Terrestrial Verses follows everyday people from all walks of life as they navigate the cultural, religious, and institutional constraints imposed on them by various social authorities, from school teachers to bureaucrats. These stirring vignettes, humorous and affecting, capture the spirit and determination of people amidst adversity, offering a nuanced portrait of a complex society.
The Buriti Flower
A film by Joao Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora
2023 - Brazil/Portugal - Drama
Through her child’s eyes, Patpro will go through three periods of the history of her indigenous people, in the heart of the Brazilian forest. Tirelessly persecuted, but guided by their ancestral rites, their love of nature and their fight to preserve their freedom, the Krahô never stop inventing new forms of resistance.
A film by Amanda Nell Eu
2023 - Malaysia/Taiwan/France/Germany/Netherlands/Indonesia - Fantasy
The first amongst her friends to hit puberty, Zaffan, 12, discovers a terrifying secret about her body. Ostracized by her community, Zaffan fights back, learning that to be free she must embrace the body she feared, emerging as a proud, strong woman.
A Wolfpack called Ernesto
A film by Everardo González
2023 - Mexico/France/Switzerland - Documentary
In Mexico, 350 000 people have been killed over the last 15 years by armed perpetrators, 30 000 of which are under 18. A WOLFPACK CALLED ERNESTO is a travel exploration to the bowels of the most fragile link on the chain: kids. The film follows the paths of the youths collectively named "Ernesto" – victims as well as sicarios – who in a certain moment of their lives had access to a gun, used it to kill, and soon became a part of the many pieces of a crime organization.
A film by Claire Simon
2023 - France - Documentary
In a Parisian public hospital, Claire Simon questions what it means to live in women’s bodies, filming their diversity, singularity and their beauty in all stages throughout life. Unique stories of desires, fears and struggles unfold, including the one of the filmmaker herself.
Argentinian cameraman Leandro makes a living from filming Jewish weddings. At one of his jobs, he falls in love with Paloma, the clarinetist of the Klezmer band. To seduce her he pretends to be shooting a documentary film about traditional Yiddish folk music. What Leandro does not know is that his “fake” film project will take him on an unscripted journey throughout Eastern Europe in search of the last remaining Klezmer melodies.
White Plastic Sky
A film by Tibor Bánóczki & Sarolta Szabó
2023 - Hungary/Slovakia - Animation/Sci-Fi
2123. Faced with diminishing resources, the human race can only survive through a trade-off: at the age of 50, every citizen is gradually turned into a tree. When Stefan discovers that his beloved wife Nora has voluntarily signed up for donating her own body before her time, he sets out on an adventurous journey to save her at all costs.
The Shadowless Tower
A film by Zhang Lu
2023 - China - Drama
Gu Wentong, a middle-aged food critic, is drifting through the local eateries of vibrant Beijing with his younger photographer colleague Oyang. A divorcé with a 6-year-old daughter and estranged from his father for decades, he is looking for a new perspective on life while reconsidering his failings as a father, a son, and a lover. While the seasons come and go, people get together and move apart. Only one thing will remain the same: The White Pagoda where they all meet sooner or later...
Luka, a young and ambitious soldier, embeds himself in the legendary Fort Kairos where heroic warriors defend the remains of civilization. His hopes to serve as an elite sniper are crushed when he is assigned to maintenance and must submit to the code of Kairos: obedience-endurance-sacrifice. As he rises through the ranks, Luka finds joy and strength in friendships with Konstantin, an enigmatic radar engineer, and Geronimo, a light-hearted private.
A film by Amr Gamal
2023 - Yemen/Sudan/Saudi Arabia - Drama
Aden, Yemen. Isra’a and Ahmed put all their efforts offering a normal life and education to their three young children. When they find out that Isra'a is pregnant again, they have to make difficult decisions guided only by their family's interest.
A film by Mani Haghighi
2022 - Iran/France - Drama/Thriller
In downtown Tehran, Farzaneh, a young driving instructor, spots her husband, Jalal, walking into a woman’s apartment. When she confronts him, Jalal claims he was out of town for work. He decides to check out the building for himself. There, he meets a woman who is the spitting image of Farzaneh. Her name is Bita. Stunned, the two compare family photos: Bita’s husband also looks identical to Jalal.
When the Waves are gone
A film by Lav Diaz
2022 - Philippines/France/Denmark/Portugal - Drama
Lieutenant Hermes Papauran, one of the best investigators of the Philippines, is in a deep moral crossroad. As a member of the police forces, he is a first-hand witness of the murderous anti-drug campaign that his institution is implementing with dedication. The atrocities are corroding Hermes physically and spiritually, causing him a severe skin disease resulting from anxiety and guilt. As he tries to heal, a dark past haunts him and has eventually come back for a reckoning.
