IFFK: International movies you should not miss

Film critic, independent researcher, and film curator Aswathy Gopalakrishnan served on the ‘World Cinema’ category selection committee for the International Film Festival of Kerala 2023. She shares her recommendations for must-watch films at the festival, which is set to take place from December 8 to December 15 in Thiruvananthapuram and is expected to draw over 10,000 delegates from India and abroad.

Girl

Director: Adura Onashile

Country: UK

Synopsis

As her daughter enters adolescence and seeks greater independence, a young mother is compelled to confront the realities of her past.

Blaga’s Lessons

Director: Stephan Komandarev

Countries: Bulgaria, Germany

Synopsis

After being targeted by a phone scam that drains her of life savings, a teacher discovers the impossibility of recovering the funds. However, the narrative takes a surprising twist as she transitions into a scammer herself.

Grace

Director: Ilya Povolotsky

Country: Russia

A reserved father and his adolescent daughter lead a nomadic life in a van that serves as their sole repository, encompassing all their belongings, along with the essential equipment for a travelling cinema— the source of their meagre income.

Hoard

Director: Luna Carmoon

Country: UK

Synopsis

Hoard explores the close bond between a mother and daughter whose life would turn upside down on a night. The film explores how childhood trauma manifests in someone’s adult life.

Follower

Director: Harshad Nalawade

Country: India

Synopsis

In a highly polarised village, a radicalized journalist strives to bring to light the atrocities afflicting his community. Yet, as the boundaries between his professional and personal life become increasingly indistinct, an inconvenient truth prompts him to reminisce about a simpler era when he had not yet embraced radicalization.

Sultana’s Dream

Directors: Isabel Herguera

Countries: Spain, Germany, India

Synopsis

Residing in India, Inés, a Spanish artist, chances upon “Sultana’s Dream,” a science fiction tale penned by Rokeya Hossain in 1905. The narrative unfolds the concept of Ladyland, a utopian realm where women govern the nation, and men reside in seclusion, taking on domestic responsibilities. Intrigued by the story, Inés embarks on a journey across India in pursuit of the elusive Ladyland.

Which Colour?

Directors: Shahrukhkhan Chavada

Country: India

Synopsis
Razzak, a jobless father, strives to acquire a rickshaw, while his daughter is introduced to a beverage beyond her means. The film unfolds through a sequence of ordinary occurrences, tracing the family’s path as an unforeseen event unexpectedly reshapes their entire life.

Rapture 

Directors: Dominic Sangma

Countries: India, China, Switzerland, Qatar, Netherlands

Synopsis

Ever since the church predicted an impending 80-day apocalyptic darkness, a village community has been gripped by perpetual dread of abductors. For a ten-year-old with night blindness, the village has never been more terrifying.

Guras

Director: Saurav Rai

Country: India, Nepal

Synopsis

A nine-year-old girl sets out on an adventure through the mountains of Darjeeling, in a quest to find her beloved pet dog, Tinkle, who has gone missing.