1h 25min | Drama | 1 February 1989 (Iran)
Abolfazl Jalili’s docudrama La Gale (Scabies) is about the painful lives of young offenders who are serving time in the reformatories of post-revolution Iran. Young Hamed, arrested for handing out political tracts banned by the Islamic Republic, finds himself in a place of great suffering, in which illiterate and penniless orphans wash floors and sell their own blood. When a disease breaks out in the prison, his life within this harsh environment becomes progressively worse, a near-daily fight for survival. The film is a searing indictment against a government that failed to deliver the on the promises with which it came to power: to deliver social justice to the oppressed and downtrodden. Initially released in the mid 1980s, at a time when Iran was at war with neighbouring Iraq, the film was an unwelcome edition to the Fajr Film Festival, as its theme of prison life was deemed critical of the Islamic Republic. In a re-edited version, the film was released in 1989 to critical acclaim.
Little Cheung 1999
Xilu xiang (Original title)
1h 58min | Drama | 30 December 1999 (Hong Kong)
In 1997, Little Cheung is a street-wise nine-year-old boy living in a bustling neighborhood of Hong Kong, just before the reunification with China. His parents are always working at their restaurant, so Little Cheung becomes much closer to his grandmother and her Filipino maid Armi. Little Cheung befriends Fan, a girl his age who is an illegal immigrant from China. He splits his tips with her when she helps him deliver take-outs for his father. The pair have some amusing adventures, and delight in peeing in the drinks of a troublesome thug. Against his father’s will, Little Cheung starts searching for his older brother, whom his father disowned because he became a gangster.
A female writer begins a very close friendship with a boy who makes her remember a lost love. She daydreams with his lost love, talks with him as if he were in the same room, and remembers all the happiness she used to have. While we see through backflashes how was her relationship with his lover, we also see how she begins to feel a sexual desire for the boy. She tries to keep with her the boy all the time, as we see through the backflashes how she tried to keep her lover with her all the time. There is a religious conflict in the main characters, Atheism Vs Catholicism. The more we see the more everything makes sense.
Two antisocial adolescents, resentful against their classmates and teachers, intend to provoke commotion in the school through a series of anonymous acts of vandalism. Little by little, the game is losing its naive side and the two young people are submerged in a dangerous spiral of violence that seems to have no limits.