This weekend ASFF selects five films from around the world that deliver a feast for the senses. From a Jehovah’s Witness community in Oldham to rural Dominican Republic to the mountains of Kashmir, the films range from action-adventure to docu-drama as issues of faith and vengeance are explored.
Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, this latest installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise sees Tom Cruise’s spy Ethan Hunt on the search for some missing plutonium. The sort of movie Hollywood does supremely well, the action is jaw-dropping. A midair parachute rescue, a frantic bike chase through Paris and an insane helicopter pursuit – all featuring Cruise, performing the stunts for real – ensure this is the summer’s most thrilling movie.
Set in Oldham, debut director Daniel Kokotajlo’s feature draws from his own experiences as a Jehovah’s Witness, as well as testimonies of others. Following the (fictional) lives of a devout mother and her two daughters, it sees their lives torn apart when the eldest Luisa (Sacha Parkinson) falls pregnant and is ‘disfellowshipped’, cut off from her family and faith. Kokotajlo’s insider knowledge ensures this is an authentic look at a closeted world.
Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias’s docu-drama is a sensual but shocking blend of non-fiction and fiction. Vicente Santos plays Alberto, a devout Christian who returns to his family home to attend the funeral of his father, murdered by a police officer. Rituals and ceremony feature largely in this realist portrait that seamlessly integrates non-professional actors into the film’s tapestry.
Once banned, Jacques Rivette’s ‘forbidden’ film has received a shiny new 4K restoration with the help of distributor StudioCanal. Based on the novel by Denis Diderot, Anna Karina stars as Suzanne, a novice nun who reluctantly enters a convent and endures horrendous mistreatment from her superiors. While the film will be released on Blu-ray in September, here is a chance to catch it on the big screen.
Filmed in an early version of the Rhaetic language, this is a bloody tale of murder and rape set in the Otztal Alps in Neolithic times. Directed by Felix Randau, Jurgen Vogel plays Kaleb, the leader of a small tribe who is on a hunting trip when almost the entire community is slaughtered by rivals. Vengeance is the theme, set to an epic backdrop. If the Western connotations aren’t already apparent, Franco Nero – the original Django – co-stars.
All films released by 27 July.
1.Still from Iceman.
2. Still from Mission: Impossible – Fallout .
3. Still from Apostasy.
4. Still from Cocote.
5. Still from The Nun.
6. Still from Iceman.