This year’s film fest was another success. I was able to see 7 films this year, 6 of which were very enjoyable. I guess there’s always one stinker to balance it out (I won’t name names). If you get the chance, check out any of the following. I know at least 2 are up for wide release in the coming months.
Film descriptions from the 23rd Annual Palm Springs Film Festival Supplement.
1. The Loving Story (USA)
In 1958, a white man and a part-black, part-Cherokee woman were convicted of breaking Virginia’s law against interracial marriage. This eye-opening documentary examines the overlooked story of this couple’s courageous fight and the Supreme Court case that resulted.
2. A Separation (Iran)
A secular middle-class family in the midst of upheaval winds up in conflict with an impoverished religious one. Formally dense and morally challenging, this Berlin Golden Bear winner casts a revealing light on contemporary Iranian society, taking on issues of gender, class, justice and honor.
3. Sound of My Voice (USA)
Gripping mind games come into play when two documentary filmmakers infiltrate a cult and find themselves drawn in by the charismatic leader– a woman (co-writer Brit Marling, of Another Earth fame) who purports to be from the future. Smart, compelling science fiction.
4. Declaration of War (France)
Taking a serious story about a couple whose baby is diagnosed with cancer, Donzelli turns expectations upside-down by using jump cuts, musical numbers, bright color palette, and low-budget enthusiasm of the New Wave to fashion a delightful and moving gem.
5. Almanya, Welcome to Germany (Germany)
Neatly structured into two interwoven time frames, this charming, colorfully styled comedy centers on multiple generations of a German-Turkish clan, and derives its touching, laugh-out-loud humor from cultural misunderstandings and the question of what constitutes a national identity.
6. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (UK)
This witty rom-com revolves around the effort to make the impossible possible, as a reticent bureaucrat joins forces with a determined legal representative to introduce fly fishing into the Middle East.