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FOCUS ON HUMAN RIGHTS AT VIFF 2012


Bad Weather

BAD WEATHER

Germany/UK | Dir: Giovanni Giommi

Canadian Premiere

Fri. Sep 28, 12:40 pm, Granville 5
Tue. Oct 2, 9:15 pm, Granville 5

Already beset by social and economic hardship, a Bangladeshi brothel island now finds its very existence threatened by rising sea levels and devastating storms. Initially an unflinching account of the island’s ostracized but remarkably spunky women and children, Giovanni Giommi’s unforgettable documentary gradually evolves into a humane but Breughelian vision.

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Bay of All Saints

BAY OF ALL SAINTS

USA/Brazil | Dir: Annie Eastman

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

International Premiere

Fri. Sep 28, 10:45 am, Cinematheque
Mon. Oct 8, 9:15 pm, Granville 1
Tue. Oct 9, 3:30 pm, Granville 6

Annie Eastman’s compassionate documentary transports us inside Bahia’s palafitas—dilapidated shacks teetering on stilts over a bay teeming with trash—and distinguishes itself with its “fearless and engaging storytelling [and] its flights of humor and lyricism, which nevertheless don’t obscure the seething anger and desperation of Brazil’s most needy.”—Slant. Winner, Audience Award: Documentary, SXSW 2012.

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Beauty

BEAUTY

(Nosilatiaj—la belleza)

Argentina | Dir: Daniela Seggiaro

Related Links: Trailer | Official Website

Canadian Premiere

Fri. Oct 5, 6:15 pm, Granville 5
Tue. Oct 9, 12:00 pm, Granville 4

While slaving as a maid for an inconsiderate family, a Wichí teenager is cajoled into betraying her indigenous people’s beliefs. Daniela Seggiaro’s debut feature "poses as a small-scale domestic drama but contains a subtle yet harsh critique of Argentineans’ ignorance and dismissal of the marginalized Wichí people."—Variety

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Bitter Seeds

BITTER SEEDS

USA/India | Dir: Micha X. Peled

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer | Facebook | Twitter

Canadian Premiere

Mon. Oct 1, 6:15 pm, Granville 1
Tue. Oct 2, 12:00 pm, Granville 4

With industrial agriculture seemingly thriving in India, why has the suicide rate amongst farmers spiked to unthinkable levels? Micha X. Peled’s stirring piece of investigative journalism travels to Kashmir to expose the human cost of genetically modified crops and celebrates the aspiring reporter who’s trying to sound the alarm. Winner, Green Screen Award, Oxfam Global Justice Award, IDFA 2011.

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Blood Relative

BLOOD RELATIVE

Canada | Dir: Nimisha Mukerji

Related Links: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Trailer

World Premiere

Sat. Oct 6, 6:45 pm, Granville 2
Wed. Oct 10, 4:15 pm, Granville 7
Fri. Oct 12, 9:15 pm, Granville 2

Director Nimisha Mukerji’s (65_RedRoses, VIFF 09) documentary follows an activist fighting to save two young adults dying from Thalassemia, a rare blood disease. Suffering stunted growth and without access to medication, they remain trapped in the bodies of children. Chronicling one man’s battle, the film exposes modern India’s broken healthcare system.

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Bottled Life

BOTTLED LIFE

(Nestlés Geschäfte mit dem Wasser)

Switzerland | Dir: Urs Schnell

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

Canadian Premiere

Sat. Sep 29, 7:00 pm, Vancity
Fri. Oct 5, 10:45 am, Cinematheque
Thu. Oct 11, 3:20 pm, Granville 5

Why is it that Nestlé—the biggest name in bottled water—doesn’t want to talk about its success? When denied interview requests, journalist Res Gehriger and documentarian Urs Schnell instead investigate the company’s suspect business practices and unsubstantiated claims of social responsibility. A trickle of unsettling information quickly becomes a flood.

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Call Me Kuchu

CALL ME KUCHU

USA/Uganda | Dir: Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

Thu. Sep 27, 9:30 pm, Granville 2
Mon. Oct 1, 3:00 pm, Granville 4
Fri. Oct 5, 5:00 pm, Granville 6

With Uganda’s parliament considering an appalling anti-homosexuality bill, David Kato—the country’s first openly gay man—and his fellow activists soldier on against seemingly insurmountable persecution. Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright have helmed "a must-see… Heart-wrenching and inspiring…"—LA Weekly. Winner, Best International Feature, Hot Docs 2012.

