Luminous

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    What does it feel like to be alive today? The 20 films selected for the non-competitive section Luminous answer this question from a kaleidoscope of perspectives and shifting certainties. All of them give cause to pause and reflect, prompting audiences to consider lives that aren’t their own.

    Selected for Luminous

    499

    • Rodrigo Reyes
    • 2020

      499 years after the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, a conquistador washes ashore on the coast of Mexico and sets out on a journey of discovery. An original magical-realistic road movie that puts the violence of modern-day Mexico in a historical context.

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      The Ark

      • Dan Wei
      • 2020

        Observation of a crisis in restrained black-and-white, at micro and macro level. With the Covid-19 pandemic unfolding across the globe, an elderly woman fights for her life in a hospital in China. The family refuses to budge from her side, no matter what.

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        Atardi — The Life of Curaçao’s Musical Genius Rudy Plaate

        • Selwyn de Wind
        • 2020

          A chronological homage to singer-songwriter Rudy Plaate, who was born in his beloved Curaçao in 1937. Now that the “singing greengrocer” has dementia, his family and friends tell the story of his colorful life with the help of archive material.

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          Between Fire and Water

          • Viviana Gómez Echeverry
          • 2020

            Camilo was adopted by a Quillasinga couple in southwest Colombia. Now he’s the only Black member of this indigenous community. He has been lovingly assimilated into society, but he struggles with himself and wants to find out more about his origins.

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            Bosco

            • Alicia Cano Menoni
            • 2020

              Over 13 years, Alicia Cano filmed both her elderly grandfather in Uruguay and his distant relatives in the tiny Italian village of Bosco. A compassionate observation about dealing with impermanence and loss.

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              The Case You

              • Alison Kuhn
              • 2020

                Five young women who were subjected to sexual harassment and abuse of power during a film audition refuse to be victimized and instead aim for testimony and indictment in the spirit of #MeToo. On camera.

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                Dormant

                • Natalia Labaké
                • 2020

                  The granddaughter of Argentinian lawyer and politician Juan Labaké makes subtle use of old and new home videos to shed light on the subordinate role of women in politics and society, against the backdrop of the politician’s rise in the 1990s.

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                  Facunda

                  • Marta Romero
                  • 2020

                    Distinctly untypical portrait of an elderly Spanish woman who calmly does what the director, her grandniece, tells her to do. In between all the instructions, disarming and true-to-life moments arise that are beyond anyone’s control.

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                    Far from You I Grew

                    • Marie Dumora
                    • 2020

                      Thirteen-year-old Nicolas was placed in a children’s home as a toddler. He has to find his way to adulthood on his own, without the help of parents, but is supported by the Odyssey and his best friend Saef.

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                      The Hidden Shadow

                      • Francisco Álvarez Ríos
                      • 2020

                        The annual Diablada is a colorful festival in the Ecuadorian town of Píllaro. When he puts on his mask, Ángel becomes the devil himself. “Immerse yourself,” he says, “and feel the adrenaline.”

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                        Let My Body Speak

                        • Madonna Adib
                        • 2020

                          This personal short film by Madonna Adib centers on her body—a body which was attracted to girls when she was growing up in Damascus, was punished for failing to follow the government's rules, and which she now cherishes as her only real possession.

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                          Love, It Was Not

                          • Maya Sarfaty
                          • 2020

                            A reconstruction of the extraordinary history of a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz and the SS officer who fell in love with her. Interviews, diary excerpts, and archive footage tell the story from multiple perspectives.

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                            New Gods

                            • Loïc Hobi
                            • 2020

                              Told from the perspective of an algorithm and accompanied by fitting imagery, we hear the story of LonerWolf58, a member of the incel movement. The algorithm is tasked with detecting and removing his violent content.

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                              The Night Flowers

                              • Omar Robles, Eduardo Esquivel
                              • 2020

                                A warm and casually composed portrait of a group of queer young people in Mexico who are trying to feel at home in their conservative environment while preserving their often hard-won identities.

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                                O arrais do mar

                                • Elisa Celda
                                • 2020

                                  A poetic portrait of nighttime activities on the Portuguese coast. A fishing net is hauled in, while further along people search out sexual encounters. The images are dark, with brief flashes of activity—like a nocturnal radiography of a territory.

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                                  Option Zero

                                  • Marcel Beltrán
                                  • 2020

                                    A lesser known Cuban escape route to the United States runs via the rainforests of Guyana and Colombia to Central America. This poignant portrait follows a group of Cubans for whom living in their native country is no longer an option.

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                                    Rumba Rules, New Genealogies

                                    • Sammy Baloji, David Nadeau-Bernatchez
                                    • 2020

                                      Enjoyably rough-edged glimpse into the music scene of Kinshasa, where dancers and singers alike work up a sweat so every show’s a blast. Here, music is a connecting force generated by creativity and raw energy.

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                                      Red Card

                                      • Mohamed Said Ouma
                                      • 2020

                                        Three women on the Comoros Islands train with the national women’s basketball team for a major international tournament. Despite poverty and unemployment, the former French archipelago is proud of its independence.

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                                        Socks on Fire

                                        • Bo McGuire
                                        • 2020

                                          The death of director Bo McGuire’s much-loved grandmother brings to light family issues that engender melancholy, strife, and intimacy. Why did his favorite aunt become homophobic and reject her queer brother?

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                                          Soldier’s Woman

                                          • Patricia Wiesse Risso
                                          • 2020

                                            Many young Peruvian women were raped by army soldiers in the 1980s during the internal war against the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso. Decades later, they are taking the perpetrators to court to demand justice and regain their dignity.

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