Subtitle Talent at Toronto International Film Festival
Subtitle Talent is well-represented at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival:
Albano Jerónimo stars in “A Herdade”, directed by Tiago Guedes.
“This epic tale of blood, soil, and politics chronicles three generations of a family of landowners and several tumultuous decades of Portuguese history.
With the passing of their father, the brothers João (Albano) and Joaquim Fernandes (Miguel Borges) inherited one of Europe’s largest agricultural estates and a way of life. But power is only as valuable as the autonomy required to exercise it, and by the 1970s the heretofore stridently apolitical João is being coerced into relinquishing that autonomy, first by Portugal’s authoritarian Estado Novo regime that demands his support for its failing campaign in Angola, and then by the socialist insurgents who ignite the Carnation Revolution and seek to nationalise the country’s resources.
By the 1990s, the Fernandes empire is in slow decline and the children of João and Joaquim are disillusioned with the family enterprise. After weathering so many political tempests, the brothers — and their beleaguered spouses — must now confront the fallout of a more intimate legacy, one characterised by infidelities, alcoholism, and toxic masculinity.”
Vlad Ivanov stars in “The Whistlers”, directed by Corneliu Porumboiu.
“Corrupt cop Cristi (Vlad) travels to the Canary Island of La Gomera, where he collaborates with mobsters in order to try and free a shady Bucharest businessman named Zsolt (Sabin Tambrea), who is believed to know the whereabouts of a mattress containing millions in cash. Under heavy surveillance on the island, Cristi is taught by the local gangsters and a femme fatale, appropriately named Gilda (Catrinel Marlon), to communicate in an indigenous whistle language called “El Siblo,” which is unintelligible to the police because it sounds like bird calls. Full of double-crossings and unexpected twists and turns, Porumboiu’s neo-noir thriller is an intelligent, entertaining, deadpan funny caper that explores the limitations of language while at the same time using it as a poetic form of resistance.”
Kim Bodnia stars in “One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk”, directed by Zacharias Kunuk.
“One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, hinges on a pivotal 1961 encounter on spring sea ice between the title character (Apayata Kotierk) and other community leaders and a government emissary (Kim), who has come to ask them to relocate their families to permanent settlements and send their children to school. Those demands will ultimately carry an enormous gravitas. Behind what seems to the hunters to be the government agent’s incoherent requests is a policy that will mean a fundamental rupture in the lives of Inuit. The real Noah Piugattuk was born in 1900 and lived to be 96 years old. In that time he saw the decline of traditional practices that had persisted for thousands of years and the creation of a new relationship with the Canadian colonial state. In this one day — and this fateful meeting — Kunuk condenses much about Inuit-settler relations.”
Josha Stradowski stars in “Instinct”, directed by Halina Reijn.
Veteran psychologist Nicoline (Carice van Houten) takes on a position in a secure men’s rehab facility — albeit temporarily, by her request — where the charismatic and calculating Idris (Marwan Kenzari) is assigned to her caseload. After spending five years institutionalised for a series of extremely violent sexual assaults, Idris has been approved for unsupervised leave, but Nicoline is vehemently opposed, concluding after only a few short meetings that he still poses a great danger to society. Unable to sway her colleagues, she concedes, but also begins to notice her own inability to resist the rush of Idris’ manipulation. As her intrigue quickly escalates to infatuation, Nicoline recognizes in Idris something unsettled in herself. And where intent is both unimportant and unclear, the two then find themselves face to face in a grippingly quiet yet stomach churning battle for power and control, in which there can be no true winner.”