Films / Programs

Contemporary World Cinema

Take a whirlwind world tour in just 11 days – without leaving your seat. This year’s selection of Contemporary World Cinema whisks you from Iran to Italy, Cananda to Croatia, Japan to Mexico and beyond. As you broaden your horizons and soak up some local color, you’re bound to rediscover yourself – right here at SDFF 33.

  • American Falls

    American Falls

    USA , 2010 , 55 min. In American Falls, experimental filmmaker Phil Solomon contemplates the gap between the American Dream and the historical reality, echoing the great unanswered question Charles Ives posed at the dawn of the last century: Whither America?... more
  • Bibliothèque Pascal

    Bibliothèque Pascal

    Hungary , 2010 , 111 min. Mona, recently returned from working in the sex trade in England, regales officials at a Romanian child welfare agency with fantastic tales of her misadventures in a bizarrely themed Liverpool brothel, hoping to regain custody of the young daughter she left behind.... more
  • The Black Panther

    The Black Panther

    Mexico , 2010 , 108 min. Noir meets sci-fi meets classic Mexican cinema in director Iyeri Wertta’s surreal black-and-white pulp fantasy, where God, Death and a cryogenically frozen Pedro Infante all play a role in alcoholic gumshoe Nico Beamonte’s existential dilemma-and his quest for the mysterious Pantera Negra.... more
  • Blue Valentine

    Blue Valentine

    USA , 2010 , 120 min. In his long-awaited, emotionally charged second feature, University of Colorado graduate Derek Cianfrance examines the disintegration of a family, as boozy furniture mover Dean (Ryan Gosling) and discontented nurse Cindy (Michelle Williams) attempt to rekindle their young passion.... more
  • Carancho


    Argentina , 2010 , 107 min. Argentinian filmmaker Pablo Trapero hits the gritty streets of Buenos Aires for this searing look at rampant corruption among predatory lawyers, crooked hospital administrators and dirty cops. Ricardo Darin and Martina Gusman star as doomed lovers amid the chaos.... more
  • Cephalopod


    Mexico , 2010 , 90 min. Directed by Rubén Ímaz, this existential tale of love and loss follows young Basque-Mexican painter Sebastián from Spain to Mexico City to mourn the death of his girlfriend—and embark on a search for the legendary giant squid with which she was obsessed.... more
  • La Collectionneuse

    La Collectionneuse

    France , 1967 , 85 min. The fourth episode in late French auteur Eric Rohmer's celebrated Six Moral Tales, set in sunny St. Tropez, follow an amoral young seductress (Haydee Politoff) and two male friends stubbornly determined not to fall prey to her charms. Bonne chance, boys.... more
  • Come Undone

    Come Undone

    Italy , 2010 , 126 min. In this erotic drama by writer/director Silvio Soldini (Burning in the Wind, SDFF26), Anna and Domenico meet by chance and are instantly smitten. Though married, they rush into a passionate love affair that threatens to ruin their heretofore placid lives.... more
  • The Crossing

    The Crossing

    Turkey , 2010 , 95 min. In this meditation on the loneliness of modern life, Turkish writer/director Selim Demirdelen paints a compelling portrait of a shy, middle-aged accountant who constructs an elaborate domestic fantasy from the ruins of family tragedy—while coming to the aid of others who have troubling secrets.... more
  • Dog Pound

    Dog Pound

    France , 2009 , 88 min. French filmmaker Kim Chapiron goes inside the walls of a fictional Montana juvenile prison to reveal the dysfunction of the correctional system, encapsulated by the struggle of three disparate teenaged inmates to hone their dog-eat-dog survival skills.... more
  • Dog Sweat

    Dog Sweat

    Iran , 2009 , 90 min. Like their Western counterparts, the youths in Dog Sweat experiment with alcohol, sex and rock 'n' roll—only these rebels live in Tehran, where individual desire and societal mores are at dangerous odds.... more
  • The Drummond Will

    The Drummond Will

    United Kingdom , 2010 , 81 min. This rollicking British comedy about two brothers thrown together after years of estrangement has its dark side. Returning to the rural village where they grow up for their father’s funeral, they learn they’ve inherited his dilapidated cottage.... more
  • An Earthy Paradise for the Eyes

