Women have it harder in this world than men do. Some might dispute this (and they’d be wrong), but it is a fact. While it remains true anywhere you go, one of the worst places is Ciudad Juarez, in Northern Mexico. In this city, there is an ongoing trend of women being murdered and exploited. Luchadoras follows three women in the city who have discovered a means to empowerment within their lives, Lucha Libre.
It’s an interesting juxtaposition in the first place, but it only gets more powerful as the movie goes on.
North Bend Film Festival continues with two esoteric and singular films, Dash Shaw’s Cryptozoo, an a dreamy animated commentary on capitalism and Swan Song, a personal journey of restoration and reclamation featuring stunning performance from Udo Kier.
We’ve all been there. We’ve cut someone off, we’ve made unsafe turns, and we’ve tailgated. It’s rude, and we shouldn’t do it, and when we’re called out we probably shouldn’t be defensive about it.
Tailgate (Bumperkleef in the original dutch) follows an impatient father as he does exactly what the title suggests, and angers the wrong person in doing so. The result is, obviously, a deadly game of cat and mouse that will reveal the true character of those involved.
Ayar is another entry into the ongoing oeuvre of COVID-19. Taking place mid-pandemic, it follows a young mother trying to reconnect with her daughter. A simple enough premise, but rather than take the straight path to get there, director Floyd Russ new film opts for something more experimental and experiential, to fascinating results.
There are unplanned pregnancies, and then there are unplanned pregnancies. Children turn your whole world upside down enough as it is, not having a plan only flips things further. Rakel (Kristine Thorp) is a twenty-something who is not living her best life. She’s unemployed, dropped out of school, and despite dreams of writing a graphic novel hasn’t made any effort to actually do that beyond occasionally drawing.
A few weeks after hooking up with Mos, an Aikido teacher, based solely on the fact that she thinks he smells good, she begins to feel unwell. A quick pregnancy test supplied by her roommate confirms it, but when she goes to the doctor she finds out that she’s not just pregnant, she’s six months pregnant.
A man and a woman meet, fall in love, and have a baby. They are from different worlds, him from Norway and her from Japan. Things are happy for a time, but eventually, she returns home and severs all contact with her husband and son.
Decades later the son she left behind, Marius Lunde, is on a quest to track her down. There is a multitude of feelings involved, but ultimately he just wants to know his mother. Marius, along with his friend and filmmaking partner Fredrik Hana, set out to not only complete the task but film the whole thing as well.
This year’s festival is hybrid, with both virtual and in-person screenings. I’ll be covering the virtual edition this year. Unfortunately, being in Washington State, the festival itself is geo-locked America, so Canadian friends, we won’t be able to screen the films directly, but I will be providing Canadian release information wherever I can with reviews.
You can follow festival coverage using the NBFF 2021 tag here on the site and on social media. So follow along; it’s going to be fun!
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