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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2001. 49th Edition  > Sections and Films
Official Section
2001. 49th Edition
Films
Films
Closing Night Film
Buñuel y la Mesa del Rey Salomón / Buñuel and King Solomon's Table
Carlos Saura
Spain - Germany - México 
Not in competition
Butterfly Smile
He Jianjun
China 
Midnight in Beijing. Hitting a man with her car, the woman at the wheel panics and drives off. But there was a witness, a photographer who has secretly been taking pictures of the hit-and-run driver, the beautiful model Meng Xing. The photographer, Kangping, doesn't know that the man paying him to take these photographs is the model's husband, and she dosn't know that she is be...
Midnight in Beijing. Hitting a man with her car, the woman at the wheel panics and drives off. But there was a witness, a photographer who has secretly been taking pictures of the hit-and-run driver, the beautiful model Meng Xing. The photographer, Kangping, doesn't know that the man paying him to take these photographs is the model's husband, and she dosn't know that she is being spied on. The photographer takes the injured man to the hospital, but doesn't report the girl. Without talking directly to Meng Xing, Kangping tries to help her to accept her responsibility. Gradually his message gets through. Meng Xing gives herself up. Having changed her fashionable dress for a prisoner's uniform, she finally achieves peace of mind, displaying the most beautiful of smiles: the ?butterfly smile?.
C'est la vie
Jean-Pierre Améris
France 
Dimitri, a Frenchman born in Russia, arrives at La Maison, a centre that takes care of the terminally ill for whom medicine can do no more. Suzanne, a volunteer who lends her help to people in the last days of their lives, has a sunny disposition and unfazed personality that carefully conceal a secret, a fragility. Dimitri, who expects no more of life, finds in the clinic a ple...
Dimitri, a Frenchman born in Russia, arrives at La Maison, a centre that takes care of the terminally ill for whom medicine can do no more. Suzanne, a volunteer who lends her help to people in the last days of their lives, has a sunny disposition and unfazed personality that carefully conceal a secret, a fragility. Dimitri, who expects no more of life, finds in the clinic a plenitude he had never experienced before. The two love and help each other mutually, embarking on a love story of incomparable beauty.
En construcción / WORK IN PROGRESS
José Luis Guerin
Spain 
A new housing block is going up in an emblematic working-class area where the inhabitants are living under the threatening cloud of renovation. The members of a film crew move in while the site is still nothing but a bit of land on which the kids play football and try to get on as best they can with the locals in order to be able to study the events surrounding both the actual ...
A new housing block is going up in an emblematic working-class area where the inhabitants are living under the threatening cloud of renovation. The members of a film crew move in while the site is still nothing but a bit of land on which the kids play football and try to get on as best they can with the locals in order to be able to study the events surrounding both the actual building work and its effect on the area around it. The process soon uncovers the fact that the changes in the urban landscape are also bringing about a mutation in the people who live there. These are the foundations on which the film was built.
Escape to Paradise
Nino Jacusso
Switzerland 
A Kurdish family sits on a bench in a Swiss railway station waiting for a compatriot who takes them to the assembly point for refugees in Basel where they apply for asylum and are sent to a centre with people from other countries in their same situation. In preparation for the interview with the authorities which will determine their future fate the family turns to a Swiss man ...
A Kurdish family sits on a bench in a Swiss railway station waiting for a compatriot who takes them to the assembly point for refugees in Basel where they apply for asylum and are sent to a centre with people from other countries in their same situation. In preparation for the interview with the authorities which will determine their future fate the family turns to a Swiss man who claims to produce authentic documents and stories with which to convince the immigration authorities. While Sehmuz is having problems learning the story despite the help of his children, his wife Delâl gets in touch with a sister Kurd who has helped others in case the decision turns out to be negative.
Et rigtigt menneske (Truly Human) / TRULY HUMAN
Åke Sandgren
Denmark 
The modern magical tale of a 7-year-old girl's imaginary friend when he gets the chance to become a real human being. ?P? is forced to leave life as a creature of fantasy behind the wallpaper in Lisa's bedroom when the building is torn down. He enters the world like a blank piece of paper, ending up at a refugee centre where he learns to communicate and become a ?member of soci...
