72SSIFF - 20/28 September 2024
Luchino Visconti
Italy - France 
180 min.
Rosaria moves with her four sons (Simone, Rocco, Ciro and Luca) from southern Italy to Milan, where they meet the eldest sibling of the family, Vincenzo, who has been living there for some time. Rocco and Simone have a serious run-in over Nadia, a local prostitute. The film has five chapters, each named after one of the five brothers.
Elia Kazan
174 min.
In the late 19th century, the Greeks live in Anatolia under Turkish oppression. Many want to emigrate and America is the promised land. Stavros sees the chance to cross the ocean when his father sends him to Constantinople to make money and get the family together. America, America won the Golden Shell at San Sebastian Festival in 1964.
José María Forn
110 min.
La piel quemada looks at the problems of immigration between the regions of a same country with different economic levels. In a little village on the Costa Brava, a bricklayer starts his working day. At the same time, his wife and two sons set out from an Andalusian village on the journey to join him. After months of solitude, the man has managed to rent a place to stay. A short fling with a Belgian tourist introduces him to a world he never knew existed.
Jan Troell
191 min.
Mid-19th century, Kristina and Karl-Oskar marry and try to make a living on a little plot of land in a small rural village in southern Sweden. Given that the infertile soil yields poor harvests causing the family to starve, they decide to embark for the USA with a few compatriots, some of whom don?t survive the long, tedious journey. This is the first part of Nybyggarna (The New Land), also screened in this season.
Jan Troell
157 min.
A family arrives to Minnesota in the mid-19th century, finding a more fertile soil than the one they had left behind in Sweden, even if they still have to struggle against the elements. Although they?ve no intention of trying to become Americans, the culture of their new country has an increasingly strong influence on their lives. The New Land is the sequel to Utvandrarna (The Emigrants), also directed by Troell a year earlier.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
93 min.
A widow of around 60, Emmi, meets a Moroccan of around 40, Ali, in a bar frequented by immigrant workers. Encouraged by the lady owner, Ali asks Emmi to dance, later escorting her home. Realising that they get along well despite their different ages and backgrounds, they get married, unleashing a scandal among Emmi?s family and neighbours and also among Ali?s friends.
Joan Micklin Silver
89 min.
New York City?s Lower East Side, 1896. Jake, a Russian Jewish immigrant, has abandoned the traditions of Eastern European Orthodox Jews. He has cut off his ear locks and shaved his beard, wanting to look and act like ?an American?. Until the day he is summoned to Ellis Island to pick up his wife and young son who have followed him from the old country. Will she be able to assimilate the changes as well as her husband?
Robert M. Young
110 min.
The birth of another son pushes a young Mexican, Roberto, to leave his family and head for the USA in search of work. Although he succeeds, the conditions are deplorable. Alambrista! won the Golden Shell at San Sebastian Festival in 1978. On this occasion, the Director?s Cut will be screened in an improved copy, dating from 2004, with a new soundtrack composed by José Cuéllar and certain additional sequences featuring the actor Trinidad Silva.
Tizuka Yamasaki
112 min.
Gaijin (?foreigner? in Japanese) follows the journey made by the director?s grandmother from Japan to Brazil, where immigrants were lured to work in the coffee plantations. Years later, Japan faced such a shortage of labour that it was forced to open its doors to immigrants of Japanese ancestry. But when the Japanese-Brazilians returned to their homeland, they found themselves being treated like foreigners.
Jerzy Skolimowski
UK - Germany 
97 min.
A Polish contractor, Nowak, leads a group of workmen to London to provide cheap labor for a government official based there. Nowak, the only one who speaks English, has to deal with the men as they suffer the temptations of capitalism (there is a communist regime in Poland at the time). News that the unrest in Poland has turned into a military coup makes the situation much more difficult than expected.
José Luis Borau
Spain - USA 
98 min.
