ offensive. This powerful, harrowing documentary is testimony to the resilience and bravery of Gaza’s inhabitants as they try to rebuild the remnants of their world. (18+) English, Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 100 minutes.. MOE11, 19.45. Repeat screening
Habibti: Iman, a conservative woman, pays a surprise visit to her estranged daughter in London and is shocked to find her living with a boyfriend, Marlon. (PG) English, Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 16 minutes. MOE6, 18.30. World premiere
Heaven’s Water: A peddler loves a yellow fish at a shop. He meets a pregnant girl in her second month, after the two are brought together by the love of the fish, and helps her get rid of the foetus. (12+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 24 minutes. MOE8, 12.30. Repeat screening
Inshallah, Football: Basharat is the captain of the teenage ISAT football team, made up of local kids. When he wins a football scholarship to Brazil – home of his idol, Pele – it seems as if Basharat will be escaping the hardships and tensions of Kashmir for a dream life abroad. (15+) English, Urdu, Kashmiri. English subtitles. Runtime: 82 minutes. MOE10, 16.00. Repeat screening
Into the Wild: Based on a true story, this moving film tells the true story of ill-fated adventurer Christopher McCandles. Director Sean Penn retraces the path taken by the conflicted and unstable young man. (18+) English, Danish. No subtitles. Runtime: 148 minutes. MOE5, 18.45.
Jack Goes Boating: Jack is a fortysomething New York limo driver. His best friend Clyde and Clyde’s wife, Lucy, set him up with shy, timid Connie. As the two begin shyly dating, their matchmakers’ marriage faces serious problems. (18+) English. Runtime: 89 minutes. MOE6, 21.30. Editor's Pick
Juliet’s Choice: Set in the ’70s, this delightful film is about Ju, a disabled girl who works in an old-fashioned printing shop. Sometimes she looks out of the window, fantasising about a completely different life. When a handsome boy comes into the store with banned articles in his hands, Ju’s life takes a drastic turn. (15+) Chinese. English subtitles. Runtime: 32 minutes. MOE5, 12.15. Repeat screening
Life of Stone: Saeed Al Thuhoory is a 70-year-old man from Shaam, Ras Al Khaimah. Since the age of 10, he has worked with his father, quarrying rocks and stones from the mountains that surround the tiny emirate. (PG) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 9 minutes. MOE7, 19.30. World premiere
Life, Above All: Fear and panic is struck into the heart of Elandsdoorn, a small rural South African village, when a baby suddenly dies. Left bereaved, 12-year-old Chanda tries to come to terms with the tragedy. (15+) Sepedi. English subtitles. Runtime: 105 minutes. MOE2, 17.30.
Magic Silver: Princess Bluerose is a small gnome living deep in the Norwegian mountains, as part of a small community of gnomes responsible for making the transition between daylight and night. This is called the magic hour, and is created by the magic silver, which only they possess – until it is stolen. (G) Norwegian. English subtitles. Runtime: 84 minutes. MOE1, 15.00.
Maydoum: When he hears his cousin is to sell their grandmother’s land, Sharif gets on the first plane home to Cairo. On arrival, he finds himself faced with old arguments and new decisions in a changing country. (PG) English, Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 13 minutes. MOE6, 18.30. World premiere
Mokhtar: This is the story of a young boy who lives with his family of goatherds in a remote Moroccan village. One day, the boy finds an injured owl and decides to keep it, despite the fact that the owl is considered a bad omen. Mokhtar’s new pet becomes a symbol of rebellion against his family and an icon of his fledgling independence. (15+) Tachelhit. English subtitles. Runtime: 16 minutes. MOE5, 15.30. Repeat screening
My Joy: Georgy is a morose truck driver lost in the rural heartlands of Russia. Ending up in a small village, he encounters a series of diverse characters each of whom offer a distinct perspective on life. (15+) Russian. English subtitles. Runtime: 127 minutes. MOE10, 19.15. Editor's Pick, Repeat screening
Noise: In this darkly comic drama, we plunge into Mumbai during the Ganesha festival, which pushes the city into a state of overdrive. (12+) English, Hindi. English subtitles. Runtime: 111 minutes. MOE1, 12.15.
