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What more can a cine-addict asks for to start a year than seeing rare International films for 7 days in a row. It is that time of the year when you bunk the office, you discard your social life, food becomes the least priority thing, and home- the multiplex becomes your home. Like a yearly ritual, we wait for this week of cinematic wonders and ever enlightening storms. And while every single one of us believes in watching as many films as possible, time binds us to a bear minimum.

Here we list our chosen 20 Must See Films at Bengaluru International Film Festival, 2017.

20. Nocturama
Director: Bertrand Bonello
Country: France  |Languge: French | Duration: 130 minutes

Synopsis: Some young folks, tired of the society they’re living in, plan a bomb attack over Paris before to take shelter for a night in a shopping center.

19. Indivisible (Indivisibili)
Director: Edoardo De Angelis
Country: Italy | Language: Italian | Duration: 100 minutes

Synopsis: Daisy and Violet are twin sisters on the verge of turning 18. They are blessed with beautiful voices and are sought after to sing at weddings, communions, and baptisms. Their real draw is another trait which cloaks them in fascinating charm: they are siamese twins.

18. The Polar Boy (Polaarpoiss)
Director: Anu Aun
Country: Estonia | Language: Estonian, English | Duration: 97 minutes.

Synopsis: Mattias is a young talented photographer in his final year of secondary school, who has a dream to become a student of the Berlin Arts Academy. He unexpectedly falls in love with a wild red-haired beauty Hanna, who doesn’t seem to take him seriously unless he proves to be just as adventurous and unpredictable as she is. Mattias risks his whole future by breaking the law together with Hanna, but ends up destroying the girl he loves. Hanna appears to suffer from bipolar disorder, the most dangerous effects of which are triggered by alcohol and drugs. Saving Hanna from herself, Mattias commits a crime that could end up putting him behind bars. His only solution for avoiding jail time is to get himself declared irresponsible. In order to achieve that, Mattias would have to start faking the illness his girlfriend already has – bipolarity.

 

17. Flemish Heaven (Le Ciel Flamand)
Director: Peter Monsaert
Country: Belgium | Language: Dutch, French | Duration: 114 mins

Synopsis: Together with her mother, Sylvie runs a brothel near the Flemish-French border. Eline, Sylvie’s daughter, is intrigued by her mother’s peculiar working place.

16. Ma’ Rosa
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Country: Philippines | Langauge: Filipino | Duration: 110 minutes

Ma’ Rosa has four children. She owns a small convenience store in a poor neighborhood of Manila where everybody likes her. To make ends meet, Rosa and her husband, Nestor, resell small amounts of narcotics on the side. One day, they get arrested. Rosa and her children are ready to do anything to buy her freedom from the corrupt police.

15. The Constitution (Ustav Republike Hrvatske)
Director: Rajko Grlic
Country: Croatia| Langauge: Croatian | Duration: 90 minutes

The story follows four people who live in the same building, but avoid each other because of the differences in their assets, sexual habits, nationality and religion.

14. Personal Affairs (Omor Shakhsiya)
Director: Maha Haj
Country: Israel| Langauge: Hebrew | Duration: 90 minutes

In Nazareth, an old couple lives wearily to the rhythm of the daily routine. On the other side of the border, in Ramallah, their son Tarek wishes to remain an eternal bachelor, their daughter is about to give birth while her husband lands a movie role and the grandmother loses her head … Between check-points and dreams, frivolity and politics, some want to leave, others want to stay but all have personal affairs to resolve.

13. 24 Weeks (24 Wochen)
Director: Anne Zohra Berrached
Country: Germany | Langauge: German | Duration: 103 minutes.

Centered on the dilemma faced by a woman who is already six months pregnant when she learns that her unborn child will have Down’s syndrome as well as a serious heart defect. Should she be able to choose the option of a late-term abortion? How can she and her husband know whether the unborn child could have a life worth living or would only suffer? In the end, the expectant mother realizes that only she can make this decision.

12. Knife in the Clear Water(Qing shui li de dao zi)
Director: Wang Xuebo
Country: China | Language: Mandarin| Duration: 93 minutes

Chinese producer-turned-director Wang Xuebo’s feature debut revolves around a man’s struggle to keep his beloved bull from being used as sacrifice for his dead wife’s funeral rites. – TheHollywoodReporter

11.Cold of Kalandar (Kalandar Soğuğu)
Director: Mustafa Kara
Country: Hungary, Turkey | Language: Turkish | Duration: 130 minutes.

