Ulbolsyn, Radiograph Of A Family, Unidentified

Source: Courtesy of POFF / IDFA / TIFF

‘Ulbolsyn’, ‘Radiograph Of A Family’, ‘Unidentified’

Screen International’s chief film critic Fionnuala Halligan selects the films that stood out from the pack at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) and International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), which went ahead as hybrid events, and Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF), which took place entirely online.


The Sign Painter

Dir. Viesturs Kairiss
Our critic said: “A spirited, tragicomic drama… Like its mild-mannered but principled protagonist, the film asserts its independence through artistic choices.”
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Dir. Adilkhan Yerzhanov
Our critic said: “A briskly economic drama which draws multiple battle lines: between the city and the country; tradition and modernity; the patriarchy and one doggedly relentless woman.”
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When I’m Done Dying

Dir. Nisan Dag
Our critic said: “The picture’s loose-limbed swagger and readiness to take risks keeps the energy level high. Plus the chemistry between the two charismatic central characters… is potent and persuasive.”
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The Translator

Dirs. Rana Kazkaz, Anas Khalaf
Our critic said
: “A sense of mounting desperation; the feeling of mounting pressure is palpable.”
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Gorbachev. Heaven

Dir. Vitaly Mansky
Our critic said: “A film that evokes the isolation and decline faced by a man who was once all-important, but decided to step, irreversibly, outside history.”
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Radiograph Of A Family

Dir. Firouzeh Khosrovani
Our critic said: “Khosrovani manages to get not just under the skin of her family, but also under that of modern Iran in her spare but inventive and revealing [film]… It’s the economy and reserve of Khosrovani’s approach that give the film such incisive and moving clarity.”
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The Last Hillbilly

Dirs. Diane Sara Bouzgarrou, Thomas Jenkoe
Our critic said: “A poetic close-up portrait of a man and his community… The film’s depiction of its subjects achieves a sense of empathetic closeness.”
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Dir. Bogdan George Apetri
Our critic said: “A grimly efficient character study of a flawed and damaged man who is intent on visiting harm to those he perceives as wrongdoers, and an indictment of the system that protects him. Bleak, but grubbily effective.”
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The Care Of Others

Dir. Mariano González
Our critic said: “An ostensibly slight yet subtly disquieting slow-burn contemplation on chance and responsibility. This narratively lean drama features a strong, tautly underplayed lead from Sofia Gala Castiglione, and a nicely indirect approach to conveying information.”
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