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Dust

DUST

(Polvo)

Guatemala/Spain/Chile/Germany | Dir: Julio Hernández Cordón

Sun. Sep 30, 5:30 pm, Granville 6
Mon. Oct 8, 9:15 pm, Cinematheque
Wed. Oct 10, 1:30 pm, Cinematheque

Still tormented by his father’s disappearance 30 years earlier, Juan wrestles with both suicidal impulses and suspicions concerning his neighbours. When a documentary filmmaker seeks to explore Juan’s story, he witnesses the darkest chapter of his tragic life unfold. Julio Hernández Cordón excels at "turning a relatively simple, straightforward story, into a guessing game…"—Screen

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Far From Afghanistan

FAR FROM AFGHANISTAN

USA | Dir: John Gianvito, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Travis Wilkerson, Soon-Mi Yoo

Related Links: Official Website

Thu. Sep 27, 12:30 pm, Granville 5
Mon. Oct 1, 8:45 pm, Granville 5

Inspired by 1967’s Far From Vietnam that united a variety of filmmakers “to knit together imagery of the war, interviews, intellectual styles, fictional incursions and documentary footage in a bid to counter… the intensive media coverage and propaganda manipulated by the American government,” John Gianvito (Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind) leads a diverse group in this timely and critical omnibus.

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Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth

HEART OF SKY, HEART OF EARTH

(Herz des Himmels, Herz der Erde)

Germany/USA/Guatemala | Dir: Frauke Sandig, Eric Black

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

North American Premiere

Mon. Oct 1, 6:00 pm, Granville 4
Wed. Oct 3, 3:30 pm, Granville 1

The location of the world’s largest—and possibly toxic—gold-mine pit, Guatemala is also the homeland of the Maya and their decidedly holistic cosmology. Frauke Sandig and Eric Black’s kaleidoscopically beautiful documentary follows the daily and ceremonial lives of six articulate young Maya as they struggle to maintain their way of life.

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Indignados

INDIGNADOS

France | Dir: Tony Gatlif

Canadian Premiere

Wed. Oct 10, 9:30 pm, Granville 2
Fri. Oct 12, 1:15 pm, Granville 2

Long a champion of the marginalized, Tony Gatlif (Latcho Drom, Exiles) fashions a sumptuously visual and typically musical docudrama from 94-year-old French Resistance veteran Stephane Hessel’s surprise anti-capitalist best-seller Indignez-vous! Gatlif melds real protest scenes with the plight of an unwanted African immigrant in France in this impassioned cri de coeur.

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The Invisible War

THE INVISIBLE WAR

USA | Dir: Kirby Dick

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

Fri. Sep 28, 9:15 pm, Granville 1
Sat. Sep 29, 11:45 am, Granville 1

This deeply unsettling investigation of sex crimes in the US military certifies that "Kirby Dick has become one of the indispensable muckrakers of American cinema, zeroing in on frequently painful stories about how power functions in the absence or failure of accountability… This is not a movie that can be ignored."—The New York Times. Winner, Audience Award: Documentary, Sundance 2012.

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Jai Bhim Comrade

JAI BHIM COMRADE

India | Dir: Anand Patwardhan

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

Sat. Sep 29, 7:00 pm, Granville 6
Sun. Sep 30, 1:00 pm, Granville 6
Tue. Oct 2, 7:00 pm, Granville 6

After Mumbai police opened fire on unarmed Dalit protesters, leading Indian documentarian Anand Patwardhan was pushed beyond his limit. Over the next 14 years, he crafted this tour de force that not only condemns Hindu extremism and the millennia of oppression endured by the Dalit, but also showcases this underclass’ indomitable spirit through their music and poetry. Winner, Best Documentary, Hong Kong 2012.

