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Bermuda Fest in action, opens with The Upside of Anger

BERMUDA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2005 LINEUP
“THE UPSIDE OF ANGER” and “MAD HOT BALLROOM” OPEN and CLOSE
MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM TO BE “FILMAKER IN FOCUS”

Showcasing a film line-up as rich and eclectic as the culture of the island itself, the Bermuda International Film Festival will welcome visitors for the 8th annual Fest, March 18-24. . The Bermuda International Film Festival invites influences from around the world with films that will compete for Best Feature from the Fresh Visions Features Section and Best Documentary from the New Realities Section. And Bermuda will have plenty of shorts (films that is), because BIFF is an Academy-sanctioned festival for shorts. The festival also presents their World Cinema Showcase, as well as a special sidebar of Modern Iranian Cinema.
The Festival will kick off the 7-day celebration with New Line Cinema’s “The Upside of Anger.” Written and directed by Mike Binder, a stellar ensemble cast appears in this critically acclaimed Sundance hit. Joan Allen stars as the sharp-witted Terry Wolfmeyer, a suburban wife and mother who is left to raise her four headstrong daughters when her husband unexpectedly disappears. Things get even more hectic when Terry falls for her neighbor Denny (Kevin Costner), a once-great baseball star turned radio DJ, and her daughters are forced to juggle their mom’s romantic dilemmas as well as their own.
BIFF will close with Paramount Classics’ “Mad Hot Ballroom,” a crowd-pleasing documentary sure to be as widely received as “Spellbound.” Directed by Marilyn Agrelo, eleven-year-old New York City public school kids journey into the world of ballroom dancing and reveal pieces of themselves and their world along the way. Told from their candid, sometimes hilarious perspectives, these kids are transformed, from reluctant participants to determined competitors, from typical urban kids to "ladies and gentlemen" on their way to try to compete in the final citywide competition. Providing unique insight into the incredible cultural diversity that is New York City, this film profiles several kids at this dynamic age, when becoming that "cool" teenager vies for position with familiar innocence, while they learn the merengue, rumba, tango, the foxtrot and swing.

This year BIFF salutes Michael Winterbottom to Bermuda as the Filmmaker in Focus. Winterbottom is both brilliant and prolific. Winterbottom brings to Bermuda four films – the sexually explicit “9 Songs,” Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear winner “In This World,” as well as “24 Hour Party People” and “Wonderland,” both of which were Official Selections at the Cannes Film Festival.
The narrative features and documentary features competition categories are reserved for first- or second-time filmmakers. "The competition film line-up is strong right across the board," says BIFF's director of programming, David O'Beirne. "We have award-winners from top festivals, and the 14 films are from 10 countries, so there is great variety in terms of style of filmmaking, too."
The jury for the 2005 Bermuda International Film Festival is comprised of: Michael Clarke Duncan (Academy Award-nominee for “The Green Mile”), Judy Greer (“13 Going on 30” and the upcoming “Elizabethtown”), Jeff Arch (Screenwriter, “Sleepless in Seattle”), John Debney (Oscar-nominated composer for “Passion of Christ”), Bonnie Voland (international marketing and distribution consultant), Srdjan Vuletic (Director of “Summer in the Golden Valley,” which won last year’s BIFF Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature) and Fanta Regina Nacro (Director of “Close Up on Bintou,” which won at BIFF 2001).
Films in competition are as follows:
Fresh Visions - Competition Features

In the competition film line that follows, an asterisk signifies a subtitled film.
BOATS OUT OF WATERMELON RINDS*
(d. Ahmet Ulucay, Turkey, 97 minutes)
Set in the Anatolian region during the 1960s, the golden age of the Turkish film industry, this gentle film tells the story of two friends, Recep (Ismail Hakki Taslak) and Mehmet (Kadir Kaymaz). Stuck in entry-level jobs, one as the assistant to a watermelon seller and the other as a barber's assistant, the two dream of a life far removed from their dreary, small-town existence. When they discover that the local cinema discards old films, they build a 'projector' (a wooden box with a light bulb inside), and, after some trials and errors, begin to hold outdoor screenings in front of a lone audience member, the village idiot. Ulucay's love affair with the magic of cinema shines through in this impressive first feature.
