31ST MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL kicking off from 19 June to 28 June 2009 presents 16 films competing for the Statuettes of St George. They are :
Bibi | Bibi
Iran, 2008, 75 min.
Director: Hassan Yektapanah
Cast: Salimeh Rangzan, Mohsen Emadipour, Ali Farahani, Ali Farhad, Esmaeel Musavi
Bibiaziz is an Iranian aged woman who has been dispelled from Iraq to Iran during Sadam Hussein’s reign because of Iraq – Iran war. She has lived in Iran for twenty five years and she had never measured to receive an Iranian ID card. But now that she is aged she decides to provide an ID card for herself in order to persuade the Cemetery Organization to carve her own Iranian name on her grave stone because this would be the only sign for her daughter who lives in Iraq to recognize her grave. Bibi goes to the ID Registration Office, but they can find no trace of her identification among the files. Bibi has a good friend, a driver Foruhar, who is like a stepson to her. They go to the Cemetery Organization where Bibi intends to buy a grave so that, on her departure, they would, without an ID documentation, put her name “Bibiaziz Zahiri” on her gravestone, but they refuse. Foruhar decides to try all ways to find a stolen ID card for her, he persuades Bibi that they can easily buy an ID card from smugglers.
Melody for A Barrel Organ | Melodiya Dlya Sharmanki
Ukraine, 2009, 153 min.
Director: Kira Muratova
Cast: Lena Kostyuk, Roma Burlaka, Oleg Tabakov, Renata Litvinova, Nina Ruslanova
After their mother’s death her children, stepbrother and stepsister, have no choice but to go and find their fathers in the big city. On their way they meet many people of the most different kind, people that are kind or wicked, rich and poor, wise and idiot. But one thing stays the same as nobody really cares for them, because everybody,s got to deal with their own problems. And all the more, in the night on the eve of Christmas. Cold and magic Christmas night ends up with by no means fairytale final.
Beauty | Beauty Utusukushiimono
Japan, 2009, 109 min.
Director: Toshio Goto
Cast: Takataro Kataoka, Ainosuke Kataoka, Kumiko Aso, Taira Takahashi, Sora Oshima
Before WWII, harvest offering plays hold up the town abound in a village deep in the mountains called Inadani Valley. Hanji, a wood cutter protege, admires leading children’s kabuki actor Yukio and begins to study kabuki. According to Yukio’s request, Hanji undertakes an “onnagata” or female role. As a result, Utako, Yukio’s partner up to that point, loses the role of heroine. But this kind hearted girl continues to look after the boys. Eventually, both are dispatched to war and endure cruel hardships including a labor camp in Siberia. Hanji, who has returned home alive, carries out Yukio’s dying wish playing a leading role in more ways than one and then Hanji and Utako become star couple on stage. But suddenly one day, they learn that Yukio who they thought was dead is alive. Blind and guilt stricken from the sins of war, Yukio refuses to return to their town. But Hanji’s ardent pleading gets the best of him bringing Yukio back to the town stage. Yukio and Hanji dance together once again.
Burning Mooki | Mooki bo’era
Israel, 2008, 102 min.
Director: Lena Chaplin, Slava Chaplin
Cast: Efrat Ben-Zur, Yoav Koresh, Yehuda Almagor, Haran Sagi, Sivan Levy
When Mooky is fifteen, his beloved father dies a sudden death, and his place is taken by Yanek – an impulsive, rough, yet generous man who is regarded as a controversial figure due to his doings in the Holocaust in the Zonder Commando. He brutally invades Mooky’s life and turns it upside-down. During Mookys teenage years, which are affected by his seductive mother Tinka, he deals with unfulfilled love for one girl and a dominated relationship with another. One day Mooky returns to his mother’s home, deranged, and does something from which there is no turning back. Twenty years later, Mooky must decide whether to attend his mother’s funeral and re-open his wounds of the past.
As God Commands | Come Dio Comanda
Italy, 2008, 103 min.
Director: Gabriele Salvatores
Cast: Elio Germano, Filippo Timi, Fabio De Luigi, Alvaro Caleca, Angelica Leo
Based on a novel by Niccola Ammaniti. Adesolate northern Italian town set beneath majestic mountains where Cristiano Zena lives with his hard-drinking, out-of-work father, Rino, is a world away from the picturesque towns of travel-brochure Italy. Cristiano is in middle school. It is the two of them against the world. Rino raises his son the best he can. Cristiano worships his father with a misguided but powerful love. When Rino and his rough-edged cronies Danilo and Quattro Formaggi come up with a plan to reverse all their fortunes, Cristiano wonders if maybe their lives are poised for deliverance after all. But the plan goes horribly awry. On a night of apocalyptic weather, each character will act in a way that will have irreversible consequences for themselves and others, and Cristiano will find his life changed forever, and not in the way he had hoped.
The Missing Person | The Missing Person
USA, 2009, 95 min.
Director: Noah Buschel
Cast: Michael Shannon, Amy Ryan, Frank Wood, Linda Emond, Paul Sparks
The film is a modern-day film noir in which the sardonic, ginsoaked detective contends with an odd cast of characters while tailing a mysterious, middle-aged man traveling with a Mexican boy from Chicago to Los Angeles. John Rosow is a Chicago gumshoe whose skill for cracking a case often comes with a price; he has a penchant for getting in over his head, but he never loses his cool. Contacted by influential lawyer Drexler Hewitt and asked to shadow a man who is currently en route to Los Angeles with a young boy, Rosow collects his cash and instructions from Hewitt’s gruff assistant Miss Charley, and sets out on his latest assignment. Upon arriving in Santa Monica, however, Rosow is caught off guard to learn that his objective has been updated. He is now to bring the man back to New York. For his efforts, Rosow will receive the tidy sum of a half-a-million dollars.
Crayfish | Raci
Bulgary, 2009, 110 min.
Director: Ivan Tscherkelov
Cast: Philip Avramov, Valeri Yordanov, Rangel Valchanov, Nikolai Urumov, Slava Doicheva
Two best friends get involved into the domination games of two mafia bosses in post-communist Bulgaria. Without the other one knowing, they are manipulated to take seemingly dangerous decision.