New foreign language movies (September / October 2009)

November 2, 2009 at 11:00 am 2 comments

Over the past month, documentaries and movies in various languages have been recorded from SBS. These programmes are available in the Self Study room (Rm 222, Brennan MacCallum building) should you wish to view them.


In the Battlefields

The story of a 12-year-old girl growing up in a dysfunctional family in the middle of the war in Lebanon.

Marianne Feghali, Aouni Kawas
(2004) (Lebanon/Arabic) Director: Danielle Arbid
M L,S,A Drama 100 mins Repeat

To Take a Wife

A haunting, claustrophobic portrait of a loveless marriage held together by religious and social convention, set in Haifa in the late ’70s.

Ronit Elkabetz, Simon Abkarian
(2004) (Israel/French, Hebrew, Arabic) M A,L Drama 105 mins Repeat



When hapless Danish plumber Keld is offered money to marry a Chinese bride, the last thing either expects is to fall in love. A cast of well-known faces make this a sweet, winsome tale of love found in the most unlikely places.

Bjarne Henriksen, Vivian Wu, Paw Henriksen
(2005) (Denmark/Danish, Mandarin, Swedish) Director: Henrik Ruben Genz
M L Romantic Comedy 95 mins Repeat *CC*

Mao: A Life
Not a Dinner Party

Looks at the period of the Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976. In late 1965 high school and university students began protesting against authority. Mao Zedong expressed his support and the students around the nation became Chairman Mao’s Red Guards.
(France/English, Mandarin, French) M A,V Documentary 70 mins Repeat *CC*

Purple Butterfly

An atmospheric romance between a Chinese resistance fighter and a Japanese intelligence officer in Manchuria and Shanghai in the 1920s and ’30s.

Zhang Ziyi, Liu Ye
(2003) (China/Mandarin, Japanese) Director: Ye Lou
MA V,S,A Drama 135 mins

Springtime in a Small Town

Set in 1946 in China, after the war with Japan, Liyan and his wife Yuwen live a quiet life in a small town. One day Liyan’s old classmate Zhichen comes to visit and realises that his friend has married his beloved childhood sweetheart.

Jingfan Hu, Jun Wu, Bai Qing Xin
(2002) (China/Mandarin) Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian
PG Romance 120 mins Repeat



When photographer Alex falls for beautiful Aimee at first sight, he abruptly leaves his girlfriend for her. (Both women are played by actress Maria Bonnevie). This surreal film charts Alex’s journey from this affair and the confusing after-effects of it: his flat disappears and his neighbours and friends no longer recognise him. Winner of the FIPRESCI Grand Prix for best new director at San Sebastian Int. FF and 2003 Cannes Film Festival’s Camera d’Or award.

Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Maria Bonnevie
(2003) (Denmark/Danish, Swedish) Director: Christoffer Boe
M S,L Drama 95 mins Repeat


Beneath Clouds

This film tells the story of Lena, the daughter of an Aboriginal mother and an Irish father, and Vaughn, a Murri boy who is doing time in a minimum-security prison in North West NSW. Dramatic events throw them together and, with no money or transport, they find themselves relying on each other to achieve their personal journeys. To Lena, Vaughn represents the life she is running away from and Vaughn believes Lena embodies the society that has rejected him.

Dannielle Hall, Damian Pitt
(2001) Director: Ivan Sen
M L,V,A Drama 90 mins Repeat *CC*


The Colour of Paradise

The tale of an eight-year-old blind boy whose father sees him as a hindrance. Young Mohammed is blind but has acute hearing. His receptiveness is in contrast with his father, a widower, who wants to prevent the boy standing in the way of his planned marriage.

Hossein Mahjoub, Salime Feizi
(1999) (Iran/Farsi) Director: Majid Majidi
G Drama 95 mins Repeat


A lonely, lovesick young misfit is caught up in the life of a young woman who rejects him, causing him to lose his grip on reality. A cryptic mix of dark humour, quirkiness and an exploration of why young people resort to gun violence. Winner German Film Critics Award 2005, Best Film 2004 Nuremberg Film Festival; and Golden Seashell Awards 2003 San Sebastián International Film Festival.

Fabian Hinrichs, Lavinia Wilson, Johan Leysen
(2003) (Germany/German) Director: Dito Tsintsadze
MA S,L,A Drama 110 mins Repeat


Tonight’s SBS Festival film was written by acclaimed polish writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz as a part of the Hope/Faith/Love trilogy. It unravels the moral rite of passage of Francis, a young man who video tapes a respected art dealer in the act of stealing a holy painting.

Rafal Fudalej, Kamila Baar, Wojciech Pszoniak
(2007) (Germany/Polish) Director: Stanislaw Mucha
M L,S,V,A Drama 105 mins

Inspector Rex (weekly series, 7.35-8.30 Wednesdays)

The Miracle of Bern

A soccer-crazy 11-year-old boy dreams of watching Germany play in the World Cup in Bern in 1954. This touching family drama is set against the background of West Germany’s unexpected World Cup victory which gave the country a great moral boost in the post-war years. Winner Prix du Public UBS at Locarno in 2003 and the German Film Awards 2004 for Best Picture (Silver).

