Wedding In Bessarabia (2009)

Directed by: Nap Toader
Country: Romania

Plot: Love and wedding business in the time of transition.
Review: Presented with a big dose of irony, “wedding at Bessarabia” is a well-disposed movie that parodies with the possible motives for a Romanian boy to get married with a Moldavian girl. All this happens in Bessarabia, a region of Eastern Europe that once was dominated by the soviets, and for several years was disputed between Romania and Moldova. The wedding has its peak with the lemon dance, but also contains other points of interest - the suspicion involving each family; a best man with a forbidden passion for the bride; and a lot of inspired jokes concerning the economical situation - are some of them. Despite of a finale in need of better inspiration, this is a lively movie.
Relevant awards: -

The Other Bank (2009)

Directed by: George Ovashvili
Country: Georgia

Plot: A young Georgian refugee leaves the safe zone to look for his father.
Review: “The Other Bank” is irreproachable as an artsy achievement. The story tells a lot about the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, relying on mindful compositions to express thoroughly the spirit and people involved. Tedo, a 12 year-old Georgian kid, decides to leave alone for his hometown to look for his missing dad. The trip will be full of good and bad surprises. Whenever things go wrong, Tedo has a technique to make it better. He just closes his eyes tight to imagine a completely different reality than the one he’s actually living. This was the first and only feature film, so far, directed by George Ovashvili. Gripping, memorable and deeply moving.
Relevant awards: Best film (Fribourg, Molodist, Mons, Paris, Tromso, Yerenvan, etc.).

Last Ride (2009)

Directed by: Glendyn Ivin
Country: Australia

Plot: A young boy travels across Australia with his father, who's wanted by the law.
Review: An interesting trip through the amazing Australian landscapes, where a man is on the run after committing a brutal crime. As a single parent he is forced to take his son with him. Sleeping in the streets, their only concern is to get food and water. The father-son relationship was very well conceived and Hugo Weaving’s performance, alternating between tenderness and bursts of anger, deserved more than a few nominations for best leading role. Although the end has been a bit strained, Mr.Ivin used his skills to make this story touch our feelings and subsist in our minds.
Relevant awards: -

Altiplano (2009)

Directed by: Peter Brosens/Jessica H.Woodworth
Country: Belgium

Plot: A former war photographer and her physician husband are caught up in a riot in an Andean village.
Quick comment: Two women, one Peruvian and other Belgian, will cross paths. The former, is fighting a sickness that starts spreading across her village due to mercury spill in a mine exploration. The latter, is a photographer trying to recover from a traumatic situation. “Altiplano” delivers artsy images within a well-intentioned story but its approach isn't always totally satisfying. Despite of some narrative issues and the evident eagerness to be art-house, it still worth for its exceptional landscapes and mystic creeds.
Relevant awards: Golden Kinnaree (Bangkok).

Bellamy (2009)

Directed by: Claude Chabrol
Country: France

Plot: A well known Parisian inspector becomes involved in an investigation while on holiday.
Quick comment: Claude Chabrol was known for his closely-observed characters. That’s what we get in “Bellamy” - his last feature-film before his death in 2010 at the age of 80. The personal life of the famous inspector Paul Bellamy is analyzed, as he investigates a strange murder case. It’s true that there is not much vitality or grandeur in this movie, but it is tidy and the dialogues and acting are solid enough to make it worth a look.
Relevant awards: -