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You are in: Home > 2021. 69th Edition  > Sections and Films
Official Selection
2021. 69th Edition
Official Selection
Official Selection
Films
Films
Opening Night Film
Yi miao zhong / One Second
Zhang Yimou
China 
A prisoner is sent to a labour camp in China’s desolate northwest during the country’s Cultural Revolution. Using his wit, and with the sole purpose of seeing a newsreel containing a glimpse of his daughter, he escapes and heads for the cinema in a local town. There he hopes to find the film and get a hold of it. But on the way he comes across a young vagabond with the same...

A prisoner is sent to a labour camp in China’s desolate northwest during the country’s Cultural Revolution. Using his wit, and with the sole purpose of seeing a newsreel containing a glimpse of his daughter, he escapes and heads for the cinema in a local town. There he hopes to find the film and get a hold of it. But on the way he comes across a young vagabond with the same desperate mission who runs away with the reel. Curiously, this enigmatic object, which both covet for very different reasons, will become the seed of an unexpected friendship.

Opening Night Film
Rosa rosae. La Guerra Civil / Rosa rosae. A Spanish Civil War Elegy
Carlos Saura
Spain 
Not in competition
Saura creates and recovers more than thirty images, drawings and photographs that he prints, manipulates, plays with and subsequently films, to produce a story which, while recreating the Spanish Civil War, could also reflect the horrors of universal conflict, seen through the eyes of a child and his surroundings.

Saura creates and recovers more than thirty images, drawings and photographs that he prints, manipulates, plays with and subsequently films, to produce a story which, while recreating the Spanish Civil War, could also reflect the horrors of universal conflict, seen through the eyes of a child and his surroundings.

Closing Night Film
Las leyes de la frontera
Daniel Monzón
Spain 
Not in competition
The story begins in summer 1978. Nacho Cañas, a shy student and something of a misfit, is seventeen years old and lives in Girona. His meeting with Zarco and Tere, two young tearaways from the city’s red-light district, catapults him into a love triangle leading to a continual spate of thefts, robberies and heists that will last throughout the summer and forever change his l...

The story begins in summer 1978. Nacho Cañas, a shy student and something of a misfit, is seventeen years old and lives in Girona. His meeting with Zarco and Tere, two young tearaways from the city’s red-light district, catapults him into a love triangle leading to a continual spate of thefts, robberies and heists that will last throughout the summer and forever change his life. Las leyes de la frontera is the tale of the summer when Nacho fell in love for the first time and grew up, constantly crossing the border between two worlds, crossing the line between good and bad, between justice and injustice.  

Arthur Rambo
Laurent Cantet
France 
Who is this Karim D? The new young writer whom the media can't get enough of? Or his alias, Arthur Rambo, the author of old hate-fuellled messages which are dredged up, one day, from social media websites?

Who is this Karim D? The new young writer whom the media can't get enough of? Or his alias, Arthur Rambo, the author of old hate-fuellled messages which are dredged up, one day, from social media websites?

Benediction
Terence Davies
UK 
Siegfried Sassoon was a complex man who survived the horrors of fighting in the First World War and was decorated for his bravery but who became a vocal critic of the government's continuation of the war when he returned from service. His poetry was inspired by his experiences on the Western Front and he became one of the leading war poets of the era. Adored by members...

Siegfried Sassoon was a complex man who survived the horrors of fighting in the First World War and was decorated for his bravery but who became a vocal critic of the government's continuation of the war when he returned from service. His poetry was inspired by his experiences on the Western Front and he became one of the leading war poets of the era. Adored by members of the aristocracy as well as stars of London's literary and stage world, he embarked on affairs with several men as he attempted to come to terms with his homosexuality. At the same time, broken by the horror of war, he made his life's journey a quest for salvation, trying to find it within the conformity of marriage and religion. His story is one of a troubled man in a fractured world searching for peace and self acceptance, something which speaks as meaningfully to the modern world as it did then.

Camila saldrá esta noche / Camila Comes Out Tonight
Inés Barrionuevo
Argentina 
When her grandmother falls seriously ill, Camila must move to Buenos Aires, leaving her friends and an easy-going comprehensive school for a traditional private institution. Camila’s ferocious but immature temperament will be put to the test. 

When her grandmother falls seriously ill, Camila must move to Buenos Aires, leaving her friends and an easy-going comprehensive school for a traditional private institution. Camila’s ferocious but immature temperament will be put to the test. 

