The 42nd annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is currently underway running from 7 to 17 September 2017. The festival was founded in October 18.1976 and is located in Toronto, Canada. The 2017 festival opened with Borg/McEnroe by Janus Metz Pedersen. If you can’t get to Toronto! We have hand picked a selection of films to look out for on those cold winter nights. Worth trying Netflix or Amazon Prime or maybe they will have a UK release.
Five Fingers For Marseilles (Menoana e Mehlano ea Marseilles): directed by Michael Matthews, this South African western movie got everybody by surprise by subverting all the genre’s rules and topics. Twenty years after fleeing from the brutal police aggression in colonial Marseilles, a member of the Five Fingers returns seeking peace, but with the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it, in this thriller from South African filmmaker Michael Matthews. For more info and trailer please visit TIFF website.
Félicité: directed by Senegalese-French filmmaker Alain Gomis and winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at Berlinale 2017, Félicité follows a fiercely independent club singer and single mother who lives her life in the chaotically vibrant Congolese capital of Kinshasa with a proud defiance — she doesn’t need marriage, a man, or even love to get by. But when her teenage son is in a horrific traffic accident, she must find a way to pay for his operation, which forces this resolutely solo woman to find help before it’s too late. This quest sends her on a fast-paced journey through the streets of Kinshasa and eventually leads Félicité to trust in Tabu (Papi Mpaka), a man known more for his indulgences than his intimacies. For more info and trailer please visit TIFF website.
I’m Not A Witch: in her spectacular and confident debut feature director Rungano Nyoni offers a fresh cinematic vision that will haunt the audience long after the film’s final moments. When nine-year-old Shula is accused of witchcraft, she is sent away to a “witch camp” to live in abysmal conditions alongside other women who’ve been exiled in order to be forgotten. As is the custom, Shula is fitted with a spindle on her back, from which a long white ribbon runs: a “security measure” to ensure she won’t fly off. On her first night in the camp she’s told she may cut the ribbon, but doing so will turn her into a goat. Faced with this non-choice, Shula remains tethered — to the camp, its exploitative manager, and a cruelly unjust world. For more info and trailer please visit TIFF website.
Le Fort Des Fous: with this incredible work structured over three acts — and filmed, respectively, Algeria, on Kythira Island, and in the Prosfygika neighbourhood of post-economic-collapse Greece — Algerian Narimane Mari creates a contemporary portrait of the far reaches of imperialism, history and, ultimately, the dogged work of revolution. Complex and layered, Le fort des fous evokes the presence of colonialist history in the present moment, underlying that, as one interviewee says: “Barbarians exist in the modern world.” For more info and trailer please visit TIFF website.
Silas: directed by Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman, this powerful documentary portraits the life of Liberian activist Silas Siakor, a tireless crusader against illegal logging and a symbol of resistance for a new generation. Liberian activist Silas Siakor is a tireless crusader against illegal logging. He’s watched multinational corporations wreak havoc on the environment while enriching themselves and impoverishing Liberians. This kind of corruption has gone on for so long that it can induce fatigue. By focusing specifically on the country and by displaying humour and resilience, Silas is a tribute to the power of citizens to fight back. For more info and trailer please visit TIFF website.
Main image: Still from Félicité courtesy Toronto Film Festival 2017.