A panorama of the best and brightest films that drew our attention on the world stage – and demanded a captive audience back home – during our intense engagement with international cinema on the festival circuit this past year.
Deception abounds in this nuanced portrait of lies and loss when a middle-aged woman discovers her recently deceased husband led another life in France, contradictory to the pious Muslim home they built together in England.
Hytti nro 6
Two strangers connect in the intimate confines of a train compartment in Juho Kuosmanen’s arresting sophomore feature.
Andrey Konchalovsky’s tense political drama, a Venice prize-winner beautifully shot and rich with historical detail, tells the story of an infamous 1962 Soviet massacre and its attempted cover-up.
“An impassioned film with an unflinching Indigenous and feminist perspective.” — Sarah Ward, Screendaily
Operatives from both sides of the Korean divide, working diplomatic jobs in Somalia, must come together to survive as Mogadishu descends into civil war in a political thriller from writer/director Ryoo Seung-wan.
A soon-to-be-demolished social housing estate, named after Yuri Gagarin, in the Parisian banlieue provides the earthly anchor for weightless flights of fancy in this wondrous and moving debut feature.
Debut director Panah Panahi’s stunning Iranian road movie wowed critics at Cannes with its rich emotional nuance and sly political critique.
An indomitable Kosovar woman defies entrenched patriarchal societal norms to ensure her family’s welfare in this subdued but spirited debut feature, inspired by a true story that scooped three top awards at Sundance 2021.
Ich bin dein Mensch
An archaeologist reluctantly agrees to test-run a humanoid love robot programmed to fulfil her desires in this poignant comedy starring Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens.
Eskil Vogt’s chilling, supernatural Scando-spin on arthouse horror explores what it means to be a gifted child through disturbing, uncanny and heedlessly violent means.
Two strangers explore the pleasures and pitfalls of platonic friendship while bonding over online Spanish lessons in this intimate, expressive drama shot during lockdown over video-chat calls.
Melancholic, atmospheric and heartfelt, Ben Sharrock’s feature exploring immigrants awaiting asylum eschews conventional approaches to stories of the modern refugee crisis to create something profound and surprising.
Fran Kranz’s highly accomplished debut feature takes an unflinching look at the endemic horror of school shootings in America and their lingering scars, through the eyes of the parents of the perpetrator and his victim.
Follow Tilda Swinton on a strange supernatural journey into the Colombian jungle, in this hypnotic new film from the director of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and Cemetery of Splendour.
Based on the 2014 memoir, My Salinger Year is The Devil Wears Prada for the literary world, a young woman’s coming of age as she balances her writing ambitions with her new job at a major New York City literary agency.
Śniegu już nigdy nie będzie
A mysterious, unclassifiable semi-satire of its disconnected upper-classes, Poland’s selection for this year’s Oscar race follows an angelic masseuse trying to draw meaning out of his patients’ lives.
La nuit des rois
If a young man cannot command an inmate-run prison with his storytelling, his first night behind bars promises to be his last in this lush, striking and unexpected tale that blends magical realism with current affairs.
The first Australian film featured in Cannes’ Official Selection in a decade, Justin Kurzel’s disturbing dive into the tormented mind and soul of a mass-shooter is bolstered by four remarkable lead performances.
After learning he only has months to live, a working-class father reckons with guilt and grief as he searches for a replacement family for his young son.
When a stranger on a bridge utters a single word in his ear, Günter finds himself falling deep into the rabbit hole of his mysterious childhood in Alex van Warmerdam’s new, paranoia-fuelled thriller.
This pressure-cooker Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film puts viewers on the frontlines of an impending massacre in the Bosnian genocide – with harrowing power.
Recently widowed and grieving, army officer Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) proves vengeance is a dish best served bold in this dark — and comic — take on the revenge thriller from Oscar-winning Dane, Anders Thomas Jensen.
La boda de Rosa
A tonic for the nerves, Rosa’s Wedding is an uplifting and spirited ode to loving thyself, drenched in the dreamy seaside sunshine of the Costa del Azahar.
Dizzying and captivating, Emma Seligman’s feature-length debut stars Rachel Sennott as a young woman who cannot escape her sugar daddy, her ex-girlfriend or her own lies at a family wake.
Tehran’s byways teem with life in this Iranian crime-caper that blends gritty, Buñuelesque social realism, strong character drama, and spirited storybook style adventure.
A love letter to a rapidly vanishing world: this gentle documentary follows a handful of elderly men who, with their beloved dogs, comb the forests of Northern Italy on the hunt for a rare culinary delicacy.