Films 2021

Blastogenesis X

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Engl. Title: Blastogenese X
Looking like a rediscovered film reel from the early days of cinema and with its “animal drag” costumes, this Dadaist nature documentary imagines a utopia where any and all life forms are equal. Fabulous creatures that defy the binary classification of male and female and the division between human and animal go through the classic cycle of birth, courtship, reproduction, parental care and predatory behaviour. 
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Das Mädchen und die Spinne

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Engl. Title: The Girl and the Spider
Over the course of two days and one night, as Lisa moves out of the apartment she has shared with Mara and into the one where she will live alone, many things will break and some will be repaired. Like the titular spider’s web, the film has a perfect, fragile geometry. Set almost entirely in interiors, it is also an involuntary summary of the paradoxical age of the pandemic. The transition from one abode to another, and the energy that is released between one story ending and [...] 
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Der menschliche Faktor

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Engl. Title: Human Factors
Jan and Nina travel with their two children to their weekend home on the Belgian coast to find some peace and quiet. But this is ruined by a mysterious break-in when the family arrives. Afterwards, Nina has a bloody nose and Zorro, their son Max’s pet rat, has disappeared. What happened? None of them is able to give the police a clear description of the intruders. Back in Germany, the successful advertising agency that this bilingual couple runs together becomes the target of a paint [...] 
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Entre hombres

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Engl. Title: Amongst Men
Buenos Aires, 1996. Three influential men are being recorded as they take part in an orgy in a hotel suite with all the usual ingredients: alcohol, drugs and sex. But after one too many lines, a prostitute dies and the compromising video suddenly disappears. This sets off a chain of events that quickly embroils not only the city’s entire demi-monde and underworld, but also the corrupt police force. Corpses are being found, a gangland boss’s pigs are served plenty of fresh food and [...] 
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Esquí

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Engl. Title: Ski
There’s a monster in the Nahuel Huapi Lake. In the twilight, it spreads itself out across the surface of the water like a taut cowhide, grasping at its victims with sharp claws. Another monster also lurks in the surroundings of the lake, which is close to Bariloche in the Argentine Andes. It is called Capa Negra: the Black Cape. It haunts the ski slopes by night and should be avoided at all costs. Monsters from the legends of the Mapuche find their way into Manque La Banca’s [...] 
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Genderation

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Monika Treut’s Gendernauts was one of the first films to portray the transgender movement in San Francisco. Twenty years after the film screened in Panorama in 1999, Treut seeks out the pioneers of that time. What has changed? How have the lives of the protagonists evolved? San Francisco was once, as Annie Sprinkle puts it, the “clitoris of the USA”, but today the tech industry has a firm grip on the city. [...] 
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Glück

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Engl. Title: Bliss
Alternating between waiting in the break room, having sex and lining up for the next john: Maria, a self-confident Italian in her mid-twenties, is new to the Berlin brothel where Sascha has been working for a long time. With her tattoos, her piercings and her penchant for writing poetry in a notebook during breaks, she is quite different from the others. The two women are immediately attracted to each other. Maria keeps her cash in a locker in the Berlin State Library. She regularly assures [...] 
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Guzen to Sozo

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Engl. Title: Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
As with the rest of his oeuvre, duplication and mirroring of female characters once again informs Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s latest work, Guzen to sozo. It would not be out of place to make a literary analogy and, if one were to regard his two previous films (Happy Hour and Asako I & II) as novels, this new work could be described as a collection of short stories. The film’s recurring rhythm amplifies [...] 
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Instructions for Survival

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Alexander’s transgender identity means he is obliged to lead a life of secrecy in his home country. Being identified as “female” in his passport means he cannot legally find work, either. Since even a visit to the doctor is a risk for him, he has begun hormone therapy to transition on his own with support from internet forums and the local transgender community. Desperate to escape their hopeless situation and leave the country, Alexander’s wife Mari decides to become [...] 
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International Dawn Chorus Day

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On International Dawn Chorus Day (May 3, 2020), birds from six continents join an online video call. They gossip about storms and cats and wires and dates. They share speculations about Egyptian filmmaker Shady Habash, known for his satirical anti-dictator music videos, who died the day before in Cairo’s notorious Tora prison. They talk about Egyptian queer activist Sarah Hegazi, famously incarcerated for flying a rainbow flag at a Cairo concert, now living as a political refugee in Toronto. [...] 
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It's a Sin