Nomad’s Home: An homage to the Bedouin women of the central Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, this film follows two Arab women born in very different social and cultural circumstances within contemporary Egypt. Iman Kamel is an Egyptian filmmaker who has since emigrated. Selema Gabali is a Bedouin social entrepreneur, confined to remote regions of the militarised central Sinai. (PG) English, Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 61 minutes. (English, Arabic) MOE7, 12.30. Repeat screening
Norwegian Wood: After hearing The Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood’, a man named Toru reflects on his life back in the ’60s, when his best friend killed himself, and he developed a friendship with his girlfriend as the two struggled with their grief. (18+) Japanese. English subtitles. Runtime: 113 minutes. MOE1, 17.15. Repeat screening
Poetry: A profound story of an elderly woman in search of the fundamental poetry in her life. A lively, exuberant character, Mija has a bird-like curiosity and is always up to something. (18+) Korean. English subtitles. Runtime: 139 minutes. MOE7, 15.45. Repeat screening
Sabeel: Two small boys live with their elderly grandparent in the mountains of the UAE. Spending their days tending their vegetables and then selling produce on the road, they have to earn enough money to buy medicine for their sick grandmother. (PG) No dialogue. Runtime: 20 minutes. MOE6, 18.30. Repeat screening
Senses: Souad is a young nurse who falls in love with a comatose patient, Hassan. She checks on him regularly throughout the day, and we watch how she deals with his case. Will Hassan be able to communicate with her? (15+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 15 minutes. MOE5, 15.30. Repeat screening
Shadows of Silence: A look at the personal torment of an exile and the permanent presence of pain and alienation in the depths of his heart. This film shows how his bleak dreams and illusions echo the profound isolation of a shattered mind, driving him to contemplate ending his life. (15+) Tamil. English subtitles. Runtime: 11 minutes MOE5, 12.15. Repeat screening
Short Life: A sweet, charming little film about a plucky young chap called Zhar, whose mother died while giving birth to him. Born under a bad sign, perhaps, but Zhar grows into a sincere and brave-hearted young man in this eloquent, witty and subtly profound film. (15+) English, Arabic, Spanish. English subtitles. Runtime: 16 minutes.. MOE5, 15.30. Repeat screening
Sideways: Fares, a 23-year-old man, falls into a coma after a serious car accident. As he lies motionless, his mind travels deep down into his subconscious, a place where reality and the imagination start to intertwine. (PG) Arabic, French. English subtitles. Runtime: 16 minutes. MOE8, 12.30. Repeat screening
State of Violence: A hard-hitting drama set in the violent underbelly of modern South Africa. A rising star of the black business elite, Bobedi returns home after an evening celebrating his promotion to CEO of a large mining company to find an intruder in his house. There is a struggle and Bobedi’s wife is murdered in front of him. (18+) English, Zulu, Setswana, Tsotsi-Taal. English subtitles. Runtime: 27 minutes. MOE7, 22.30.
Suicide Club: At sunrise, five strangers unknown to each other assemble along the edge of the roof of a high-rise building. They all have one desire – to commit suicide. (18+) German. English subtitles. Runtime: 96 minutes. MOE9, 22.15. Editor's Pick, Repeat screening
Tagnawittude: Algerian filmmaker Rahma Benhamou El Madani has been captivated by the music of meditation ever since she first saw her mother meditate and enter a state of self-induced hypnosis. Years later, she hears it again – ‘Gnawa’ music, fused with Western and Arabic elements. Fascinated, El Madani sets out on an odyssey to discover the roots of this ancient and haunting sound. (15+) Arabic, French. English subtitles. Runtime: 80 minutes. MOE11, 13.00.
The Earrings: Traditionally, the Kyrgyz are most respectful of the sanctity of marriage. This charming film tells of the unexpected arrival of an older woman and her son to the home of an old friend. In the house, there is a young girl who has reached marriageable age, and the two youngsters begin a timid conversation. (15+) Kyrgyz. English subtitles. Runtime: 15 minutes. MOE5, 12.15. Repeat screening
The Flowers of Kirkuk: It’s ’80s Iraq and two star-crossed lovers, doctors Najla and Sherko, know they can’t be together, no matter how strongly they feel for each other. Sherko is Kurdish, Nadja from a prominent Arab family. (15+) Arabic, Kurdish, Italian. English subtitles. Runtime: 117 minutes. MOE2, 20.30.
