San Francisco International Film Festival @ BAM/PFA

4/25/14 to 5/8/14

BAM/PFA is the exclusive East Bay venue for the filmmakers and other special guests in person.

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Past Films

  • The Dune

    • Thursday, May 8 6:30pm

    Yossi Aviram (France/Israel, 2013). Delving into issues of identity and aging, this nuanced drama portrays the personal crises faced by an aging gay cop in France and a younger Israeli man who is found on the beach, mute and without any identification. (87 mins)

  • The Amazing Catfish

    • Thursday, May 8 8:45pm

    Claudia Sainte-Luce (Mexico, 2013). This debut feature, set in Guadalajara and lensed by Agnès Godard, embraces an expansive definition of family in portraying a solitary young woman's growing connection to a rambunctious matriarchy in a state of crisis. (89 mins)

  • Bad Hair

    • Wednesday, May 7 6:30pm

    Mariana Rondón (Venezuela/Peru, 2013). A ten-year-old Caracas boy's desire to straighten his kinky hair causes outsized conflict with his mother. This finely acted, deceptively small-scale story subtly explores issues of economic pressure and homophobia. (93 mins)

  • History of Fear

    • Wednesday, May 7 8:45pm

    Benjamín Naishtat (Argentina/France/Germany/Qatar/Uruguay, 2014). Paranoia runs rampant as an affluent Buenos Aires suburb is beset by strange occurrences in this accomplished first feature, a film that is sprawling in scope and implications but astonishingly exacting in execution. (79 mins)

  • Return to Homs

    • Tuesday, May 6 6:30pm

    Talal Derki (Syria/Germany, 2013). This urgent dispatch from the besieged Syrian city of Homs presents a visceral eyewitness account of the conflict as a peaceful uprising descends into civil war and idealistic youths become armed revolutionaries. (87 mins)

  • Tangerines

    • Tuesday, May 6 8:30pm

    Zaza Urushadze (Estonia/Georgia, 2013). An old man caught in the brutal 1992 conflict over the Abkhazia region of Georgia finds himself nursing two wounded soldiers from opposing sides in this intense and compelling antiwar drama. (84 mins)

  • Coast of Death

    • Monday, May 5 6:30pm

    Lois Patiño (Spain, 2013). The static frames of this documentary offer a meditative and prismatic view of Spain's storied and dangerous “Coast of Death,” granting the luxury of contemplating shifting clouds and crashing waves. (81 mins)

  • Art and Craft

    • Monday, May 5 8:40pm

    Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, Mark Becker (U.S., 2013). Prompting reflection around the definitions of art and mastery, this documentary examines the curious life of Mark Landis, one of the most prolific art forgers in U.S. history. (89 mins)

  • Agnès Varda: From Here to There

    • Sunday, May 4 1:30pm

    Agnès Varda (France, 2011). Armed with her inimitable insight and ability to find beauty where one least expects it, Varda travels to various far-flung locales in this five-part miniseries made for French television. (225 mins)

  • Manila in the Claws of Light

    • Sunday, May 4 6pm

    Lino Brocka (Philippines, 1975). Digital Restoration. In one of his most trenchant works of social criticism and ruthless determinism, Brocka portrays the experiences of a provincial youth in Manila, unflinchingly exposing creeping degradation. (124 mins)

  • Salvation Army

    • Sunday, May 4 8:30pm

    Abdellah Taïa (Morocco, 2013). Adapting his autobiographical novel, Taïa tells the story of a gay Moroccan boy finding self-realization and personal strength within a society that shuns him. Shot by the brilliant Agnès Godard. (82 mins)

  • Norte, the End of History

    • Saturday, May 3 1:30pm

    Lav Diaz (Philippines, 2013). Art-house favorite Lav Diaz's latest epic profoundly explores everything from the state of the present-day rural Philippines by way of Dostoevsky to the 1890s Philippine Revolution against the Spanish. (250 mins)

  • Three Letters from China

    • Saturday, May 3 6:30pm

    Luc Schaedler (Switzerland, 2013). Attentively observing life on a parched farm, a grim industrial zone, a rural village, and a booming megacity, this documentary expressively reveals the upheaval and uncertainty of a rapidly changing China. (80 mins)

  • The Dog

    • Saturday, May 3 8:30pm

    Allison Berg, Frank Keraudren (U.S., 2013). John Wojtowicz, whose ill-fated 1972 robbery of a Brooklyn bank to pay for his transgender bride's sex-change operation inspired Dog Day Afternoon, recalls the heist and his years as a gay rights activist. (100 mins)

  • Happiness

    • Friday, May 2 6:30pm

    Thomas Balmès (France/Finland, 2013). A nine-year-old boy living at a monastery in the mountains of Bhutan gets a glimpse of television and the modern world, opening his eyes to a complicated future, in this eloquently photographed documentary. (80 mins)

  • All That Jazz

    • Friday, May 2 8:30pm

    Bob Fosse (U.S., 1979). Digital Restoration. Roy Scheider stands in for writer/director Bob Fosse in Fosse's dazzling, self-lacerating, and clearly autobiographical musical, a Best Picture nominee about a celebrated choreographer/director. (123 mins)

