Film Festivals

63rd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

Unresolved issues in today’s filmmaking

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 February 2013

A number of interesting films from central and eastern Europe were awarded prizes in Berlin this year, but, unfortunately, they were not characteristic of the festival as a whole.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 7

Underground: The Julian Assange Story and Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out

By Joanne Laurier, 12 October 2012

Julian Assange’s early life is fictionalized by Australian director Robert Connolly, while documentarian Marina Zenovich offers the latest installment in the Roman Polanski saga.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 6

Interviews with five filmmakers about life and art in India, Ivory Coast, Guatemala, Angola and Haiti

By David Walsh, 9 October 2012

A good many honest and intriguing films screened at the recent Toronto film festival. The WSWS interviewed a number of directors about their films and the conditions in their respective countries.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 5

Detroit’s belated “renaissance”—on film

By Joanne Laurier, 5 October 2012

A number of films about Detroit have suddenly emerged … including now a fiction work about the complicated interactions between the city’s Arab and African American populations.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 4

Far From Afghanistan: Significant, moving, uneven

By David Walsh, 2 October 2012

Far From Afghanistan is an effort by five US directors to come to terms with the decade-long Afghanistan war and its implications for both the Afghan and American populations.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012--Part 3

Filmmakers respond to important events—but how they respond is also important …

By Joanne Laurier, 28 September 2012

The 2012 Toronto film festival screened numerous serious documentaries and docu-dramas, reflecting the impact of the current social crisis and the increasing resistance of the global working class.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 2

A World Not Ours: Where do the Palestinians go from here?

By David Walsh, 26 September 2012

Mahdi Fleifel’s A World Not Ours, one of the most remarkable films presented at the Toronto festival this year, is both a personal memoir and a tracing out of the Palestinian history and condition.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012

An interview with Mahdi Fleifel and Patrick Campbell, director and co-producer of A World Not Ours

By David Walsh, 26 September 2012

The WSWS spoke to Mahdi Fleifel, writer and director of A World Not Ours and Patrick Campbell, co-producer (along with Fleifel) of the film, during the recent Toronto film festival.

Toronto International Film Festival 2012—Part 1

The wide range of human passion, action and adventure

By David Walsh, 22 September 2012

The Toronto International Film Festival screened some 372 films this year from 72 countries. This year’s festival and the general state of the film world present a sharper contradiction than ever.

Sydney Film Festival—Part 6: Bernardo Bertolucci’s rise and fall

By Richard Phillips, 18 August 2012

Bernardo Bertolucci has been the focus of much commentary by film critics during his 50-year filmmaking career.

Sydney Film Festival—Part 5: Dead Europe and Mabo, two Australian features

By Gabriela Zabala, 16 August 2012

Australian features Dead Europe and Mabo are weak and unconvincing works.

Sydney Film Festival 2012—Part 4: Two love stories and a couple of class-conscious dramas from Korea and Brazil

By Robert Maras, 15 August 2012

Tabu by Portuguese director Miguel Gomes and Amour, Michael Haneke recent film, are different takes on the subject of love.

Sydney Film Festival—Part 3: Some naturalistic and mostly credible depictions

By Richard Phillips, 10 August 2012

Noteworthy features screened at the festival included Just the Wind, The Angels’ Share and Captive.

Sydney Film Festival—Part 2: Music as a dividing or unifying social force

By Gabriela Zabala, 8 August 2012

El Gusto was the most engaging of the three music documentaries seen at this year’s festival.

Sydney Film Festival 2012—Part 1: To shine a light on reality or flee from it

By Richard Phillips, 4 August 2012

This year’s festival screened over 150 titles with 12 features in the official competition. Most of the competing features, including the prize winner, failed to impress.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2012—Part 4

Twixt and Trishna: Weak films from Coppola and Winterbottom

By Kevin Kearney, 30 May 2012

New films by veteran directors Francis Ford Coppola and Michael Winterbottom were screened at the recent San Francisco film festival.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2012—Part 3

Two significant works: Fritz Lang’s House by the River (1950) and Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949)

By Kevin Kearney, 22 May 2012

Screenings of Fritz Lang’s House by the River (1950) and Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949) were highlights of the 2012 an Francisco film festival.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2012—Part 2

Crulic—The Path to Beyond from Romania: The tragic fate of a decent, humble human being

By Kevin Kearney, 19 May 2012

The second film by Romanian filmmaker Anca Damian, Crulic—The Path to Beyond, was another noteworthy documentary (or semi-documentary) featured at the 2012 San Francisco film festival.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2012—Part 1

How have filmmakers responded to the new global situation?

By Kevin Kearney, 17 May 2012

The recently concluded 55th San Francisco International Film Festival screened nearly 200 films (including shorts) from several dozen countries. The Law in These Parts from Israel was one of the most intriguing and powerful.

Citizen Gangster: A drama of postwar Canadian life

By David Walsh, 15 May 2012

Citizen Gangster [Edwin Boyd] is an unusual film, which depicts social relations in Canada in a relatively harsh light and does not take as its premise the “kinder, gentler” nature of life there.

The Deep Blue Sea: Love and emotional truth in post-war Britain

By Ruby Rankin and Richard Phillips, 25 April 2012

The Deep Blue Sea, with its flawed individuals, living through the depths of despair but finding the strength to behave with personal integrity, has been revived on film by Terence Davies.

62nd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5

Left-wing German films in the 1920s reveal problems

By Bernd Reinhardt, 16 March 2012

This year’s retrospective section at the Berlin film festival, “The Red Dream Factory”, included a number of intriguing German films produced by the German-Soviet film company Mezhrabpom in the 1920s and 1930s.

62nd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4

Sergei Eisenstein’s October: a monumental work

By Bernd Reinhardt, 10 March 2012

The new HD version of Eisenstein’s epic October is a testament to the restored film’s ability to retain the spirit of the “ten days that shook the world”, despite its philistine truncation at the hands of the Stalinist bureaucracy.

62nd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3

Interview with Rainer Rother, director of a Soviet-German film retrospective: “These films are a pledge that things can be different”

By Bernd Reinhardt and Stefan Steinberg, 6 March 2012

This year’s Berlin Film Festival featured a fascinating retrospective of films resulting from the collaboration between German and Soviet film producers and directors in the 1920s and 1930s. The WSWS spoke to its organiser.

62nd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2

Political films in Berlin

By Stefan Steinberg, 29 February 2012

A number of film reviewers have been quick to draw a parallel between the Arab Spring revolutions and the opening film of the Berlinale, Farewell, My Queen, by the French director Benoît Jacquot.

62nd Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

A few nuggets on display at the Berlinale

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 February 2012

This year’s Berlinale jury, headed by veteran British director Mike Leigh, awarded the festival’s principal prizes to a number of interesting and significant works.

Toronto International Film Festival 2011—Part 5

The defense of Iranian filmmakers, and their artistic decline

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 26 October 2011

The recent Toronto film festival screened several films from Iran—including This is Not a Film, about the house arrest of filmmaker Jafar Panahi, co-directed by Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, and Good Bye from Mohammad Rasoulof.

Toronto International Film Festival 2011—Part 4

The permanent, painful search for truth

By Joanne Laurier, 15 October 2011

A number of films at the recent Toronto film festival offered serious presentations of life and artistic problems themselves.

Toronto International Film Festival 2011—Part 3

The drama of everyday life

By David Walsh, 12 October 2011

Certain filmmakers are beginning to reckon with social questions as factors in human psychology and behavior. Others continue to take the line of least resistance.

“Emotional truth and social truth are what I’m interested in”

An interview with Bryan Wizemann, director of Think of Me

By David Walsh, 12 October 2011

David Walsh spoke to Bryan Wizemann, the director of Think of Me, during last month’s Toronto international film festival.

Toronto International Film Festival 2011—Part 2

Crimes and upheavals past and present

By Joanne Laurier, 5 October 2011

The best films from France in recent years have concerned themselves with the country’s colonial past and related issues today.

Toronto International Film Festival 2011—Part 1

The world at large and closer to home

By David Walsh, 30 September 2011

The recent 36th Toronto International Film Festival screened some 335 features and shorts from 65 countries.

Sydney Film Festival 2011—Part 6: Douglas Sirk’s elegant imitations of life

By Richard Phillips, 4 August 2011

Sirk’s best work reveals an exceptional artist and one whose visually-rich and socially-incisive observations still have a timeless quality.

Sydney Film Festival 2011—Part 5: A classic novel intelligently reworked, a light comedy and some less impressive efforts

By Richard Phillips, 1 August 2011

A new version of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and three other features looking for a niche somewhere between commercial and independent cinema.

Sydney Film Festival 2011—Part 4: A conversation with Shelly Kraicer about Chinese independent cinema

By Richard Phillips, 30 July 2011

Beijing resident and film festival programmer Shelly Kraicer discusses developments in the Chinese independent cinema.

Sydney Film Festival 2011—Part 3: Global warming, village life, and other documentaries

By Richard Phillips, 28 July 2011

A diverse range of subjects were examined in the more than thirty documentaries screened at this year’s festival.

Sydney Film Festival 2011—Part 2: An eclectic selection with a few valuable moments

By Richard Phillips, 26 July 2011

Festival competition movies varied widely in their range of cinematic styles and artistic sensitivity.

Sydney Film Festival 2011—Part 1: Social complexity versus the trivial

By Richard Phillips, 22 July 2011

This is the first in a series of articles on the 2011 Sydney film festival.

The political tone at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival

By Jordan Mattos, 14 May 2011

The recent Tribeca Film Festival screened some interesting works from Serbia, Hungary, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Korea, France and Romania in particular.

61st Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5

Dirk Lütter’s The Education: what today’s youth face

By Bernd Reinhardt, 27 April 2011

Dirk Lütter’s debut film The Education is a moving exposé of coldly impersonal operations and spying in the contemporary business world.

61st Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4

New films about former East Germany: Elke Hauck’s The Prize and Annekatrin Hendel’s Traitor to the Fatherland

By Bernd Reinhardt, 9 April 2011

Two young eastern German directors, representatives of the post-reunification generation, offer films probing conformity and dissent in former Stalinist East Germany.

61st Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3

Two intriguing competition films: Coriolanus and Margin Call

By Stefan Steinberg, 11 March 2011

Among the more interesting films in the Berlin film festival’s competition section were a version of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, directed by actor Ralph Fiennes, and Margin Call, dealing with the financial crash of 2008.

61st Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2

Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse: The social and the cosmic

By Stefan Steinberg, 7 March 2011

The animal referred to in the title of Béla Tarr’s new film is the horse embraced by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in a Turin public square in 1889.

61st Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

Problems of the “personal” and “political” in cinema

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 2011

With a handful of honourable exceptions, the selection of films on view at this year’s Berlinale sadly failed to galvanise, stimulate, astound, or arouse profound feelings of empathy for the characters on screen.

Three films: Conviction, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Inside Job

By Joanne Laurier, 9 November 2010

A number of films that appeared at the 2010 Toronto film festival, and on which we commented, have opened in North America. We repost the comments today.

Toronto International Film Festival 2010—Part 7

Ken Loach’s Route Irish: the Iraq war comes home

By David Walsh, 21 October 2010

British director Ken Loach has been a significant figure in filmmaking for more than 40 years. He first came to prominence in the 1960s with Cathy Come Home (1966) on British television and his first feature film, Kes (1969).

Toronto International Film Festival 2010

A conversation with Ken Loach

By David Walsh, 21 October 2010

David Walsh and Joanne Laurier spoke to director Ken Loach—accompanied by screenwriter Paul Laverty—about his latest film, Route Irish, and his career as a whole at the recent Toronto film festival.

Toronto International Film Festival 2010—Part 6

Walking around and near the problems

By Joanne Laurier, 18 October 2010

A number of documentaries at the Toronto film festival presented, with differing degrees of depth, various interesting facts about the modern world.

Toronto International Film Festival 2010—Part 5

What does it mean to take reality seriously?

By David Walsh, 14 October 2010

Films from Iran, China and Romania, including a conversation with Iranian filmmaker Rafi Pitts, director of The Hunter.

Toronto International Film Festival 2010

ANPO: Art X War—Art and opposition in postwar Japan

By Lee Parsons, 14 October 2010

ANPO: Art X War, a remarkable documentary from first-time director Linda Hoaglund, deals with the mass opposition that erupted in Japan in 1960 to the continuation of the US military presence in that country.

Toronto International Film Festival 2010—Part 4

American fiction

By Joanne Laurier, 6 October 2010

A number of fiction films from the US, straddling the line between independent and commercial cinema, and featuring well-known Hollywood names, attempted to work through different aspects of social reality and their impact on emotional life.

Toronto International Film Festival 2010—Part 3

Even the Rain and the need for dealing with complexity

By David Walsh, 1 October 2010

Even the Rain (Tambien la lluvia), from director Icíar Bollaín (Spain) and screenwriter Paul Laverty (Britain), was one of the most serious and complicated films screened at the Toronto film festival.

Toronto International Film Festival 2010—Part 2

Tears of Gaza director: “How could one not want to show the world what is happening?”

By Joanne Laurier, 28 September 2010

Tears of Gaza, directed by Norway’s Vibeke Løkkeberg, is a powerful documentary. The filmmakers collected video footage shot by Palestinians during the Israeli onslaught in December 2008-January 2009. The film follows three children in particular.

Toronto International Film Festival 2010—Part 1

Filmmaking in 2010

By David Walsh, 23 September 2010

This year’s Toronto film festival screened some 340 films, from 59 countries. Productions from the US, France, Canada, Germany and the UK dominated the list, in quantity, if not always (or even generally) quality.

Sydney Film Festival 2010—Part 6: Two classics and one that might have been

By Ismet Redzovic and Richard Phillips, 23 July 2010

This year’s festival screened new prints of A Woman Under the Influence and The Last Days of Chez Nous, as well as a new documentary, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno.

Sydney Film Festival 2010—Part 5: Corruption, war in the Middle East, poverty in the US and other issues

By Richard Phillips, 19 July 2010

A diverse group of dramas from Haiti, the US, Britain and the Middle East.

Sydney Film Festival 2010—Part 4: If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle and How I Ended Last Summer

By Ismet Redzovic, 14 July 2010

An insightful Romanian film, about the plight of youth there, and a less satisfying Russian thriller were featured at the Sydney festival.

Sydney Film Festival 2010—Part 3: Thai-style magic realism, Chinese history and poverty in the Philippines

By Richard Phillips, 10 July 2010

A disparate group of features from Asia, some of them dealing with important historical or social questions, were screened at this year’s Sydney festival.

Sydney Film Festival 2010—Part 2: Last Train Home and The Most Dangerous Man in America and two less successful documentaries

By Richard Phillips, 7 July 2010

This year’s Sydney Film Festival screened over 30 documentaries, a couple of which deserve much wider audiences than they are likely to receive.

“The level of government secrecy today is incredible”

A conversation with Judith Ehrlich

By Richard Phillips, 7 July 2010

Documentary filmmaker Judith Ehrlich (The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers) spoke with the World Socialist Web Site during the Sydney Film Festival.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2010 Part 6: Luchino Visconti’s Senso—drama and history

By David Walsh, 3 June 2010

Senso, the 1954 film directed by Luchino Visconti about the Italian national unification struggle in the nineteenth century, is a beautiful and important work.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2010

An interview with Woo Ming-jin, director of Woman on Fire Looks for Water, and a comment

By David Walsh, 3 June 2010

An interview with the young Malaysian film director, Woo Ming-jin, and a comment on his new film, Woman on Fire Looks for Water.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2010 Part 5: The small pictures that still dominate

By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 28 May 2010

Films from Iran, Germany, Palestine, Belgium, Mexico, South Korea, the US and China exhibit some of the same “smallness,” some of the same passivity, some of the same aversion to tracing out phenomena historically.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2010 Part 4: An Indian masterpiece

By Joanne Laurier, 21 May 2010

Jalsaghar (1958) The Music Room>, considered to be one of Satyajit Ray’s finest achievements, was screened at the San Francisco film festival this year. The work has been restored by Academy Film Archive with funding provided by the Film Foundation.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2010 Part 3: War, and more war

By Joanne Laurier, 14 May 2010

Several documentaries screened at the San Francisco film festival criticized aspects of the US interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under the banner of “nonpolitical” filmmaking, however, the various works avoided the most critical questions.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2010 Part 2: Susa—The type of life that requires illusions

By David Walsh, 11 May 2010

Susa, directed by Rusudan Pirveli and written by Giorgi Chalauri, comes from Georgia, the former Soviet Republic. The title character (played by Avtandil Tetradze) is a boy living in bad conditions, somewhere outside the capital city of Tbilisi.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2010 Part 1: A few introductory words on this year’s event

By David Walsh, 7 May 2010

The recently concluded San Francisco International Film Festival was one of the more interesting in the last number of years. The festival screened some 177 films (including shorts) originating from several dozen countries.

