“The most important thing in life,” Miss G tells her students at an elite British boarding school in 1934, “is desire.” She needn’t have spelled it out. As played by the spectacularly cool Eva Green, Miss G is the walking embodiment of desire. She smokes, flouts the headmistress’s rules and hints at dark European adventures in her past. She even wears trousers. Determined to awaken in her girls a yearning for something more, Miss G encourages free thinking, late-night parties and the almost erotic freedom of diving lessons at the lake.
The girls are thrilled at first to have such an inspiring teacher, but cracks begin to appear. Miss G begins to disturb the students’ rigid and remorseless power structure. Top mean girl Di Radfield (Juno Temple) feels especially threatened, and Di does not respond well to threats. Then a new girl arrives from Spain. Even compared to Miss G, Fiamma (Maria Valverde) is exotic. Beautiful, dark and supremely sophisticated, she is a princess among mere pretenders. Everyone begins to compete for her favour. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]
Ali and Nino are upper-class teenagers living in Azerbaijan just before the outbreak of World War I. He is Muslim, and she is Christian—but despite their cultural differences, they love each other and get married despite the disapproval of their parents. When Ali takes her to spend several months in Persia, she realizes how much her freedom is being constrained. The clash between East and West and between traditional Muslim life and the twentieth-century independence of her upbringing is very striking. Then the Great War breaks out, and things take a turn for the worse. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]
After leaving town following the death of his father, young music prodigy, Jacob Heckum (Anton Yelchin), returns to his desolate hometown only to discover that Buddy (Chris Marquette), the child-like brother he left behind now works for a drug gang. The gang’s ruthless leader (Vincent D’Onofrio) has twisted his simple mind and manipulated him into a killer… a surrogate son who blindly does as he is told. Jacob is drowned in guilt for having abandoned his brother and realizes the only way to save him from his new fraternity is to join them.
No figure is more revered in South America than Simón Bolívar, the legendary hero who freed the northern half of the continent from the iron grip of Spanish Colonialism. Alberto Arvelo’s ambitious, gorgeously produced epic traces his transformation from a dashing 19th century aristocrat, who wooed and won a great Spanish beauty as his wife, into a fiery and embattled revolutionary with a powerful army at this command. [Synopsis courtesy of LA Film Festival]