West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Award-Winning World Cinema (Movies)

These films have won prestigious awards from around the world.

Last days

A young widow's faith is tested when she is diagnosed with breast cancer while struggling financially to care for her children

The gift to Stalin

When a young Jewish boy is orphaned as he is deported to Kazakhstan in 1949, an old Kazakh railway-man adopts him

Preparations to be together for an unknown period of time

A hauntingly provocative psychological thriller that is Hungary's official entry for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards. Mr̀ta, a 40-year-old neurosurgeon, falls in love. She leaves her shining American career behind and returns to Budapest to start a new life with the man she loves. But she waits for him at the Liberty Bridge in vain, he does not appear at their rendezvous. Mr̀ta starts to search for him desperately, but when she finally finds him, the love of her life claims that they have never met before

Identifying Features

Middle-aged Magdalena has lost contact with her son after he took off with a friend from their town of Guanajuato to cross the border into the U.S., hopeful to find work. Desperate to find out what happened to him, and to know whether or not he's even alive, she embarks on an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous journey to discover the truth. At the same time, a young man named Miguel has returned to Mexico after being deported from the U.S., and eventually, his path converges with Magdalena's. From this simple but urgent premise, director Fernanda Valadez has crafted a lyrical, suspenseful slow burn, equally constructed of moments of beauty and horror, and which leads to a startling, shattering conclusion

Joan of Arc

In the fifteenth century, both France and England stake a blood claim for the French throne. Believing that God had chosen her, the young Joan leads the army of the King of France. When she is captured, the Church sends her for trial on charges of heresy. Refusing to accept the accusations, the graceful Joan of Arc will stay true to her mission. Bruno Dumont's decision to work with a ten-year-old actress re-injects this heroine's timeless cause and ideology with modernity that highlights both the tragic female condition and the incredible fervor, strength, and freedom women show when shackled by societies and archaic virile orders that belittle and alienate them

Antigone

In Quebec, a young refugee woman goes to jail to save her brother

Mandabi

After jobless Ibrahima Dieng receives a money order for 25,000 francs from a nephew who works in Paris, news of his windfall quickly spreads among his neighbors, who flock to him for loans even as he finds his attempts to cash the order stymied in a maze of bureaucracy, and new troubles rain down on his head. An adaptation of a novella by the director himself is a bitterly ironic depiction of a society scarred by colonialism and plagued by corruption, greed, and poverty

God of the piano

A concert pianist who has never been able to live up to her strict pianist father's expectations, dreams that her newborn son will become the prodigy she never was and is determined to do whatever it takes to make her dream come true when she learns that her son is hearing impaired

Citizens of the world

Three retirees decide to move away from Rome to find a better standard of living in a country where their meager pensions will go that much further. Planning for the trip sees the trio trawl the pubs and restaurants of the sun saturated Rome and discover that even at old age they can still learn one or two lessons about themselves and life. Gianni Di Gregorio, Italy's laconic answer to Larry David, returns to the humanist comic territory of arthouse hits

The strong ones

When a man travels to southern Chile to visit his sister, he develops a relationship with a fisherman

My dead ones

Behind the looks of a shy film student, David hides an obscure past that is about to be revealed

The German lesson

Siggi Jepsen, a young man in juvenile detention, must write an essay on "The Joys Of Duty" as part of his punishment. The topic overwhelms Siggi so much, he suffers at first from writer's block. Once put in solitary confinement, he finds the clarity to recount his childhood during the war in a small north-German village. His memories focus on his relationship with his father, a police officer of the village and a family friend and expressionist painter

Amores perros . 1-DVD edition

Three different people are catapulted into dramatic and unforeseen circumstances in the wake of a terrible car crash: a young punk stumbles into the sinister underground world of dog fighting; an injured supermodel's designer pooch disappears into the apartment's floorboards; and an ex-radical turned hit man rescues a Rotweiler with a gunshot wound

My German friend

Argentia, in the middle fifties. Sulamit is the daughter of German-Jewish refugees. Friedrich is the son of German-Nazis refugees. Both children are close friends as time goes by between the fall of Peron's Government in 1955 and the years of prison, torture, and death in Argentina from 1976 to 1983. The children grow up and go to Germany, both get involved in the political struggles of 1968, and Friedrich, who always rejected the Nazi past of his father, becomes a left-winged militant