The House Under the Water: Thirty years ago, Mortaza and his best friend were involved in a tragic accident, in which the latter’s younger brother drowned. Fast-forward three decades and Mortaza has just been released from prison and hopes to rebuild his life. But the past soon catches up with him. (15+) Persian. English subtitles. Runtime: 92 minutes. MOE6, 15.15. Repeat screening
The Hunter: Recently released from prison, Ali makes the most of his return. Despite working nights, he tries to spend as much time possible with his wife and young daughter. To escape the stress of urban living, Ali retreats to his favourite pastime: hunting. (18+) Farsi. English subtitles. Runtime: 92 minutes. MOE1, 21.00.
The Nine Muses: An investigation of mass migration, following the lives of those thousands of African and Asian migrants who entered Britain following the second world war. The film explores the complex tangle of emotions and feelings experienced by the new Britons, as well as the shape and nature of the society to which they had migrated. (12+) English. Runtime: 90 minutes. MOE9, 13.30. Repeat screening
The Philosopher: Baggio (Jean Reno) is a successful Parisian, a pianist, footballer and bon vivant, yet he feels there is something missing from his life. (PG) English. Runtime: 17 minutes. MOE7, 19.30. Repeat screening
The Piano in a Factory: Chen is a straightforward man, a steelworker in early ’90s China. All around him, political and social certainties are shifting rapidly. Yet for Chen, life is a simple round of work and then caring for his young daughter. (12+) Mandarin. English subtitles. Runtime: 105 minutes. MOE6, 12.00. Repeat screening
The Red Eagle: A long-awaited reboot of the ’60s Thai superhero franchise, with a tense plot, sharply-drawn dynamic characters and lashings of super-stylised violence against a coolly ironic, wryly humorous backdrop that frames the action superbly. (18+) Thai. English subtitles. Runtime: 130 minutes. MOE12, 22.15.
The Road to Bethlehem: Acclaimed filmmaker and founder/director of the OpenBethlehem NGO Leila Sansour returned to her home town to make a film about the wall. Shot over five years, as she battled with local bureaucracy and documented the effect of the Israeli-imposed barrier upon the local population. (PG) English, Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 120 minutes. MOE5, 22.00. Repeat screening
The Singer: An insight into the era of dictatorship in Iraq, with the story of Bashir, a singer who is due to perform for the despot. Due to a series of mishaps, Bashir is delayed and scared – no-one in their right mind would dare insult the choleric ruler by being late. (18+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 91 minutes. MOE8, 15.45.
The Time: Nandi is a black South African girl living under the rule of apartheid. Amidst the violence and desperate energy of her surroundings, Nandi has a wild passion for learning and liberation through knowledge, and yearns for encounters of love and compassion. (15+) English, French, Bambara. English subtitles. MOE9, 19.15.
Transit Cities: After 14 years, Laila returns home to Jordan and attempts to pick up where she left off. Back in Amman, she tries to create a new life. But the simple home town of her past is now a very different place. (12+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 71 minutes. MOE10, 13.00.
Tron: Legacy: The sequel to 1982 sci-fi classic Tron, this action-packed 3D adventure is set in a digital world unlike anything previously captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), a rebellious 27-year-old, is haunted by the disappearance of his father Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a man once known as the world’s leading video game developer. When Sam investigates a strange signal that could only have come from his father, he finds himself pulled into the world where Kevin has been trapped for 20 years. (18+) English. Runtime: 96 minutes. Madinat Arena, 20.00. Editor's Pick, Gala screening, invite only
Unfunny Game: Either a conman or a stickler for things being done right, Jong-Geun forces discounts from vendors, harasses tailors who make mistakes, and always seems to end up with a profit. (15+) Korean. English subtitles. Runtime: 33 minutes. MOE5, 12.15. Repeat screening
We Don’t Care About Democracy. This is What We Want: Love, Hope and its many Faces: For details, see Thursday 16. (15+) Hiligaynon. English subtitles. Runtime: 11 minutes. MOE5, 12.15. Repeat screening
We Will Not Die: Oran, Algeria: one Friday in summer 1994. After working in Kabul, Salim returns to his home town at prayer time, surprising his beloved Houria who is hiding in a safe apartment. (15+) Arabic. English subtitles. Runtime: 20 minutes. MOE8, 12.30. Repeat screening