My Movies From the 40th Cleveland International Film Festival, Ranked
Including the descriptions from the program guide, truncated - www.clevelandfilm.org - list will be updated through April 11
- •My Internship in CanadaWhen hockey stardom lands Steve Guibord the position of a Member of Parliament in Canada, nothing could prepare him for being unexpectedly bestowed the swing vote in whether or not to send the country to war in the Middle East. It’s a bewildering twist of fate for the docile politician, who has spent most of his career as an unaffiliated party member, coasting from his office above a lingerie shop, until he finds himself comically stumbling into the public eye.
- •1944Staring death in the face with bombs and bullets flying is an occupational hazard for a soldier. But it helps to know who, or what, you are fighting for. In the summer and fall of 1944, Estonians were caught in the murky middle of fierce fighting between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. With World War II raging, men were sliced and diced into confused allegiances. The result: Estonians killing each other.
- •Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race and America“How can you hate me when you don't even know me?” Thus asks Daryl Davis, an accomplished African-American musician with a somewhat unusual collection. As a result of trying to answer that question, there resides in the home of this articulate and charming man an assortment of robes, hoods, patches, and posters from the KKK and other white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups. The amazing part is, they were given to him by members who have renounced these groups after meeting Daryl.
- •Family ShortsFor no other reason than our girl got to experience her first film festival. And Julia Donaldson, always Julia.
- •RiverJohn Lake is an eager American doctor, working as a volunteer in Laos. When he loses a patient, his boss forces him to take a vacation. After a night of drinks at the bar, John stumbles home to find a young woman being sexually assaulted on the side of the road. Responding with quick anger, he goes after her attacker, brutally pummeling him to death. When he realizes what he’s done, he flees—only to return to the scene the next morning to look for his lost wallet.
- •Cafe Derby (ranked low because the description was waaaaay off)Georges can sell anything, and he can convince you it’s a damn good investment. Be it “water softeners,” organic foot remedies, experimental laundry detergent, or any other conceivably worthless item, Georges will sell it to you at a 100-franc discount. But his alternative moneymaking schemes often go awry, and his family of five is financially suffering because of the risks he takes. When Georges gets word the Pope is coming to an open field next to his home, he hatches the grandest plan of all
- •MadtownDenny Briggs isn’t your typical standup comedian. On the run from a very real and very unfunny murder, Denny takes the stage at a hip nightclub in the city and sets himself up to crash and burn. He delivers a ghastly punch line, “The more the audience laughs, the higher the odds are that I’ll die onstage.” The problem is the audience thinks Denny Briggs is hilarious. As they find him more and more engaging, we learn about Denny’s remarkable life story.