    An Earthy Paradise for the Eyes

    Czech Republic , 2009 , 114 min. An Earthy Paradise for the Eyes is a bittersweet comedy set against the deadly serious backdrop of the 1969 Soviet occupation of Czechlosavkia. Marta Hana’s family graciously yet defiantly struggles to live normal lives under the invasive scrutiny of the police state.... more
  • Erratum


    Poland , 2010 , 90 min. Life is humming along for 34-year-old Michal—until an unplanned business trip offers him an opportunity to confront the possibility that he has made some big mistakes by choosing success in the corporate world over his passion for music.... more
  • A Family

    A Family

    Denmark , 2010 , 102 min. Danish filmmaker Pernille Fischer Christensen examines the emotional upheavals the middle-class Rheinwalds face, as well as the end-of life rituals in which they engage, when their proud, stubborn patriarch develops incurable cancer.... more
  • God's Land

    God's Land

    USA , 2010 , 165 min. In this offbeat and bittersweet dramatic comedy based on a true story, a young Taiwanese family arrives in Garland, Texas, to join the God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation and await their rapturous transport into another dimension—while negotiating the ways of life in suburban America.... more
  • happythankyoumoreplease


    USA , 2010 , 98 min. MUST END April 14 Winner! Starz People's Choice Award for Best Feature - SDFF33 35mm presentations - Josh Radnor wrote, directed and stars in happythankyoumoreplease a sharp comedy centered on a group of 20-something New Yorkers struggling to figure out themselves, their lives and th... more
  • Heartbeats


    Finland , 2009 , 81 min. This series of vignettes about the everyday lives of several Helsinki women examines those moments of truth in which we receive the chance to reflect on our choices in life. Each scene was filmed in one take with a handheld camera.... more
  • How I Ended This Summer

    How I Ended This Summer

    Russia , 2010 , 124 min. Tension between grizzled Sergei and young Pavel, engaged in tedious work at a desolate meteorological research station near the Arctic Circle, mounts as slowly as the days pass. This stark character drama won three Silver Bears at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival.... more
  • Hunting and Sons

    Hunting and Sons

    Netherlands , 2010 , 93 min. In this dark drama from Sander Burger, Tako and Sandra live a seemingly contented life in rural Holland—until Sandra discovers she’s pregnant. As the reality of impending parenthood sets in, elation turns to anxiety—and then to tragedy.... more
  • I Love You Phillip Morris

    I Love You Phillip Morris

    USA , 2009 , 100 min. Hyperenergetic chameleon Jim Carrey stars as sociopathic conman Steven Russell, who discovers in midlife that he's gay—and finds his soulmate in the gentle title character (Ewan McGregor). The writing team behind cult comedy Bad Santa also direct this adaptation from a novel.... more
  • I Miss You

    I Miss You

    Argentina , 2010 , 96 min. A ruthless military regime ruled Argentina in the 1970s, waging a so-called dirty war that left 30,000 missing. Inspired by actual events in director Fabian Hofman’s own life, Te Extraño is the evocative and moving coming-of-age story of two brothers.... more
  • If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle

    If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle

    Romania , 2010 , 94 min. Florin Serban’s feature debut, in which a troubled yet sympathetic reform school inmate faces a family crisis and winds up taking a social worker hostage, reflects the growing strength of the cinematic New Wave in Romania, a nation still redefining itself in the post-Soviet era.... more
  • Kawasaki's Rose

    Kawasaki's Rose

    Czech Republic , 2009 , 100 min. Frequent fest guest Jan Hrebejk (Shameless, SDFF32) tackles the touchy subject of the collaboration between Czech citizens and their former Communist government with a light, ironic touch in Kawasaki's Rose, the official Czech nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011 Academy Awards.... more
  • Little Rose

    Little Rose

    Poland , 2010 , 118 min. In 1960s Poland, against a backdrop of anti-Semitism, a beautiful young woman is recruited by her lover, a secret service agent, to woo a famous writer in order to expose his Jewish identity. But the more this reluctant informant learns about her mark, the more the plan spins out of control.... more
  • Made in Dagenham

    Made in Dagenham

    United Kingdom , 2010 , 113 min. In 1968, it was a man’s world—until the women of Dagenham, England, seeking equal pay for equal work, had something to say about it. Sally Hawkins plays firebrand Rita O’Grady, a seamstress employed by the Ford Motor Company who sets the historic protests into motion.... more
  • Mama's Boy