BRIDE OF SILENCE*
(d. Doan Minh Phuong and Doan Thanh Nghia, Vietnam-Germany, 114 minutes)
With stunning historical accuracy, a Vietnamese village of 200 years ago is restored to life. On his deathbed, Tuy tells his stepson Hien for the first time about his mother, Ly An, who became pregnant while unmarried 17 years before and was punished by the pious community in her pottery village. She came to terms with her inevitable death, but continued to refuse to say who the father was. At the moment when the baby was set loose in a basket on the river, an incredible storm whipped up. With her secrecy and taciturn attitude, the condemned Ly An protected her inviolable personal freedom. Bride of Silence has been described as the first Vietnamese feminist film. Also striking are the Buddhist and Christian elements in narrative, symbolism and music. It is a nod to the more recent Western intervention in Vietnam and the present cultural identity of the country. Alongside the melancholy story and the fine acting, it is above all the look of this début that proves overwhelming. This is the kind of film for which the silver screen was invented.
CAMPFIRE*
(d. Madurat Hashevet, Israel, 96 mins)_
American-born Orthodox director, Joseph Cedar, utilizes personal insight and poetic storytelling to craft a thoughtful and beautiful love story intertwined with the intimate struggles of a 42-year old widow facing her newly single life. This essentially character-driven film, winner of the Berlin Film Festival's Don Quixote Award, is set in 1981 against the backdrop of the early Israeli settler movement. Rachel Gerlik is a woman who finds it difficult to let go; her fear of loss of control is preventing her from her own personal happiness and that of her two teenage daughters. Although longing for the warmth and support of the "tribal campfire," Rachel ultimately discovers that sometimes when you get too close you get burned. This award-winning film, with exquisite performances by the lead actors, will stay with the viewer, like smoldering embers, which refuse to die out.
HARI OM*
(d. Bharatbala, India, 108 minutes)
A French couple, Benoit and Isa, are traveling through India on the "Palace on Wheels" train, with air-conditioning and silent servants, keeping a pane of glass between themselves and the real India. Rickshaw driver Hari Om has landed himself in trouble with gambling debts and needs an excuse to leave town for a while. When Isa decides to leave Benoit in a business meeting and do some exploring by herself she climbs into Hari's rickshaw, setting in motion a romantic adventure across India. Filmed against the stunning backdrop of Rajasthan; its cities, Jaipur, Bikaner and Jaiselmer; its deserts at dawn and sunset; its people, customs and camels; this beautifully shot road movie takes us on another kind of journey as the characters discover themselves and others, find love, beauty and courage in unusual circumstances and get in touch with the true spirit of India.
HAWAII, OSLO
(d. Erik Poppe, Norway, 125 minutes)
Directed by Erik Poppe, Hawaii, Oslo interweaves five strong stories about love in Oslo during the hottest day of the year. A dying man lies in the street, while the persons around him are more alive than ever. One longs for Hawaii, Hawaii. One longs for Hawaii, Oslo. The people in Hawaii, Oslo cross each other’s paths and also meet one another – like the streets in a city. Everyone is running from something, searching for something, or dreaming of something else on this day. Gradually, the film unravels its web of interconnected relations.
MEMO*
(d. Miloš Jovanovic , Serbia & Montenegro, 86 minutes)
The film Memo is a nightmarish memory that a boy, Benja Kon, has of his childhood and the tragedy of his family. The story is set in Pannonia (a plain in Middle Europe) during the 20th Century. Benja's growing up is overshadowed by wars, the Holocaust, armies and prison camps. "Memory is like a bad mirror; sometimes shattered by grief, sometimes blurred with fear, and sometimes it's so big that it reflects even the things which have never happened. Benja and his family fail in their attempt to get out of Evil's way, which takes different forms, names and faces, destroying one childhood, one family and the whole aura of a mysterious and unstable spiritual identity. The longer this attempt to escape lasts, the deeper people get stuck in the sticky greasy soil of the plain, looking like scarecrows sticking out of the ground. Left alone, without a father, who had gone missing in the prison camp, and a mother, who had gone mad, Benja fulfils his father's vow to keep record of crimes - and makes a film about his own childhood. His visit to the president at his palace on account of the completed film turns into a kafka-like horror. The Evil had prevailed again, but the Good has survived. "The Plain has once again become a waiting room through which pass trains according to the Big Passing-by Schedule.