The modern magical tale of a 7-year-old girl's imaginary friend when he gets the chance to become a real human being. ?P? is forced to leave life as a creature of fantasy behind the wallpaper in Lisa's bedroom when the building is torn down. He enters the world like a blank piece of paper, ending up at a refugee centre where he learns to communicate and become a ?member of society'. He eventually gets his own apartment and a job in a shoe store, but naiveté and goodwill make him easy prey, and ?P? finds himself being suspected as a wanted child molester.
Hotel
Mike Figgis
UK 
Special Screenings
A troupe of actors shooting a Dogme film version of The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster arrive at a peculiar hotel on the Venice Lido. The hotel staff are courteous, but somehow a bit odd. Helming the film is hot avant-garde director, Trent Stoken, but the producer, Jonathan Danderfine, has ambitions of his own: to replace Trent as director and take over the movie.
A troupe of actors shooting a Dogme film version of The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster arrive at a peculiar hotel on the Venice Lido. The hotel staff are courteous, but somehow a bit odd. Helming the film is hot avant-garde director, Trent Stoken, but the producer, Jonathan Danderfine, has ambitions of his own: to replace Trent as director and take over the movie.
Juana la Loca / MADNESS OF LOVE
Vicente Aranda
Spain - Italy 
Laredo, August 1496. A fleet of ships sets sail for Flanders taking Princess Joanna to the court of Brussels, where she is to marry the man later to become known as Philip the Handsome. At the meeting sparks fly. Simply looking at one another has the couple feeling irresistable attraction and desire. They throw their political commitments to the wind and give in to their emotio...
Laredo, August 1496. A fleet of ships sets sail for Flanders taking Princess Joanna to the court of Brussels, where she is to marry the man later to become known as Philip the Handsome. At the meeting sparks fly. Simply looking at one another has the couple feeling irresistable attraction and desire. They throw their political commitments to the wind and give in to their emotions. But fate has other plans for them. The deaths of her elder brothers and of her mother Isabel the Catholic mean that Joanna is now the Queen of Castile and heir to the Crown of Aragón. These occurrences unleash two battles: one political, between the Flemish and Castilian nobilities; and the other, far more heartbreaking, which has to be fought by Joanna in the marital bed.
La fuga / THE ESCAPE
Eduardo Mignogna
Argentina - Spain 
In the summer of 1928, several inmates from the National Penitentiary in Buenos Aires managed to escape. The film narrates the fate of each of these runaways: an anarchist, a crook, three murderers, a card cheater and an innocent man. These tough men who have their own ethical codes are ready to do anything not to return to prison. Their odysseys and misadventures, narrated in ...
In the summer of 1928, several inmates from the National Penitentiary in Buenos Aires managed to escape. The film narrates the fate of each of these runaways: an anarchist, a crook, three murderers, a card cheater and an innocent man. These tough men who have their own ethical codes are ready to do anything not to return to prison. Their odysseys and misadventures, narrated in parallel time, show how some are captured or suffer violent deaths, while others manage to disappear. Sordid and moving stories, not excluding tenderness and love, mercy or horror.
Lantana
Ray Lawrence
Australia 
Detective Leon Zat moves through a dark labyrinth of human relationships on his journey to solve the mystery of a woman's disappearance. He strips away layer after layer to reveal the tender and dark underbelly of this perplexing obsession between men and women called love. And each layer causes him to reflect back on his own marriage, on what he has lost, and what he must get ...
Detective Leon Zat moves through a dark labyrinth of human relationships on his journey to solve the mystery of a woman's disappearance. He strips away layer after layer to reveal the tender and dark underbelly of this perplexing obsession between men and women called love. And each layer causes him to reflect back on his own marriage, on what he has lost, and what he must get back.
Last Orders
Fred Schepisi
UK - Germany 
Last Orders is a road movie starring an urn full of ashes and four old friends. Jack Dodds was a normal, everyday guy; so why did was his last wish to have his ashes thrown off Margate pier? And why did his wife Amy refuse to do it? On the way to the sea, they try to understand Jack's death by going back over their lives with him: the war, children, women, the good and the bad ...