Song without a name

Based on harrowing true events, it tells the story of Georgina, an indigenous Andean woman whose newborn baby is whisked away moments after its birth in a downtown Lima clinic, and never returned. Stonewalled by a byzantine and indifferent legal system, Georgina approaches journalist Pedro Campas, who uncovers a web of fake clinics and abductions, suggesting a rotting corruption deep within Peruvian society. Set in 1988, in a Peru wracked by political violence and turmoil

Dream factory

Emil arrives at DEFA Studio Babelsberg to begin working as an extra when he falls in love with a French dance-double, Milou. Though it's love at first sight, they are torn apart when East Germany closes its border and erects the Berlin Wall just days after they first meet. Milou returns to Paris. Emil remains in East Germany, crushed by the fact that the love of his life just slipped through his hands, that is until he sets in motion a daring and adorably romantic plan

The goddess of fortune

With their long-term relationship in crisis, a gay couple find their lives revitalized when two children are left in their care for a few days

We are little zombies

When four young orphans, Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi, and Takemura, first meet, their parents' bodies are being turned into dust. They are like zombies; devoid of all emotion. With no family, no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, the young teens decide that the first level of this new existence involves salvaging a gaming console, an old electric bass, and a charred wok from their former homes, just enough to start a band, and then conquer the world

Song lang : two men

A story of a romance between a Vietnamese folk opera performer and an underground enforcer who was sent to collect his debt

Firstborn

After he accidentally kills the man who attacked him and his wife, a middle-aged intellectual in a failing marriage begins to discover unsettling links between the attacker, his pregnant wife, and the person who is now blackmailing him

José

Jose lives with his mother in Guatemala City, where, dominated by conservative Catholic and Evangelical Christian religion, living one's life as an openly gay man is hard for Jose to imagine. His mother has never had a husband and is determined to hold on to him. Jose fills his free time with dating apps, but when he meets attractive and gentle Luis, they pursue an unexpected relationship with more emotion than Jose has ever felt. He is thrust into new passion and pain

A girl missing

A private home-nurse has worked for the elder matriarch of a family for years and regards them as her own family. This quiet, routine life is shattered when a young member of the family is kidnapped by her nephew

In the life of music

It follows the journey of Hope, a young American girl visiting her relatives in Cambodia for the first time. Determined to learn the history of her parents, Hope discovers the story of how one song, PChampa Battambang played an integral part in three generations. Starting with how her parents met and fell in love in 1968, to their fight for survival during the war-torn Khmer Rouge years of the 70s, and finally finishing in the modern day

The audition

Anna Bronsky is a violin teacher at a music-focused high school. Despite the opposition of all other teachers, Anna drives through the admission of a student, Alexander, in whom she detects a remarkable talent. Committee, she prepares him for the intermediate exam and neglects her family, her son Jonas, who she brings into competition with her new student, and her husband Philippe. Her colleague Christian, with whom she has an affair, persuades her to join a quintet

Father's chair

A successful Brazilian physician, who always put his career first, discovers the importance of his family, when his teenage son disappears and his journey in search of him brings him all over the country

Ashfall

Following a volcanic eruption along the China-North Korea border that leaves the entire Korean peninsula in shambles, seismologists warn that an even greater eruption is forthcoming, one that could devastate the entire region. Enlisting the help of renowned Korean-American scientist Bong-rae, the government scrambles to find a way to stop the impending explosion. Bong-rae's plan calls for the use of nuclear warheads, which are currently held in North Korean territory

The delegation

When a European delegation arrives in Tirana, Albania in 1990, a political official is sent to a prison to bring back a political dissident in an effort to have him testify on behalf of the government

Beau travail

With her ravishingly sensual take on Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Sailor, Claire Denis firmly established herself as one of the great visual tone poets of the time. Amid the azure waters and sunbaked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant sows the seeds of his ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit plays out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten

Christ stopped at Eboli

Set in 1935, a doctor is exiled to a remote village in Southern Italy for his anti-Fascist views

Vitalina Varela

A Cape Verdean woman travels to Lisbon to reunite with her husband, after two decades of separation, only to arrive mere days after his funeral. Alone in a strange, forbidding land, she perseveres and begins to establish a new life. Winner of the Golden Leopard for Best Film and Best Actress at the Locarno Film Festival, as well as an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival

A tramway in Jerusalem

The Light Rail Red Line of Jerusalem's tramway connects the city from east to west, from the Palestinian neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina to Mount Herzl, a journey that comprises the culturally complex makeup of the city. While traveling across this vibrant city, the small conflicts and reconciliations of everyday life provide a kernal of hope in a society so often divided by political boundaries

