[Venues] Yamagata Central Public Hall 6F, Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Large Hall)
A program that began with the very first YIDFF. Feature-length works were sought from around the world, and from the 1,146 entries emerges a stringent selection of 15 cinematic gems, richly varied and representing the vanguard of world filmmaking.
- Another Year
- CHINA / 2016 / 181 min
Director: Zhu Shengze
180 overpowering minutes divided into thirteen months, showing a migrant worker’s family at dinner. The film documents a year in time itself, through which the breakneck changes in contemporary Chinese society may be glimpsed.
- SWITZERLAND / 2016 / 117 min
Director: Pierre-François Sauter
Two immigrant men working at a funeral home in Switzerland drive a hearse to Calabria, Italy to deliver a corpse. A lyrical paean to life emerges, woven out of their conversations about living, loving, and the people they meet on their journey.
- POLAND / 2016 / 72 min
Director: Anna Zamecka
A girl in Poland named Ola takes care of her alcoholic father and her 13-year-old younger brother who has autism. Seizing on the occasion of her brother’s Holy Communion, Ola devotes herself to bringing back their mother who has left home, and to reuniting the family. A record of a young soul facing up against the hardships of everyday life.
- SPAIN, GERMANY, UK / 2017 / 86 min
Director: Chico Pereira
The 73-year-old Manuel decides to go on an epic journey of 2,200 km from Spain to the United States, with his beloved donkey and dog as his companions. A road movie that celebrates the life of a man trying to be free and true to himself, despite his advanced age.
- Ex Libris—The New York Public Library
- USA / 2016 / 205 min
Director: Frederick Wiseman
The latest work by filmmaker Frederick Wiseman brings us into the world that is the New York Public Library. In documenting both the problems and trials of the library in the digital era, as well as the many people who converge in this place, a portrait of the contemporary United States emerges.
- A House in Ninh Hoa
- GERMANY / 2016 / 108 min
Director: Philip Widmann
This house, in Ninh Hoa in southern Vietnam, holds the memory of a family torn apart and scattered by the Vietnam War. Vietnam and Germany, the past and the present, the living and the dead: all these worlds meet again in this house, spinning family tales that span three generations.
- I Am Not Your Negro
- USA, FRANCE, BELGIUM, SWITZERLAND / 2016 / 93 min
Director: Raoul Peck
Based on an unfinished manuscript by the late author James Baldwin, this film depicts the tumultuous modern history of the African American people. Even now nature of discrimination emerges from the writer’s words, documentary footage, film clips, and music.
- In the Intense Now
- BRAZIL / 2017 / 127 min
Director: João Moreira Salles
Examining the passion of the people in footage shot in China in 1966 and in Paris and Prague in 1968, this film questions both the relationship between historical spectacle and an individual’s life, and the meaning of these cinematic documents.
- Lone Existence
- CHINA / 2016 / 77 min
Director: Sha Qing
A filmmaker who has not left his home or spoken to anyone in years. The only thing sustaining him is his desire to observe with his camera the existences of others that project his hidden self. A film by Sha Qing, director of Wellspring.
- INDIA, GERMANY, FINLAND / 2016 / 75 min
Director: Rahul Jain
A camera goes deep into a giant textile factory in India. It juxtaposes in vivid proximity an aesthetic beauty with the harsh reality of factory workers migrated from remote areas—including children—working under unjust labor conditions.
- A Memory in Khaki
- QATAR / 2016 / 108 min
Director: Alfoz Tanjour
Four individuals relate their mixed feelings about their homeland of Syria. For some, it is a repressive world in the color of khaki, while for others it is a violent one stained in red. The filmmaker, also Syrian, shares memories of his homeland and his sorrow at losing it.
- Sennan Asbestos Disaster
- JAPAN / 2017 / 215 min
Director: Hara Kazuo
This film is about a lawsuit seeking state compensation for asbestos-related damage in the Sennan area of Osaka. Filmmaker Hara Kazuo records the eight-year struggle of the plaintiffs and their lawyers. A dogged and dramatic depiction of their intense battle.
- A Strange Love Affair with Ego
- THE NETHERLANDS / 2015 / 91 min
Director: Ester Gould
A woman with strong self-confidence who suffers from the ideal she projects on herself. The filmmaker, her younger sister, explores these feelings of her sister’s through the medium of other women. A personal essay that compellingly describes the difficulties people face living in our contemporary society.
- Tremorings of Hope
- JAPAN / 2017 / 146 min
Director: Agatsuma Kazuki
Hadenya, in Miyagi Prefecture’s Minamisanriku, saw severe devastation from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. This film articulates for us the hopes and doubts of the local people in tackling recovery, as we watch the process of reviving their oshishisama tradition. Directed by Agatsuma Kazuki, director of The People Living in Hadenya.
- Wake (Subic)
- USA, THE PHILIPPINES / 2015 / 277 min
Director: John Gianvito
The grave pollution of the environment and adverse health effects faced by residents of the area around a former U.S. naval base in Luzon Island, the Philippines. In this 227-minute work that continues on from his previous film, Vapor Trail (Clark), John Gianvito is listening to the voices of the people.