Watch on Cineuropa: Locarno isn’t open? The festival’s best films are streaming on our pages!
- Relive the festival’s magic with this list of recent Locarno charmers available for streaming on Cineuropa
Together with Cannes, it’s the second oldest festival in the world, and had it not been for COVID-19, it would have celebrated 73 years this month. We love Locarno, and as saddened as we are not to be in Switzerland this year to celebrate some of the best in world cinema, we thought we’d bring the festival buzz to your home instead. Below, we’ve put together a list featuring some of the greatest entries that have graced the fest in recent editions, films that challenged us to fight for a better and fairer world for all. Watch them on our pages, and relive the festival’s magic on Cineuropa.
These titles are brought to you in partnership with eyelet (read the news), a streaming platform designed to give cinephiles around the world access to the very best in independent cinema. In conjunction with eyelet, we are now able to showcase films we’ve been reviewing over the years - titles you can stream and read about on Cineuropa.
For this new instalment in our Watch on Cineuropa series, here’s a selection of some outstanding films from one of the world’s most revered festivals. Enjoy, and stay tuned for the new movies coming your way soon.
Bulgarian Ralitza Petrova’s assured debut feature Godless delves into the world of her home country’s less fortunate, following a nurse who traffics the ID cards of her patients in exchange for quick cash. A raw, unflinching portrait of life in the New East, drenched in that gritty aesthetic now synonymous with post-soviet social realism, Godless won big at Locarno in 2016, as Petrova left Switzerland with the Golden Leopard for best film.
The Train of Salt and Sugar [+see also:
Mozambique first-ever Oscar foreign-language film entry takes us back to the late 1980s, in the waning years of the country’s civil war, where civilians, caught in between rebels and government forces, struggle to survive by any means possible. Licinio Azevedo conjures an epic tale of resilience, one that casts an unflinching light on a conflict you may have heard little about, and here bursts with soul-crushing brutality.
Here’s a film that manages to depict scenes of desolating poverty without ever verging into porno-misery. Ray and Liz, celebrated photographer Richard Billingham’s first feature, was one of Locarno 2018’s most fulminating surprises: a startling portrait of a poor British family struggling to make ends meet through the decades. Too grim? Hardly so: it’s a glorious cine-memoir imbued with pride, fury, and nostalgia.
Siembra [+see also:
Among the countless films that have turned to the Colombian armed conflict for inspiration, none has approached the subject with quite the same compassion and originality as Siembra, a cinematic litany following a displaced man grieving the death of his young son while stranded in a foreign city. Dances and songs pepper the journey, in turns seductive and soul-shattering.
How exactly are you meant to pursue your desires in a society ready to chastise whatever falls outside the heteronormative spectrum? Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats asks the question on behalf of Frankie, a Brooklyn teen struggling to come to terms with his sexuality in a sun-scorched Brooklyn. Few directors working today have tackled such delicate themes with more understanding, curiosity and empathy than Hittman pours here. Her cinema is a treasure to nurture and marvel at.
Birds of Passage [+see also:
Following the international triumph of Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra teamed up with Cristina Gallego to conjure this indelible look at the origins of the Colombian drug trade, as seen through the eyes of an indigenous Wayuu family that becomes involved in the US marijuana trade in the 1970s. Ancestral cultures and family ties jostling against greed, violence, and war.
Fifty-six vignettes starring a whole pantheon of Reykjavik residents caught in the most banal everyday activities. This, in a nutshell, is the premise of Rúnar Rúnarsson’s Echo, but alone it’d hardly capture all the charming candor of this neo-vérité hybrid, dancing between documentary and fiction until the distinction no longer matters. There are laughs, and tears, moments of lacerating loneliness and scenes of exquisite irony, all patched together in a large canvas that will leave you hypnotized from the very first frame.
Good Manners [+see also:
The werewolf legend gets a sensual and wildly imaginative reboot in Good Manners, where a wealthy Sao Paolo single mother-to-be and her maid enter a very passionate, very dangerous affair… Come for the thrills, stay for the directors’ subtle critique of inequalities in present-day Brazil.
When the Turkish armed forces cracked down on the Kurdish PKK in 2015, the only cameras to capture the relentless violence belonged to local civilians. Gürcan Keltek’s Meteors stitches those anonymous clips together to conjure a haunting and deeply lyrical portrait of a people and their war-ravaged land. This is a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience, destined to outlive its 81 minutes and linger with you for a long, long while.
Too Late to Die Young [+see also:
A heartrending coming of age set in a rural commune nearby Santiago in 1990s Chile, Too Late to Die Young is as much an elegy to teenage angst and freedom as it is a portrait of a country venturing into adulthood, captured in the midst of its post-Pinochet transition. If the name of Chilean prodigy and writer-director Doming Sotomayor has escaped your radars, jot it down at once, and if you’re yet to watch this gem for which she won the Best Director award in 2018, here’s your chance to make amends.
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