This section complements the Main Slate, tracing a more complete picture of contemporary cinema with an emphasis on new and innovative forms and voices.
Opening Night of Currents · U.S. Premiere · Remote live Q&A with Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes on Sept. 25In this beguiling new film co-directed by Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes, a daily journal unfolds in revelatory reverse order, surveying the mundane routines of three housemates living in rural peace during the COVID lockdown; soon, we discover that there’s more going on beyond the limits of the camera frame.
North American Premiere · Q&As with Wang Qiong on Sept. 25 & 26A major new voice in nonfiction cinema, Wang Qiong documents with unflinching and harrowing honesty her own fractured family, gradually revealing the personal and psychological effects of China’s one-child policy on the individual, the family unit, and women in society at large.
U.S. PremiereKiro Russo has mounted a monumental, gently mystical portrait of the contemporary central South American cityscape and those who work within its bowels and environs, set in the alternately harsh and beautiful terrain of La Paz, Bolivia and its surrounding rural areas.
North American Premiere · Q&As with Kyoshi Sugita on Sept. 28 & 29Kyoshi Sugita creates an evocative portrait of a young woman’s interior world through impressionistic action rather than psychology, fixing his patient camera on meetings with friends, family, and strangers, lunches and teatime, and occurrences both mundane and mystical.
North American PremiereA precise, enveloping portrait of the complex romantic relationship between epochal experimental novelist and filmmaker Marguerite Duras and her much younger, homosexual partner, Yann Andréa, Claire Simon’s latest film is based entirely on transcripts from a 1982 interview between Andréa (Swann Arlaud) and journalist Michèle Manceaux (Emmanuelle Devos).
Q&As with Vincent Meessen on Oct. 6 (with Dr. Dialo Blondin Diop) and 7Vincent Meessen’s freewheeling yet highly disciplined documentary tells the story of Niger-born artist and Marxist intellectual Omar Blondin Diop, an organizer and communicator of anti-colonialist political theory in France and Senegal who died at 26 in prison after being arrested by the Senegalese government.
World Festival PremiereArtavazd Peleshian’s first feature film in nearly 30 years is an epic return to his major theme: humanity in harmony and conflict with the natural world. Rendered in stark black and white, Peleshian’s elegant, relentless montage of found disaster videos imparts an overwhelming experience of nature’s vast, destructive processes of regeneration. Screening with Andrei Ujică’s 2 Pasolini, which follows the Italian auteur and his theological advisor, Don Andrea Carraro, on a trip through 1960s Palestine to scout locations for his 1964 biblical masterpiece The Gospel According to Saint Matthew.
North American Premiere · Q&A with Ted Fendt on Sept. 27With his customary mix of narrative restraint and intellectual curiosity, filmmaker Ted Fendt follows a small group of young women through Berlin and Vienna over the course of several months, particularly Daniela, who has just returned from traveling in New York and is dealing with a bout of insomnia.
World PremiereThe lighting for movie cameras has always been calibrated for white skin; three filmmakers collectively explore the literal, theoretical, and philosophical dimensions of that reality in this discursive, playful, and profound work of nonfiction.
North American PremiereIn just over 80 minutes, filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot provides a fleet, thorough, and incisive sociological examination of the French working class over the past 70 years, using decades’ worth of artfully deployed archival footage, film clips, and TV news reports to illustrate the rise, fall, and hopeful rebirth of the country’s proletariat, as well as how social identity is gradually constructed.
U.S. PremiereDocumentarian Shengze Zhu’s becalmed, wordless meditation on the vulnerability and resilience of urban spaces before and after the COVID outbreak intersperses exquisitely composed images of life and hope along the Yangtze River with onscreen text translating letters written to loved ones affected by illness and death.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Denis Côté on Sept. 25 & 27Mischievous Quebecois filmmaker Denis Côté’s absurdist comedy is constructed as a series of frank and often hilarious repartees between an insolent petty thief named Antonin and a succession of largely fed-up women, keeping a pandemic-worthy and humorous distance from one another as they verbally parry and thrust in static long takes.
U.S. PremiereIn her evocative, collage-like 16mm film, Rhayne Vermette immerses the viewer in the sounds, textures, and atmosphere of her native Manitoba to limn the outer edges of a twilight-toned narrative centering on a long-missing young woman’s unexpected return to her indigenous Métis community.
North American Premiere · Q&As with Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis on Sept. 29 & 30Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis’s rousing, bifurcated tale follows the improbable adventures of Luciano (a bewitching Gabriele Silli), a village outcast in late-19th-century rural Italy, whose life is undone by indulgence, leading him to hunt for a mythic treasure in the distant Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego.