International Film Festival arrives this week


Now in its 17th year, the International Film Festival began on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and continues through Sunday, Sept. 11, with 16 films and events. Films from 11 different countries are on deck.

Opening night takes place officially on Thursday, Sept. 8, beginning with a reception on the lawn at Tisbury Marketplace, followed by a screening of “Broker.” Four Spotlight films will play earlier on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and Wednesday, Sept. 7. They are “A Film About Couples,” “Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams,” “Hit the Road,” and “Pink Moon.”

The festival will close on Sunday, Sept. 11, with the Spanish film “Official Competition,” starring Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas. Included with the film on Sept. 11 is a closing night party at Vineyard Haven’s Fish Restaurant.

The festival’s opening night reception features champagne, beer, and wine, as well as hors d’oeuvres from Goldie’s Rotisserie. Also available will be Mad Martha’s ice cream, and Jeremy Berlin’s Jazz Quartet will provide music. Reviews or information on some of the more significant films follow.

After the reception, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s South Korean film, Cannes winner “Broker,” will screen. “Broker” narrates the tale of prostitute So-Young (Lee Ji-yeun, celebrated South Korean singer) who abandons her baby, Woo Song, in a Baby Box. In Korea, Baby Boxes allow women to drop off their infants anonymously to be raised by someone else. So-Young leaves Woo Song with only the message, “I’m sorry. I’ll come back for you.” Woo Song is purloined from the box by two men, Sang Hean (Song Kang-Ho) and Dong Soo (Gang Dong-Won). Working in a human-trafficking scheme, they plan to sell Woo Song on the black market. Ambivalent about retrieving her son, So-Young joins them on the road to interview the prospective parents. In pursuit of these ne’er-do-wells are the police detectives Soo-jin (Bae Doona) and Lee (Lee Joo-Young). The interest for viewers in this film is learning about the unusual and well-told practice of baby depositing and their subsequent selling.

On Friday afternoon, Sept. 9, comes the French film, “Waiting for Bojangles.” Set in 1958 on the Riviera, it is essentially a compelling story about mental illness. It follows the love affair of Camille (Virginie Efira) and Georges (Romain Duras) Fouquet, with their son Gary (Solan Machado Graner), as well as the family’s companion, Charles (Grégory Gadebois).

Georges and Camille are captivated by the song “Mr. Bojangles,” and are often depicted dancing to it. Another amusing character is the bird Gary adopts as a pet. The viewer follows their high-spirited adventures until it becomes evident that Camille is not simply a vibrant young wife but suffers from mental illness. The action changes as she develops depression, but the romance of the Fouquets’ love affair keeps “Waiting for Bojangles” from turning too bleak. Also playing on Friday afternoon, Sept. 9, is the animated Latvian film “My Love Affair with Marriage.” Director and animator Signe Baumane will attend.

From Bolivia comes Sundance winner “Utama,” playing on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 10. The story follows a Quechua couple, Virginio (José Calcina) and Sisa (Luisa Quispe), who have been threatened by a yearlong drought. Shepherding his herd of llamas, Virginio struggles with a serious cough, although he refuses to tell his wife about it. Their grandson Clever (Santos Choque) visits in hopes of persuading his grandparents to move to the city with him. Viewers will find themselves immersed in the rural life of Bolivian farmers, and following what happens when they find themselves barely surviving, although Virginio refuses to give up and move to the city.

The Short Film Juried Competition will take place on Friday evening, Sept. 9, and Bill Plympton’s World of Animated Shorts, on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 10.

Information and tickets for the M.V. International Film Festival are available at For information on films playing at the Edgartown Cinema, go to