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Kinshasa Kids

KINSHASA KIDS

(Kinshasa, enfants des rues)

Belgium/France/Congo | Dir: Marc-Henri Wajnberg

Related Links: Trailer

Classification: PG—Coarse and sexual language; drug use

Tue. Oct 2, 12:40 pm, Granville 5
Mon. Oct 8, 6:45 pm, Granville 1
Thu. Oct 11, 1:15 pm, Granville 2

Demonized and denounced by their families, 30,000 children live in the streets of Kinshasa, DR Congo. Amongst them is the indomitable José, who aspires to form a rap group and change his fortunes. Uncovering instances of poignancy and optimism amidst abject squalour, Marc-Henri Wajnberg’s film builds to a rousing climax that pulses with youthful abandon. This film has been classified so that those under 18 may attend. Classification: PG—coarse and sexual language; drug use.

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The Last White Knight

THE LAST WHITE KNIGHT

Canada | Dir: Paul Saltzman

Sat. Sep 29, 8:45 pm, Granville 4
Mon. Oct 1, 12:00 pm, Granville 4

In 1965, Paul Saltzman drove to Mississippi and, after joining the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee as a civil rights worker, was assaulted by a young KKK member. In this film, director Saltzman returns to find the Klansman and assess the state of the integrated South.

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No

NO

Chile/USA/France | Dir: Pablo Larrain

Thu. Sep 27, 6:00 pm, Granville 7
Mon. Oct 1, 1:00 pm, Granville 7
Thu. Oct 4, 10:30 am, Granville 7

Gael García Bernal is superb as an advertising whiz who masterminds the "No" campaign against General Pinochet’s continued rule of Chile in Pablo Larrain’s period-perfect and very moving drama. "Weirdly funny and rousing, both intellectually and emotionally… the nightmare legacy of the coup d’état [is] vanquished by a brilliant coup de théâtre."—New York Times

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Occupy Love

OCCUPY LOVE

Canada | Dir: Velcrow Ripper

Related Links: Official Website | Facebook

Thu. Oct 4, 9:00 pm, Granville 1
Sat. Oct 6, 12:00 pm, Granville 4
Wed. Oct 10, 12:45 pm, Vogue

In early 2011, inspired by the massive demonstration in New York City, people the world over came together to demand an inclusive redistribution of social and economic power. Going straight to the heart of the Occupy movement, Velcrow Ripper’s hopeful documentary chronicles this global paradigm shift.

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Rebelle

REBELLE

Canada/France | Dir: Kim Nguyen

Related Links: Official Website | Trailer

Sun. Sep 30, 6:30 pm, Granville 7
Sun. Oct 7, 1:30 pm, Vancity

Rachel Mwanza plays Komona, a young African girl forced to wage war as a child soldier. In the midst of inconceivable violence and hatred, Komona finds comfort in an albino boy she calls Magicien. Kim Nguyen directs this heartfelt and enthralling drama about the remarkable endurance of the human spirit. Winner, Best Narrative Feature, Best Actress, Tribeca 2012, Best Actress, Berlin 2012.

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Revision

REVISION

Germany | Dir: Philip Scheffner

Related Links: Official Website

Thu. Sep 27, 11:40 am, Granville 3
Tue. Oct 2, 9:00 pm, Granville 3
Fri. Oct 5, 11:40 am, Granville 3

A stunning documentary that… [unearths the 1992] case of… two Romanian refugees killed mysteriously in a cornfield along the German–Polish border at a time of intensified post-Wall racism, ethnocentrism, and illegal border-crossing… [Director Philip] Scheffner uses a wealth of nonfiction techniques to question the occurrence, its aftermath, and the changing contours of Europe.—Film Quarterly

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When Night Falls

WHEN NIGHT FALLS

(Wo hai you hua yao shuo)

South Korea/China | Dir: Ying Liang

Sat. Sep 29, 6:00 pm, Granville 4
Mon. Oct 1, 1:15 pm, Granville 6

Ying Liang’s harrowing drama is based on a real incident: a mother discovers that the state is about to execute her son for the murder of several policeman. Her tragic heroism in the face of relentless authority bears the weight of Greek tragedy, with all of its awful beauty.

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Vancouver International Film Festival | VIFF 2012

September 27 - October 12, 2012 | Film Info: 604.683.FILM (3456) | VIFF Office: 604.685.0260