Highlights | Rome Film Fest   

#RomaFF13 | Official Selection Lineup

AMERICAN ANIMALS
by Bart Layton, United States, United Kingdom, 2018, 116’
Cast: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Udo Kier, Ann Dowd
Spencer and Warren, two friends who grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, attend the local university but want to turn their life around and are ready to do anything to achieve that, even break the law. Their objective becomes a very rare
antique book that despite its enormous value, is kept in the university library without any particular security measures. They recruit two other partners, Eric the accountant and Chas the sportsman, and begin to plan the coup down to the last detail, but a series of extravagant turns of events await them.

Bad Times at the El Royale - Chris HemsworthOPENING FILM
BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
by Drew Goddard, United States, 2018, 141’
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Nick Offerman e Chris Hemsworth
January 1969. Nixon has been inaugurated as the 37th president of the United States. And seven lost souls, each with a secret to bury, converge on the El Royale, a rundown, once-glorious resort situated on the border between California and Nevada, that has since fallen into disrepute.
Now, in the resort’s lobby where the shine has faded and the laughter has fallen silent, gather Father Daniel Flynn, soul singer Darlene Sweet, traveling salesman Laramie Seymour Sullivan, hippie Emily Summerspring, her sister Rose, manager Miles Miller and the enigmatic Billy Lee.
Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption, before everything goes to hell.

BAYONETA
by Kyzza Terrazas, Mexico, Finland, 2018, 95’
Cast: Luis Gerardo Méndez, Brontis Jodorowsky, Joonas Saartamo, Laura Birn, Ilkka Koivula, Ville Virtanen
Miguel “Bayoneta” Galíndez is a retired Mexican boxer who, for mysterious reasons, finds himself living in a cramped flat in the town of Turku, Finland. Throughout the day, he works as a trainer in a boxing gym and at night he drinks alone in bars. A need for redemption will lead him to prove himself once again as a fighter. He will thus be forced to come to terms with his past and with whatever pushed him away from boxing and his family.

BEAUTIFUL BOY
by Felix Van Groeningen, United States, 2018, 112’
Cast: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan
At 18, Nic Sheff was a good student, editor of his high school newspaper, an actor in the school play, a member of the water polo team, ready to enter college, but he tries methamphetamines and goes almost instantly to a full-blown
dependency. The Sheffs are faced with the harsh reality that addiction is a disease that does not discriminate and can hit any family at any time. We see the Sheffs’ journey through Nic’s struggle, his father David’s efforts to save his
son: a portrait of the ways addiction can destroy lives and the power of love to rebuild them, a portrait of a family’s unwavering love and commitment to each other in the face of their son’s addiction and his attempts at recovery.

CORLEONE IL POTERE ED IL SANGUE
CORLEONE LA CADUTA
by Mosco Levi Boucault, France, 2018, 151’ (81’+70’)
Salvatore Riina, the son of a farmer from Corleone, faced death at the age of 13 as he watched his father die and committed his first homicide at 19. Affiliated to Cosa Nostra at age 26, after three mafia wars and hundreds of
murders, at age 42 he became the undisputed boss of the Sicilian Mafia. Tommaso Buscetta, a loser in the Mafia war, sought to avenge his two children, his brother, his brother’s son and his daughter’s husband, killed by Riina’s hit men, but did not have the means to do so. Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, two boys from Palermo, who grew up in the Kalsa district and were united by their shared values, became irreproachable judges. They are all connected
by an almost Shakespearean plot that pits the thirst for power against the virtue of law.

