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More Sundance kids

by David Lamble

Scene from Mexican director Hari Sama's "This is not Berlin." Photo: Catatonia
Scene from Mexican director Hari Sama's "This is not Berlin." Photo: Catatonia  

In the Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Dramatic Competition, 12 films from around the world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.

"Dirty God" (Netherlands, U.K., Belgium, Ireland; director Sacha Polak) Jade is a young mother when an acid attack leaves her severely burned. While her face has been reconstructed, her beauty is lost beneath the scars. Descending a self-destructive path with relationships crumbling, Jade must take drastic action to reclaim her life.

"Divine Love" (Brazil, Uruguay, Denmark, Norway; director Gabriel Mascaro) Brazil, 2027. A deeply religious woman uses her position in a notary's office to advance her mission to save struggling couples from divorce.

"Dolce Fine Giornata" (Poland; director Jacek Borcuch) In Tuscany, Maria's stable family life begins to erode as her relationship with a young immigrant develops.

"Judy & Punch" (Australia; director: Mirrah Foulkes) In the anarchic town of Seaside, nowhere near the sea, puppeteers Judy and Punch are trying to resurrect their marionette show. Mia Wasikowska, Damon Herriman.

"Koko-di Koko-da" (Sweden, Denmark; director Johannes Nyholm) As a couple goes on a trip to find their way back to each other, a sideshow artist and his shady entourage emerge from the woods and terrorize them.

"The Last Tree" (U.K.; director Shola Amoo) Femi is a British boy of Nigerian heritage who moves to inner London to live with his mum. He struggles with the unfamiliar culture and values.

"Monos" (Colombia, Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Uruguay; director Alejandro Landes) On a faraway mountaintop, eight kids with guns watch over a hostage and a conscripted milk cow.

"Queen of Hearts" (Denmark; director May el-Toukhy) A woman jeopardizes her career and family when she seduces her teenage stepson.

"The Sharks" (Uruguay, Argentina, Spain; director LucĂ­a Garibaldi) While a rumor about the presence of sharks in a small beach-town distracts residents, 14-year-old Rosina crushes on Joselo.

"The Souvenir" (U.K.; director Joanna Hogg) A quiet film student begins finding her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man. Cast includes Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton.

"This is not Berlin" (Mexico; director Hari Sama) 1986, Mexico City. 17-year-old Carlos, invited to a mythical nightclub, discovers the underground nightlife scene: punk, sexual liberty and drugs.

"We Are Little Zombies" (Japan; director Makoto Nagahisa) Their parents are dead. They should be sad, but they can't cry. So they form a kick-ass band. This is the story of four 13-year-olds in search of their emotions.

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