Last Orders is a road movie starring an urn full of ashes and four old friends. Jack Dodds was a normal, everyday guy; so why did was his last wish to have his ashes thrown off Margate pier? And why did his wife Amy refuse to do it? On the way to the sea, they try to understand Jack's death by going back over their lives with him: the war, children, women, the good and the bad times. The journey becomes a long round of pubs, binges and fights, and the four friends discover that it's friends who break your heart and friends who put it back together again.
Le vélo de Ghislain Lambert / LE VELO DE GHISLAIN LAMBERT
Philippe Harel
France - Belgium 
Eddy Merckx was the cycling star of the 70s, then came all the others. Among the latter were Ghislain Lambert, who was born on the same day as Merckx. Like him, her infancy was surrounded by the passion for cycling exuded in Belgium. Like him, Ghislain became a professional cyclist, although this is unfortunately the point at which the similarities between the two peter out. Gh...
Eddy Merckx was the cycling star of the 70s, then came all the others. Among the latter were Ghislain Lambert, who was born on the same day as Merckx. Like him, her infancy was surrounded by the passion for cycling exuded in Belgium. Like him, Ghislain became a professional cyclist, although this is unfortunately the point at which the similarities between the two peter out. Ghislain Lambert was one of the herd, destined never to savour the sweet taste of success; her fate was to sweatily cross the line while the winner was having his photograph taken with a pretty girl on either side. But when a stroke of luck brought Ghislain her first victory, she certainly made the most of it.
Magonia
Ineke Smits
The Netherlands 
Each week, a son visits his eccentric father on a beautiful island. The father captivates his son, telling stories about a land called Magonia. Together they build a kite and let their imaginations soar. Through these tales, the boy comes to see the world through his father's eyes, understanding for the first time the older man's passion and fragility. For both of them, Magonia...
Each week, a son visits his eccentric father on a beautiful island. The father captivates his son, telling stories about a land called Magonia. Together they build a kite and let their imaginations soar. Through these tales, the boy comes to see the world through his father's eyes, understanding for the first time the older man's passion and fragility. For both of them, Magonia represents unattainable dreams and longings, and the possibility of escaping to a magical place beyond the clouds.
Taxi para tres / A CAB FOR THREE
Orlando Lübbert
Chile 
With a sharp knife to back their argument, Chavelo and Coto jump into the taxi of Ulises Morales. Apart from forcing him to serve as their chauffeur, he can't believe his eyes when they turn round and share their spoils with him. Ulises, who is having problems meeting the installments of his half-paid Lada, earns more in hours than he has in months. Chavelo and Coto reappear we...
With a sharp knife to back their argument, Chavelo and Coto jump into the taxi of Ulises Morales. Apart from forcing him to serve as their chauffeur, he can't believe his eyes when they turn round and share their spoils with him. Ulises, who is having problems meeting the installments of his half-paid Lada, earns more in hours than he has in months. Chavelo and Coto reappear well dressed and carrying a revolver: no more knives and no more stealing from the poor. Ulises goes from mugged to mugger. Somewhere in the district he must be able to find the haul that will permit him to pay off the Lada. After several failed hold-ups, the two-bit purloiners end up in Ulises home, in his intimacy and in that of his spoilt daughter Javiera. When he wants out, Ulises soon sees that the only option open to him is betrayal.
The Grey Zone / THE GREY ZONE
Tim Blake Nelson
USA 
Based on true facts, The Grey Zone is the story of Auschwitz's twelfth Sonderkommando: one of the thirteen consecutive ?Special Squads? of Jewish prisoners placed by the Nazis in the excruciating position of helping to exterminate fellow Jews in exchange for a few more months of life. A chronicle of the struggle by this group of prisoners to organize the only armed revolt that ...
Based on true facts, The Grey Zone is the story of Auschwitz's twelfth Sonderkommando: one of the thirteen consecutive ?Special Squads? of Jewish prisoners placed by the Nazis in the excruciating position of helping to exterminate fellow Jews in exchange for a few more months of life. A chronicle of the struggle by this group of prisoners to organize the only armed revolt that would ever take place at Auschwitz. As the rebellion is about to commence, a group from the unit discovers a fourteen-year-old girl who has miraculously survived the gas chamber and becomes obsessed with saving this one child, although doing so endangers the uprising which could save thousands.