STRAY DOGS*
(d. Marziyeh Meshkini, Iran-France, 93 minutes)
The effect that war, religious fanaticism, and poverty have had on the women and children of Afghanistan is the focus of this beautifully crafted, politically insightful and compelling film by Iranian writer-director Marziyeh Meshkini. Brilliant scripts, wonderful performances by non-professional actors and poetic symbolism have become the trademarks of works from the Makhmalbaf Film House, the film school and production company run by Marziyeh's husband, Mohsen Makhmalbaf. This film delivers all of that and more as three strays, young brother and sister Zahed and Gol Ghoti and Twiggy, the dog they rescue from certain death, face a daily struggle for food and a place to sleep at night.

New Realities - Competition Documentaries
THE CHIEFS
(d. Jason Gileno, Canada, 70 minutes)
The players on the Laval Chiefs love their sport with a passion bordering on obsession. That's why they play in the roughhouse Quebec Semi-Professional Hockey League, a brawling small town circuit that attracts a rabid fan following. There are no big contracts, palatial homes or squabbles over salary caps for the Chiefs, who were named after the notorious team from the film, Slapshot. Some still dream of a spot in the National Hockey League. For most, though, it's about the love of the sport, and that's why they endure low wages, and accommodation that for some is a crummy room at the rink. This is a fast-paced, moving documentary about the underbelly of professional sports, and a real-life account of men struggling to remain boys.
THE DEVIL'S MINER*
(d. Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani, Germany-USA, 85 minutes)

The Devil's Miner is an impressive and beautifully shot documentary. The story is set in an old yet still-functioning silver mine in Cerro Rico, Bolivia. The miners are mostly of American Indian origin. Above ground, they are pious Catholics, but down in the mine, other rules apply. Down there, there is another God at work, or rather the devil. Only the devil can decide whether a rich vein of silver is found, and that's why the corridors are full of mysterious images to honor the devil. Of course a story about Bolivian miners is also a social story. That story is told from the perspective of the young Basilio Vargas, who estimates his own age at 14. Together with his younger brother, he works in the mine every day. They don't have a father, so the brothers have to earn their own living. They daydream of finding a lot of silver so they can escape and go to school, but that future is far from certain. The filmmakers traveled to Potosi in Bolivia several times over a period of five years to win the trust of the miners. The film is meticulously, patiently and skillfully shot. The directors prefer substance over style.
EVERYTHING'S COMING MY WAY
(d. Stacey DeWolfe and Malcolm Fraser, Canada, 70 minutes)
Everything's Coming My Way is the portrait of Bermuda-born Gordon Thomas, an 88-year-old New York singer who has been recording and independently releasing albums for the past 40 years -- and is still hoping for his big break. His strange and wonderful music circulated among a network of musicians, collectors and aficionados, with barely a hint as to when, where or how the music was created. Gordon, a natural storyteller with a lifetime of reminiscences and philosophical musings, immigrated to New York from Bermuda at the age of three, and grew up amidst the rise, fall and rebirth of Harlem. He was a trombonist in several big bands, culminating in a stint with Dizzy Gillespie in 1946. Everything's Coming My Way is the story of one man's journey through six decades of music, guided by faith, charm, and quixotic optimism -- the tale of a creative spirit persisting against all the odds.
