The 20th edition of Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) International Film Festival was held from 25th October to 1st November, 2018 in Mumbai, India.
October first two weeks I was busy screening my Landing Together Films promoting in various countries in Europe, USA and India. Interested to learn more about documentary films I'm producing and directing, do visit www.landingtogether.weebly.com (see pages Tour and Films). I was only able to attend from 28-31 October.
The first time I attended MAMI was in year 2016. This year the registration fee was just INR 500 compared to 2016 when I'd paid INR 2000! For some films the queue was long compared to other films, therefore my pick of films is dependent on the key factor whether I woke up at 8 am to book online tickets or had to accept whatever films were leftover. Nevertheless, here are some of them, I categorised them in three ratings -
Very Good (****)
Here are some of the films I managed to watch in four days, and my top two picks and review!
***Fahrenheit 11/9 (USA)
***The Wild Pear Tree (Turkey)
***The Image Book (France)
***Los Silencios (Columbia, Brazil)
***Samouni Road (Italy - Arabic, Hebrew)
****Birds of Passage (Colombia)
*****Woman at War (Iceland)
*****A Twelve-Year Night (Uruguay)
2018 Icelandic film 'Woman at War' touched me the most.
Director: Benedikt Erlingsson
To me, this film touched the most - you know why - because intelligently this film tackles global environmental issue with nice blend of gender role and a tit-bit of humor.
Erlingson's film is Iceland's Best Foreign Academy Award nomination for good reasons. I am not a good film critic and not body could be for this film because it is hard to categorise this film into docudrama, suspense, social or environmental issue, women/feminist/gender, comedy, musical, or human rights or what?!
Identical twin sisters - one choir teacher and another yoga guru, a Spanish-speaking tourist, traditionally attired Ukrainian country singers and three musicians, and a shepherd cousin.
The film is not preaching but yet leaves behind so many beautiful thoughts with brilliant sound and music and cinematography. The electric company - Rio Tinto's land grabbing motives, local communities' naive approach towards environmental issues, the protagonist's love for nature, and government's false claims and using super modern technologies such as camera and drone to monitor 'traitors' damaging the electric fence sounds real for any countries, particularly in global tropics. Do watch this film if you get a chance.
2018 Uruguay's entry for the Best Foreign Academy Award film A Twelve-Year Night
Director: Alvaro Brechner
If you are from Latin America, you'd know the history of Uruguay's politics. This film nicely touches the human dimension of three men - who lived in total isolation for twelve years. La noche de 12 años is a powerful story will amazing direction from Brechner. The film shows how three men of MLN Tupamaros were captured and left in solitary confinement for twelve years because as one of the army chief says, "As we can't kill them, let's drive them crazy." One of the three went on to become President of Uruguay - Pepe Mujica.
No, its not just the story, that makes this film successful. It is the way Brechner treated his protagonists that clearly shows violence as a secondary compared to human dimensions of film's character. Each one full of emotions, humane touch, and powerful dialogues. I highly recommend you to watch this film.
Yes, I am a big fan of this World's best President ever, José Pepe Mujica, long before Facebook glorified his unique lifestyle - donating his salary or driving his own old car or living a modest life. However, do watch this film to see what a good film can do to get a standing ovation in Mumbai's MAMI festival (PVR ICON, Versova).. a truly powerful cinema recommended for you!
Some of the films that I missed watching in this festival and look forward to catch it somewhere are
3 Faces (Iran)