Opening Night Film
The Safety of Objects
Rose Troche
USA 
In a modest house in suburban America, Paul Gold lies in a coma, nursed by his mother, Esther, who dutifully tends to him day and night, so distancing herself from her husband Howard and teenage daughter Julie. Annette Jennings, in the midst of a messy divorce, tries to keep herself and her two children functioning normally on a swiftly dwindling budget. Meanwhile, after years ...
In a modest house in suburban America, Paul Gold lies in a coma, nursed by his mother, Esther, who dutifully tends to him day and night, so distancing herself from her husband Howard and teenage daughter Julie. Annette Jennings, in the midst of a messy divorce, tries to keep herself and her two children functioning normally on a swiftly dwindling budget. Meanwhile, after years dedicated to his job, Jim Train realizes that his family, headed by his efficient wife Susan, functions just fine without him. Helen Christianson, bored by her husband and the banalities of her life, has secretly begun looking for something or someone to bring her back to life. Tending to the local yard work is Randy, friendly on the surface, but harbouring dark secrets that will soon come boiling to the surface. Over the course of four days, the intertwined worlds of the Golds, the Trains, the Christiansons and the Jennings will collide with the past.
The Warrior / THE WARRIOR
Asif Kapadia
UK - Germany 
Tale of an epic journey from the remote, timeless deserts of India to the Himalayan mountains. Lafcadia is the leader of a small band of warriors in the service of a tyrannical lord who rules the region from his fort in the desert and uses them to wipe out villages that don't meet their tax payments. During one of these reprisals, Lafcadia has a mystical encounter with a young ...
Tale of an epic journey from the remote, timeless deserts of India to the Himalayan mountains. Lafcadia is the leader of a small band of warriors in the service of a tyrannical lord who rules the region from his fort in the desert and uses them to wipe out villages that don't meet their tax payments. During one of these reprisals, Lafcadia has a mystical encounter with a young girl, making him throw his sword away and vow never to kill again. He decides to flee from the violence dominating his life, setting out with his young son, Katiba, for his native village in the mountains. But his lord will not hear of desertion...
Visible Secret
Ann Hui
Hong Kong 
In a Hong Kong discotheque, the beautiful nurse June meets Peter, marking the start of a fascinating, yet difficult love story complicated by the appearance of real or imagined ghosts. The witness of a terrible accident as a child, June has been able to see ghosts ever since. Peter's own father kills himself in the hospital, but appears to his son, and a humorous visit to a sel...
In a Hong Kong discotheque, the beautiful nurse June meets Peter, marking the start of a fascinating, yet difficult love story complicated by the appearance of real or imagined ghosts. The witness of a terrible accident as a child, June has been able to see ghosts ever since. Peter's own father kills himself in the hospital, but appears to his son, and a humorous visit to a self-styled ?exorcist? does little to dispel the ghosts that come from the past to possess the living, including, maybe, the protagonists themselves.
Visionarios
Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón
Spain 
The first time he set eyes on Usúa, Joshe was smitten. But then neither did he go unnoticed by the girl's very pale, almost feverish eyes. The thing is that she has a gifted sight... During the Second Republic, a northern town is deeply shaken by appearances of the Virgin. Dressed in black, crying and with a sword in her hands, the Virgin predicts a terrible war. Or at least t...
The first time he set eyes on Usúa, Joshe was smitten. But then neither did he go unnoticed by the girl's very pale, almost feverish eyes. The thing is that she has a gifted sight... During the Second Republic, a northern town is deeply shaken by appearances of the Virgin. Dressed in black, crying and with a sword in her hands, the Virgin predicts a terrible war. Or at least that's the story told by the group of kids who claim to have seen her. The Basque valleys fill with believers, the inquisitive and the sceptical. They all want to see the miracle... or the lie. They all want to see the visionaries. And Usúa is one of them.
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