SFFILM has re-launched the SFFILM Screening Room, the curated film streaming service available to SFFILM members through an innovative web platform and a mobile app on the occasion of the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival. Fifteen feature films from the Festival lineup will be made available on the service after their final public screenings, and will remain available for streaming through mid-June. New films will be added to the site throughout the year.
The SFFILM Screening Room service is available exclusively to SFFILM members on the web at sffilm.org/watch. Members can also access streaming content by downloading the SFFILM app and logging into their membership accounts. The SFFILM app is available for iOS, Apple TV, and Android devices as a free download on iTunes or Google Play. The web platform and app have been created with the generous support of Margaret and Will Hearst.
Available for streaming now
Story of a 3-Day Pass
Melvin Van Peebles (France 1967, 87 min)
Melvin Van Peebles’ first feature film describes the experiences of a Black American soldier who is given a weekend pass in Paris. Quite by chance, he meets a French girl, Miriam, and they take a trip to Brittany together. The simple context of a love affair is not really the subject of this film—it is really a sentimental comedy in which racial problems are treated with subtlety and wry humor.
Available for streaming beginning April 9
Yourself and Yours
Hong Sang-soo (South Korea 2016, 86 min)
Hong’s latest seriocomedy about booze and breaking up details the life of a painter named Young-soo who hears that his girlfriend Minjung has been seen with another man. Anger and jealousy lead him to a frantic search for her, but when multiple versions of Minjung seem to be appearing around town, the film takes a marvelous rabbit-hole dive into Buñuel territory where what men don’t know about women manifests itself in curious ways.
Available for streaming beginning April 12
Lynn Hershman Leeson (USA 2017, 73 min)
Bay Area filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson’s new documentary continues her ongoing exploration of groundbreaking women artists with this portrait of the radical Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, whose work blurs the lines between art and activism. The result is not only an intimate analysis of Cuba, but a deep exploration of how Bruguera’s fraught relationship with her family mirrors the politics of state repression. Tania Libre is a compelling example of how documentary film can become an instrument of empathy.
Available for streaming beginning April 13
Delphine Coulin, Muriel Coulin (France/Greece 2016, 102 min)
A planeful of French soldiers finishing a tour in Afghanistan are flown to the island of Cyprus for a three-day recuperative stint of “sport, relaxation, and collective debriefing.” For longtime friends Aurore and Marine and their cohorts, this exercise in compulsory decompression—complete with “therapeutic” virtual reality—has mixed results, as a frightening undercurrent of resentment and hostility bubbles up among the more volatile soldiers in the unit.
Available for streaming beginning April 14
Ralitza Petrova (Bulgaria/Denmark/France 2016, 99 min)
In post-Communist era Bulgaria, where the shadow of oppression drives selfish behavior and hidden economies, outwardly impassive Gana works as a home care nurse—a job which provides ample opportunity to supplement her income with stolen ID cards, and to maintain the morphine habit she shares with her boyfriend. When Gana’s actions threaten the one glimmer of hope in her fatalistic world, will she break the cycle of corruption or spiral deeper? Godless is a bold first feature from Ralitza Petrova.
Available for streaming beginning April 15
Natalia Almada (Mexico/USA/France 2016, 98 min)
Academy Award-nominee Adriana Barraza (Babel, 2006) gives a masterfully controlled performance as Doña Flor, a solitary bureaucrat whose lifelong service in a government office has left her markedly unsympathetic towards her clients. Shot with an attentive and deeply empathetic lens, documentarian Natalia Almada’s narrative debut is a starkly intimate portrait of a woman at odds with her life who may still have a chance to escape her isolation.
Half-Life in Fukushima
Mark Olexa, Francesca Scalisi (Switzerland/France 2016, 61 min)
The soothing sound of the sea and the soft winds blowing in the pastures create a false sense of optimism, but everything in this environment is poisoned, including the delicious mushrooms that carpet the surrounding forest. With minimal commentary and a graceful and sympathetic eye, <strong>Half-Life in Fukushima</strong> underlines the danger inherent in nuclear power in its depiction of Fukushima’s sinister remnants and Matsumura’s lonely last stand.