Crai nou / Blue Moon
Alina Grigore
Romania 
The film follows the psychological journey of a young woman to her dehumanizing process. Irina struggles to achieve higher education and escape the violence of her dysfunctional family. An ambiguous sexual experience with an artist will spur her intention to fight the violence in her family…

The film follows the psychological journey of a young woman to her dehumanizing process. Irina struggles to achieve higher education and escape the violence of her dysfunctional family. An ambiguous sexual experience with an artist will spur her intention to fight the violence in her family…

Distancia de rescate / Fever Dream
Claudia Llosa
Peru - USA - Chile - Spain 
A young woman lies dying far from home. A boy sits beside her. She is not his mother. He is not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, an invisible threat and the power and desperation of family. Based on the internationally critically acclaimed homonymous novel by Samanta Schweblin.

A young woman lies dying far from home. A boy sits beside her. She is not his mother. He is not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, an invisible threat and the power and desperation of family. Based on the internationally critically acclaimed homonymous novel by Samanta Schweblin.

Du som er i himlen / As in Heaven
Tea Lindeburg
Denmark 
One day at the end of the 1800s, 14-year-old Lise’s life is changed forever. She is the eldest of her siblings, the first in her family to go to school and full of hope and confidence in life. But when her mother goes into labour, it quickly appears that something is wrong. As night falls and the labour progresses, Lise begins to understand that a day that began in childhood ...

One day at the end of the 1800s, 14-year-old Lise’s life is changed forever. She is the eldest of her siblings, the first in her family to go to school and full of hope and confidence in life. But when her mother goes into labour, it quickly appears that something is wrong. As night falls and the labour progresses, Lise begins to understand that a day that began in childhood might end with her becoming the woman of the house.

Earwig
Lucile Hadzihalilovic
UK - France - Belgium 
Somewhere in Europe, mid-20th century. Albert is employed to look after Mia, a girl with teeth of ice. Mia never leaves their apartment, where the shutters are always closed. The telephone rings regularly and the Master enquires after Mia’s wellbeing. Until the day Albert is instructed that he must prepare the child to leave...

Somewhere in Europe, mid-20th century. Albert is employed to look after Mia, a girl with teeth of ice. Mia never leaves their apartment, where the shutters are always closed. The telephone rings regularly and the Master enquires after Mia’s wellbeing. Until the day Albert is instructed that he must prepare the child to leave...

El buen patrón / The Good Boss
Fernando León de Aranoa
Spain 
The good boss likes to tell his workers that Justice holds Blanco scales in her hand.His company produces industrial scales, but the ones presiding over the entrance to the company, an old model with two plates, is out of kilter. Standing on the industrial outskirts of a small provincial town, for decades Básculas Blanco has been making industrial scales for major retail outle...

The good boss likes to tell his workers that Justice holds Blanco scales in her hand.

His company produces industrial scales, but the ones presiding over the entrance to the company, an old model with two plates, is out of kilter. Standing on the industrial outskirts of a small provincial town, for decades Básculas Blanco has been making industrial scales for major retail outlets, to weigh vehicles and livestock.

Blanco, its owner, is happy. His business is going through a healthy period: they are about to receive the Business Excellence award from the provincial government. The committee visit is imminent, and things must be perfect when the time comes.

But problems with his workers seem to be conspiring against him. The good boss tries to iron out the issues at any price: doing his all to restore the lost balance, he will cross every line imaginable.

Enquête sur un Scandale d'état / Undercover
Thierry de Peretti
France 
October 2015. French Customs seized seven tons of cannabis in the heart of the capital. The same day, Hubert Antoine, a former mole with a hazy past, contacts Stéphane Vilner, journalist at Libération. He claims to be able to demonstrate the existence of the State's drug trafficking led by Jacques Billard, media figure and high-ranking French police officer. Suspicious at...

October 2015. French Customs seized seven tons of cannabis in the heart of the capital. The same day, Hubert Antoine, a former mole with a hazy past, contacts Stéphane Vilner, journalist at Libération. He claims to be able to demonstrate the existence of the State's drug trafficking led by Jacques Billard, media figure and high-ranking French police officer. Suspicious at first, the young journalist finally dives into the investigation. It leads him to the darkest corners of the Republic.

La abuela / The Grandmother
Paco Plaza
Spain - France 
Susana has to leave her life in Paris working as a model to return to Madrid. Her grandmother Pilar has just had a stroke. Years ago, when Susana’s parents died, her grandmother had brought her up as if she were her own daughter. Susana needs to find someone to take care of Pilar, but what should have been only a few days with her grandmother will end up turning into a terrif...

Susana has to leave her life in Paris working as a model to return to Madrid. Her grandmother Pilar has just had a stroke. Years ago, when Susana’s parents died, her grandmother had brought her up as if she were her own daughter. Susana needs to find someone to take care of Pilar, but what should have been only a few days with her grandmother will end up turning into a terrifying nightmare.

