The Loneliest Planet

Alex (Gael García Bernal) and Nica (Hani Furstenberg) are young, in love and engaged to be married. We meet them in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia, where they embark on a pre-marital hiking trip. They hire a local guide, Dato (Bidzina Gujabidze), and trek into the wilderness. The vast landscape has a craggy beauty, as well as an odd sense of foreboding to which the young couple initially seems immune. Walking for hours on end, the travellers occasionally talk, sing or play word games, but more often they allow their surroundings to envelop them in silence. We come to know this couple and the full spectrum of their relationship through nuance and detail, subtle negotiation and exhilarating physicality. Then something occurs: a gesture almost missed, a moment that can’t be undone but changes everything. This single instance rocks the foundation of Alex and Nica’s relationship, and challenges everything they believed about each other. All the while Dato is nearby, a witness to everything that occurs. As their travels continue, Dato’s presence becomes more important. Alex and Nica alternatively turn to him when they are not comfortable being with each other. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Day Night Day Night

A 19 year-old girl prepares to become a suicide bomber in Times Square. She speaks with no accent so it’s impossible to pinpoint her ethnicity. And we never learn why she made her decision. We don’t know whom she represents, what she believes in–we only know she believes it absolutely.