Sonja : the white swan

It tells the story of Sonja Henie, one of the world's greatest athletes and the inventor of modern figure skating, who decides to go to Hollywood in 1936 to become a movie star. Her first film is a box office smash, selling the most tickets in the world in 1937. She becomes one of the richest women of her time, always surrounded by fans, lovers, and family, and never has a moment alone

Exit plan

Insurance agent Max, amid a crisis solving the difficult case of a married man's disappearance, uncovers the secretive Hotel Aurora. This hotel is an exclusive and remote luxury resort specializing in suicide. Max reveals a disturbing truth that causes him to question life, death, and his understanding of reality. It is a disturbing psychological wake-up call about the meaning of life in an intense power struggle over the right to one's own life and sanity

Portrait of a lady on fire

France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she is a reluctant bride-to-be, Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse's first moments of freedom. Héloïse's portrait soon becomes a collaborative act of and a testament to their love

And then we danced

Merab, a young male dancer living in conservative Tbilisi, hopes for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble, but his dreams are disrupted by the arrival of a new male dancer

Ricordi?

A love story between two people presented through their memories and different perspectives

Synonyms

Yoav, a disaffected young Israeli who flees Tel Aviv for Paris to start a new life. Desperate to erase his origins, Yoav sees France as his only hope for salvation. He vows not to utter a single word of Hebrew, his French dictionary becoming his constant companion. He is swiftly befriended by a strange young French couple who enmesh him in a very Parisian love triangle

4x4

A high-end 4x4 is parked on a street of a typical neighborhood in Buenos Aires. A man breaks into it to steal whatever he can find, but when he tries to get out, the doors and windows lock the 4x4 just like an armored bunker. The situation is distressing: he is trapped. Someone on the outside is in control of the vehicle, and they seem to have a plan

Harmonia

A contemporary variation of the biblical story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar. Sarah, a harpist of the Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra is married to Abraham, its conductor. When Hagar, a young Palestinian horn player joins the orchestra, the thin balance in their family is shaken. The story uncovers the metaphoric emotional roots of the ancient conflict between the two peoples living in Jerusalem, now seeking harmony through a dramatic encounter between Western and Eastern music

900 days : myth and reality of the siege of Leningrad

Documentary about the Blockade of Leningrad during World War II. The film presents an emotional picture of the struggle of some survivors, whose personal memories tend to be overshadowed by the heroic myth held up by the authorities. That myth is in painful contrast with the horrific truth they were forbidden to mention all these years

Bamako

Mele is a bar singer, her husband Chaka is out of work and the couple is on the verge of breaking up, In the courtyard of the house they share with other families, a trial court has been set up. African civil society spokesmen have taken proceedings against the World Bank and the IMF whom they blame for Africa's woes. Amidst the pleas and the testimonies, life goes on in the courtyard

Chongqing hot pot

When three friends open a hot pot restaurant in a former bomb shelter, they discover it's linked by a single wall to the bank vault next door. While deciding to take the easy money or go to the police, they find out one of the bank's employees is a former classmate and look to enlist her in deciding their future

Confidence

During Nazi occupation of Hungary, two resistance members have to pose as husband and wife and slowly fall in love even though both are married to other people

The diving bell and the butterfly

The French editor of Elle magazine, Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he'd only visited in his mind

Duckweed

When a son attempts to reconcile with his father, a series of fateful events allow him to experience the father's life in the past

El Topo

It was the landmark cult film that began the Midnight Movie phenomena of the counterculture crazy '70s. Classic Americana and avant-garde European cinema sensibilities meet Zen Buddhism and the Bible as master gunfighter and cosmic mystic El Topo must defeat his four sharp-shooting rivals on an ever-increasingly bizarre path to allegorical self-enlightenment and surreal resurrection. With new extras

The evil next door

A dad moves into a new house with his son and girlfriend. When he's out of town working, the son makes a new 'friend' next door

Habermann : based on a true story

A German mill owner spends WWII trying to save his wife, daughter and Czech workers from Nazi terror, but faces his own tragedy in the end. Based on true events surrounding the expulsion of Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia in 1945

The holy mountain

An alchemist assembles a group of people from all walks of life to prepare them for the trip to Lotus Island where they will ascend the holy mountain to displace the gods who rule the universe

Le crabe-tambour

Two navy men reminisce about their separate war experiences with a third man. They hope to be able to find him at sea and make up for disloyalties in the past

The maiden danced to death

A dancer-turned-impresario returns to his native Hungary after twenty years. He finds that the Communist regime that expelled him is gone, but his brother hasn't changed. He still works with the same cash-strapped dance company they started together and is married to his former sweetheart. The two men's rivalry is triggered with a challenge to revive their last success together, a dance on the ballad

