Hymn to a Tired Man uses a flashback narrative to reflect on war and its aftermath. A mild-mannered office worker is driven to recall his past when his son falls in love with the daughter of the commanding officer under whom he served during World War II. Memories of abusive discipline resurface throwing the former soldier’s relatively quiet postwar life into turmoil. Kobayashi offers an unsparing indictment of the lack of accountability for the scars of battle.
Jia-Li’s husband has disappeared. A clue at a beach suggests that he was drowned but no body was found. The film focusses not on the search for the husband, but on the reunion of Jia-Li and her brother’s ex-girlfriend, a successful pianist. The two women share insights on life and memories of growing up, and the struggle they face accepting or defying traditions in their romance and marriage. The film’s deliberation on changes in Taiwanese society and family, its mood of contemplation and reflection, went well beyond the melancholic tone of traditional Taiwanese films about women.
Fernando, the protagonist, finishes his military service in the cavalry and decides to buy the horse that has been his companion during this time. However, living with the horse becomes a grave problem, as the city that Fernando knew is not the same. He struggles to find accommodation for the animal, and he faces resistance from both his social circle as well as the new, modern world.
Fisher, a fine art dealer, goes to Prague after the death of a friend, the Baron von Utz, to see if he can obtain some of the pieces of the Baron’s priceless Meissen porcelain collection. He meets up with an old mutual friend, Orlik, who tells him about the Baron’s past, his struggle to keep his collection intact, while Fisher struggles to discover what happened to the collection.
Flame was the first Zimbabwean film since independence and is a tribute to the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army’s female guerrillas. In the 1970s in former Rhodesia, the people stand up against the oppressors. As war reaches rural villages, friends Florence and Nyasha run away from home to join the fighters in Mozambican training camps. Both adopt revolutionary identities: Nyasha becomes Liberty, while Florence brands herself Flame. Flame created controversy in Zimbabwe, as the realistic depiction of the treatment of women in the liberation army was seen as anti-nationalist. The film also serves as a critique for post-independence Zimbabwe, and Mugabe’s rule.
Mambéty describes what would be his final film as “a hymn to the courage of street children,” but like all of his works, it is also a hymn to Senegal, to post-colonial Africa and to resourceful visionaries like the courageous girl of the title. Undaunted by poverty or handicap, the young Sili Laam leaves her blind grandmother begging in the street to seek out a better existence for them both. As the only female newspaper seller, she encounters constant obstacles along the way, yet reacts by simply standing up for herself and others. Nonchalantly fighting for equality and justice, Sili’s courage and resilience are depicted with a mix of joy and hardship, but no saccharine.
On New Year’s Eve, a young soldier is looking forward to going home but is given orders to escort a juvenile delinquent to a distant reformatory. He sets off with the child handcuffed to him.
Geoff, a journalist in his mid 40s, returns to Australia from 15 years abroad, leaving behind him in the U.S. a failed marriage and three children. He meets Maureen, the girl he was in love with when he left Australia. She is married to an older man, George, who she loves but have no children. Maureen – who once fell pregnant but had an abortion – tells Geoff her husband is sterile and asks for him to impregnate her.