CORRENDO ATRÁS | RUNNING AFTER
by Jeferson De, Brazil, 2018, 86’
Cast: Aílton Graça, Juan Paiva, Juliana Alves, Lellêzinha, Lázaro Ramos, Rocco Pitanga, Tonico Pereira, Francisco Gaspar, Dadá Coelho, Nicole Bahls, Teka Romualdo, Antonio Pitanga
Paulo Ventania is a man without a truly defined career, but he has found a way to survive selling trinkets in the traffic of Rio de Janeiro. One day, he glimpses the opportunity to change his life by becoming a football manager. Combing through the suburbs of Rio, Ventania discovers Glanderson, a boy with an outstanding talent for soccer who, like many others, dreams of becoming a professional football player. Glanderson has a remarkable physical feature: he has only three toes on his right foot.
Ventania believes in the young boy’s talent and is committed to leveraging his career. He improvises training sessions, seeks out contacts, and plans out projects, demonstrating his entrepreneurial spirit and his creativity in the
process.

DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS
by Dana Adam Shapiro, USA, 2018, 86′
This documentary feature film is the neverbefore-told story of Suzanne Mitchell, the fiercely-loyal den mother of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Seen by many as regressive and exploitative, this diverse sisterhood of smalltown
“girls next door” became a controversial pop culture phenomenon at the height of the Sexual Revolution, changing the game of football – and America – forever.

DIARIO DI TONNARA
by Giovanni Zoppeddu, Italy, 2018, 70’
A film about the community of tuna fishermen, torn between the pragmatism of their trade and the call of the sacred, in a paean to the demands of this way of life, but also the community’s natural inclination to ritual and tradition. The
rais, the tuna traps and the fishermen themselves are the heart of a narrative made up of accounts of times past that re-emerge from oblivion thanks to the magic of cinema. It’s a documentary that retells tales of the sea that belong to Sicily and the world, through stock footage by masters of the genre, like De Seta, Quilici and Alliata, which belong to a particular chapter of Italy’s film history: times and films that can seem lost to us, yet spring to life, contemporary, close to us, thanks to this film.

ETER | ETHER
by Krzysztof Zanussi, Polonia, Ukraine, Hungary, Lithuania, Italy, 2018, 118’
Cast: Jacek Poniedziałek, Andrzej Chyra, Ostap Vakuliuk, Zsolt László, Maria Riaboshapka, Małgorzata Pritulak, Stanislav Kolokolnikov, Rafał Mohr
At the beginning of the 20th century, somewhere in the outskirts of the Russian Empire, a doctor administers a lethal overdose of ether to a young woman – the object of his desire. After getting away with his crime, he finds
employment in an Austro-Hungarian fortress, where he continues his experiments with ether to manage pain and manipulate human behaviour. Despite his evilness, it is not too late for his soul to be saved from eternal damnation…

FAHRENHEIT 11/9
by Michael Moore, United States, 2018, 120’
A provocative and sarcastic look at the age we live in. After Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore shifts his attention to another significant date, November 9, 2016, the day Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. This latest documentary by Michael Moore paints a broad liberal and anti-conservative canvas that doesn’t take aim just at the present administration of the United States, but also at the policies of both Democrats and Republicans that got us into our current situation.

FØR FROSTEN | BEFORE THE FROST
by Michael Noer, Denmark, 2018, 104’
Cast: Jesper Christensen, Magnus Krepper, Elliott Crosset Hove, Ghita Nørby, Gustav Dyekjær Giese
As winter approaches in rural 1850s Denmark, an old farmer and his family face starvation. Given the harsh circumstances and the prospect of yet another tough winter, Jens must make an unbearable choice. If the family is to survive he must make a pact with the wealthy farmer at the nearby farm, forsaking his own morals and giving up the most precious asset he owns, in an effort to secure a better life for his entire family.

FUNAN
by Denis Do, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Cambodia, 2018, 86’ | Animation |
Voice cast: Bérénice Bejo, Louis Garrel
In 1975 in Phnom Penh, Chou leads an enchanted life until the morning when the Khmer Rouge madness plunges Cambodia into horror. The population is deported to prison camps and Chou comes face to face with the pain of
powerlessness. When her 4-year-old son is snatched from her by a fleeing crowd, her world falls apart but she never loses hope. Funan is the incredibly powerful story of a young mother’s fight to save her son and keep her family together at a barbaric time.

