The Vancouver International Film Festival seems to function as an echo chamber for our current mood and emotional climate. In the last couple of years we’ve been presented with films that touch on our societal concerns about the environment, racism and religious schisms. It serves this dual function of exposing minds to the different cultural dialogues of our time, while also being an outlet for cathartic release to work through, even if it is momentarily.
It should be no surprise then, that this year’s VIFF lineup has a strong offering of independent films showcasing strong female leads and the unique experiences from their corner of the world. In our corner of the world this past year, we’ve seen an erosion in terms of gender and race relations, and I think that’s why this years movies are so important.
There are two movies in particular, from different corners of the world, that I’d recommend to anyone feeling disillusioned by the current (seemingly un-dying) media cycle we’re stuck in. Carmen and Lola, tells a coming of age story about a lesbian Romani teen finding her way in the strict patriarchal culture of the Romani in Spain. The second story, The Seen and Unseen from director Kamila Andini centres around Indonesian twin sisters exploring their Javanese roots through the memories and teachings of their father. The movie plays out like a fantasy tale is firmly rooted in real life drama as they deal with family tragedy and delve into rich Javanese mythology.
For a complete listing of films put on by the VIFF, you can visit them at: https://www.viff.org/