THE LAST OF THE FIRST
(d. Anja Baron, United States, 88 minutes)
The Last of the First is a moving documentary featuring the last living musicians of the great jazz era of the 1920s and 1930s. The musicians have been assembled by jazz enthusiast, Dr. Albert Vollmer, who formed the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band more than 30 years ago. These septuagenarians are the living legacy to great acts like Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, and Frank Sinatra. This documentary follows the band as it criss-crosses the world in order to make music and to make a living. The band members play in order to keep jazz alive and the jazz playing keeps the members alive. Time is running out for them, but the music remains for us.
MURDERBALL
(d. Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro, United States, 86 minutes)
Like any other great sports story, Murderball features fierce rivalry, stopwatch suspense, dazzling athletic prowess, larger-than-life personalities, and triumph over daunting odds. But Murderball, the original name for the full-contact sport now known as quad rugby, is played by quadriplegics in armored wheelchairs. Murderball is a story like no other, told by men who see the world from a different angle. Watching them in action - both on the court and off - smashes every stereotype one has ever had about the handicapped. It also redefines what it is to be a man, what it is to live a full life, and what it is to be a winner.

SEEDS
(d. Marjan Safinia and Joseph Boyle, United States, 92 minutes)
There is a war going on in the hearts of children. Palestinian and Israeli, Indian and Pakistani have to choose between the long-fought wars of their countries or a future of forgiveness. Seeds, highlights an annual summer camp held in the state of Maine that brings together children from warring countries to give them a chance at friendship and, perhaps, peace. Is enmity essential to cultural identity? Is it possible to see beyond borders? This inspiring documentary shines a light on the internal struggle these youths face to overcome the external struggle of their homelands. How can war, hatred, and cancer bring together a group of strangers and turn them into seeds of peace? The children of the world will show us.
WHAT REMAINS OF US*
(d. Francois Prévost and Hugo Latulippe, Canada, 77 minutes)
Kalsang Dolma, a young Tibetan refugee living in Quebec, crosses the Himalayas. Hidden in her backpack is a portable video player carrying a message from the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, who has lived in exile since China invaded Tibet in 1950. Since then, 1.2 million Tibetans have perished. Some have disappeared after being sent to labor camps or prisons; others were executed or tortured to death. Still others have died of starvation. Kalsang travels the country, surreptitiously showing the Dalai Lama's precious words of hope. Families gather around the tiny screen, transfixed, and for the first time, the voices of this fragile people under the yoke of suffering reach us from across the distance.
Top World Features Coming to BIFF 2005
Six award-winning films have been selected for screening in the Narrative Features section of the World Cinema Showcase at the eighth Bermuda International Film Festival, March 18-24.
"We are very proud of our world cinema line-up," says BIFF deputy director Duncan Hall. "Our aim is to bring world-class cinema to Bermuda, and we know that our audiences will absolutely love the six narrative features on offer."
All six films are subtitled.
The World Cinema Showcase narrative features line-up:
3-IRON (d. KIM Ki-duk, South Korea, 95 minutes)
KIM Ki-duk's work is featured at the festival for the second consecutive year. His latest film, 3-Iron, is a radical departure in style from Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring, which was received so enthusiastically a year ago. In 3-Iron, Mr. KIM explores themes of loneliness through Tae-suk (JAH Hee), who drifts around on his motorcycle looking for empty houses to stay in. Tae-suk lives in the empty house until the owners return, but never steals or ruins anything. He simply guards the houses for a few days, fixing broken items, and even does the owners' laundry. One day, he breaks into the house of a married woman, former model Sun-hwa (LEE Seung-yeon), who has been tormented by her abusive husband. Tae-suk and Sun-hwa go on the lam after Tae-suk grabs her husbands' 3-iron, which golfers will know is the least used club, and hits golf balls at him. This is a work of powerful silences and elegant images from one of modern cinema's masters.
