Film reviews and more

IFFR 2021: Madalena review

★★★☆☆ In a small rural town in the middle of acres and acres of soy fields, bodies keep turning up. The latest is the body of a trans woman Madalena (Chloe Milan). The lives of three […]

IFFR 2021: Liborio review

★★★★☆ It’s the beginning of the 20th century, and Olivorio Mateo (Vicente Santos) is a peasant who disappears in the midst of a storm. In the darkness of a cave, he almost gives up hope but […]

IFFR 2021: Gritt review

★★★★☆ Itonje Søimer Guttormsen’s Gritt is a funny, maddening and at times touching work about art, ambition and how to live. The titular Gritt (Birgitte Larsen) is a familiar figure, both in real life and in […]

IFFR 2021: Black Medusa review

★★★☆☆ Nada (played with resolute sternness by Nour Hajri) is a young woman who leads a double life. By day she works for an online company; at night she scours the bars and clubs of Tunis […]

IFFR 2019: Koko-di Koko-da review

★★★★☆ In Swedish filmmaker Johannes Nyholm’s second feature Koko-di Koko-da, three bizarre characters from a children’s music box come to life to haunt a grief-stricken couple as they try to escape from a nightmarish cyclical maze […]

IFFR 2019: Sheena667 review

★★★☆☆ Actor-director Grigory Dobrygin’s debut feature and IFFR Tiger Competitor Sheena667 tells the story of a Russian couple whose plans to travel to Europe and marriage both get derailed when the man meets a girl on […]

IFFR 2019: Sofia review

★★★☆☆ In Sofia, a young, unmarried Moroccan woman has a child out-of-wedlock. In a film deemed as a ‘social thriller’ where the ultimate revelation holds less power than the reasons for keeping it a secret, Meryem […]

IFFR 2019: The Best of Dorien B. review

★★★☆☆ In Belgian director Anke Blondé’s The Best of Dorien B., a thirtysomething married mother of two with a flourishing veterinary practice sees her hitherto settled life start to crumble all at once. An unsentimental treatment […]

IFFR 2019: Transnistra review

★★★★☆ Swedish director Anna Eborn’s documentary follows six teenagers as they go about their lives in Transnistria, an unrecognised state which broke off from Moldova and attempted to assert its independence after the fall of the […]

IFFR 2016: Préjudice review

★★★☆☆ Notions of marginalisation, responsibility and the ambiguities of nature versus nurture all collide in Antoine Cuypers’ handsome and austere feature debut, Préjudice. The film is built around enormously compelling performances from Thomas Blanchard and Nathalie […]

IFFR 2016: Garbage Helicopter review

★★★☆☆ What keeps running but never gets anywhere? This riddle is posed on a number of occasions during writer-director Jonas Selber Augustsén’s head-scratcher of a debut feature. Gym-goers may answer slogging away on a treadmill but […]

IFFR 2016: The Bride review

★★★☆☆ The bold and deeply felt symbolism of Federico García Lorca’s famous matrimonial drama, Blood Wedding, makes it ripe for cinematic treatment. There are rich thematic veins to be opened in the writer’s text and his […]

IFFR 2016: As I Open My Eyes review

★★★★☆ How do you solve a problem like Farah? Principled, articulate but pig-headed, she is the whirlwind around whom Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid builds her remarkable debut feature. As I Open My Eyes is set in […]

IFFR 2016: Our top picks

The International Film Festival Rotterdam kicks off its 45th edition this evening with the world premiere of Dutch survival drama Beyond Sleep. Directed by Boudewijn Koole, it follows an ambitious geologist on a search for meteorites […]

IFFR 2015: Stinking Heaven review

★★★★☆ Writer and director Nathan Silver again seeks to explore the dynamics of communal living just as he did in Exit Elena (2012) to Uncertain Terms (2014). In the latter film, pregnant teens take refuge in […]