62nd San Francisco International Film Festival at BAMPFA

April 11–21, 2019

BAMPFA is proud to partner with the San Francisco International Film Festival, an annual global showcase of cinematic discovery and a major cultural event in the Bay Area.

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Past Films

  • The Edge of Democracy

    • Sunday, April 21 12:30 PM
    Petra Costa
    Brazil, 2019

    Petra Costa examines Brazil’s recent political history, focusing on the careers of Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, in “a mournful but clear-eyed look at one of the many governments on the planet currently either going to or simmering in hell” (Variety).

  • The Chambermaid

    • Sunday, April 21 3:15 PM
    Lila Avilés
    Mexico, United States, 2019

    An introverted hotel housekeeper finds herself drawn into the lives of her coworkers and guests in this poignant drama, “a quiet movie [that] never loses its focus on its central character study, while allowing points about economic and social inequalities to sound out loud and clear” (Eye for Film).

  • The Load

    • Sunday, April 21 6 PM
    Ognjen Glavonić
    Serbia, France, Croatia, Iran, Qatar, 2018

    A driver for hire for the Serbian government finds himself in unexpected territory—both physical and ethical—in this tense drama about moral responsibility in times of conflict. “An exceptional war film that never once shows the atrocities of war” (Cinema Scope).

  • Florianópolis Dream

    • Sunday, April 21 8:30 PM
    Ana Katz
    Argentina, Brazil, 2018

    A beach holiday turns into a wry romantic roundelay as an Argentinian couple and their kids are taken under the wing of a Brazilian man who offers to rent them his family’s home. At Karlovy Vary, the film won the FIPRESCI Prize, a Special Jury Prize, and the Best Actress Award for Mercedes Morán.

  • Wisconsin Death Trip

    • Saturday, April 20 4 PM
    James Marsh
    United States, United Kingdom, 1999

    This year’s Mel Novikoff Award program features a conversation with Anthony Wall, series editor and executive producer of the BBC series Arena, and a screening of the Arena film Wisconsin Death Trip, “a litany of nearly exultant disasters that may embrace all of America” (David Thomson).

    Anthony Wall and Greil Marcus in Conversation

  • Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

    • Saturday, April 20 7:30 PM
    Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
    United States, 2019

    Legendary author Toni Morrison tells her own story in this “eloquent nonfiction biopic that travels creatively through the past . . . enlivened both by its own storytelling dexterity and by the participation of its subject, who at eighty-eight years old remains as warm, vibrant, and insightful as ever” (Variety).

  • Honeyland

    • Saturday, April 20 1:30 PM
    Tamara Kotevska
    Macedonia, 2019

    This visually stunning portrait of a beekeeper in the mountains of Macedonia was a buzzworthy hit at Sundance, where it won three awards, including the World Cinema Documentary Grand Prize.

  • Walking on Water

    • Friday, April 19 3 PM
    Andrey Paounov
    Italy, United States, 2018

    Witness environmental artist Christo at work on a project in Italy. “The artist’s forceful character does battle with technology, bureaucracy, corruption, and the elements, resulting in an installation of stunning beauty and a documentary that delights in capturing the act of creation” (Variety).

  • Midnight Traveler

    • Friday, April 19 5:30 PM
    Hassan Fazili
    United States, Qatar, Canada, United Kingdom, 2019

    When the Taliban forced Hassan Fazili and his family to flee Afghanistan, they began filming their experiences on the road. The resulting documentary—shot entirely on cell phones—is an immersion in the refugee crisis and a portrait of one family’s struggle to regain control of their lives.

  • Debt

    • Friday, April 19 8 PM
    Vuslat Saraçoğlu
    Turkey, 2018

    The travails of a duty-bound husband and father who works in an economically struggling print shop are conveyed with humor and pathos in this beautifully performed film, winner of Best Film at the Istanbul Film Festival.

  • Tehran: City of Love

    • Thursday, April 18 6 PM
    Ali Jaberansari
    United Kingdom, Iran, 2018

    Three Tehran residents, unlucky in love, make attempts to change their solo status in this wistful and poignant film that also provides a pointed take on contemporary Iranian society.

    Ali Jaberansari in Person

  • The Little Comrade

    • Thursday, April 18 8:30 PM
    Moonika Siimets
    Estonia, 2018

    Set in 1950 Estonia as the Soviets attempt to suppress a fledgling resistance movement, this debut film achieves a deft balance of humor, tension, and empathy in depicting the perils of authoritarianism from a young girl’s point of view.

