As we continue to stay safely in place, why not explore the world through film? This week, our programmers continue to recommend stories about resilience and self-discovery, this time paired with gorgeous landscapes from around the globe. Allow these films to take you on a journey…from the vast Argentinian desert, through the Mongolian steppes, to the rumbling Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
MVFF WORLD CINEMA PROGRAMMER JOÃO FEDERICI SELECTS
THE DESERT BRIDE
Directors: Cecilia Atán, Valeria Pivato (Argentina/Chile 2017) 78 min
In Spanish with English subtitles
“The Desert Bride is a captivating story of self-discovery. Paulina García (Berlin Film Festival Best Actress Winner for Glória, MVFF36) is Teresa, a middle-aged housemaid on an unplanned road trip through rural Argentina, en route to her new job. It’s a delicate portrait of a severe woman who lived in the shadow of others her whole life, and her transformation in discovering her self-esteem and love for the first time. This unmissable and memorable story about women’s empowerment caused a big buzz at its World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.” – João Federici
CFI DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION JOANNE PARSONT SELECTS
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS
Director: Otto Bell (UK/Mongolia/US 2016) 87 min
“From the stunning scenery of the Mongolian steppes to the majestic flights of giant eagles, this film is breathtaking to watch. But it’s the titular young heroine who really makes it spectacular. I find it thrilling to watch any young prodigy strut their stuff, but it’s even more exhilarating when their success goes against the odds—and when their skill is something as challenging as training eagles to hunt while galloping across a vast landscape on horseback! It’s impossible not to root for Aisholopan (and the patriarchal-norm-breaking father who encourages her) as she proves her mettle and shows her (all male) competitors how it’s done. When we showed this film at MVFF, it was a joy to see kids and adults of every age and gender enthralled by her exploits and charmed by her self-confidence. I hope you will be too!” – Joanne Parsont
DOCLANDS DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING JONI COOPER SELECTS
THE WEIGHT OF WATER
Director: Michael Brown (US 2018) 78 min
“Being familiar with adventure filmmaker Michael Brown’s previous work, I knew that his film, The Weight of Water, was going to be something special. Known for his ‘extreme’ lensing in the high Himalaya — he’s summited Everest five times, once while accompanying blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer — The Weight of Water brought them together again for another seemingly impossible task — kayaking the Colorado River through the depths of the Grand Canyon. The Weight of Water doesn’t disappoint. Far from it. It inspires, and it fills one with awe — not just for what is accomplished, but also because of the precision teamwork that’s required and the sweeping beauty of the canyon and swift water combined. Following a prolonged standing ovation on Closing Night at DocLands 2019, I hosted a Q&A with Michael and Erik. Because of their history of friendship and adventures together, it was one of the most inspirational and entertaining Q&As I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing with our audiences!” – Joni Cooper
CLICK HERE to watch the Q&A from the 2019 DocLands Film Festival, where The Weight of Water won the Audience Award! Joni Cooper moderated the conversation with director Michael Brown and subject, renowned blind climber and kayaker, Erik Weihenmayer.
CHECK OUT PREVIOUS CFI STAFF SELECTIONS HERE