Programmers’ Picks: Here’s what to see this weekend at HIFF Spring Showcase
The HIFF programming team has secured 35 films from 16 countries for this year’s 20th edition of the HIFF Spring Showcase, which starts today with THE PRISON as the Opening Night Film and ends on April 9 with CHASING CORAL closing the festival. All films to be screened at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18.
Although there are just 35 films in the Spring Showcase, we know that it’s highly improbable that you can see all 35 (but very possible and we have some devoted members who totally do that). Therefore, here’s a trusty guide for this weekend of select must-sees according to our HIFF programming staff. We’ve also added hashtags of genres and descriptions that might interest you if you are seeking that type of particular film.
Saturday, April 1:
2:45PM LAST MEN IN ALEPPO — After five years of war in Syria, Aleppo’s remaining residents prepare themselves for a siege. Khalid, Subhi and Mahmoud, founding members of The White Helmets, have remained in the city to help their fellow citizens-and experience daily life, death, struggle and triumph in a city under fire.
#Sundance #HumanRights #Reporting #CurrentEvents #Syria #whitehelmets
5:00PM A QUIET PASSION — Cynthia Nixon delivers a triumphant performance as Emily Dickinson as she personifies the wit, intellectual independence and pathos of the poet whose genius only came to be recognized after her death. Acclaimed British director Terence Davies (HOUSE OF MIRTH) exquisitely evokes Dickinson’s deep attachment to her close knit family along with the manners, mores and spiritual convictions of her time that she struggled with and transcended in her poetry.
#biography #womenrights #history #literature #EmilyDickinson #awardwinner
5:30PM HAMON: YAKUZA BOOGIE — Kuwahara and construction consultant Ninomiya go on a search for a movie producer, who has run off with money invested in his dubious project by a yakuza lieutenant. Their pursuit takes them around Japan’s Kansai region and even to Macao, which accidentally leads to inter-gang conflict. The hunters become the hunted, forcing them to risk everything in a final desperate gambit…
#Yakuza #comedy #gangster #roadmovie #Japanese
8:00PM THE OPPOSITION — An indigenous community in Papua New Guinea is forced to fight back before they are cruelly evicted from their land in favor of a five star tourist hotel.
#LandRights #Indigenous #Native #PacificIslander #Gentrification #Legal
Sunday, April 2:
5:00PM DETOUR — Three friends from college, now nearing 40, reunite to attend a funeral and revisit their youth — Joog-pil, a business exec biding his time for retirement, Soo-tak, who has been taking the civil service exam for 13 years and Eun-dong, a womanizing news anchor. Together, they embark on a journey that brings up old wounds and, hopefully, closure on issues from their youth.
#Korean #RoadTrip #MenBehavingBadly #MidLifeCrisis #JejuIsland
5:45pm GOOK — Eli and Daniel are Korean American brothers who own a struggling shoe store and have an unlikely friendship with Kamilla, a street wise 11-year-old African American girl. It’s just another typical day at the store until the Rodney King verdict is read and riots break. GOOK premiered at Sundance where it won the Audience Award. #KoreanAmerican #Sundance #AwardWinner #JustinChon #history #LARiots #Race
7:45PM ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL — This is the incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by the Manhattan District Attorney, Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s Chinatown legacy – over the course of a five-year legal battle. #Recession #FamilyBusiness #Chinese #FinancialCrisis #Legal #Underdog #ModelMinority
8:00PM THE HERO — Straight from its world premiere at Sundance, ubiquitous character actor Sam Elliott turns in a career-defining performance as Lee Hayden, a former Western film icon, who is living a comfortable existence lending his golden voice to advertisements and smoking weed. After receiving a lifetime achievement award and unexpected news, Lee reexamines his past, while a chance meeting with a sardonic comic has him looking to the future. #SamElliott #Sundance #SeniorLife #BucketList #Drama #Hollywood