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The Fifth Season

In their follow-up to the remarkable Altiplano, co-directors Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth create a mystifying, surrealistic tale of a mountain village where spring refuses to come, inspiring the villagers to ever more desperate and bizarre measures to save their land and their lives. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Ne Me Quitte Pas

Left by his wife for another man, Marcel falls into alcoholism and a deep depression, with only his friend Bob, also an alcoholic, to look after him. The friendship between the two men captures the frailty of the male ego and the natural comedy borne from their candid conversations. Ne Me Quitte Pas follows this downward spiral of mid-life crisis in a tender, often humorous, sometimes disturbing examination of the ‘crisis of masculinity,’ alongside a mesmerizing exploration of mundane rural existence. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]


In a deserted shopping centre, Jesse’s best friend Jonas is stabbed to death as Jesse looks on, paralysed by what is taking place. The youthful perpetrators run off and their motives remain unclear. The event marks the beginning of a horrific and isolated time for Jesse. Left alone with his pain and probably his own feelings of guilt he can find no words to express what he is feeling – either to his parents or to the other boys in his BMX gang. Their reactions are either helpless or standoffish, since they suspect Jesse of cowardice. A monstrous silence pervades their neat suburban estate. The incomprehensible remains unfathomable and the boys continue to ride round in circles as if nothing has happened. Even the funeral procession, the flowers at the crime scene and the perpetrators’ arrests seem to be of marginal importance. Long and intensive shots make palpable the severity of what has happened and direct our gaze into deep chasms. The film’s images are reminiscent of modern art photography and leave much out of focus or in the dark. A purist soundtrack of noises heightens the visual tension and the refusal to provide any kind of explanation confronts us with our own thoughts and perceptions. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]