Peter Lohmeyer, Louis Klamroth, Sascha Göpel
(2003) (Germany/German) Director: Soenke Wortmann
PG Family 120 mins Repeat



One of the most lavish and expensive Bollywood films ever made, tonight’s Focus Bollywood film is the sweeping tale of two soul mates whose love is thwarted by India’s rigid class structure. Devdas and Paro are childhood sweethearts. Young Devdas is sent to study in London by his wealthy father. On his return, love blossoms again, but the families oppose the romance.

Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai
(2002) (India/Hindi) Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
PG Musical 195 mins Repeat

The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey

Follows the legendary Mangal Pandey, the leader of the 1857 uprising against the corrupt and exploitative East India Company, which treated the Indian soldiers in its army with disrespect. The mutiny began with the army’s introduction of a new gunpowder cartridge greased with cow and pig fat, making it off-limits for both Hindu and Muslim sepoys.

Aamir Khan, Toby Stephens
(2005) (India/Hindi, English) Director: Ketan Mehta
M S,V,A Drama 155 mins Repeat *CC*

Road to Ladakh

A mysterious man and a fashion model are thrown together by circumstance on the road to Ladakh, in Kashmir. A road movie set in the magnificent wilderness moonscape of the Indian Himalayas.

Irrfan Khan, Koel Purie
(2003) (England/India/English, Hindi) Director: Ashvin Kumar
M S,A,L Short 60 mins Repeat *CC*


Tonight’s Focus India film follows Squadron Leader Veer Pratap Singh, a rescue pilot with the Indian Air Force who risks his life to save others. He meets a stranded girl from Pakistan, Zaara, who has come to India to fulfil her surrogate grandmother’s dying wish. Love blossoms between the pair but their lives take a cruel twist. Twenty-two years later, Saamiya Siddiqui, a Pakistani lawyer on her first case, finds herself face-to-face with an aging Veer Pratap Singh in the local jail. But why? And where is Zaara?

Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee
(2004) (India/Hindi, Punjabi) Director: Yash Chopra
PG Drama 190 mins



From Mika Ninagawa, a stunning directorial debut bathed in saturated colours with attractive costumes and a vibrant soundtrack, earning official selection at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival. A fiery young girl follows her destiny to be the best courtesan she can.

Anna Tsuchiya, Kippei Shiina, Yoshino Kimura
(2006) (Japan/Japanese) MA S,V Drama 120 mins

The Twilight Samurai

Nominated for an Academy Award and Berlin’s Golden Bear, a mellow, contemplative exploration of the everyday lives of the Samurai. In 1860s Japan, Seibei is a low-ranking, impoverished Samurai dedicated to his motherless daughters.

Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa
(2002) (Japan/Japanese) Director: Yoji Yamada
M V Drama 135 mins Repeat


Strokes of Fire

Set during the Chosun Dynasty of the 19th century, this is the story of Jang Seung-Ub, an orphaned, uneducated painter whose skill made him one of the most famous Asian painters despite his meagre beginnings. Won Best Director at Cannes 2002.

Choi Min-Sik, Sung-kee Ahn
(2002) (South Korea/Korean) Director: Kwon-taek Im
MA S,L,V Drama 125 mins Repeat


Tonight’s Asia Wide film is set in South Korea where a huge amount of women in their 20s have had cosmetic surgery. This surreal and relevant film is about a girl who undergoes dramatic plastic surgery to revive her relationship – with a bizarre outcome.

Ji-heon Kim, Sung-min Kim, Jung-woo Ha
(2006) (Japan/Korean) Director: Ki-Duk Kim
M L,S,A,V Romance 105 mins


Ferpect Crime

Wickedly funny black comedy centred on a suave, sweet talking salesman who gets himself into deep trouble in the Ladies’ Wear section of a major department store. The playboy’s world collapses after he kills a work rival. Nominated at the 2005 European Film Awards for Best Director.

Guillermo Toledo, Mónica Cervera
(2004) (Spain/Spanish) Director: Álex de la Iglesia
MA V,S Comedy 105 mins Repeat



When a noodle carton filled with cash is inadvertently delivered to the wrong person, a bizarre chain of events ensues.

Lalita Panyopas, Tasanawalai Ongartittichai
(1999) (Thailand/Thai) Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
MA L,V,A Thriller 120 mins Repeat


Journey from the Fall

Inspired by the true stories of Vietnamese refugees who fled their land after the fall of Saigon, and those who were forced to stay behind. April 30, 1975 marked the end of Vietnam’s two-decade-old civil war and the start of the exodus of hundreds of thousands of refugees. Imprisoned in a Communist re-education camp, Long Nguyen urges his family to escape by boat without him.

Kieu Chinh, Diem Lien, Long Nguyen, Nguyen Thai Nguyen
(2006) (USA/Vietnamese) Director: Ham Tran
M V,A Drama 140 mins Repeat *CC*


Entry filed under: Movies.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joe  |  November 4, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Nothing French?

    • 2. usydlanglib  |  November 5, 2009 at 8:27 am

      Not for this month, sorry.

      But we do have plenty of French DVDs to choose from – feel free to drop by the AV Language Library to watch them! 🙂


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