Mitch, a Border Patrol agent on the Texas/Mexico border, has a strong dislike for Mexicans. Chuck is a young newcomer to the corps and somewhat more idealistic. In a whorehouse a little further south of the border they meet a pretty young prostitute called Engracia. Chuck marries the girl in her country, planning to illegally smuggle her into the USA, but Mitch is having none of it.
Louis Malle
98 min.
In a Texas bay town, a local businessman, Wally, hires several Vietnamese refugees to fish prawns, pushing Shang, a local fisherman, to the edge in his fear of losing his livelihood with the competition from the new arrivals. The tension rises, ending in a violent dispute between the local fishermen and the Vietnamese workers.
Bille August
Sweden - Denmark 
157 min.
At the end of the 19th century, a boat full of Swedish emigrants arrives to the Danish island of Bornholm in search of work. Among them are Lasse and his son Pelle. They find a job at a large farm where their employers treat them as the lowest form of life. Although Pelle starts to speak Danish, he is still seen as a foreigner; but he refuses to give up his dream of finding a better life than the one he left in Sweden.
Montxo Armendáriz
95 min.
After a dramatic crossing, a group of Africans arrive illegally to Spain. One of them is Alou, a 28-year-old Senegalese man. His friend Mulai, who has been living in Catalonia for some time, has urged him to emigrate, offering him the possibility of a good job. Alou progresses towards his destination in a mixture of casual work and little adventures. Las cartas de Alou won the Golden Shell and Silver Shell for Best Actor (Mulie Jarju) at San Sebastian Festival in 1990.
Goran Paskaljevic
Yugoslavia - France - UK - Germany - Greece 
96 min.
A motley bunch of immigrants scrape by in Brooklyn. Bayo, from Montenegro, works in the bar run by the Spaniard Alonso and his blind mother, who dreams of returning to her place of birth. Alonso and Bayo become friends, sharing the belief that they?ll succeed in achieving their ?American Dream?. Until one day Bayo?s family sets out on the dangerous journey from Montenegro to the USA to join him.
Imanol Uribe
87 min.
A taxi driver, Antonio, decides to make the most of a winter Sunday to visit a remote, deserted beach with his family. While looking for shellfish, his youngest daughter stumbles upon a black man. The man appears behind the girl, asking for help in his language, but Antonio doesn?t understand him and thinks his family is in danger. Bwana won the Golden Shell and the Jury Award for Best Photography (Javier Aguirresarobe) at the San Sebastian Festival in 1996.
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Belgium - France - Luxembourg 
93 min.
Fifteen-year-old Igor and his father, Roger, make a living working illegal immigrants. He thinks it?s natural to help his father in his ?business?. But when the work inspector pays a surprise visit and Amidou falls off a scaffold in his hurry to hide, things start to unravel. Igor makes a promise and can?t decide whether to tell the truth or betray his father.
Javier Gil
20 min. Short film
Ali and his family, Moroccans who live in Bordeaux, set out for their native country on holiday as they do every year. And they do so with the method best suited to their income: crossing the whole of Spain in their car packed to the hilt with belongings.
Bernardo Bertolucci
UK - Italy 
90 min.
An old house in the centre of Rome is the refuge for two lonely people: Kinsky, a middle-aged Englishman whose only company is his piano, and Shandurai, in her early 20s, a medicine student who cleans the house in exchange for a room. Their lives revolve around a game of attractions and rejections, secrets and allusions, truths and appearances, doubts and certainties.
Patxi Barco
9 min. Short film
A black African emigrant knick-knack pedlar goes into a bar for a coffee and very nearly finds himself straight back out on the street at the hands of the obnoxious barman. Saved by his fate by a group of card players, he soon realises that their interest in his wares is only a cover for fun at his expense. However, it doesn?t take long for the players to fall into the inoffensive but ego-crushing trap set for them by the ?poor? African.
Lorenzo Soler
98 min.
