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32nd Annual Portland International Film Festival
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Films & Schedules - Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 12 PM (WH)

The Apology Line

DIRECTOR: James Lee Director - Short Cuts III: International Ties (Great Britain)

What happens when the desire for redemption meets an answering machine?

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 12 PM (WH)

Because There are Things You Never Forget

DIRECTOR: Lucas M. Figueroa - Short Cuts III: International Ties (Spain)

Napes, Italy, 1950.  Four friends are playing soccer when their ball is accidentally kicked into the evil old lady's yard.  They'll never play with their ball again… and for that the revenge will be deadly.

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 12 PM (WH)

Boar Attack

DIRECTOR: Jay White - Short Cuts III: International Ties (Canada)

A young man fears the worst while waiting for his father's safe return from a walk in the woods.

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 12 PM (WH)

Frankie

DIRECTOR: Darren Thornton - Short Cuts III: International Ties (Ireland)

Frankie is a 15-year-old boy who wants to be the best dad ever, but as his day goes on, he starts to realise how impossible this will be for him.

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 12 PM (WH)

The Heart is a Hidden Camera

DIRECTOR: Gabriel Judet-Weinshel - Short Cuts III: International Ties (United States)

A young boy discovers at an early age that his heart is a camera, capable of capturing the beauty and horror of the world around him.

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 12 PM (WH)

Hot Dog

DIRECTOR: Bill Plympton - Short Cuts III: International Ties (United States)

In the second sequel to Plympton's Guard Dog, our intrepid canine hero eagerly joins the local fire department--and, as always, chaos ensues.

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 12 PM (WH)

Hungu

DIRECTOR: Nicolas Beault - Short Cuts III: International Ties (Canada)

Inspired by African rock paintings and the musical instrument from which it takes its name, Hungu is a tale of hope amid death.

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 12:15 PM (B1)

Lorna's Silence

DIRECTOR: Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne - Belgium

Winner of the Best Screenplay Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Lorna's Silence continues the Dardenne brothers' examination of the dark side of European immigrant life. Desperate to stay in the Belgian city of Lièg and make a better life, Lorna, a young Albanian woman, is seduced into a dark immigration scheme by Fabio, an unscrupulous gangster.  She is to marry Claudy, a weak-willed junky, in order to earn her Belgian citizenship.  That done, the plan is to leave him, without arousing the suspicion of the authorities, so that she chan marry a Russian Mafioso who will pay handsomely to...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 1 PM (B2)

Wolf--The Laws of Wilderness

DIRECTOR: Daniel Alfredson - Sweden

A riveting study of man vs. nature and traditional society vs. modern life, Wold boasts a bravura performance from Coen Brothers veteran Peter Stormare (Fargo, The Big Lebowski), stunning panoramic vistas of the Arctic wilderness, and intense courtroom drama. Stormare plays Klemens Klemensten, a native Sami (or Lapplander) in the far north of Sweden who herds reindeer as his father did before him, assisted by his teenage nephew Nejla.  When a wolf attacks the herd, the two track the predator down, and, in a gripping encounter, Nejla kills the wolf with a single ax blow.  But wolves are endangered species...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 1:30 PM (B3)

In a Dream

DIRECTOR: Jeremiah Zagar - United States

Winner of the audience award at the South by Southwest Film Festival, In a Dream takes us on an intimate, visceral journey into the world of artist Isaiah Zagar, the director's father, who over the course of four decades has covered more than 50,000 square feet of Philadelphia with stunning mosaic murals.  Beyond exploring the artist's astounding life's work, the film chronicles his tumultuous relationship with his wife and the implosion of a marriage.  As it turns from a character study ingo an incredibly personal, stirring drama, In a Dream explores both the power of art and the mysteries of...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 2:30 PM (WH)

Chainsaw

DIRECTOR: Dennis Tupicoff - Short Cuts III: International Ties (Australia)

Chainsaws, bullfighters, cowboys, husbands, wives.

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 2:45 PM (B1)

Dream Weavers: Beijing 2008

DIRECTOR: Jun Gu - China

This year's Chinese submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar--a rare documentary in a category dominated by narrative films--offers a fascinating, human perspective on Beijing's preparations for the 2008 Olympics.  Filmed over the course of five years, Dream Weavers follows five interwoven story lines: the plight of one of the 4,000 families who were relocated to make room for the Olympic Village; the construction of the innovative, welded-steel Bird's Nest stadium; the grueling regime of young female gymnasts; the training of hurdler Liu Xiang; and the training of the Beijing SWAT team.