60th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 6

The jurist Fritz Bauer and Germany’s Nazi past

By Bernd Reinhardt, 17 March 2010

The documentary Fritz Bauer—Tod auf Raten (Fritz Bauer—Death by Instalments), directed by Ilona Ziok, celebrates the German jurist and prosecutor Fritz Bauer (1903-1968), who now—unjustly—is almost forgotten.

60th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5

Romania, Bosnia, and the problems of immigrants

By Stefan Steinberg, 11 March 2010

Romanian cinema has won a reputation in the last few years with a series of films by younger directors attempting to come to grips with the consequences of the introduction of the capitalist free market following the collapse of Stalinism.

60th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4

This year’s German films: In general, a more serious tone

By Bernd Reinhardt, 6 March 2010

A number of trends currently find expression in German cinema. On the whole, this year’s feature and documentary films on view at the Berlinale adopted a more serious tone.

60th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3

Kanikosen: a Japanese “proletarian novel,” updated

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 2010

This is the third in a series of articles on the recent Berlin International Film Festival, February 11-21.

60th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2

Moloch Tropical and Jew Suss: Rise and Fall

By Stefan Steinberg, 26 February 2010

One of the most engrossing films at the Berlinale was the new film by Raoul Peck. After treating developments in a number of African countries in his more recent films, Peck has turned his attention to his native Haiti.

60th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, a new version of Metropolis, and other matters

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 February 2010

There was a dearth of substantial social and political films at the Berlinale, despite the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s. Nevertheless, a small number of the works on view made an attempt to come to grips with a rapidly changing situation.

Toronto International Film Festival 2009—Part 6

Thoroughly lost, or playing at it

By David Walsh, 17 October 2009

Lars von Trier from Denmark, once associated with the Dogme 95 group, has been making films for some two decades. His latest effort is Antichrist. It is a murky, hopelessly contrived, and, frankly, ridiculous film.

Toronto International Film Festival 2009—Part 5

Compassion, vision, genius

By Joanne Laurier, 14 October 2009

The poor throughout the world are neglected and abandoned, increasingly left by the authorities to their own devices. In an imaginative and sensitive fashion, some artists are beginning to concern themselves with this state of affairs.

Toronto International Film Festival 2009—Part 4

More human (and artistic) problems

By David Walsh, 10 October 2009

Where are the extraordinary and captivating film dramas, and comedies, that go to the heart of our time?

Toronto International Film Festival 2009

An interview with Asli Özge, director of Men on the Bridge

By David Walsh, 10 October 2009

Asli Özge is the director of Men on the Bridge, a Turkish film screened at the recent Toronto film festival. We spoke during the festival.

Toronto International Film Festival 2009—Part 3

Filmmakers on violence and social tension in the Middle East

By Joanne Laurier, 7 October 2009

The seven-year artistic collaboration between Israeli Yaron Shani and Palestinian Scandar Copti produced one of the Toronto film festival’s most important and courageous films, Ajami.

Toronto International Film Festival 2009—Part 2

“The Iraq war poisoned the water—you can’t undo that, it’s there forever”

By David Walsh, 3 October 2009

Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein have directed at least three remarkable documentaries about the US invasion of Iraq and its consequences: (Gunner Palace (2004), The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair (2006), and now, How To Fold a Flag.

Toronto International Film Festival 2009—Part 1

Polarization and protest

By David Walsh, 30 September 2009

To make useful sense of an event as large and contradictory as the Toronto film festival, which screened 273 feature films from 64 countries this year, is no easy matter.

Filmmakers, writers protest Toronto festival spotlight on Tel Aviv

By David Walsh, 10 September 2009

Dozens of filmmakers, writers and others have signed an Open Letter to the Toronto International Film Festival, criticizing the festival’s decision “to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv.”

Sydney Film Festival 2009—Part 5

Several movies well worth revisiting

By Richard Phillips, 17 July 2009

This is the last in a series of articles on the 56th Sydney Film Festival. Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 were posted on July 9, 10, 13 and 14 respectively.

Sydney Film Festival 2009—Part 4: Vital ingredients missing

By George Morley, 14 July 2009

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the 56th Sydney Film Festival.

