SFFilm Fest Previews, Part 2

Here’s another quartet of movies that will screen at this year’s SFFilm Festival. That way, you’ll know what to see, or not to see, although, thankfully, there are no stinkers among these four.

A Montana Story

Family drama set against the magnificent Montana sky. A very serious stroke has thwarted the hated family patriarch from doing more harm. Yet the damages from the past leave deep phycological scars. On the surface, the two adult children argue mostly about what to do with their beloved horse. Everyone in the film seems to be a decent, loving human being. But the true villain is the man in bed, unable to talk and who probably can’t understand what is said. One of the best new films I’ve seen this year.

B+ The Gravedigger’s Wife

This is one of those films that seems from the start as if it’s not going to end happily – and no, that’s not a spoiler. Gravedigging isn’t much of a job, especially in a small town; Guled must wait for people to die. But his beloved wife needs an operation, and they don’t have enough money for it. Desperate, Guled leaves their not-so-responsible young son to take care of mom, so he can take an unlikely journey in search of money (or goats).

  • Roxie, Sunday, April 24, 8:00pm

B+ The Exiles

At first, you’ll probably assume this documentary is about little-known documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. She’s a rare person; a heavy drinker and smoker who says what she thinks, and at one time a member of the Black Panthers. But the film is really about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, which most Chinese don’t even know happened. Choy brings us to several refugees who will never be able to go to their homeland again (unless there’s a miracle). Occasionally repetitive, but well worth watching.

  • Victoria, Saturday, April 23, 3:00pm
  • BAMPFA, Sunday, April 24, 2:00pm

B Sell/Buy/Date

Performer and playwright Sarah Jones wants to make a film about sex workers – and the film she’s trying to make seems to be Sell/Buy/Date. She starts with interviewing friends and relatives, then focuses on those that are much less respectable in society. Most of the people she interviews are deeply against prostitution legal or not, but the film isn’t completely a documentary; some of the “interviews” were scripted, and Jones doesn’t tell us which ones they are.

  • Vogue, Sunday, April 24, 5:30pm