BAD EDUCATION (d. Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 109 minutes)
Pedro Almodóvar's latest, Bad Education, may be his defining statement on the fundamental relationship between ordinary life and the illusions projected large in dark, mysterious movie houses. A fantasia of Almodóvar's trademark hang-ups that nonetheless surpasses his previous outings in scope, structure, and heart, the movie is a marvelous, noir-inspired meditation on love, sex, and identity that pulses with florid passion. In typically deft fashion, Almodóvar weaves the action between both pre- and post-Franco Spain, and fact and fiction. Enrique (Fele Martínez) is a successful young film director in search of his next movie. He receives a plot to die for when Ignacio Rodriguez (Gael García Bernal) delivers a short story called The Visit, drawing on his school experiences. Turns out the men have a shared history, a past which Bad Education unspools in a compelling and compassionate manner. Almodóvar is in imperious form, and it's a joy to witness the superbly staged action here. Acting as a greatest hits montage of the director's previous work, you'll constantly find yourself thinking: "So Almodóvar."
HEAD-ON (d. Fatih Akin, Germany-Turkey, 121 minutes)
Forty-year-old Cahit (Birol Unel) is brought to a German psychiatric clinic after attempting suicide and sets out to start a new life, even as he longs for drugs and alcohol to numb his pain. Sibel (Sibel Kekilli) is young, pretty and, like Cahit, Turkish-German. She lives a lifestyle that is a bit too wild for her devout, conservative Muslim family and fakes a suicide attempt to try and escape them. But the incident brings shame upon her family, who insist that only marriage can save her. Sibel begs Cahit to marry her and he reluctantly agrees, perhaps in an effort to save her and to find meaning in his own life. Initially the two share an apartment and little else as Sibel sees other men and Cahit continues to have flings with his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Gradually, however, Cahit begins to fall in love with Sibel and she, in turn, comes to realise that she loves him-but not before an incident of jealous violence tests this fledgling romance. When Cahit is sent to jail and Sibel flees to Turkey, her heart, mind and soul remain with him-but for how long?
LOOK AT ME (d. Agnès Jaoui, France, 110 minutes)
This delightful and sophisticated Gallic comedy-drama was the deserved winner of the Best Screenplay award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. It tells the tale of a monstrously egotistical writer (co-scripter Jean-Pierre Bacri) and the overweight daughter who craves his approval but would settle for his attention. A witty, urbane script reminiscent of Hollywood's golden age, an ensemble of superb performances and a superb classical score powers this gem of comic melancholy. Remarkably insightful on the corrupting power of fame, the sundry disappointments of family and the often-unlikely compensations of art, this is an effortlessly entertaining romp, French cinema at its most literate and beguiling.
MOOLAADÉ (d. Ousmane Sembene, Senegal-Burkina Faso-Morocco-Tunisia-Cameroon-France, 124 minutes)
This is a tour de force by a master of African cinema, a beautifully observed and wonderfully acted film about the tug between traditionalism and modernity in an African village. Female genital mutilation is practiced in 38 of 54 member states in the African Union. The filmmaker has dedicated the film to the women who struggle to abolish this legacy of bygone days. The film revolves around Collé Ardo Gallo Sy (Fatoumata Coulibaly), a woman of independent opinions and strong will. Four little girls seek her protection after running away from the circumcision ceremony. They know that, haunted by the horrors of her own rites, she refused to let her third daughter undergo the ritual. A battle ensues in the village, between the men and women who seek to uphold its traditional values, and free thinkers like Collé, who declares moolaadé, creating a legal asylum zone in her compound in order to protect the girls. The standoff with the village pits female against male, progress against tradition.
LES CHORISTES (d. Christophe Barratier, France-Switzerland, 95 minutes)
Writer/director Christophe Barratier has created an emotional and magical work of art. Set in the early post-WWII years, “Les Choristes” tells the story of a boarding school for the bullies, clowns and orphans left behind in a world that is moving on. Headmaster, Rachin, is a strict disciplinarian with little empathy for or understanding of his pupils (or teachers, for that matter). Into this bleak world comes the scruffy teacher and sometime composer, Clement Mathieu. Enduring and seeing past the unruly behavior to children who seek encouragement and a purpose in life, he discovers several talented singers and forms a boys' choir. Despite Rachin's lack of enthusiasm for the project, Mathieu creates incredibly beautiful music with the boys and, in the process, builds their self-esteem and nurtures their souls. The boys, in turn, give Mathieu a new hope. The glorious gift of music is a lead character in this heart-warming drama. It will have you rejoicing and wishing that you, too, could have the voice of an angel.