    Mama's Boy

    Czech Republic , 2010 , 23 min. What is more dangerous for 14-year-old Petr—the growing distance between him and his single mom or his new friendship with a beautiful and sympathetic barmaid?... more
  • M*A*S*H


    USA , 1970 , 116 min. Robert Altman’s 1970 black comedy about army surgeons who crack wise and flout authority to maintain their sanity near the frontline is set during the Korean War—but it remains as relevant as ever. Elliott Gould will be presented with the 2010 John Cassavetes Award following the film.... more
  • Men in Rut

    Men in Rut

    Czech Republic , 2009 , 109 min. In this madcap satire, politics collide with small-town life when the residents of rural Mourinov host the 35th Anniversary Deer Calling Championship in the hope of enticing the Czechoslovakian prime minister to attend and grant them permission to build a highway that will finally put them on the ma... more
  • Monogamy


    USA , 2010 , 96 min. MUST END March 24 at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax 35mm presentation - Thirty-somethings Theo (Chris Messina) and Nat (Rashida Jones) are engaged. He’s a wedding photographer, she’s an aspiring singer/songwriter, and together they live a picturesque life in a sprawling New York loft. T... more
  • My Tehran for Sale

    My Tehran for Sale

    Iran , 2009 , 95 min.
  • The New Year

    The New Year

    USA , 2010 , 96 min. In this little character sketch with a big heart, would-be author Sunny devotes herself to her cancer-stricken father, a sweet but bland boyfriend, and the Pensacola bowling alley where she works—until Isaac shows up and inspires her to fill in the blanks of her life story.... more
  • Nice Guy Johnny

    Nice Guy Johnny

    USA , 2010 , 90 min. Insisting he grow up and leave his beloved jock-radio job behind, Johnny’s no-nonsense fiancée arranges an interview with a manufacturing company in Manhattan. But in this romantic comedy, playboy Uncle Terry (writer/director Edward Burns) has other plans for his nephew.... more
  • Of Love and Other Demons

    Of Love and Other Demons

    Costa Rica , 2009 , 97 min. This adaptation of the eponymous novel by Gabriel García Márquez has a dreamlike quality that captures the spirit of South American magic realism. In colonial Colombia, a pubescent girl is believed to be possessed by the devil—except by the priest assigned to her exorcism.... more
  • Poetry


    South Korea , 2010 , 139 min. Marking a comeback after a long hiatus, South Korean actress Yoon Jeong-hee is brilliant in acclaimed filmmaker Lee Chang-dong’s quietly evocative drama about struggling grandmother Mija. As her life is increasingly beset by difficulties, she finds refuge—and a voice—in poetry class.... more
  • Puzzle


    Argentina , 2010 , 88 min. In this delicately balanced family drama from Argentina, a suburban housewife’s passion for solving jigsaw puzzles leads to a new and exciting world of possibilities. She joins a suave bachelor in his posh city apartment to practice for an upcoming competition—to the dismay of her husband and sons.... more
  • Le Quattro Volte

    Le Quattro Volte

    Italy , 2010 , 88 min. In Michelangelo Frammartino's poetico-philosophical dreamscape, the soul of an ancient Calabrian shepherd passes to the body of a newborn goat, then to a fir tree, at last to a humble lump of coal. Thus does the Milan-born director fulfill the belief of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras.... more
  • Rainy Seasons

    Rainy Seasons

    Iran , 2010 , 90 min. As his parents finalize their divorce, 16-year-old Sina is facing his own modern problems in present-day Iran. At every turn, they present him with choices that will shape the man he becomes. Rainy Seasons shows that the pain of adolescence is universal.... more
  • Salve


    Iran , 2010 , 95 min. Aziz, a sickly but devoted old woman, tries to help her addict-granddaughter, Maryam, escape a world of trouble in Tehran. Refusing to give up on her loved one, she struggles to protect Maryam from the wrath of her father, her drug dealer and the police.... more
  • A Screaming Man

    A Screaming Man

    France , 2010 , 92 min. A former swimming champion in present-day Chad is humiliated when he loses his job as a pool attendant to his son. Can he regain his dignity without betraying his child? Quietly powerful, A Screaming Man won the Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.... more
  • Shocking Blue