Saïd, a 20-year-old Moroccan boy, crosses the Strait of Gibraltar in a boat, arriving after a long journey to Barcelona, where he soon discovers the racist prejudice and legal barriers that oblige him to do jobs no-one else wants. Despite the difficulties, he discovers love and friendship thanks to a journalism student called Anna and a group of North-African immigrants who have put a band together.
Bourlem Guerdjou
France - Algeria - Belgium - Norway 
105 min.
1961-62. The Algerian war is at its peak. Lakhdar, an Algerian immigrant living in the Parisian suburbs, can no longer bear living alone, and decides to bring his wife and children to France. Lakhdar ends up becoming one of those profiteers who exploit their fellow countrymen, not knowing that his wife Nora is involved in militant activity.
Icíar Bollaín
105 min.
Patricia, a Dominican, seeks the home and financial security kept out of reach by her illegal situation in Madrid. Milady, born in Havana, is 20 and the world is her oyster. Marirrosi, from Bilbao, has a job and a house, but no partner. Like Carmelo, Damián and Alfonso, all from Santa Eulalia, a village with no eligible women and no future. A singles? get-together forces them into contact with one another.
Laïla Marrakchi
Marocco - France 
12 min. Short film
Broken, with ruined dreams and certain of having no future in Morocco, Abdeslam decides to cross the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain. That same night he says goodbye to his girlfriend, who believes he would be better off trying to find happiness in his own country.
Mostefa Djadjam
France - Algeria 
105 min.
A group of Africans comprising six men and a woman illegally attempt to reach Europe. The stretch from Senegal to Tangiers, the last before making the crossing to Spain, turns into an odyssey plagued with complications. Despite their initial mistrust, strong ties of solidarity gradually grow between them. At last Europe comes into sight, in Tangiers: the doorway to Paradise.
Isao Yukisada
122 min.
Sugihara is a youngster of Korean origin who lives in Japan. Starting to attend a Japanese school, he is treated with discrimination and scorn by his fellow Japanese students. His father, a retired boxer, has taught Sugihara to use his fists. Although he doesn?t like hitting people, he likes it even less to be on the receiving end. Things get complicated when Sugihara falls in love with the mysterious Sakurai and receives a call from a Korean friend.
Michael Winterbottom
88 min.
Afghan refugees Enayatullah and Jamal live in Shamshatoo camp, on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The former?s uncle decides to pay for their passage from there to London, where a cousin is waiting for them. Travelling on ramshackle buses and lorries and constantly paying backhanders up front, Enayatullah and Jamal learn what hell really means in their dangerous flight.
Eliane de Latour
France - UK 
109 min.
Shad and Otho, two friends from the Ivory Coast, embark on a European adventure. Arriving in Spain, they set up a taxi service for other illegal immigrants, until they are caught by the police. Otho is deported, while Shad escapes to London, where he meets Tango, a young French woman, heading with her to Paris. Shad introduces Tango to a group of African immigrants including the attractive Olga, giving rise to an unexpected, dangerous situation.
Radu Mihaileanu
France - Belgium - Israel - Italy 
140 min.
1984. Israel has launched Operation Moses to take Ethiopian Jews to the country. A Christian mother persuades her 9-year-old son to pretend to be a Jew to prevent him from dying of hunger. Adopted by a family of French Sephardic Jews living in Tel Aviv, he grows up in constant fear of being exposed. While he discovers love, racism and war in the occupied Palestinian territories, he never forgets his real mother.
Carlos Iglesias
105 min.
Spain, 1960. Two friends, Martin and Marcos, decide to head for Switzerland in search of work. Leaving their families in Spain, they set out for a new life in the Europe of progress and freedom. The arrival of Pilar, Martin?s wife, and Carmen, Marcos? girlfriend, puts an end to their bachelor days. Martin?s father dies and they decide to return home, only to discover that it?s harder to go back than it was to leave.
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