Four Special Presentations Featured at BIFF 2005
"Our four special presentations screen only once each, so it's best to get your tickets early," says BIFF programmer, Clare Wood. "We have two compelling documentaries, a French comedy and a blues concert film. Docs, French language films and concert films have proven to be very popular with our film audiences."
The four Special Presentations are:
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE (d. Antoine Fuqua, United States, 106 minutes)

Antoine Fuqua took his cameras to Radio City Music Hall and filmed Salute to the Blues, a one-night benefit concert celebrating this passionate musical genre. The film features some of the best blues artists of our time -- Buddy Guy, Keb' Mo', Robert Cray, Mavis Staples, Ruth Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Honeyboy Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, Solomon Burke, Odetta and B.B. King, among others, and archival footage of blues legends, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. Angelique Kidjo captures the African roots of the blues, singing "Zélié" and "Voodoo Child". The filmmaker chronicles the spread of the blues through the American south and then north, to Chicago and Detroit, with the migration of many African-Americans. Fuqua's film is a nostalgic, emotional, sweeping experience - you have the best seat at the best blues concert ever, and, at the same time, are part of an intimate club privy to backstage visits and interviews. You will want to applaud and dance and you will not want the film to end.
AFTER YOU (d. Pierre Salvadori, France, 110 minutes)
Two of France's most celebrated actors, Daniel Auteuil and José Garcia, team up in a romantic comedy from director Pierre Salvadori about a good Samaritan, a hopeless romantic and the beautiful woman that comes between them. Antoine (Auteuil) is a headwaiter at a Parisian restaurant who loves his job, his girlfriend, and charmed existence. After he saves a distraught man (Garcia) from killing himself, he begins to feel strangely responsible for his well being. Desperate to help "Mr. Melancholy" find happiness and get him out of his hair, Antoine secretly sets out to play cupid and find the ex-girlfriend (Sandrine Kiberlain) that drove his new friend to despair. Fate has seldom been crueler. When Antoine finally tracks the woman down, his final act of kindness quickly becomes a fiasco of friendship, food, and passion when he falls for her himself! Now three strangers brought together by fate are about to learn there is a fine line between helping others, and helping yourself!
THE LAST MOGUL (d. Barry Avrich, Canada, 99 minutes)
For more than half a century, only one man in Hollywood had the absolute power to run the town, own the unions, and even control Washington. There will never be another like him. Lew Wasserman was The Last Mogul. As Chairman and CEO of MCA then Universal, Wasserman's deal-making was as legendary as his temper, but his ability to predict future trends and his unprecedented use of power, made him a billionaire and defined the business of entertainment as we know it. This is the rags-to-riches story of a tall, skinny hustler who went from the mob-controlled speakeasies of 1920's Cleveland to the top of Hollywood's A-list. This is also the story of a poor band booker who would become the greatest kingmaker that Hollywood would ever know. We see Wasserman's meteoric rise to power and his tragic final days, complete with candid stories about corruption, mafia scandals, political maneuvers, and power brokering on a legendary scale. The Last Mogul provides a rare and fascinating look at the largest of the many larger-than-life men who made Hollywood what it is today.
THE FARM: LIFE INSIDE ANGOLA PRISON (d. Jonathan Stack and Liz Garbus, United States, 91 minutes)
Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana is America's largest prison. Once a slave plantation it has been a prison since the end of the Civil War. Comprised of thousands of acres it is a place where the vast majority of inmates will die within its walls. The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and nominated for an Academy Award, is a wrenching film due to an incredible level of access granted to the filmmakers. It delves into the lives of six inmates as well as the prison warden for a multifaceted narrative of lives hidden from society. Among the subjects are a number of truly reformed criminals, a death row struggle, and a terminally ill inmate. It is remarkable to see these pillars of a closed community still under lock and key. There is an incredible amount of hope in this work as well as wisdom and sympathy from the least likely of places. Director Jonathan Stack considers the film an illustration of America's legacy of slavery. It screens at the festival as a companion film to Liberia: An Uncivil War, which the director views as an illustration of Africa's legacy of slavery.