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB
by Fede Álvarez, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Canada, United States, 2018, 110’
Cast: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Claes Bang, Christopher Convery, Synnøve Macody Lund, Vicky Krieps Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

 

GREEN BOOK
by Peter Farrelly, United States, 2018, 130’
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, P.J. Byrne, Don Stark
New York in the 1960s. Tony Lip, once a wellknown bouncer, winds up as a driver for Don Shirley, a young African-American pianist. Lip has to escort the young prodigy on a long tour through the Deep South. After getting off to
a rocky start, the two develop a marvelous friendship, bonding over the trip into the most racist parts of the United States.

HALLOWEEN
by David Gordon Green, United States, 2018, 109′
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner, Nick Castle
A profoundly traumatized Laurie Strode has never ceased anticipating the day Michael Myers – the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago – might
return. This all-consuming paranoia has left her estranged from her family, particularly from her daughter, whose childhood she co-opted into her obsessive rituals of preparation, and who has been determined to shelter her
own daughter from her mother’s disturbing proclivities. But when a prisoner transfer goes awry the night before Halloween, Laurie’s greatest fears become justified and horror comes home once again.

THE HATE U GIVE
by George Tillman Jr., United States, 2018, 132’
Cast: Issa Rae, Anthony Mackie, Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Sabrina Carpenter, Common, K.J. Apa, Russell Hornsby, Lamar Johnson, Algee Smith
16 years old Starr lives in Garden Heights, a working-class community. Wanting to give her better opportunities, her parents enroll her in Williamson Prep School, a prestigious institute. Now Starr is switching between two worlds: the
poor, mostly black, of her neighborhood and the rich, mostly white, of her school. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. As the sole witness, Starr must choose whether to speak up or be silent. Telling the truth could endanger herself and her family by implicating Garden Heights’ drug lord, whom Khalil worked for. As her community cries out for justice for Khalil, Starr begins a journey of self-discovery.

HERMANOS | BROTHERS
by Pablo Gonzaléz, Colombia, 2018, 89’
Cast: Alejandro Buitrag, Rodrigo Hernández Jerez, Emilia Ceballos, Jairo Camargo, Ana Maria Sánchez
After serving a seven-year sentence for driving a motorcycle in a botched robbery, Federico Fierro returns to his rundown hometown in search of redemption. Things have changed little however: his mother still adores him, his father has not ceased to distrust him, and his brother Ramiro is still mixed up in some shady business.
Though Federico attempts to pursue a normal life working as a miner, he soon finds himself trapped in Ramiro’s debt-ridden dealings with a vicious local gangster. The two brothers embark on a descent into violence and chaos as they race against time to pay what they owe by all means necessary, and save their family and themselves from the ruthless fate that haunts them.

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS
by Eli Roth, United States, 2018, 105’
Cast: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic, Colleen Camp, Lorenza Izzo, Kyle Maclachlan
Lewis Barnavelt, a ten-year-old boy recently orphaned, moves into the creaky old house of his oddball uncle Jonathan. In this weird abode, there is a hidden, secret world of magic, mystery, witches and warlocks and supernatural threats, all revealed when Lewis discovers that his uncle and his uncle’s best friend, Mrs. Zimmerman, are really two powerful wizards who involve him in a secret mission: he’ll have to discover the reason and the meaning of the strange ticking of a clock hidden somewhere in the house.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
by Barry Jenkins, United States, 2018, 119’
Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Aunjanue Ellis, Dave Franco, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Emily Rios, Ed Skrein, Finn Wittrock, Brian Tyree Henry, Regina King
Set in early-1970s Harlem, Manhattan. Friends since childhood, 19-year old Tish and her fiancé Alonzo, known as Fonny, dream of a life together. When Fonny is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, Tish, who has just discovered she is pregnant, does everything in her power to exonerate him, with the unconditional support of her parents and relatives. Without a partner at her side, Tish must deal with the unexpected prospect of being a mother. As weeks become months, the girl never loses hope, supported by her inner strength and the affection of her family, which will do anything for the good of their daughter and their future son-in-law.

