Why should people go to film festivals? Because it may be the only chance they get to see films like Meerkat Moonship. This South African film by Hanneke Schutte features wonderful cinematography and a story of overcoming fear to be able to embrace life. Young Gideonette de la Rey lives under a curse. All the Gideon de la Reys in her family tree have died young. Her father named her that to show the world the curse wasn’t real. But after his sudden death, Gideonette is more convinced that ever she is doomed. She is sent to live on her grandparent’s farm. She tries to hide from anything dangerous. But then she makes friends with Bubesi, a deaf boy who is training to be an astronaut and fly away in the makeshift rocket Gideonette’s grandfather is building for him. When death once more comes into her life, Gideonette must determine how she will face the curse.
From Italy comes The Laplace’s Demon, directed by Giordano Giulivi. When a group of researchers have perfected the ability to predict exactly the number of pieces there will be when a glass falls to the floor, they are invited to a remote island by a mysterious professor. There they become the subjects of an experiment about human behavior. It becomes a cross of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and the philosophical debate about free will and determinism. This film is shot in black and white and makes excellent use of light and shadows to set the mood for this creepy mystery.
Wednesday was set as the Latino Showcase with films from Brazil, Mexico, and a joint production from Chile and Argentina. The Desert Bride, directed by Cecilia Atari and Valeria Pivato, is the story of Teresa, a middle-aged maid who has been with a family most of her life. When they sell the house, she must take a job in a far off city. But when the bus breaks down in the desert, she loses her bag with all her possessions, and must rely on the help of an affable vender named Gringo to search for it. This area venerates an unofficial Saint Correa, who seems to miraculously bring people together. Teresa seems to have a thoroughly joyless life, but perhaps there will be a miracle for her that will bring some joy into her life. The Desert Bride opens in some theaters on Friday.