  • Difret

    • Thursday, May 1 6:30pm

    Zeresenay Berhane Mehari (Ethiopia, 2014). In a contemporary Ethiopian village, a fourteen-year-old girl is abducted in an attempt at forced marriage. Her effort to free herself sets off a legal firestorm in this powerful drama inspired by a true story. (96 mins)

  • The Militant

    • Thursday, May 1 8:50pm

    Manolo Nieto (Uruguay/Argentina, 2013). A student leader fighting against the bosses of striking packinghouse workers in crisis-ridden 2002 Uruguay experiences a coming-of-age crisis when he inherits his father's ranch. (121 mins)

  • Stray Dogs

    • Wednesday, April 30 6:30pm

    Tsai Ming-liang (Taiwan/France, 2013). A poverty-stricken father and his two young children try to survive in modern-day Taipei in this often mysterious work, yet another remarkable piece of cinema from the great Tsai. (138 mins)

  • Eastern Boys

    • Wednesday, April 30 9:10pm

    Robin Campillo (France, 2013). This erotically charged nail-biter takes the audience on an unexpected ride when a fiftysomething Parisian businessman propositions an eastern European immigrant hustler. (128 mins)

  • Stop the Pounding Heart

    • Tuesday, April 29 6:30pm

    Roberto Minervini (U.S./Belgium/Italy, 2013). This unique hybrid of documentary and narrative offers an evocative portrait of the quotidian lives of a devout young Christian goat farmer and a bull-riding cowboy in Texas's rural Bible belt. (100 mins)

  • The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir

    • Tuesday, April 29 8:50pm

    Mike Fleiss (U.S., 2014). Bob Weir, “the other one,” steps out of Grateful Dead bandmate Jerry Garcia's shadow and into the spotlight in this expansive documentary filled with performance footage, home movies, and reminiscences. (90 mins)

  • When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism

    • Monday, April 28 8:30pm

    Corneliu Porumboiu (Romania/France, 2013). Continuing his very particular parsing of language and politics-here, the politics are cinematic-Porumboiu tells the story of a film director rehearsing the details of a nude scene with his lead actress. (89 mins)

  • Bauyr (Little Brother)

    • Monday, April 28 6:30pm

  • Shorts 5: Experimental: Looking Glass

    • Sunday, April 27 5:45pm

    Eleven experimental films reflect on the past, illuminate the present, and imagine the future. Works by Basma Alsharif, Bruce Baillie, Paul Clipson, Martha Colburn, Su Friedrich, Jim Jennings, Lawrence Jordan, Lewis Klahr, Janis Crystal Lipzin, Charlotte Pryce, and John Smith. (80 mins)

  • Blind Dates

    • Sunday, April 27 8:15pm

    Levan Koguashvili (Georgia, 2013). Single and forty, Sandro hopes to find love with a hairdresser, but there's a catch: her husband is getting out of prison. This low-key, comic gem is a wonderful introduction to the Georgian New Wave. (95 mins)

  • The Last Season

    • Sunday, April 27 12:30pm

    Sara Dosa (U.S., 2014). This sensitive, probing documentary examines the bond between two mushroom hunters in Oregon, an elderly Vietnam vet and a survivor of the Khmer Rouge, during one unusually hard season. (79 mins)

  • What Now? Remind Me

    • Sunday, April 27 2:30pm

    Joaquim Pinto (Portugal, 2013). Pinto poetically, dynamically, and candidly chronicles a year of his life as he undergoes experimental treatment for HIV and VHC infections in this epic yet personal documentary. (164 mins)

  • The Seventh Walk

    • Saturday, April 26 1:45 pm

    Amit Dutta (India, 2013). Celebrated Indian filmmaker Dutta fuses painterly technique and cinematic vision to form an engrossing meditation on the artistic legacy of northern India's lush Kangra Valley. (70 mins)

  • We Come as Friends

    • Saturday, April 26 3:30pm

    Hubert Sauper (France/Austria, 2013). Intrepid documentarian Sauper (Darwin's Nightmare) delivers a piercing examination of the human cost of neocolonialism in newly independent South Sudan. (110 mins)

  • Tamako in Moratorium

    • Saturday, April 26 6:15pm

    Nobuhiro Yamashita (Japan, 2013). An apathetic recent college graduate in small-town Japan finds herself with two choices: either sabotage her father's budding romance, or find a place for herself in the world. (78 mins)

  • Trap Street

    • Saturday, April 26 8pm

    Vivian Qu (China, 2013). What's it like to be a twenty-first-century young adult in China's surveillance state? Qu's slow-building noir uses a simple boy-meets-girl tale to unearth a hidden world of government control just below the surface. (94 mins)

  • All About the Feathers

    • Friday, April 25 6:30 pm

    Neto Villalobos (Costa Rica, 2013). An impoverished security guard struggles to care for a fighting rooster in this quixotic Costa Rican comedy anchored by stellar performances from a mostly nonprofessional cast. (85 mins)

  • Manuscripts Don't Burn

    • Friday, April 25 8:40pm

    Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran, 2013). Iranian writer-director Rasoulof extends his uncompromising body of work with a taut, finely woven drama based on real-life events impacting a small circle of aging writers menaced by the Secret Service. (127 mins)