Other People – Film Review | Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2021

“People who have experienced violence, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia, internet hate, fat phobia and other forms of bullying or who are struggling with an eating disorder are particularly at risk.” With that title card, Aleksandra Terpinska opens her feature debut, Other People (based on the novel by Dorota Maslowska) – a Polish …

A Place Called Dignity – Film Review | Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2021

Colonia Dignidad was a notorious commune in Southern Chile with a tight relation to Pinochet’s regime methods. When 12-year-old Pablo receives a scholarship to attend school at Colonia Dignidad, which was established by German settlers, it comes as a surprise when he becomes the favourite of Uncle Paul, the leader of the colony. Pablo starts …

The Noise of Engines – Film Review | SSIFF ’21

Being placed on leave from work, Alexandre (Robert Naylor) returns home to his quiet Canadian hometown. Soon, Alexandre becomes the center of an investigation into explicit drawings popping up around town. What stuck out to me most about The Noise of Engines is how much it seems to pay tribute to films such as Hot …

Infinite Light – Film Review | SFFF 2021

When Alex’s girlfriend, Sarah (Emma Elle Paterson), unexpectedly dies during a camping trip, he tries to move on with his life, but when he and his best friend (who’s also Sarah’s brother) uncover a family secret, they believe they can bring her back from the dead. Eric Dubois showcases enough skills in his feature directorial …

Cadejo Blanco – Film Review | TIFF ’21

Waking to find the disappearance of her sister, Sarita (Karen Martínez) travels to the coastal town of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. Desperate for answers, Sarita dives headfirst into Puerto Barrios’ gang circle, risking her life and finding her courage along the way. From the outset, Cadejo Blanco is a “simple” tale about a woman’s determination to …

Farha – Film Review | TIFF ’21

Based on true events. Set in 1948 Palestine, Farha tells the story of a 14-year-old girl (Karam Taher) whose dreams of receiving a formal education are taken away from her due to the start of what would come to be known as the Nakba (the catastrophe). Confined to a small supply room, Farha watches as …

Paka (River of Blood) – Film Review | TIFF ’21

Only blood can quench its thirst. Set in India, Paka tells the tale of two families, torn apart by hatred and feuding over the past, a love set to bring them together, and a river that connects them all. On the eve of their marriage, Anna (Vinitha Koshy) and Johnny (Basil Paulose) find themselves struggling …

You Are Not My Mother – Film Review | TIFF ’21

With its strong attention to female filmmakers this year, TIFF offers us Kate Dolan’s feature debut ‘You Are Not My Mother’. An Irish psychological horror film with a twist steeped in lore. Char (Hazel Doupe) lives in a Dublin housing estate with her grandmother, father and her troubled mother Angela (Carolyn Bracken). The woman is …

The Starling – Film Review | TIFF ’21

The process of grieving is a thankful subject for a drama and for any actor to sink their teeth in. But does Theodore Melfi’s ‘The Starling’ have anything fresh to add? Lilly (Melissa McCarthy) and Jack (Chris O’Dowd) are set for a happy life when tragedy strikes. Reeling from the loss of their baby, both …

Zalava – Film Review | TIFF ’21

While investigating a town with a shared belief in demonic possession, military sergeant Massoud’s (Navid Pourfaraj) beliefs are challenged by the zealous exorcist, Amardan (Pouria Rahimi Sam). Demonic possession films are fairly commonplace in the world of horror and thrillers. Many of them as derivative as the next. More often than not, this type of …