A film by Jake Paltrow
2022 - USA/Israel - Drama
In 1962, the world witnesses the execution of Adolf Eichmann in an emotional public trial. And in Israel, 3 characters are intimately involved in this historical, nation-defining event.
On the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, the High Commissioner of the Republic and French government official DE ROLLER is a calculating man with flawless manners. His somewhat broad perception of his role brings him to navigate the high end ’establishment’ as well as shady venues where he mingles with the locals. Especially since a persistent rumor has been going around: the sighting of a submarine whose ghostly presence could herald the return of French nuclear testing.
The Blue Caftan
A film by Maryam Touzani
2022 - Morocco/France/Belgium/Denmark - Drama
Halim and Mina run a traditional caftan store in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas. In order to keep up with the commands of the demanding customers, they hire Youssef. The talented apprentice shows an utmost dedication in learning the art of embroidery and tailoring from Halim. Slowly Mina realizes how much her husband is moved by the presence of the young man.
Domingo and the Mist
A film by Ariel Escalante Meza
2022 - Costa Rica/Qatar - Supernatural/Drama
In the tropical mountains of Costa Rica, widower Domingo owns a piece of land which is coveted to build a new highway. When the contractors send in thugs to intimidate the community, the neighbours leave one by one, but Domingo refuses to give in, especially as the land hides a special and mystical secret...
A film by João Pedro Rodrigues
2022 - France/Portugal - Fantasy/LGBT/Musical
On his deathbed, his royal highness Alfredo, King without a crown, is taken back to distant youth memories and the time he dreamt of becoming a fireman. The encounter with instructor Afonso from the fire brigade, opens a new chapter in the life of the two young men immersed in love and desire, and the will to change the status quo.
Breaking The Ice
A film by Clara Stern
2022 - Austria - Drama/Sport
Mira, in her early 20s, escapes from the pressure of running her family’s vineyard by playing ice hockey. When new player Theresa joins the team, she challenges Mira’s rigid worldview, leading to life-changing nights on the streets of Vienna.
A Taste of Whale
A film by Vincent Kelner
2022 - France - Documentary
Every summer, hundreds of pilot whales are hunted in the fjords of the Faroe Islands. It’s locally known as the “Grind”, a spectacular and bloody tradition. International activists would like to put an end to it, so that these mammals will stop suffering. Knife in hand, the Faroese denounce the hypocrisy of those who eat meat without looking at what is happening in slaughterhouses and at the industries polluting our planet.
Talking about the weather
A film by Annika Pinske
2022 - Germany - Drama
Clara made it: she has got away from her native provincial East Germany, now living a bohemian life in Berlin, teaching philosophy while finishing her Ph. D. Between an affair with one of her students and her testy friendship with her thesis advisor Margot, she barely has time to see her 15-year-old daughter, who mostly lives with her ex. But when Clara visits her mother for a weekend, she finds herself confronted with her ideal of an unfettered, self-determined life. How high is the price she must pay for it?
A film by László Csuja & Anna Nemes
2022 - Germany/Hungary - Drama
Edina, a female bodybuilder is ready to sacrifice everything for the dream she shares with her life partner and trainer Adam: to win the world championship. The expensive steroids and supplements, force Edina to take a side gig as an escort. New ways of desire and the odd love she finds on her way, make her see the difference between her dreams and her true self.
The Devil's Drivers
A film by Daniel Carsenty & Mohammed Abugeth
2021 - Germany - Documentary
In the southern West Bank, Hamouda and his cousin Ismail are among the Bedouin drivers who risk their lives smuggling illegal workers over the border. Between them and the destination, there is the desert - of which they know every inch - and the heavy presence of the Israeli military patrols. If they are caught, they go to jail. Yet only those fares can help them provide for their families, so they keep on driving and enjoying each day of freedom as it might just be the last.
A film by Loup Bureau
2021 - France - Documentary
In Donbas Ukraine, while precarious truces and ceasefires are negotiated far away by diplomats, Ukrainian soldiers fight against separatists supported by Russia. At an age when some are experiencing the best years of their lives, in the frontline men and women are fighting, condemned to dig and dig up again the trenches, while bombs keep on falling on them. French war journalist and first-time director Loup Bureau takes us on an immersive and stunning cinematic journey revealing the naked truth and roughness of survival, in what is called to be the last conflict on European soil.
A film by Peter Kerekes
2021 - Slovakia - Documentary/Drama
Lesya has committed a crime of passion which brings her a seven-year sentence in one of Odessa’s women’s correctional facilities. She has just given birth to her first child, and now she is entering a world populated only by women: inmates, nurses and wardens, women of all ages, wives and widows, daughters, sisters, pregnant women, and women with children too. If not for the color of the uniform, it would sometimes be hard to tell who is who.
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