AN IMPOSSIBLY SMALL OBJECT
by David Verbeek, Taiwan, Netherlands, Croatia, 2018, 100’
Cast: Lucia, Chung Chen-Hung, David Verbeek, Klara Mucci, Lisa Lu
A Dutch photographer takes a picture of a girl in a parking lot in nighttime Taipei as she plays with her kite. The photo transports us into her life. She is eight years old and is about to lose her best friend, a boy from a wealthy family who is moving to America. Back in the Netherlands, the photographer is confronted with his own constant loneliness. The photo of the girl evokes memories of his own childhood, when he still felt at home somewhere.

JAN PALACH
by Robert Sedlácek, Czech Republic, Slovakia, 2018, 124’
Cast: Viktor Zavadil, Zuzana Bydžovská, Denisa Barešová, Kristína Kanátová, Jan Vondrácek, Michael Balcar
The last few months in the life of Jan Palach, the student who set himself on fire in 1969 to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. This young man made the supreme sacrifice in the hopes of opening the eyes of his own people. Through his relationship with his girlfriend, his life as a student, his time living at home with his mother,
and his journeys to France and Kazakhstan as a seasonal worker, we follow the road he took that would lead him – devoted son, loyal friend, sensitive and thoughtful philosophy student – to become “the first human torch”, as he called himself in one of his writings. Two more people would imitate his gesture, but the Communist regime would manage to stay in power in Czechoslovakia for another twenty years.

KURSK
by Thomas Vinterberg, Belgium, Luxemburg, 2018, 117’
Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Léa Seydoux, Colin Firth, Peter Simonischek, August Diehl, Max von Sydow
On August 10, 2000, the K-141 Kursk – a nuclearpowered submarine twice the size of a jumbo jet and longer than two football fields, the pride of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet – embarked upon a naval exercise. It was their
first exercise in a decade. The maneuvers entailed 30 ships and 3 submarines. Two days later, two internal explosions, powerful enough to register on seismographs as far away as Alaska, sent the ship to the bottom of the Arctic waters of the Barents Sea. Only 23 of the 118 sailors aboard survived the explosions. Over the next nine days, they fought for survival, as rescue operations faltered and their families desperately battled bureaucratic obstacles.

LIGHT AS FEATHERS
by Rosanne Pel, Netherlands, 2018, 85’
Cast: Eryk Walny, Ewa Makula, Klaudia Przybylska
Fifteen-year-old Eryk lives with his mother, grandmother and great grandmother in a rural geese pickers’ village in Poland. His father has been out of the picture for as long as Eryk can remember. With his manipulative and dominant mother, he has an intimate relationship, and he also has feelings for his thirteen-year-old neighbour Klaudia. We follow Eryk for several years, as he tries to win Klaudia’s heart. But he does not know the difference between love and abuse.

THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL
by Park Chan-wook, United Kingdom, 120’ (episodes 1-2)
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Shannon, Florence Pugh
Late 1970s. Charlie, a young British actress, is upset after she meets the mysterious Becker while on holiday in Greece. It quickly becomes apparent that his intentions are not what they seem, and her encounter with him entangles her in a complex international plot devised by the spy mastermind Kurtz. Charlie takes on the role of a lifetime as a double agent, but despite her natural mastery of the task at hand, she finds herself drawn into a world of duplicity and compromised humanity, where the lines between right and wrong, truth and fiction, love and hate, are dangerously in flux.

MERE PYAARE PRIME MINISTER | MY DEAR PRIME MINISTER
by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, India, 2018, 105’
Cast: Anjali Patil, Om Kanojiya, Niteesh Wadhwa, Atul Kulkarni, Syna Anand, Prasad, Adarsh, Makrand Deshpande, Rasika Agashe, Nachiket Pumapatre, Neela Mulhekar, Sonia Albizuri, Firdaus Mevawalla, Kavita Pias
Kannu is an eight-year-old boy living with his single mother, Sargam in Gandhi Nagar, a slum in Mumbai named after Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi Nagar has satellite TV’s, fridges, Internet and smartphones in every home here – but no toilets. So women have to go out late at night in dark places to defecate. One night, Sargam is raped when she goes out to answer nature’s call. Kannu now becomes obsessed with building a toilet for his mother as he wants to keep her safe. And he is willing to do anything to make that happen.

