Out of all the films I watched the festival, I have picked out 3 that I think are worth mentioning and that I recommend everyone watch. A few other films of note are, Chien 2017) with Vanessa Paradis and Severina (2017).
There were also many films I did not get chance to watch and I will be trying to watch these in the near future – any way I can.
Iceman (2017) – Germany / Italy / Austria – On a glacier in Alps, the remains of a neolithic man from over 5000 years ago were discovered. No one knows how he got there, but this is his story! The film proves that cinema can transcend boundaries as you do not need spoken words to tell a story – the film is actually has dialogue in an early form of the Rhateic language. The film is driven forward by the amazing performance of the ‘Iceman’. There are also well crafted actions scenes that do not detract but rather enhance the drama. I won’t divulge any details of the plot but I highly recommend this film.
Cocote (2017) – Dominican Republic / Argentina / Germany – Alberto returns home to attend the funeral of his murdered father. With different beliefs to the rest of his family, Alberto struggles to reconcile his feelings with the rituals performed to honour his father that are not part of his own faith. The film shows how the even in parts of the world where ‘civilisation’ has arrived that old traditions and beliefs continue and there is an uneasy relationship between the ‘old’ and ‘new’. The film has some unique visuals and the sound recording is amazing and very atmospheric.
The Big Sick (2017) – USA – The winner, the Prix du Public UBS, this films embodies why the Grande Piazza is so special. The film connected with everyone in the audience so well that everyone was laughing at the jokes from this romantic comedy. It created the most uplifting and amazing atmosphere – that cannot be reproduced from watching a film online (the film was actually made with Amazon Studios) or probably in most cinemas. The best way to describe this film is as the American East is East (1999). The film tells the story of a Pakistani-American immigrant, Kumali, who want to be a comedian who falls in love with an American girl. His family, want him to marry a muslim. There are lots of jokes (such as the mother arrange potential brides to “drop by” to meet Kumali, moments that are really touching. This is also an important film as it’s probably the first main stream American film that does not feature a Muslim as an ‘enemy’ of America, reflecting more the realties of life in America for muslims.