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 3 PM (WH)

Cherry Blossoms

DIRECTOR: Doris Dörrie - Germany

Dörrie draws from Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu's classic Tokyo Story for this emotional tale of love and renewal.  Middle-aged couple Trudi and Rudi lead a routine life in a sleepy German town.  When Trudi learns that Rudi is terminally ill, she will not tell him, but she wants him to see his children one last time.  They go to Berlin to visit two of their grown children, who have little time for or interest in them, but their plans to travel to Tokyo to see their other child are unexpectedly disrupted when Trudi herself dies.  Left with Trudi's suitcase, which...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 3:15 PM (B4)

Terra Nova

DIRECTOR: Aleksandr Melnik - Russia

It is 2013.  The entire world has abolished capital punishment.  Prisons are over-crowded with formerly condemned men.  The international community decides to launch a risky experiment called "Terra Nova": a trial group of hardened convicts is sent away to a deserted Northern island, far from civilization, to see if they can start a new life.  There, free from the control of wardens and guards, the convicts begin a fierce struggle for survival and coexistence.  One of the most expensive Russian productions ever made, Melnik's anti-utopian meditation is part savage action film and part intellectual thriller, and despite its grim "Lord...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 3:30 PM (B2)

Home of Dark Butterflies

DIRECTOR: Dome Karukoski - Finland

Juhani, a troubled teen with a tragic past, lands in a home for boys known as "the Island." A world unto itself, the Island is run by Mr. Harjula, a strict disciplinarian intent on shaping his charges into respectful, confident young men.  When a romance between Juhani and Harjula's daughter, Juhani discovers something he has never before experienced: a home.  As his haunting childhood slowly comes into focus, Juhani is forced to confront his demons, risk vulnerability and learn to forgive himself.  Niilo Syväoja shines as Juhani, delivering a nuanced performance that at once captures Juhani's heartbreaking inner trauma and...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 4 PM (B3)

The Chicken, the Fish and the King Crab

DIRECTOR: José Luis López-Linares - Spain

Founded by legendary chef Paul Bocuse, the Bocuse d'Or competition is pretty much the Olympics of haut cuisine, bringing 24 virtuoso chefs from around the world to Lyon every other year for a competition in which they have five and a half hours to prepare 12 portions of two complete meals.  The chefs represent not only themselves, but also their nations and national cuisines.  Spain's 20-year victory drought is something of a thumb in the eye, especially since San Sebastian boasts more Michelin-starred restaurants per square kilometer than any other place in the world.  López-Linares' mouth-watering film follows master chef...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 5 PM (B1)

Jerusalema

DIRECTOR: Ralph Ziman - South Africa

"I had two heroes: Karl Marx and Al Capone." So begins the story of Lucky Kunene, a small-time South African hood who makes crime his career choice when he can't afford his college tuition.  Realizing that small-time crime doesn't pay, he decides to turn himself into a "businessman": a real estate developer who hijacks groups of buildings from white slumlords, offering to sell them back in exchange for improved living conditions.  While gaining Robin Hood status for good works and a talent for evading the law, Kunene soon finds out that success unfortunately makes enemies.  Ziman's fast-paced crime rama, based...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 5:45 PM (B4)

Kisses

DIRECTOR: Lance Daly - Ireland

On Christmas day, Dylan, a sullen, asthmatic 11-year-old boy living in a Dublin slum, flees his father's drunken violence with Kylie, the neglected but determined girl next door.  Hoping to find Dylan's older brother, who ran away from home two years earlier, the two head for downtown Dublin, embarking on an adventure in which they will encounter both wonders and dangers greater than any they've faced before.  Along the way they discover, to their surprise, how deeply they love each other, and how much they love a world both magical and sordid.  Winner, Best Irish Feature at the Galway Film...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 6 PM (B2)

Crossing

DIRECTOR: Tae-Kyung Kim - South Korea

Although living in extreme poverty in North Korea, Yong-su and his family find contentment and comfort just being together.  When his pregnant wife becomes ill, Yong-su secretly crosses the border to China to find medicine to cure her. There, he's arrested as an illegal worker and events quickly spiral out of his control.  He finds himself a pawn of the "North Korea Liberation Coalition," and is ultimately sent to South Korea.  Meanwhile, his wife's situation turns dire, and his son Jun is taken to a labor camp in Mongolia.  Undeterred by their circumstances, father and son keep faith that they...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 6 PM (WH)

Shall We Kiss?