Maixabel
Iciar Bollaín
Spain 
Maixabel Lasa lost her husband, Juan María Jáuregui, assassinated by ETA in 2000. Eleven years later, she receives an unusual request: One of the murderers has asked to meet her in the Nanclares de la Oca prison in Álava, where he is serving a sentence after having severed ties with the terrorist gang. Despite the doubts and the immense pain, Maixabel Lasa agrees to meet fac...

Maixabel Lasa lost her husband, Juan María Jáuregui, assassinated by ETA in 2000. Eleven years later, she receives an unusual request: One of the murderers has asked to meet her in the Nanclares de la Oca prison in Álava, where he is serving a sentence after having severed ties with the terrorist gang. Despite the doubts and the immense pain, Maixabel Lasa agrees to meet face to face with the people who ended in cold blood with the life of who had been her partner since the age of sixteen. “Everyone deserves a second chance,” she says when asked about the reasons for sitting in front of her husband’s killer.

Ping Yuan Shang De Huo Yan / Fire on the Plain
Zhang Ji
China 
China, 1997. A series of murders strikes the city of Fentun. The crimes mysteriously stop without the authorities having been able to find the perpetrator. Eight years later, a young police officer, close to one of the victims, decides to reopen the investigation.

China, 1997. A series of murders strikes the city of Fentun. The crimes mysteriously stop without the authorities having been able to find the perpetrator. Eight years later, a young police officer, close to one of the victims, decides to reopen the investigation.

Quién lo impide / Who's Stopping Us
Jonás Trueba
Spain 
Quién lo impide is a call to change our perception of adolescents and youths; our idea of those born in the early 21st century who have recently reached adulthood; those who now seem guilty of everything as they themselves see their hopes dashed. Somewhere between documentary, fiction and pure testimonial record, the young adolescents show themselves the way they really are, t...

Quién lo impide is a call to change our perception of adolescents and youths; our idea of those born in the early 21st century who have recently reached adulthood; those who now seem guilty of everything as they themselves see their hopes dashed. Somewhere between documentary, fiction and pure testimonial record, the young adolescents show themselves the way they really are, the way we rarely see them, or the way they let us see them: taking advantage of the film camera to show off the best of themselves and renew our trust in the future; from fragility and emotion, with humour, intelligence, beliefs and ideas. Because the young people who speak to us about love, friendship, politics or education refer not only to their own situation, but to the things that always matter to us, at any age. Quién lo impide is a film about ourselves: about what we were, what we are and what we will continue to be.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Michael Showalter
USA 
An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelib...

An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker, rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.

Vous ne désirez que moi / I Want to Talk About Duras
Claire Simon
France 
A man involved in a passionate relationship with a celebrated writer of 30 years his senior needs to talk. He is fascinated by her and yet he feels he just cannot go on anymore. He opens up, in an attempt to put into words the intensity of his love and he describes it with great clarity.

A man involved in a passionate relationship with a celebrated writer of 30 years his senior needs to talk. He is fascinated by her and yet he feels he just cannot go on anymore. He opens up, in an attempt to put into words the intensity of his love and he describes it with great clarity.

La Fortuna
Alejandro Amenábar
Spain 
Not in competition
Álex Ventura, a young and inexperienced diplomat, becomes the leader of a mission that will test his convictions: to recover the underwater treasure stolen by Frank Wild, a fortune hunter who travels the world looting common heritage from the depths of the sea. Together with Lucía, a feisty official, and Jonas Pierce, a brilliant American lawyer, Álex will set out on the adv...

Álex Ventura, a young and inexperienced diplomat, becomes the leader of a mission that will test his convictions: to recover the underwater treasure stolen by Frank Wild, a fortune hunter who travels the world looting common heritage from the depths of the sea. Together with Lucía, a feisty official, and Jonas Pierce, a brilliant American lawyer, Álex will set out on the adventure of his life, discovering the importance of love, friendship and following your beliefs. 6-episode series.

La hija / The Daughter
Manuel Martín Cuenca
Spain 
Not in competition
Irene is fifteen years old and lives in a centre for juvenile offenders. She has just realised that she’s pregnant and is determined to turn her life around with the help of Javier, one of the centre educators. Javier invites her to come and live out her pregnancy with himself and his wife Adela in their house in a remote and rugged spot in the mountains. The only condition i...

Irene is fifteen years old and lives in a centre for juvenile offenders. She has just realised that she’s pregnant and is determined to turn her life around with the help of Javier, one of the centre educators. Javier invites her to come and live out her pregnancy with himself and his wife Adela in their house in a remote and rugged spot in the mountains. The only condition is that, in exchange, she must agree to give them the baby she is carrying in her womb. This feeble pact will be threatened when Irene starts to feel that the life growing inside her is her own.

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© San Sebastian International Film Festival | Developed by: Yo Miento Producciones
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