This weekend ASFF selects five new films around the globe, with directors hailing from Britain, America, Turkey and Chile. A lively and diverse mix – arthouse dramas, a zombie musical, documentary and sports saga – the big theme addressed across nearly all this week is the pain and trauma of family life.
Disobedience (Curzon Artificial Eye)
After his excellent Oscar-winning transgender drama A Fantastic Woman, Chilean director Sebastián Lelio makes his English-language debut with this adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel set in a British Orthodox Jewish community in north London. Rachel Weisz stars as a prodigal daughter, returning home after the death of her rabbi father to rediscover hidden feelings for a married Jewish girl (Rachel McAdams) she had a fling with in her younger years.
The Wild Pear Tree (New Wave)
Marking his return to feature filmmaking, Turkish director Nuri Blige Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree is his first movie since 2014’s Winter Sleep, which won him a long overdue Palme d’Or in Cannes. This latest meditation stars Dogu Demirkol as Sinan, a writer who returns to the small rural town where his parents live to seek funding for his latest book, only to find his father’s gambling debts have left a trail.
Anna and the Apocalypse (Vertigo Releasing)
The high school movie meets the zombie horror in John McPhail’s film, though that’s not all. Somehow, McPhail and his writers bring fresh meat to the table by adding in musical numbers. Oh and it’s set at Christmas. So expect future discussions about ‘Is Anna and the Apocalypse a Christmas movie?’ Ella Hunt stars as teenager Anna, who must deal with a host of adolescent problems as the undead suddenly come to town. One to devour.
Ryan Coogler breathed new life into the Rocky franchise with Creed, which starred Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed, taken under the wing of Sylvester Stallone’s ageing boxer. For the sequel, Jordan and Stallone return, but Coogler steps aside for incoming director Steven Caple Jr. for a story that sees Jordan’s Adonis Johnson take on the son of Russian fighter Ivan Drago – the man who killed his father in the ring.
Three Identical Strangers (Dogwoof)
Tim Wardle’s documentary is simply astounding. The basic 1980s-set premise is jaw-dropping enough, as a trio of American triplets separated at birth and adopted into very different families somehow find each other again. Fame hits, and they even grab a cameo with Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. But that’s just the beginning of a story that grows weirder and wilder with every passing minute. Brilliantly told by Wardle, this comes highly recommended.
All films released on 30 November.
1. Still from The Wild Pear Tree.
2. Still from Disobedience.
3. Still from The Wild Pear Tree.
4. Still from Anna and the Apocalypse
5. Still from Creed II.
6. Still from Three Identical Strangers.