DIRECTOR: Emmanuel Mouret - France

Woody Allen meets Eric Rohmer in writer-director-actor Emmanuel Mouret's delicately droll romantic comedy.  After a chance encounter on the streets of Nantes, Gabriel and Emilie sense romance in the air, though alas, they are both involved with other people. When Gabriel proposes "a kiss with no consequences," Emilie--knowing there is no such thing--pauses to tell a story.  Through flashbacks, we learn the story of her friends Nicolas and Judith and the brief, seemingly innocent kiss they once shared--which led to the transformation of their entire lives.  Far from a simple kiss-and-tell tale, Mouret's ingenious interweaving of characters and courtship explores...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 6:30 PM (B3)

The Garden

DIRECTOR: Scott Hamilton Kennedy - United States

The focal point of Scott Hamilton Kennedy's impassioned film is a 14-acre community garden, once the nation's largest, in South Central Los Angeles.  Following the riots of 1992, an embattled group of mostly Latin-American immigrants known as the South Central Farmers turned a vacant lot at the corner of 41st and Alameda into a repository of civic pride, beans, corn, papaya trees, and more--along with seeds of hope for their families.  But five years ago, a developer began making plans to raze their oasis and thus their dreams.  Kennedy takes us into the heart of the battle to save the...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 7:45 PM (B1)

All Around Us

DIRECTOR: Ryosuke Hashiguchi - Japan

"This wise and deliciously witty film chronicles eight years of a marriage.  In 1992, shoe repairman Kanao ties the knot with Shoko, who works in publishing, because he's got her pregnant.  Apart from liking each other, they don't have too much in common.  She's a bit of a control freak, and he's, well, loose and easy-going.  Kanao takes over a TV news job as a courtroom sketch-artist and he soon finds himself exposed to--and drawing--some of the most disturbed people in Japan, from child murderers to a member of the Aum sect which gas-attacked the Tokyo subway.  Meanwhile Shoko, traumatized...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 8 PM (B4)

Cape No. 7

DIRECTOR: Te-Sheng Wei - Taiwan

In a uniquely Taiwanese style, Wei exquisitely portrays a hidden love from the 1940s Japanese-occupied Taiwan.  Starring popular singers from Taiwan and Japan, Cape No. 7 took the Grand Prize at the Taipei Film Festival with its heartwarming tale of music and longing.  After running dry in Taipei, failed rock singer Aga returns to his picturesque coastal hometown of Hengchun and joins a band thrown together by Japanese concert promoter Tomoko.  With members ranging in age from 10 to 80, there is more bumbling than rocking for the ragtag band, but a new love song awaits when Aga and Tomoko...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 8:30 PM (WH)

Il Divo

DIRECTOR: Paolo Sorrentino - Italy

Giulio Andreotti, arguably the most famous and notorious Italian politician of the post-war era, was prime minister in his country no less than seven times.  His professional career is a history of contemporary Italian politics, and the allegations repeatedly leveled against him of corruption and Mafia involvement reflect the darkest elements of Italian society from the 1960s through the 1980s.  Sorrentino manages to weave a complicated maze of political conspiracies and skullduggery into an engrossing, stylistically dazzling drama. "To call Il Divio a biopic would be a gross injustice.  It is, indeed, a depiction of the life and times of...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 8:30 PM (B2)

Treeless Mountain

DIRECTOR: So Yong Kim - United States

Inspired by childhood events, Treeless Mountain has been described by So Yong Kim as a letter to her mother.  The film tells a poignant emotional story of growing up in the Korean countryside and the joys, worries, and hurts of early childhood.  Sent by their impoverished mother in Seoul to live with an aunt in a small village, six-year-old Jin and her younger sister Bin find themselves at the mercy of their selfish, alcoholic "Big Aunt."  Reduced to selling fried grasshoppers to earn money, their misery is compounded when their mother writes to say that she cannot take them back...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2009
at 8:45 PM (B3)

Moscow, Belgium

DIRECTOR: Christophe Van Rompaey - Belgium

Moscow, Belgium is a charming romantic comedy about two misfits faced with each other's messed-up lives and irresistibly drawn together.  In the small, middle-class section of Ghent known as Moscow, Matty struggles with three kids and ex-husband Werner, who dumped her for a young art school student. One day she meets Johnny, by ramming into his truck in a parking lot.  After their initial fight, he takes a liking to her. She spurns his dogged advances--he's much younger and working class--but little by little, she ceases to yearn for Werner and gives in to Johnny's charms.  Naturally, that's precisely when...

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