Pathway: Liminal Reality on Film

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    This selection of films harmonizes with this year’s special theme program IDFA DocLab: Liminal Reality, a celebration of ambiguity in life, tech, and art. Referring to an in-between state that is both familiar and unknown, Liminal Reality reflects on the collective ambiguity in which we now find ourselves. Recognizing the particularity of our times as highlighted by this theme, the films in this Pathway respond by searching for the spaces between the lines, where binaries and polarities dissolve, and lives lie suspended between certainties.

    Items in this selection

    The Beach of Enchaquirados

    • Ivan Mora Manzano
    • 2021

      A sense of unfulfilled longing intermingles with irresistible, liberating warmth in this poetic portrait of the Ecuadorian fisher Vicky and the local transgender community she’s part of.

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      The Burrows

      • Sanshou Hu
      • 2021

        In keeping with tradition, the filmmaker and his family build a tomb for his grandparents. This carefully composed portrait of a village—with scenes of the work, personal memories, and philosophical reflections—is a mirror of existence itself.

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        Close to You

        • Cássio Kelm
        • 2021

          At the start of the corona pandemic, young transmasculine filmmaker Cássio Kelm ends up isolated in a small apartment with his father. Close to You subtly tells a layered story combining personal transition, unspoken tenderness, and Brazilian politics.

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          The Facility

          • Seth Freed Wessler
          • 2021

            Urgent documentary investigation made up of webcam interviews with immigrants in a private detention centre in the U.S. Precisely how long they’ll stay locked up waiting to be processed or deported is unclear. When Covid strikes they rise up.

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            Gangnam Beauty

            • Yan Tomaszewski
            • 2020

              English-born Oli London has spent a fortune on plastic surgery to make them look like Korean pop-star Jimin. A delightful blend of documentary and theatrical drama on the subject of idol worship, with Oli also performing a re-imagining of a Korean myth.

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              Lake Forest Park

              • Kersti Jan Werdal
              • 2021

                An atmospheric portrait of a group of high school students in the American northwest who have been through a shocking experience. The camera observes from a distance and captures their inexpressible sadness in beautifully composed tableaux.

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                The Moment of Transition

                • Chiara Marotta
                • 2021

                  Chiara Marotta returns to the Christian community she grew up in and to which her grandmother, mother, and sister still belong. She seeks explanations for their behavior, an understanding of her own situation, and, perhaps, reconciliation.

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                  Octopus

                  • Karim Kassem
                  • 2021

                    The aftermath of the explosion that took place at the Port of Beirut in August 2020 is revealed in quiet stillness, from the destroyed buildings and the despair of local residents to the cautious first sounds of reconstruction.

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                    Resources

                    • Hubert Caron-Guay, Serge-Olivier Rondeau
                    • 2021

                      An observational film about the meat industry in Quebec, where asylum seekers, mainly from Latin America, process a vast herd of livestock into meat. What is life like at various points along this chain?

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                      Survive

                      • Lara Milena Brose, Kilian Armando Friedrich
                      • 2021

                        Burnt-out twentysomething Leon is struggling in a residential rehab clinic. His father Hans-Joachim, by contrast, is brimming with zest for life—in fact, this landscape artist is planning to live forever, as a “homo digitalis.”

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                        Taamaden

                        • Seydou Cissé
                        • 2021

                          Faith, hope and harsh reality: Taamaden is an original story about the everyday lives of West African immigrants and their ties with mystical and religious fortune tellers—African occultism reaches to Europe via the smartphone.

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                          The Treasures of Crimea

                          • Oeke Hoogendijk
                          • 2021

                            Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum inadvertently finds itself involved in an international wrangle over a loaned collection of art. This multifaceted reconstruction sheds light on the affair from every angle: political, legal, and emotional.

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                            Yoon

                            • Pedro F Neto, Ricardo Falcão
                            • 2021

                              Mbaye Sow works as a courier between his two home countries, Portugal and Senegal. In a station wagon packed with goods, he drives the thousands of miles up and down, tinkering with his dilapidated car and checking in with home.

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