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What Did You Dream Last Night, Parajanov?

This poignant, warts-and-all portrait of a family separated by space but still profoundly connected in each other’s hearts, minds, and dreams is composed almost entirely of webcam footage between the Berlin-based, Iranian émigré filmmaker, his parents, and his friend.

Illuminations Program: Elsewhere/Here 

Playful, elusive, and tactile, these eclectic works are unified by their filmmakers’ attempts to orient themselves in a world of constant, turbulent flux.

Achilles

In Farhad Delaram’s seductive, shape-shifting debut feature, former filmmaker Farid works nights at a Tehran hospital—and sleeps there most days too. Estranged from his partner and hopeless about the future, he starts to awaken after meeting a patient in the psychiatric ward whose supposed fits of madness he innately understands.

1489

Picking up a camera to document her family’s attempts at locating her brother after he goes missing in a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Shoghakat Vardanyan films things we don’t often see: the struggles, emotions, and Kafkaesque runarounds when missing soldiers and their families are reduced to a statistic.

Behind Closed Doors

In 1968, Brazil’s military dictatorship enacted Institutional Act No. 5, which suspended the constitution, silenced citizens, and opted overtly into totalitarianism. This astonishing and ingenious film features archival audio document of the meeting that decided this act, combined with blithe moving image propaganda perpetuated by the government.

The Featherweight

Showcase Screening

Imagine a lost feature by the Maysles Brothers or Ricky Leacock, filmed right when they might have consorted with a colorful and tragic character like Pep, and you’ve got The Featherweight.

Knit’s Island

The filmmakers drop into the fictional landscape of the videogame DayZ as journalistic avatars and must battle a zombie apocalypse while endeavoring to stay alive long enough to film their interactions with the surprising community of people who spend their time in this VR world.

Mimang

In Kim Taeyang’s richly cryptic debut feature, a young man and woman, unnamed former acquaintances, meet by chance in the historic Jongno district at the heart of Seoul, then walk and talk, visiting and revisiting Jongno’s landmarks and byways over the years, much of the city and them changing beyond recognition.

The Clinic

In Yangon, Myanmar, a couple, Aung Min and San San Oo, operate a neighborhood clinic, providing low-cost treatments and therapies for a range of physical and psychological maladies. They also make art—paintings and films—as revealed in this shapeshifting film that starts as direct cinema then blossoms into a self-reflexive examination of the Burmese soul.

Arthur&Diana

In this form-blending, refreshing work of autofiction, siblings Arthur and Diana are on a meandering road trip through France, Germany, and Italy that brings out deep-seated family dynamics that will feel familiar to older sisters and younger brothers.

Samsara

Lois Patiño’s latest inquiry into the spiritual valences of cinema travels first to the temples of Laos and then to the shores of Tanzania by way of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the two chapters joined by a sensory passageway of inchoate sound and vision that has a genuinely purifying effect.

Limitation

Georgian filmmakers Elene Asatiani and Soso Dumbadze construct an archival horror film about 1991’s bloody military coup d'état against the government of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Georgia’s first democratically elected president, forgoing contextual titles, narration, or interviews.