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To ease navigation, our programmers divide the film programme into four sections with each their unique tone. Filter by section or read more.
Our main competitions and tomorrow’s film talent
Celebrating great storytelling and bold cinema
Retrospectives, film art and an in-depth look at filmmaking
Explore this year's theme programmes
Little JoeJessica Hausner 09:45 - 11:30 at LantarenVenster 5 • 105′
Has science gone too far in this clinical bio-thriller about mysterious plants that can create permanent happiness?
In this cold-blooded thriller, bio scientist Alice (Emily Beecham) dedicates her life to the invention of a new plant that makes its owners happy. But the prototype, ‘Little Joe’, maybe works too well. The users turn into anaesthetised zombies incapable of feeling any other emotions.
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 BruxellesChantal Akerman 11:30 - 14:53 at KINO 4 • 202′
A young widow who lives with her teenage son fills her empty life with an endless checklist of chores. Until something snaps.
Akerman portrays the life of a single, middle-aged mother with a style as detached, functional and distancing as the title of the film itself. To avoid facing the anxiety and fear of death, Jeanne organises her days with an endless checklist of chores, including prostitution. A cornerstone of feminist cinema.
The Vasulka EffectHrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir 12:30 - 14:01 at LantarenVenster 4 • 85′
The pioneers of video art, Steina and Woody Vasulka look back on their eventful lives and innovative work.
Documentary about video art’s free-spirited, groundbreaking pioneers Steina and Woody Vasulka. They seemed forgotten, but there is renewed attention for their work. The artists look back on their eventful lives whilst creating their archive.
Vitalina VarelaPedro Costa 14:00 - 16:05 at Pathé 4 • 124′
Locarno Golden Leopard winner portrays the lives of immigrants as a pitch-black vacuum. Life stands still and people wander, silently.
Vitalina travels from her native Cape Verde in the footsteps of her recently deceased partner, ending up in the pitch-black vacuum of life for Portuguese immigrants. This Golden Leopard winner at Locarno is stunningly stylised by Pedro Costa, who isolates his characters in the darkness using a 4:3 ratio and bright spotlights.
Les enfants d'IsadoraDamien Manivel 16:15 - 17:40 at LantarenVenster 4 • 84′
Four women struggle with the choreography Mother by Isadora Duncan, created after the death of her two young children.
Director and dancer Damien Manivel follows four women attempting to understand and bring the challenging Mother to life. This choreography was created by renowned dancer and groundbreaking choreographer Isadora Duncan to process the tragic deaths of her two young children in 1913.
I diari di Angela – Noi due cineasti. Capitolo secondoYervant Gianikian 18:30 - 20:14 at KINO 2 • 103′
Gianikian created a montage of images from work trips to the USA and Jerusalem to accompany his deceased partner Ricci Lucchi’s wonderfully illustrated diaries.
Sublime sequel to the film Gianikian made last year after the death of his life- and film-partner Ricci Lucchi. Diary and film excerpts provide insight into their lives and oeuvre as well as the artistic mission and methods of two of the most important filmmakers of the past 50 years.
The HaltLav Diaz 19:00 - 23:39 at LantarenVenster 2 • 278′
The Philippines descend into darkness under a crazed dictator whilst facing a huge volcanic eruption in this political science fiction film by grand master Diaz.
In this political fantasy of a future highly reminiscent of today, volcanic eruptions have thrown the Philippines into darkness, while a crazed leader threatens rebellious neighbourhoods with poison gas. Resistance is not an easy option. After a stirring rock intermezzo, grand master Diaz calmly heads for the unexpected denouement.
The Makavejev Case or Trial in a Movie TheaterGoran Radovanović 19:45 - 21:00 at LantarenVenster 4 • 74′
Reconstruction of a debate held in Yugoslavia in 1971. Should a daring film by Dusan Makavejev be banned, or not?
In June 1971, a public debate was held in Novi Sad on WR: Mysteries of the Organism, a controversial film that caused a dilemma for the Yugoslavian authorities. How far did the Tito regime's democratic freedoms really go? In the mirror of history, a homage to filmmaker Dusan Makavejev (1932-2019).
A Hidden LifeTerrence Malick 20:15 - 23:16 at de Doelen Jurriaanse Zaal • 180′
A lyrical historical drama by maestro Terrence Malick about an Austrian farmer who refuses to submit to Nazi German rule.
With A Hidden Life, Terrence Malick returns to the historical dramas he is renowned for. He combines his characteristic lyrical audio-visual style and associative editing with a relatively more structured story of an Alpine farmer who refuses to submit to the Nazi occupation of Austria.
Sammy-GateNoel Lawrence 21:00 - 22:29 at KINO 3 • 88′
In this deranged psychedelic trip, Sammy Davis Jr uncovers a right-wing conspiracy against black activism while working for president Nixon.
A psychedelic, deranged satirical trip into the heart of Nixon’s political darkness. Working for Nixon, celebrity Sammy Davis Jr uncovers a right-wing conspiracy set up by billionaire Howard Hughes, aiming to get the young black inner-city youth addicted to heroin. Why? Make war, not love.
LibertéAlbert Serra 21:30 - 23:48 at KINO 2 • 132′
Bewigged French libertines indulge in De Sadean excesses in the woods at night. Much-discussed provocation from film auteur Serra.
In an 18th-century woodland, a group of banished French libertines indulge in a night of De Sadean sexual excess. This much-discussed provocation from Catalan film auteur Serra is the sort of film that should come with a trigger warning. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.