  • Central Airport THF

    • Wednesday, April 17 7 PM
    Karim Aïnouz
    Germany, France, Brazil, 2018

    Depicting Berlin’s decommissioned Tempelhof Airport—once a showplace of Nazi grandeur, now used as a refugee center—Karim Aïnouz evokes both a distinctive space and the lives of the people within it. Winner of the Amnesty International Film Prize at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival.

  • One Child Nation

    • Sunday, April 14 1 PM
    Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang
    China, United States, 2019

    This chilling and complex documentary explores the lasting consequences of China’s one-child policy, which ended in 2015. “Balancing its investigative interests with its emotional outrage, the expansive story offers a nonetheless concise picture of this ‘population war’” (RogerEbert.com).

    Jialing Zhang in Person

  • What We Left Unfinished

    • Sunday, April 14 3:15 PM
    Mariam Ghani
    United States, Afghanistan, Qatar, 2019

    Unearthing buried treasures from the Afghan Film Archive, this astute, entertaining, and illuminating documentary reveals a part of Afghan cinema history through the lens of the country’s complicated political history.

    Mariam Ghani in Person

  • Winter's Night

    • Sunday, April 14 5:30 PM
    Jang Woo-jin
    South Korea, 2018

    Stranded overnight in a remote Korean temple town, a middle-aged couple are cast adrift with strangers in a mysterious, evocatively rendered environment. “A bittersweet rumination on love, marriage, and midlife disillusionment” (Hollywood Reporter).

  • Rojo

    • Sunday, April 14 8 PM
    Benjamín Naishtat
    Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, France, Switzerland, 2018

    This noirish drama from Benjamín Naishtat (History of Fear) follows a morally compromised lawyer in 1975 Argentina. “The complacency and corruption of pre-coup Argentina is laid bare in chilling, absurd style” (Variety).

  • Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins

    • Saturday, April 13 1 PM
    Janice Engel
    United States, 2019

    As journalism comes under attack with cries of “fake news,” this documentary about the fierce and fearless writer and social commentator Molly Ivins reminds us how wit and well-channeled vitriol can speak truth to power.

    Janice Engel in Person

  • The Grand Bizarre

    • Saturday, April 13 3:30 PM
    Jodie Mack
    United States, 2018

    A tantalizing textile overload, experimental animator Jodie Mack’s feature debut vibrates with color, texture, and sound. With short Accidence, by Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, and Galen Johnson.

  • Lapü

    • Saturday, April 13 5:45 PM
    César Alejandro Jaimes, Juan Pablo Polanco
    Colombia, 2019

    This tale of a young Wayuú woman who dreams of a reunion with her deceased cousin is an eerie, dreamlike, and beautifully framed examination of tradition, ritual, and superstition.

  • In My Room

    • Saturday, April 13 8:15 PM
    Ulrich Köhler
    Germany, Italy, 2018

    What if the apocalypse happens not with a bang but with a whimper? And what if the only survivor had no affinity for life in the first place? These are some of the questions explored with droll humor in this tale of a man who awakens to find that everyone around him has vanished.

  • Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

    • Friday, April 12 5 PM
    Stanley Nelson
    United States, United Kingdom, 2019

    From the director of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, this profile of the great Miles Davis is “a tantalizing portrait: rich, probing, mournful, romantic, triumphant, tragic, exhilarating, and blisteringly honest” (Variety).

    Erin Davis and Vince Wilburn in Person

  • Core of the World

    • Friday, April 12 8 PM
    Nataliia Meshchaninova
    Russia, Lithuania, 2018

    A mild-mannered vet is caught between a group of animal rights protesters and the proprietors of the dog-training farm where he works in this complex naturalistic drama, “a parable about the fragility of human empathy under pressure” (Screen Daily).

  • Kabul, City in the Wind

    • Thursday, April 11 5:30 PM
    Aboozar Amini
    Netherlands, Afghanistan, Japan, Germany, 2018

    The deep-seated effects of decades of conflict in Afghanistan are memorably revealed through the lives of three Kabul residents in this mesmerizing observational documentary. Winner, Special Jury Award, IDFA.

  • First Night Nerves

    • Thursday, April 11 8 PM
    Stanley Kwan
    Hong Kong, China, 2018

    Festival favorite Stanley Kwan’s latest features Cantopop queen Sammi Cheng and Gigi Leung as actresses vying for the spotlight. “Diva-licious. . . . Kwan has crafted a movie that’s nearly Almodóvarian in the appreciation and respect it showers upon ladies of all classes” (Variety).

    Stanley Kwan in Person