    Shocking Blue

    Netherlands , 2010 , 90 min. Thomas, Chris and Jacques are inseparable boyhood friends living in the Dutch countryside, where they entertain themselves by faking their own deaths and rating them for creativity—until, that is, a freak accident puts life itself in perspective.... more
  • A Somewhat Gentle Man

    A Somewhat Gentle Man

    Norway , 2010 , 105 min. In this Norwegian comedy-drama, a seedy Swedish underworld boss tries to persuade Ulrik (Stellan Skarsgård), fresh out of prison, to shoot the snitch who put him there. But after being locked up for 12 years, Ulrik would prefer to experience life’s pleasures.... more
  • Submarino


    Denmark , 2010 , 112 min. Dogme 95 auteur Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration, SDFF21) paints a relentlessly grim portrait of two emotionally damaged brothers—one a brusing ex-convict, the other a pale, dessicated junkie—struggling to overcome the terrors of their past on the bleak outskirts of Copenhagen.... more
  • Tehroun


    Iran , 2009 , 95 min. Ibrahim comes to Tehran from the provinces hoping to make quick money for his growing family—but hope fades fast in the big city. Tehroun, slang for Tehran, reveals its namesake’s underbelly in this noir-style thriller.... more
  • There Are Things You Don't Know

    There Are Things You Don't Know

    Iran , 2010 , 92 min. The melancholy mood of late-night Tehran matches that of taciturn taxi driver Ali, who ferries passengers with their own problems around the capital cloaked in darkness. Iran’s precarious political situation lends social texture to first-time director Fardin Saheb-Zamani’s drama.... more
  • Tiny Furniture

    Tiny Furniture

    USA , 2010 , 90 min. Newly graduated from college, Aura has returned home to New York City feeling that she should know what to do next—but doesn’t. This slyly unsettling coming-of-age comedy/drama stars writer/director Lena Dunham, who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 200... more
  • To the Sea

    To the Sea

    Mexico , 2009 , 73 min. Lying somewhere between documentary and narrative, To the Sea poignantly views the world through the eyes of a child. Before returning to Rome with his Italian mother, five-year-old Natan spends an idyllic summer on a coral reef with his Mexican father.... more
  • Twisted Roots

    Twisted Roots

    Finland , 2009 , 99 min. From first-time director Saara Saarela comes a thoroughly Nordic, sensitive and moving drama about the impending death of a hard-working antiques dealer whose family faces the burden of inheritance, from the responsibilities it entails to the life-threatening illnesses it may engender.... more
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

    Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

    Thailand , 2010 , 114 min. A dying man returns home to the mystical Thai countryside to be among loved ones with an animistic understanding of the world—some of whom are long dead. The scale of writer/director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee—won the 2010 Palme d’Or at Cannes.... more
  • Venice


    Poland , 2010 , 110 min. The magic of Venice is re-created in a basement in Poland by an 11-year-old boy whose vacation plans are crushed by the outbreak of war in 1939. Marek and his aunt escape the horrors of war to enter into a mythical subterranean world in this adaptation from a Polish novel.... more
  • Wallace Line

    Wallace Line

    Germany , 2009 , 84 min. Franz Müller's witty dramatic comedy explores the hazards of modern romance as a pair of single parents meet in an Internet chat room and impulsively move in together—only to watch their relationship pale beside the unexpected first love between their own teenaged children.... more
  • We Are What We Are

    We Are What We Are

    Mexico , 2010 , 90 min. Digital presentation - The old cliché about a hard-working dad who brings home the bacon gets a disturbing new twist in Mexican director Jorge Michel Grau’s slow boil of a first feature. It begins with the death of an older, nondescript gentleman in a busy public walkway; after cleaning u... more
  • The White Meadows

    The White Meadows

    Iran , 2009 , 92 min. In this magical-realist allegory of sociopolitical oppression, dissident Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof follows middle-aged Rahmat as he sails around Lake Urmia on a mission to collect the tears of the heartbroken into a tiny pitcher.... more
  • Wild River

    Wild River

    USA , 1960 , 110 min. Bathed in a crisp autumnal glow, Wild River may be Elia Kazan’s most affecting film. In 1935, a TVA agent (Montgomery Clift) must persuade an obstinate old woman to abandon her home before it is flooded for a public works project.... more
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