IFFI 2016: The Must Watch's Part 1

By: Amit Agarwal

The 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) - IFFI 2016 gets ready to kick-off with a varied genre of close to 200 films from 88 countries across the world, here is the writer's list of 12 not-to-be-missed films

1. Ma’ Rosa (The Philippines)
Jaclyn Jose won Best Actress award for her act at the Cannes Film Festival. The film is featured in the Masterstrokes category at IFFI, Ma’ Rosa is also The Philippines’ official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the Academy Awards 2017. Director Mendoza has made award winning films like Summer Heat and Thy Womb previously.

The film tells the story of a couple who own a small shop and supplement their meagre income by selling stepped-on meth. It shows what happens after the corrupt local police take them in, an incident that sends their children spiralling into debt, destitution and criminal activity to arrange for the bail money.

Critics sums up the film for its neorealist look and aver that in Ma’ Rosa, the ugliness is supposed to build.

2. I, Daniel Blake (UK)
The film won Ken Loach his second Palme d’Or, at the Cannes Film Festival. Loach is known for his staggeringly authentic cinema as well as his unbending socialist ideals. He won his previous Palme d’Or in 2006, for the film The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

I, Daniel Blake revolves around the life of a middle-aged carpenter named Daniel Blake from Newcastle, fighting to hold on to his welfare benefits even as his heart condition prevents him from working.

Critics say that the film has a universal story and captures a world — our world — in which the opportunity to thrive, or even just survive, is shrinking by the minute.

3. Graduation (Romania)
The Romanian film by Cristian Mungiu won the Best Director Award at Cannes Film Festival and will be a part of the Masterstrokes Category at IFFI. Starring Romanian stage and screen actor Adrian Titieni as surgeon Dr Romeo Aldea, Graduation deals with the complex and difficult relationship he has with his 18-year-old daughter, Eliza, played by Maria Dragus.

Critics say the film is an intricate, deeply intelligent film, and a bleak picture of a state of national depression in Romania, where the 90s generation hoped they would have a chance to start again.

4. The Salesman (Iran)
Asghar Farhadi is an exceptional Iranian filmmaker and his latest film The Salesman has already created a buzz by winning the Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards at Cannes. The film tells the story of a couple whose lives turn upside down when they move into a new apartment and unforeseen circumstances start taxing their otherwise harmonious relationship. The film is Iran’s official entry at the 2017 Oscars.

Critics say, we are caught up in something that can only be called suspense, and it’s galvanizing, but the suspense hinges purely on what’s going on in the characters’ hearts and minds.