MIA ET LE LION BLANC | MIA AND THE WHITE LION
by Gilles de Maistre, France, Germany, South Africa, 2018, 97’
Cast: Daniah De Villiers, Mélanie Laurent, Langley Kirkwood, Ryan Mac Lennan, Lionel Newton, Lillian Dube
South Africa. Mia is only eleven years old when she becomes friends with Charlie, a white lion cub born at the farm where her parents breed lions. For three years, Mia and Charlie grow up together, in a truly symbiotic relationship. When Mia turns fourteen and Charlie has become a magnificent adult lion, she realizes something that she considers completely unacceptable: her father has decided to sell Charlie to trophy hunters. A desperate Mia has no choice but
to flee with Charlie in an attempt to save him. She decides to cross South Africa, with all the dangers that entails, to reach the Timbavati nature reserve, where the lion will finally be safe.

MONSTERS AND MEN
by Reinaldo Marcus Green, United States, 2018, 95’
Cast: John David Washington, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Anthony Ramos, Chanté Adams, Nicole Beharie, Rob Morgan
It is a night like any other in Brooklyn but on a street corner in the Bed-Sty neighborhood, an unarmed black man is killed after a confrontation with the police. The episode becomes the starting point for a complex investigation, which involves a police district and a neighborhood in which the community is very tight. Also involved in the affair is an eyewitness who filmed the aggression with his smartphone, a police official and a young student who is a rising baseball star. Through their eyes, we will come to a deeper understanding of a community unsettled by racial tensions, which is fighting for a better future.

LA NEGRADA | BLACK MEXICANS
by Jorge Pérez Solano, Mexico, 2018, 102’
Cast: Magdalena Soriano, Juana Mariche Domínguez, Felipe Neri Acevedo Corcuera, Sara Gallardo, Ángela Hortencia Baños, Noé Corcuera Herrera
Among the black people on the Costa Chica in Oaxaca, the “queridato” is socially accepted: that is, the fact that a man lives with more than one woman. Juana and Magdalena share Neri’s love, although they both know that this situation is hurting them. Juana will have to die in order to show Magdalena a new path for her life so she can take control of her own fate, without Neri. This is the first Mexican feature film about the Afro-Mexican community.

LAS NIÑAS BIEN | THE GOOD GIRLS
by Alejandra Márquez Abella, Mexico, 2018, 94’
Cast: Ilse Salas, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Paulina Gaitán, Johanna Murillo, Flavio Medina
Mexico, 1982. Sofía and Fernando are a middleto-upper class couple, and have everything one can desire: money, beautiful homes, servants. Fernando inherited his father’s entire fortune, ammassed thanks to his uncle Javier’s help. But one evening, at dinner, Javier announces that he has decided to retire. Dark threatening clouds are gathering on the horizon: a serious economic crisis is about to strike Mexico. Initially Sofia and Fernando’s world seems to remain intact, but cracks soon begin to appear in their lacquered lives, while the economic and social order seems to collapse around them. Sofía will be forced to salvage appearances, but her fall will be inevitable.

THE OLD MAN & THE GUN
by David Lowery, United States, 2018, 93’
Cast: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Tom Waits, Sissy Spacek
The feature film is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker, a man with a lifetime of robbing banks and prison breaks: our story follows Forrest in his twilight years, from his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of seventy, to an unprecedented frenetic string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are sharp and relentless detective John Hunt, who hunts him but at the same time becomes captivated with Forrest’s non-violent commitment to his craft, and a woman, Jewel, who loves him in spite of his chosen profession.

