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SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL SELECTS

THE BEST OF THE FESTIVAL FREE ON SBS ON DEMAND

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
13th June 2020

This year's Sydney Film Festival is an unprecedented event - proceeding virtually, there's a smattering of films available now at www.sff.org.au to take in at your own leisure.

As a spinoff, Festival Director Nashen Moodley has selected 40 of his favourite SFF features to stream for free on SBS On Demand. Check out our reviews below for the films showcased there from now until the 10th July 2020.

A Fantastic Woman - An extraordinary landmark in queer cinema
A FANTASTIC WOMAN
An extraordinary landmark in queer cinema
This is a thrilling, strangely magical and deeply moving portrait of a trans woman defining herself within a tragedy, a family and a society that does not accomodate for her.
Spoor - A dark thriller with bite
SPOOR
A dark thriller with bite
It’s a particularly twisted film, growing from a defenceless wolf cub into a vicious, vengeant creature. Back an animal in a corner, and it will fight back. ‘Spoor’ strikes with all its might.
Rafiki - A future LGBT classic
RAFIKI
A future LGBT classic
The film was banned in its home country of Kenya, where homosexuality is a criminal offence that can result in a lengthy prison sentence. It just makes 'Rafiki' feel like even more of a triumph.
My Life As A Zucchini - A refreshing animation
MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI
A refreshing animation
‘My Life as Zucchini’ never sacrifices what’s true for what’s trite and easier to sell. This truly is animation as art.
Mustang - Turkey's answer to 'The Virgin Suicides'
MUSTANG
Turkey's answer to 'The Virgin Suicides'
While the story is harrowing at times, it’s also inspiring and it leads to some serious thought provocation.
Leave No Trace - Overflowing with hope and compassion
LEAVE NO TRACE
Overflowing with hope and compassion
Simultaneously haunting and yet overflowing with hope, this is a beautiful film, telling a story of a daughter and her father that speaks truths.
Frances Ha - Look out, Woody Allen
FRANCES HA
Look out, Woody Allen
We’re drawn into one woman’s first world problems, where life is hard but “life” is even harder. 'Frances Ha' is a film that will definitely put Greta Gerwig on the map.
Amour - Another masterwork from a true master
AMOUR
Another masterwork from a true master
This is an exquisite film building towards a shattering yet understated climax. Everything about it feels personal and considered, and executed with every detail calibrated perfectly.
Strangerland - Kidman still fails to inspire
STRANGERLAND
Kidman still fails to inspire
From the outset - even just the first few seconds - we know ‘Strangerland’ not going to be a fun film, or entertaining.
Ali's Wedding - A multicultural Aussie comedy
ALI'S WEDDING
A multicultural Aussie comedy
Taking place within the Muslim community, 'Ali'a Wedding' is significant for a local film, presenting audiences with a slice of Australian life that many will be unfamiliar with (or even fearful of).
Tangerine - Sweet and juicy surprise
TANGERINE
Sweet and juicy surprise
Films don’t often come around that change the landscape, but this is one of the rare few that could - a triumph in what can be achieved, even from the most humble of means.
The Other Side Of Hope - Charming and poetic
THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE
Charming and poetic
While ‘The Other Side Of Hope’ is unapologetically moral and political in its message and agenda, it also comes across as a good piece of cinema with poetry all of its own.
The Guilty - The call of a lifetime
THE GUILTY
The call of a lifetime
This is Swedish director Gustav Möller’s first feature film, but from the expert control of tone and shot composition, one would be forgiven for mistaking his career as a long and successful one.
The Breaker Upperers - Another soon-to-be New Zealand comedy classic
THE BREAKER UPPERERS
Another soon-to-be New Zealand comedy classic
This is the low-budget indie darling you hope and expect it to be, and will surely become an instant classic, all while showing off New Zealand’s wickedly dry sense of humour and originality.
That's Not Me - A marvel of indie ingenuity
THAT'S NOT ME
A marvel of indie ingenuity
‘That’s Not Me’ is a marvel of indie ingenuity, with dollops of charm and confident direction. Shot over nine months for $60k, this film looks and sounds like a million bucks.
The Red Turtle - A remarkable debut & collaboration
THE RED TURTLE
A remarkable debut & collaboration
Without dialogue to drive the narrative, the film relies upon its careful and considered visual storytelling, both beautifully simple and consistently daring.
The Square - A dazzling piece of cinematic invention
THE SQUARE
A dazzling piece of cinematic invention
'The Square' is a masterful piece of cinema, preposterously funny and endlessly strange, culminating in moments of genuine awe.
Two Days, One Night - A meandering stroll
TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
A meandering stroll
The film is a forgettable and uninspiring experience. There are flashes of something in there, but the result left me cold and frustrated.
Wadjda - Pushing boundaries
WADJDA
Pushing boundaries
This enjoyable and excellently made film ends with a sense of hope, and the feeling that Wadjda’s story is just beginning. It is a film about women, and one girl’s determination to follow her dreams.
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Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
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