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In the early 1980s, London is a safe haven for anyone who is different – not least young gay men. Escaping the stuffy small-town life of his parents’ home on the Isle of Wight, Ritchie ends up in the big city where he quickly swaps his law degree for drama. Colin comes from Wales to take up an apprenticeship at a men’s tailors. And Roscoe moves to London because his Nigerian-born parents refuse to accept his queerness. Their paths soon cross in the city’s nightlife and [...] 
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Kelti

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Engl. Title: Celts
Belgrade in 1993. Serbia is at war, people are suffering on account of sanctions and inflation, but everyone is doing what they can. Mother Marijana is holding the family together. Her husband only raises his gaze from the floor when loving moments with his young daughter Minja brighten an endless string of daily chores. It is Minja’s eighth birthday. Instead of a cocker spaniel of her own, there’s the neighbour’s three-legged dog to play with, and the cake has been made with [...] 
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Language Lessons

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When Adam’s husband surprises him with weekly Spanish lessons, he’s unsure about where or how this new element will fit into his well-structured life. However, when an unexpected tragedy turns his life upside down, Adam decides to carry on with the lessons and develops a complicated emotional bond with his Spanish teacher, Cariño. But do you really know someone just because you’ve experienced a traumatic moment with them? A tight-knit production team is behind [...] 
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Les Attendants

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Engl. Title: Men Who Wait, The
In mining, a slag heap refers to an artificially raised hill consisting of the cleared waste that accumulates during the extraction of raw materials. Birch trees now grow where workers from near and far once went underground to labour hard for very little money. Nowadays, this is a place where men meet to have anonymous sex and share moments of intimacy. “I think he was gay too,” says one of these men about his father who was a miner. Today, as in the past, those who cannot find [...] 
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Luz de Presença

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Engl. Title: A Present Light
One rainy night, Gonçalo sets off to give his lost love one last letter. “Beware of the slippery road!” warns Diana from the street corner. In vain. An accident that is both an end and a beginning. 
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Miguel's War

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In this portrait that is multi-layered both in terms of form and content, a gay man confronts the ghosts of his past and explores hidden longings, unrequited love and tormenting feelings of guilt. Miguel was born in 1963 to a conservative, Catholic Lebanese father and an authoritarian mother from a wealthy Syrian family. Numerous conflicts over his national, religious and sexual identity compelled him to flee to Spain in his early twenties. In post-Franco Madrid where he lived an openly gay [...] 
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Mishehu Yohav Mishehu

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Engl. Title: All Eyes Off Me
Danny is pregnant by Max but she doesn’t get around to telling him at a party. Meanwhile, Max is busy trying out his girlfriend Avishag’s sexual fantasies with her. She wants him to hit her when they have sex. Avishag takes her bruises over to Dror, whose dog she sits. A familiarity develops between the older man and the young woman that neither of them expected. In three loosely connected chapters, director and actor Hadas Ben Aroya’s second feature film portrays [...] 
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Moon, 66 Questions

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When a grave illness strikes down her father Paris, Artemis decides to return home to Greece after an absence of some years. Being the sole child of divorced parents, she is the only one who can look after Paris, who requires daily care. Father and daughter embark on a journey into knowledge and revelation, which heralds a new beginning for their relationship. After a series of surprising short films, Moon, 66 Questions is the long-awaited feature debut [...] 
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More Happiness

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During a conversation late at night, a woman asks her mother how to be a good person. As they talk, the woman thinks about an old lover. Seasons change and memories accumulate that bring no respite. 
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North By Current

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Three years after the unexplained death of his niece Kalla, artist and filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax returns to his Mormon family’s home in the small town in Michigan where his father’s sawmill is located. His sister Jesse, who had found temporary stability as a mother after a difficult youth and addiction problems, is suspected by the authorities of being responsible, along with her partner David, for the death of their daughter Kalla. While Jesse struggles with her trauma and [...] 
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The Scary of Sixty-First

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In this feature debut by actor and podcast host Dasha Nekrasova, two mismatched roommates discover and relive the murky secrets of their new Upper East Side apartment. The film is as possessed as one of its protagonists: while she finds herself being taken over by the spirits of paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s young victims, the film itself is haunted by Italian “giallo” movies and 1970s psychological horror. Both genres are reincarnated in a work that is well aware [...] 
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