They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead
Cinematic iconoclast Orson Welles’ late career was marked by failed projects, an indifferent industry and mounting frustration. This brilliant documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (whose Won’t You Be My Neighbor? also plays in this year’s Festival) depicts Welles’ struggles in attempting to complete what would become his most legendary unfinished film, The Other Side of the Wind. It details the tortuous process of its production through footage of the incomplete film, which starred John Huston, Susan Strasberg, Welles’ companion Oja Kodar and Peter Bogdanovich, who is one of the key interviewees in this compelling and poignant account of thwarted ambition.
The maternity period offers a new parent a chance to remove themselves from their usual day-to-day activity and invest themselves in the rhythms of their child’s life. Inevitably, time slows down. Marta and Pedro live in Lisbon and have just had their first child. Susana Nobre captures them adjusting to their new routine – one made of deep affection and practicalities of a different life. Their home becomes an intimate space for friends and family to visit and share their own life stories. The act of listening is key to this new stage in their life. Departing from her work in documentary and inspired by her own experience of motherhood, Nobre crafts her half-fiction, half-reality debut with great sensitivity. What emerges is a touching and open film that invites you to experience time the way a family undergoing a new beginning does.
Adnan, a revolutionary soldier, revels in having shot down a MiG fighter plane with the beloved AK47 he calls Nancy. In fact, his affection for the gun is rivalled only by his love for long-suffering girlfriend Lina. When Adnan is late to return to his unit after taking some leave, his commander orders a round-up of deserters. Caught off guard in Lina’s company, Adnan makes off in a hurry, leaving his gun in her bedroom. Whilst on the run, he encounters Absi, another deserter, and together they hatch a plan to retrieve Adnan’s gun from Lina. A romantic drama with comic asides is the last thing you might expect in the midst of conflict, but kuka’s film is exactly that, prioritising rich characterisation over the theatrics of war.
Petra has never known the identity of her father. After her mother passes away, she follows a trail of clues which lead her to Juame, a famous artist known for his hostile temperament, whom Petra believes to be her biological parent. Taking up residency in his palatial home, she soon encounters Jaume’s wife and son. As the group become acquainted, a long-buried history of familial secrets and lies spill out, setting in motion a series of shattering events that will change their lives forever. Utilising a non-linear approach, Rosales expertly weaves together multiple narrative threads to craft a richly complex, gloriously unpredictable melodrama of Greek tragedy proportions. The performances, meanwhile, are uniformly excellent, particularly Bárbara Lennie’s, who lends the film a rich empathy, even in its wildest moments.