Mirror

In a richly textured collage of varying film stocks and newsreel footage, the recollections of a dying poet flash before the eyes, his dreams mingling with scenes of childhood, wartime, and marriage, all imbued with the mystical power of a trance. Largely dismissed by Soviet critics on its release because of its elusive narrative structure, Mirror has since taken its place as one of the director₂s most renowned and influential works, a stunning personal statement from an artist transmitting his innermost thoughts and feelings directly from psyche to screen

Our mothers

Based on information he hears from an older woman with missing family members, a young anthropologist in Guatemala searches for his father who disappeared during the war

The perfect candidate

Maryam is a determined young doctor who runs for city council after the male incumbent repeatedly ignores her request to fix the muddy road leading to her clinic. Despite her father and her community's struggle to accept her as their town's first female candidate, Maryam's creative and ambitious campaign builds momentum, becoming a symbol for a larger movement

Riders of justice

Markus has to go home to his teenage daughter, Mathilde, when his wife dies in a tragic train accident. It seems like an accident until a mathematics geek, a fellow passenger on the train, and his two colleagues show up

The ringmaster

Two young women working the night shift at a secluded gas station unwittingly become the stars of a terrifying show streamed live on the dark web. Held captive by a sadistic ringmaster and his cohorts, their survival instincts are stretched to the limit as they are forced to participate in a torture game with an unseen audience deciding their fate

The road to Mandalay

Two Burmese immigrants flee their country's civil war in search of a new life in Thailand. Finding work, they focus their efforts on acquiring Thai ID cards. However, when one achieves this goal, their relationship is doomed

Still life

Great changes have come to the town of Fengjie due to the construction of the Three Gorges hydro project: Countless families that had lived there for many generations have had to relocate to other cities. Fengjie’s old town, which has a 2000-year history, has been torn down and submerged forever, but its new neighborhood hasn’t been finished yet. There are still things that need to be salvaged and yet there are also things that must be left behind

Survival games

Moscow, 2072. Twelve contestants, each with their own story and motives, play a televised game of Mafia. Those eliminated must enter a virtual reality to conquer their worst fear or die trying

Through the shadow

Moving to the countryside of 20th century Rio de Janeiro, prim and assuming Laura is unprepared for life on an isolated plantation. Hired as a nanny for two young orphans who live on their uncle's coffee farm, she soon notices that things are not all as they seem. Confronted with continual apparitions, and noting the children's increasingly ambiguous behavior, Laura becomes convinced in the presence of hostile spirits whom she believes are intent on taking possession of her young charges. With growing concerns for their safety, she strives to unravel the mysteries of her new home without realizing that it may be herself who is in mortal danger

True mothers

After a long and unsuccessful struggle to get pregnant, Satoko and her husband decide to adopt a child. Over the next six years, the middle-class couple and their young son Asato settle into a comfortable, albeit routine, life. The family's orderly existence is shattered by the arrival of Hikari, a young woman claiming to be Asato's biological mother, demanding his return. As tensions mount, Satoko grows more and more emboldened to defend her family

Tsotsi

A young man running with a criminal gang on the streets of Johannesburg, Tsotsi - a nickname meaning thug - is immersed in a world of violence that seems to leave him unaffected, until he discovers an infant in the backseat of a car he has stolen

The Turin horse

The film follows a man, his daughter, and their horse as they struggle to survive during hard times in the late nineteenth century. The idea for the film came from the story about Nietzsche's supposed breakdown upon witnessing a Turin carriage driver whip his horse. The film focuses on the question of what happened next for the horse and its owners

The unthinkable

Sweden faces a mysterious attack while Alex tries to reunite with his youth love, Anna

The white ribbon

In a north German village prior to the outbreak of World War I, strange events, accidents, and deaths are occurring. The village citizens are beside themselves with worry and can't figure out what to do. After the school teacher starts to unravel the mystery, he discovers that the children of the town may be guilty of the crimes and have formed a secret society that the local pastor's daughter appears to lead. Includes featurette

Yourself and yours

One of Hong Sangsoo's most delightful comic mysteries is now available in the I.S. When painter Yougsoo learns that his girlfriend, Minjung, was recently seen having drinks with another man, he can't help but question her about it. It doesn't go well and they part on bad terms. The next day, Youngsoo tries to find her, but can't. As he wanders and frets, Minjung has a series of encounters with other men. But to them, it seems she's not herself
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