The First Grader — Kenya
This is the true story of an 84 year old Kenyan man (once a Mau Mau freedom fighter) who wants to learn how to read. He buys some books, dons a uniform, and walks up to the front gates of the local elementary school. This was filmed on location and the children in the movie are the school’s actual students. The director said he brought only 8 people into the country, that the rest are local talent. The kids do a great job.
Outrage — Japan
The original title “Creative Ways to Kill and Mame Your Yakuza Associates” was too long and got nixed after the test screening in Kyoto last year. This film provides a humorous look into the politics of a Japanese mafia turf war (from the perspective of Takeshi Kitano). It’s a light story, though very violent, so bring lots of Kleenex to sop up the pools of blood.
Hermano — Venezuela
Two Venezuelan brothers play for the same soccer team, and run with the same gang. They both want to be professional football players, and they’re well on their way when someone guns down their mother.
Every Song Is About Me — Spain
“No they’re not, you’re delusional. Don’t look at me like that!” All kidding aside, this film is about young love, romance, poetry, beautiful barmaids from Venezuela who want to get married, and architecture (but that last one is a stretch).