Available for streaming beginning April 16
The Human Surge
Eduardo Williams (Argentina/Brazil/Portugal 2016, 97 min)
Eduardo Williams has steadily made a name for himself with a series of indelible shorts featuring young protagonists adrift in strange environments. In his debut feature, a prizewinner at Locarno, he takes the premise further, crafting a dreamlike three-part drama where youths from Argentina, Mozambique, and the Philippines are connected by invisible, electronic, or even subterranean means. Consistently inventive, The Human Surge burrows into three continents and finds surprising associations.
Life After Life
Zhang Hanyi (China 2016, 80 min)
As the inexorable progress of industrialization in China makes its way into the lives of village residents Mingchun and his son Leilei, a surprise haunting by Leilei’s dead mother, who has an impassioned plea for her husband, points to a time when more attention was paid to the earth and its bounty. Produced by Jia Zhangke, this evocative and poetic debut depicts a rapidly disappearing way of life with a gorgeous visual sensibility and a subtly wry humor.
Available for streaming beginning April 17
Navid Danesh (Iran 2016, 103 min)
After a Tehran musician instigates an encounter with his college girlfriend in an attempt to address the poor end their relationship suffered, their lives and the equilibrium of their spouses are thrown into crisis. Navid Danesh’s resonant and moving depiction of the impact the past has on the present lives of its protagonists is both culturally specific and universal in its reach.
Brillante Ma Mendoza (Philippines 2016, 110 min)
Unfolding in what feels like real time with a gritty social realist style, Ma’ Rosa is the harrowing and timely story of a couple who are arrested for selling crystal meth. The new film by internationally acclaimed Filipino director Brillante Mendoza follows their children’s race against the clock to find the money to bribe corrupt police into releasing their parents. Lead actress Jaclyn Jose was awarded the Best Actress prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival for her searing performance.
Available for streaming beginning April 18
By the Time It Gets Dark
Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand/France/Netherlands/Qatar 2016, 105 min)
Seeded by a historical event—the Thammasat University massacre of 1976, in which student protesters were murdered by Thai government forces—this elliptical, bewitching film unfurls like a mutant growth from the compost of the past. As a film director interviews a former activist in preparation for a movie, the self-reflexive scenario refracts until not only the narrative structure but the structure of the image itself breaks down.
Available for streaming beginning April 19
Chico Pereira (Spain/Germany/UK 2017, 86 min)
A Spanish man’s quest to defy barriers and borders in search of the American West by planning a journey on the Trail of Tears with his donkey by his side is its own quixotic trail of laughter and tears. The understanding between man and animal has rarely been so intimately conveyed as it is in Chico Pereira’s winning tale, a stunningly photographed film that hovers between documentary and fiction, one inspired and performed by a real-life character with outsized dreams.
Sofia Exarchou (Greece/Poland 2016, 100 min)
The formerly grand stadiums and swimming pools of the 2004 Athens Olympics have become modern-day Greek ruins, a place for disaffected kids who’ve come of age since the Games to run wild. First-time director Exarchou, working mostly with non-professional actors, develops a compellingly anarchic style where the threat of violence and socio-economic troubles are omnipresent and the young characters act out their frustrations through boisterous, sometimes dangerous, horseplay.
Kirill Serebrennikov (Russia 2016, 118 min)
With visual and verbal verve, The Student tells the story of Venya, a high school student who wields his worn copy of the Bible like a hammer to use against his mom, teachers, and peers. Serebrennikov offers a potent story of bullying behavior where the antagonist gains more and more power as almost everyone around him refuses confrontation.
For general information visit festival.sffs.org.
To request interviews or screeners, contact your Festival publicist.
For photos and press materials visit sffs.org/pressdownloads.