POWRÓT | BACK HOME
by Magdalena Łazarkiewicz, Poland, 2018, 106’
Cast: Sandra Drzymalska, Agnieszka Warchulska, Mirosław Kropielnicki, Stanisław Cywka, Katarzyna Herman, Tomasz Sobczak
Ula, a young girl from a small town in Poland is kidnapped and taken to a brothel in Germany. Luckily, she manages to escape and return home. However, the welcome she receives is far from warm, as the girl is ostracized by the local,
conservative community. Ula walks the dramatic path to independence and finding her own definition of the terms that are crucial in life and for building connections with other people, such as kinship, love, dedication, brotherhood,
independence.

A PRIVATE WAR
by Matthew Heineman, United States, 2018, 106’
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci, Tom Hollander
Marie Colvin, a war reporter for the UK’s Sunday Times, was always on the front line in areas of the world destroyed by armed conflicts: Sri Lanka, where she lost her sight in one eye; Iraq, where she discovered a mass grave full of
victims under Saddam’s regime; Afghanistan, where she witnessed the Talebans’ attacks on local civilians and the U.S. convoys; Libya during the Arab Spring; and Syria, where 28,000 civilians were trapped, under appalling conditions. She would win an award as British journalist of the year, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder,
fall in love with a businessman, and be tempted to give it all up for a normal life, without ever being able to give up telling the stories of those in need.

SANGRE BLANCA | WHITE BLOOD
by Barbara Sarasola-Day, Argentina, 2018, 97’
Cast: Eva De Dominici, Alejandro Awada, Negro Prina, Rakhal Herrero
Martina and Manuel cross the border from Bolivia to Argentina as “mules”. After taking refuge in a hotel, Manuel dies with the cocaine capsules inside his body. The pressure of the traffickers corners Martina, who has to deliver
the stuff in another city, both what she is carrying and what was left in Manuel’s body.
There seems to be no way out. There is only one person she can ask for help, her father, Javier, who never recognized her. Bogged down in the mud of degradation, father and daughter look for a way to kindle a relationship that
never existed: this may be their only and last opportunity.

STAN & OLLIE
by Jon S. Baird, United Kingdom, 2018, 97’
Cast: Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Nina Arianda, Shirley Henderson, Danny Huston
Laurel & Hardy, the world’s favorite comedy double act, set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. With their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future. As they set out, crisscrossing the country, attendances are disappointingly low. But they’ve always been able to make each other laugh and as the charm and beauty of their performances shine through, their audiences laugh too, and they re-connect with legions of adoring fans, old and new. The tour will be a success, but the two just can’t let go of their
personas, and long-buried issues between them, along with Oliver’s health problems, threaten to undermine their partnership. Yet as the duo approaches their swan song, they rediscover the importance of friendship.

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD
by Peter Jackson, United Kingdom, New Zealand, 2018, 100’
They Shall Not Grow Old has been created for the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War exclusively with original footage from the British Imperial War Museums’ film archive and audio from BBC archives. The movie
uses the voices of the veterans combined with original archival footage to bring to life the reality of war on the front line for a whole new generation. Footage has been colorized, converted to 3D and transformed with modern production techniques to present never-beforeseen details.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
by Tim Wardle, United States, 2018, 96’
New York, 1980. Through a strange series of coincidences, two complete strangers –19-year-olds Robert Shafran and Edward Galland — discovered that they were identical twins, separated at birth, adopted and raised by different families. When their story ran in the “New York Post”, another 19 year-old, David Kellman, realized he was their triplet, adopted to yet another family. After their reunion, they became instant media sensations: the three
gave endless interviews, went clubbing at Studio 54, and were contacted by Madonna to appear in a movie with her. Many years later, the brothers’ discovery set in motion a chain of events that unearthed an extraordinary and disturbing secret.

TITIXE
by Tania Hernández Velasco, Mexico, 2018, 62’
The last farmer in a family has died and with him, all knowledge of tilling the land has been lost. With no experience of their own, his daughter and granddaughter will attempt a last traditional harvest to try to convince Grandma, the farmer’s widow, to reconsider her decision to sell the plot of land. In the process, they will uncover the traces (the “titixe”, in the local tongue) of this man and his world: a mourning tree, dancing sprouts, the language of clouds, ghosts, stories, and the threat of losing the crops to a tempest. Through an intimate exploration of a rural landscape, this is a bittersweet portrait of the drastic abandonment of agricultural lands in Mexico.