World Cinema Showcase
Two award-winning films from what is widely considered the best documentary film festival in the world are among six documentaries selected for screening in the World Cinema Showcase at the 2005 Bermuda International Film Festival, March 18-24.
"The six films we’ve selected are very different,” says BIFF deputy director Duncan Hall. "Even though politics plays a central role in each, they come at the subject from different angles. ‘Shape of the Moon,’ ‘Shake Hands With the Devil’ and ‘A South African Love Story’ are deeply personal stories, whereas ‘Liberia,’ ‘Salvador Allende’ and ‘Wall’ are more overtly political. What they have in common, however, is that they are among the best documentaries screening on the festival circuit."
The six documentaries in the World Cinema Showcase line-up for BIFF 2005 are:

SHAPE OF THE MOON (d. Leonard Retel Helmrich, Netherlands):
Indonesia is the fourth biggest nation in the world, and the country with the largest Muslim community. In Shape of the Moon, we are transported to the heart of this almost unknown landscape through the life of one family of three generations, who are struggling to build a bridge between hope and faith. Rumidjah, a 62-year-old widow, lives in Jakarta with her son Bakti and her 13-year-old granddaughter Tari. Rapid globalization and democratization have spawned a subculture of criminality and uncertainty in Indonesia. Islam is trying to maintain order and discipline, while becoming increasingly fundamentalist in its tone. When her son Bakti converts to Islam to marry a Muslim girl, Rumidjah seriously considers leaving the hectic city forever. The care for her thirteen-year-old granddaughter Tari is the one and only thing that still ties Rumidjah to the city. She decides to take her on a visit to her native village in Central Java. Rumidjah soon realizes that in the countryside things haven't stayed the same either. Every day she walks through fields of rice looking for work, but mechanization has made it almost impossible to find employment on the farms. Through her faith in God, Rumidjah carries on looking for work and doesn't lose hope for a better future.
LIBERIA: AN UNCIVIL WAR (d. Jonathan Stack, United States):
In the Summer of 2003 Liberia was a country balanced on the edge of a knife. A group of filmmakers entered into this maelstrom to document a social fabric so rent by war as to be unrecognizable and a people who clung to the hope for peace even as bullets flew
around them. This film is an unflinching look at the devastation of war. It captures a cross-section of stakeholders -- soldiers, rebels, aid workers, politicians, religious leaders, orphans, and citizens -- and allows their lives to stand out against a dire background of violence and fear. Just as the documentarians show the courage and hope of individuals within a conflict, so too do they highlight how little a small nation can hope for from the world community at large. This is a courageous, powerful movie that will leave audiences shaken and moved.
McLIBEL - WORLD PREMIERE (d. Franny Armstrong, United Kingdom)

McLibel is the true story of the postman and the gardener who humiliated McDonald's in "the biggest corporate disaster in history". Penniless campaigners, Helen Steel and Dave Morris, received a libel writ from McDonald's in 1990 over a leaflet they were handing out in the street. McDonald's expected them to quickly apologise in court but Big Mac could never have guessed at the determination, tenacity and pure stubbornness that would drive Helen and Dave through a battle which raged for the next 15 years, a battle which only ended in February 2005 - at the European Court of Human Rights. As they struggled to defend themselves in the longest trial in English history, the 'McLibel 2' faced infiltration by spies, secret meetings with corporate executives, 40,000 pages of background reading and a visit from Ronald McDonald. At the same time, they tried desperately to keep their lives going - Helen working nights in a bar and Dave as a single father. Filmed over 10 years by Franny Armstrong, with courtroom reconstructions by Ken Loach, this brand new feature-length version of McLibel follows Helen and Dave every step of the way from anonymous campaigners to global heroes. A feel good tale of tw

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