2014, Sundance Selects, 95 min, Belgium, Dir: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Following a hospital stay, Sandra (a profoundly moving Marion Cotillard) is told she has lost her factory job - and that the only way she can get it back is to persuade her co-workers to give up their annual bonuses. Over the course of a weekend, Sandra confronts each of them individually to win their support before time runs out. “Rich in the Dardennes’ favored themes of work, family and the value of money, and infused with the suspense of a ticking-clock thriller … the Dardennes once again find a richness of human experience that dwarfs most movies made on an epic canvas.” - Scott Foundas, Variety. In French with English subtitles.

2013, 91 min, Germany, Dir: Frauke Finsterwalder

Set in a sunlit country of shiny, happy people, director Frauke Finsterwalder’s fiction debut offers a visually stunning look at the lives of contemporary Germans over the course of a single day. Through its sophisticated screenplay and ensemble cast including Sandra Hüller, Corinna Harfouch, Roland Zehrfeld and Michael Märtens, FINSTERWORLD intertwines the stories of a police officer with a hidden passion; a documentary filmmaker who lacks vision; a pedicurist and his lonely older client; a wealthy couple who refuse to drive in a German car; a history student who is unmoved by a visit to a concentration camp; and a hermit living in the woods. In each case, something is missing, and these deceptively simple scenarios give way to incisive observations about German identity, leavened with warmth and laughter to create a darkly humorous modern fairy tale. In German with English subtitles.

2014, XYZ Films, 116 min, Japan, Dir: Sion Sono

Based on the manga by Santa Inoue, this action-packed drama from writer-director Sion Sono envisions a Tokyo of the near future beset by gang warfare. When the non-violent leader of the Musashino Saru tribe is killed by the head of the Bukuro Wu-Ronz tribe, ultra-violence ensues. Starring Ryohei Suzuki, Young Dais, Ryuta Sato, Akihiro Kitamura and Hitomi Katayama. In Japanese with English subtitles.

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