Sydney Film Festival 2009—Part 3: Some perceptive documentaries

By Richard Phillips and Ismet Redzovic, 13 July 2009

This is the third in a series of articles on the Sydney Film Festival held June 3-14.

Sydney Film Festival 2009—Part 2: Competition movies: largely passive reflections

By Ismet Redzovic, 10 July 2009

This is the second in a series of articles on the Sydney Film Festival held June 3-14.

Sydney Film Festival 2009—Part 1: Courage and audacity sadly lacking

By Richard Phillips, 9 July 2009

The quality of new work screened at this year’s Sydney Film Festival was patchy and generally undemanding, with critical human issues largely unexplored.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2009

An interview with He Jianjun, director of River People

By David Walsh, 25 June 2009

He Jianjun’s River People from China is a serious and honest work about young fishermen on the Yellow River. The film depicts a harsh, almost entirely joyless existence. The WSWS conducted an e-mail interview with He.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2009

Part 5: Personal anxiety, but social complacency

By David Walsh, 3 June 2009

This is the fifth of a series of articles on the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival, held April 23-May 7. Part 1 was posted May 20; Part 2 was posted May 22; Part 3 was posted May 25; Part 4 was posted June 1, 2009

San Francisco International Film Festival 2009

Part 4: The ongoing impact of the USSR’s collapse and other facts of modern life

By Joanne Laurier, 1 June 2009

This is the fourth of a series of articles on the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival, held April 23-May 7. Part 1 was posted May 20; Part 2 was posted May 22;Part 3 was posted May 25.

2009 San Francisco International Film Festival Part 3: The trauma produced by events

By Joanne Laurier, 25 May 2009

The recent San Francisco film festival, its 52nd, presented 151 films from 55 countries to a combined audience of some 82,000 people. This is the third article in a series.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2009

Part 2: Human drama, partially treated

By David Walsh, 22 May 2009

The recent San Francisco film festival, its 52nd, presented 151 films from 55 countries to a combined audience of some 82,000 people. This is the second article in a series

San Francisco International Film Festival 2009

Part 1: Painful truths

By David Walsh, 20 May 2009

The recent San Francisco film festival, its 52nd, presented 151 films from 55 countries to a combined audience of some 82,000 people.

The 59th Berlinale—Part 4

Jadup and Boel: The last banned film from the former East Germany

By Bernd Reinhardt, 29 April 2009

The Berlin film festival’s series of special feature films commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall twenty years ago, “Goodbye to Winter: Cinematic portents of the collapse of Stalinism,” featured Rainer Simon’s Jadup and Boel.

The 59th Berlinale–Part 3

Intimations of changes to come—but nothing more

On the film series: After Winter Comes Spring—Films presaging the fall of the Berlin Wall

By Bernd Reinhardt, 19 March 2009

The German Kinemathek at this year’s Berlinale showed a retrospective series of Eastern European films made between 1977 and 1989: dramas, documentaries, experimental films and animated films from the former Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania.

The 59th Berlinale—Part 2

A few healthy shoots

By Stefan Steinberg, 26 February 2009

A small number of films featured in the main competition section of the 59th Berlinale were able to integrate pressing social themes into a convincing and moving narrative.

The 59th Berlinale—Part 1

Lagging alarmingly behind the times

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 February 2009

Perhaps most striking about the latest Berlinale was the absence of any comprehension of the urgency of the current crisis. None of the burning issues at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century were adequately addressed at the festival.

Vancouver International Film Festival 2008—Part 5

Six films: problems of perspective, passivity

By David Walsh, 27 October 2008

Every film that fails or disappoints does so in its own way. Pointing to the flaws of a work is not a pleasurable task.

An interview with Azharr Rudin, director of This Longing

By David Walsh, 27 October 2008

The WSWS commented on This Longing, directed by Malaysian filmmaker Azharr Rudin, in the first part of the series on the Vancouver film festival. The movie takes place in Johor Baharu, in southern Malaysia.

Vancouver International Film Festival 2008—Part 4

Repentance, betrayal and the less dramatic

By Joanne Laurier, 23 October 2008

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the recent Vancouver International Film Festival (September 25-October 10).

Vancouver International Film Festival 2008—Part 3

The oppressed and excluded

By David Walsh, 20 October 2008

This is the third in a series of articles on the recent Vancouver International Film Festival (September 25-October 10).