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SIFF 2024 #7: It’s a wrap (but don’t forget streaming!)

Our Rating

It’s a wrap! The SIFFTY-th (sort of 50th) Seattle International Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday night. Even though the festival is relatively truncated these days, running for a week and a half (unlike the 3-1/2 week version of SIFF in the before times), it’s still an exhausting marathon! I ended up seeing 20 films, which is pretty darn good, I’d say. Some films are on the media blackout list, so I can’t really summarize them here… but since the coverage instructions were murky for the documentary Merchant Ivory, about the famed moviemaking partnership and studio that brought us A Room With a View and Remains of the Day (two of my absolute favorite films)—I’ll just say it’s a fabulous treat that fans must seek out when it gets distribution!

Take note that you can still stream many SIFF films the rest of the week (through May 27th), including many that I’ve reviewed. Check out the full list of streaming films available at SIFF & Chill.

Here are a couple more short reviews to squeeze in:

Before It Ends (7/8)
As WWII winds down, the citizens of Denmark are instructed by the occupying Nazi forces that they must take in over 200,000 German refugees. School principal Jakob (the always-excellent Pilou Asbæk) is told that he’ll need to find room for some 200 people, only to be astonished that not only double that amount are dropped off by the soldiers, but the soldiers then abandon the downtrodden masses to fend for themselves. Anti-German sentiment is understandably strong in the small town, so when refugees start dying of treatable diseases, Jakob’s family finds themselves in a tough position. They can ignore the plight of the people as strongly encouraged by their countrymen, or face the wrath of their neighbors by actually extending empathy toward those who need their help… a moral quandary that (unfortunately) still rings so true today. It’s a troubling, thought-provoking film that gives voice to all sides, with no good answers (except to remember your humanity). (This film is streaming this week, so you can still check it out.)

Girls Will Be Girls (6/8)
Girls Will Be GirlsIn this coming of age film, sixteen-year-old Mira falls for the new boy in class, a handsome new transfer name Sri who seems more mature than his classmates. Mira, a studious girl, is restless to slip from her good girl image and she finds herself curious about this boy that seems way more worldly than the other kids. The problem is that Mira’s young, hot, restless mom Anila is also intrigued by this young man, and mom insists he come over to their home so she can keep and eye on the teens. There’s an intriguing competitiveness between the two women, and it is clear that Sri is playing both sides, but you are never quite sure where it will go. The film slowly and effectively builds tension in the trio… with heightened emotions especially from the women, with the teen busting to become an adult, and the mother feeling desperate to grab on to the young man’s admiring attention that she so desperately craves.

Sing Sing

Sing Sing, winner of the Golden Space Needle

2024 SIFF Awards!

Here are the Golden Space Needle Awards for SIFF 2024, as chosen by the audience:

  • Best Film – Sing Sing, directed by Greg Kwedar (USA)
  • Best Documentary – Porcelain War, directed by Brendan Bellomo & Slava Leontyev (Ukraine/USA/Australia)
  • Best Director – Kelly O’Sullivan & Alex Thompson, Ghostlight (USA)
  • Best Performance – Keith Kupferer, Ghostlight (USA)
  • Best Short Film – Jellyfish and Lobster, directed by Yasmin Afifi (United Kingdom)
  • Lena Sharpe Award For Persistence Of Vision, presented By Women In Film Seattle – Black Box Diaries, directed by Shiori Ito (Japan/USA/United Kingdom)

The Seattle Film Critics Society selected I Saw the TV Glow for their inaugural SIFF Award. The film now playing in theaters.

Fool Serious, the longtime group of full passholders, voted for Green Border as the Most Liked, and Black Box Diaries as the Top Documentary.

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