IL VIZIO DELLA SPERANZA | THE VICE OF HOPE
by Edoardo De Angelis, Italy, 2018, 90’
Cast: Pina Turco, Massimiliano Rossi, Marina Confalone, Cristina Donadio, Odette Gomis, Juliet Esey Joseph
Along the river flows Maria’s time, her head hooded and her gait resolute. Her existence streams from day to day, with no dreams or desires, taking care of her mother and working at the service of a bejewelled madam. With her
courageous pitbull by her side, Maria ferries pregnant women across the river, in what seems like an endless purgatory. This woman will soon be visited by hope, in its most powerful and ancestral form, as miraculous as life itself. Because to stay human has always been the greatest of revolutions.
“No one will ever kill me”

WATERGATE
by Charles Ferguson, United States, 2018, 260’ (4 episodes)
For the first time, the entire story of the Watergate scandal, from the first troubling signs in Richard Nixon’s presidency to Nixon’s resignation and beyond. Surprisingly, despite many excellent books and documentaries, the
story of the Watergate scandal has never before been told in a truly comprehensive way. But crucially, Watergate is situated in the context of all the issues it raised – many of which, of course, now resonate powerfully with current
events.


EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT IT

This section includes a selection of films to be screened at the Rome Film Fest after a remarkable international debut.

BOY ERASED
by Joel Edgerton, United States, 2018, 114′
Cast: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton
Jared, the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, is outed to his parents when he’s 19. At this point he’s faced with a choice: either undergo gay conversion therapy or else be disowned by his family and shunned by his
friends, and have to give up his faith as well. Forced to challenge every aspect of his own identity, Jared reluctantly decides to start the therapy.

DA XIANG XI DI ER ZUO | AN ELEPHANT SITTING STILL
by Hu Bo, China, 2018, 234’
Cast: Zhang Yu, Peng Yuchang, Wang Yuwen, Liu Congxi
Under the gloomy sky of a small town in northern China, different protagonists’ lives are intertwined. To protect his friend, 16-year-old Wei Bu pushes the school bully down the staircase and sends him to the hospital. Fearing for the
consequences of what has happened, Wei escapes and is joined by his neighbor Wang Jin, a 60-year old who is estranged from his family, and his classmate Huang Ling, tormented by an affair with the school official. Together, the three do what they can to conceal their tracks, and decide to board a bus headed towards Manzhouli, in Manchuria, where a legendary circus elephant is said to spend his time simply sitting still, indifferent to the world.

DEAD IN A WEEK: OR YOUR MONEY BACK
by Tom Edmunds, United Kingdom, 2018, 86’
Cast: Tom Wilkinson, Aneurin Barnard, Freya Mavor, Christopher Ecclestone, Marion Bailey
William is a young writer deeply dissatisfied with his life. After several failed suicide attempts, he decides to hire Leslie, a professional hitman about to retire, to put him out of his misery. Having signed the contract, William expects to be dead within a week, but overnight his life changes: he finds a publisher for his book, he falls in love with the girl of his dreams, and she with him, and dying is no longer an appealing option. But for Leslie, that contract is ironclad; William has one week to escape the killer he has paid himself.

THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST
by Desiree Akhavan, United States, 2018, 91’
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, John Gallagher Jr., Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, Jennifer Ehle, Marin Ireland, Owen Campbell, Kerry Butler, Quinn Shephard, Emily Skeggs
Young Cameron is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught kissing another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night. Run by the strict and severe Dr. Lydia Marsh and her brother, Reverend Rick, the center
is built upon fostering repentance for “same sex attraction”. In the face of intolerance and denial, Cameron meets a group of fellow sinners including the amputee stoner Jane, and her friend, a Lakota Indian. Together, these three
teenagers form an unlikely family as they fight to survive.

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