Vancouver International Film Festival - same planet different worlds - runs Sept. 25 thru Oct 10. Here are the descriptions of a few feature shows.
Cry me a River
Jia Zhangke's most daring combination of documentary and fiction yet. The old socialist Factory 420 in Chengdu, Sichuan, is being replaced by ultra-capitalist luxury residences. Interviews with former workers recreate an entire lost world; appearances by famous actors (including Joan Chen) lace realism with poetry.
Three generations of Iranian women--a recalcitrant daughter chafing at the boundaries of contemporary middle-class society, her mother who came of age during the Islamic revolution, and her grandmother, steeped in traditional ways--serve as the focus of Manijeh Hekmat's powerful realist drama.
Addicted to Plastic!
Ian Connacher's doc is a thorough--and thoroughly worrying--look at the presence of plastic in our world. Alarming and enlightening in equal measure, the film hops from factories and landfills to India and the Pacific Ocean and back in search of facts, figures and, most importantly, solutions.
A French pallet factory is the setting for this lively, humour-filled exploration of religious hypocrisy and the immigrant experience. Mao (played by the film's director Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche) builds a mosque for his Algerian employees and chooses the imam without consultation. When the factory threatens to close, the workers must choose whether to fight for their jobs
Atom Egoyan returns with this winner of the Ecumenical Prize at Cannes 2008. Devon Bostick stars as a troubled teen who spreads a false rumour via the internet, only to unleash a firestorm. Egoyan's trademark shifts in time and thoughtful analysis of issues of identity inform this cautionary tale about technology's tendency to dehumanize.
Uchida Kenji’s hit thriller has as many twists as The Usual Suspects but stays rooted in its likeable, fallible characters. A common-or-garden salaryman has gone missing, maybe with a woman, but as assorted yakuza, private eyes and schoolteachers discover, more is going on than meets the eye. With hot new stars Oizumi Yo and Sasaki Kuranosuke
Tickets range from $8-10. Visit http://www.viff.org to buy tickets.