Mehmet is a man living with his family in a mountain village in Black Sea. He earns his life breeding a few animals, while looking for a mineral reserve on the mountains but his pursuit is seen as useless by his family. Destroyed in search of a mineral reserve, his hope is renewed with the news of a competition.

10. Kaadu Pookkunna Neram
Director: Bijukumar Damodaran.
Country: India | Language: Malayalam | Duration: 105 minutes.

A police group is deployed by the government to do away with Maoist menace (A banned Left organization) in a tribal village near forest. The police forcibly occupy a tribal primary school for their camp. A policeman follows a person deep into the forest and nabs the person. The person arrested happens to be a woman. He tries to come out of the forest with the arrested person, but he loses his way in the wild.

9. Pallata.
Director: Raghu S P.
Country: India | Language: Kannada | Duration: 100 Mins.

Pallata (The Shift) seeks to depict how changes imposed on people can drive them to despair. The film tells the story of Yella, who has lived all his life beating the drum during village rituals. He is proud of his role and lives on the “aaya” (an annual measure of grains) he receives from the people. – The Hindu.

8. The Net
Director: Kim Ki-duk.
Country: South Korea | Language: Korean | Duration: 114 mins.

Namchulwoo is a poor fisherman living a simple but happy life with his wife and daughter on the north side of a river that divide s the two Korea’s. Every day he goes fishing on the river,where the check point soldiers know him well and trust him not to cross the invisible border in the water.but one day his fishing net gets caught in the boat engine,and Nam cannot stop him self from drifting into the south.

7. Illegitimate.
Director: Adrian Sitaru.
Country: Romania | Language: Romanian | Duration: 89 mins.

Two siblings and an illegitimate love. A father who’s a doctor and several accusations. A family in which no one ever drew a line between what’s moral and what’s legal. Not even when it comes to abortion.

6. I, Daniel Blake.
Director: Ken Loach.
Country: UK | Language: English | Duration: 100 mins.

A 59 year old carpenter recovering from a heart attack, befriends a single mum and her two kids as they navigate their way through the kafkaesque impersonal benefits system. With equal amounts of humour, warmth and despair. Heartfelt and emotional until the end.

5. Sieranevada.
Director: Cristi Puiu.
Country: Romania | Language: Romanian | Duration: 173 mins.

Centers around a family gathering on the anniversary of a patriarch’s recent death.

4. It’s Only the End of the World.
Director: Xavier Dolan.
Country: Canada | Language: French | Duration: 97 mins.

Louis, a terminally ill writer, returns home after 12 years of absence to announce his impending death to his family. A reunion filled with doubts and tensions ensues.

3. The Salesman.
Director: Asghar Farhadi.
Country: Iran | Language: Persian | Duration: 125 mins.

Forced to leave their collapsing house, Ranaa and Emad, an Iranian couple who happen to be performers rehearsing for Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” rent a new apartment from one of their fellow performers. Unaware of the fact that the previous tenant had been a woman of ill repute having many clients, they settle down. By a nasty turn of events, one of the clients pays a visit to the apartment one night while Ranaa is alone at home taking a bath and the aftermath turns the peaceful life of the couple upside down.

2. Paradise(Rai)
Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy.
Country: Russia | Language: Russian, German | Duration: 130 mins.

Follows three people whose paths cross during a terrible time of war: Olga, a Russian aristocratic emigrant and member of the French Resistance; Jules, a French collaborator; and Helmut, a high-ranking German SS officer.

1. Scarred Hearts
Director: Radu Jude.
Country: Romania | Language: Romanian, German | Duration: 141 mins.

“Scarred Hearts” is inspired by Romanian author Max Blecher’s novel, which is set in 1937. It centers on Emanuel, a man in his early 20s, who spends his days at a sanatorium on the Black Sea coast, suffering from bone tuberculosis. Falling in love with another patient, he narrates his and his fellow patients’ attempts to live life to the full as their bodies slowly wither but their minds refuse to give in. Blecher wrote the text, hailed as a masterpiece on publication in Romania in 1939, as autobiographical notes before he died, after 10 years of suffering, at the age of 29.

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