This April, revisit five classic films via our celebratory 25 Years: 25 Films series honoring HIFF’s Silver Anniversary.
NO MAN’S LAND | HIFF 2001
Director: Danis Tanovic
Thursday, April 27 | 6:00pm
Bay Street Theater | Sag Harbor
Winner: Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 2002
Justifiably awarded the Best Screenplay prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Bosnian director Danis Tanovic’s NO MAN’S LAND is a tragicomic feature about the war in Bosnia that fulfills the promise of the beautiful, more sober short videos he made during the actual fighting. The film begins in 1993 when a group of Bosnian soldiers lost in dense fog end up in an empty Serbian trench. World-weary Ciki finds a rifle, which protects him when suspicious Bosnian Serbian soldiers check it out. Finally, only he and the inexperienced Bosnian Serb Nino occupy the site, or so they think, and they play at miniature war with each other, often in a humorous way, in tune with blackly comic spirit of the film.
During a standoff, they discover Tzera—a heavy Bosnian whom they’d both presumed dead—alive in a trench, lying on a spring-loaded mine that will detonate if he moves. The United Nations contingent known as UNPROFOR sends a tank; a French sergeant tries to help, only to be called away by his arrogant, self-aggrandizing British commander; and a pushy, world renowned TV journalist endeavors to sensationalize the grave situation. In the end, Tanovic adroitly and shockingly holds the various parties accountable for their actions and inaction.
NOWHERE IN AFRICA (HIFF 2002)
Director: Caroline Link
Saturday, April 1 | 6:00pm
Southampton Arts Center | Southampton
A World War II era film of a very different kind, this film follows the saga of Walter Redlich, a German Jewish lawyer who, concerned about the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, journeys to Kenya to scope out a safe haven for his family. Having gained employment, Walter sends for his wife Jettel and daughter Regina to join him. Thrust from a life of opulence to near poverty, Jettel does not readily acclimatize. She and Walter came to blows, each dealing with the agony of leaving Germany behind.
It’s not long before the realities of home reach their doorstep; Britain goes to war against the Nazis and takes all Germans in Kenya as POWs. A far cry from the concentration camps of their homeland, the luxury hotel of the camp is nonetheless a prison. Jettel uses her influence to get the family released to work on an English farm.
They ride out the war until the opportunity to return to Germany arises. After almost ten years in Kenya, Walter, Jettel, and Regina have made for themselves a new home, and they must decide between returning to their former homeland and staying in the country they have grown to love.
JUDY BERLIN | HIFF 1999
Curious and eccentric in a town full of likable defeatists, Judy Berlin (Edie Falco) is on the verge of a life change that will affect everyone around her. There’s a mournfulness permeating this impressive feature debut that is anything but sad. Rather, this is the kind of American independent film that springs fully formed from a probing, painterly, benevolent mind and leaves audiences holding their collective breath in wonderment, as simple lives are revealed to be lives with profound human complexity.
EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT | HIFF 2015
Director: Ciro Guerra
Friday, April 14 | 6:00pm
Parrish Art Museum | Water Mill
Inspired by the real experiences of explorers in the Amazon, EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (Colombia’s submission for the Oscars®) centers on the relationship between Karamakate, a shaman of an extinct tribe carrying secrets and traditions, and two scientists in search of a sacred plant, capable of immense healing. Opting for powerful black and white cinematography, director Ciro Guerra tracks their parallel stories over 40 years with trips deep into the jungle. Winner of the top prize at the Cannes Directors Fortnight, the film intimately captures the thirst for knowledge and the ravages of colonialism that have destroyed the harmony and balance at the heart of the indigenous way of life.
KINSEY | HIFF 2004
Director: Bill Condon
Thursday, April 20 | 6:00pm
Bay Street Theater | Sag Harbor
Academy Award-winner Bill Condon (GODS AND MONSTERS) turns the microscope on Alfred Kinsey in a drama that is at once a portrait of a man driven to uncover the most private secrets of the nation, and a journey into the mystery of human behavior. Liam Neeson stars as Kinsey, who in 1948 irrevocably changed American culture and created a media sensation with his book “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.”
Asking thousands of people about the most intimate aspects of their lives, Kinsey lifted the weight of doubt and shame from a society in which sex was hidden and knowledge was dangerous. His work sparked one of the most intense cultural debates of the past century—a debate that rages on today. The all-star cast of KINSEY includes Oscar® nominees Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, Chris O’Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Oliver Platt, and Dylan Baker.
Read more about the 25 Years: 25 Films series, happening all year long.