SFIFF57: Soul Food Stories by Tonislav Hristov

In the Hungarian town of Satovcha in Soul Food Stories, Muslim, Christian, Roma and atheist Communists live together peacefully, united by their love of their families and community, rituals of food, prayer, conversation, fasting, and seasonal festivals, and divided, only superficially, by their religious or political identities. The members of this multi-generational community share a…

SFIFF57: South is Nothing by Fabio Mollo

An engaging but uneven first full-length feature by Fabio Mollo, South is Nothing tackles a coming-of-age story of a young woman, Grazia, through the context of a Mafia-controlled city in Reggio Calabria. Mr. Mollo and his collaborators capture the region’s sharp beauty, daily and seasonal rituals and rhythms, the endemic corruption, the firmly entrenched gender mores…

SFIFF 57: The Seventh Walk by Amit Dutta

I dislike using the much-used “innovative” and “avant-garde” to describe the latest by Amit Dutta, but in this case, it is appropriate, particularly the latter. An oblique meditation (also overused, but in this instance absolutely true) on the painter Paramjit Singh and the bucolic Kangra Valley, this film takes us into the heart of the…

SFIFF 57: Persistence of Vision Award/Isaac Julien

The last time I attended the POV award ceremony at the San Francisco International Film Festival was for Matthew Barney, whose work continues to infuriate and fascinate me in equal measure. However, I appreciate his use of movement and choreography in his time-based work: as a former athlete and dancer, he knows how to use…

SFIFF57: In brief

Nothing like Isabelle Huppert to start off a festival, so on a very successful and busy Friday night at the San Francisco International Film Festival I went to see Serge Bozon’s latest, Tip Top, a clever, funny, surreal and very French police procedural which covers grand themes: love, sex, pain, and fidelity. Sitting in the…

SFiFF57: The Blue Wave by Zeynep Dadak & Merve Kayan

This film is the anti-Mean Girls: in a media landscape saturated with films and TV shows about women and girls fighting it out for men and prestige, Blue Wave is refreshing in its attitude. Whether they deliberately intended to or not, filmmakers Zeynep Dadak and Merve Kayan have created a film which is feminist in…

San Francisco International Film Festival 57: Opens April 24

Yes, it’s that time of year again: gather your friends, book your tickets, and get ready for those watching marathons! Herewith, some curated selections for those overwhelmed by choice: Honestly, I Just Go for the Costumes: Belle, UK, dir. Amma Asante. Mixed-race Dido Elizabeth Belle and her white cousin Elizabeth, the great-nieces of William Murray,…