• (L - R) 'One Thousand Ropes', 'The Host', 'Court', and 'The Other Side of Hope'. (SBS)Source: SBS
International travel may not be possible at the moment, so armchair travel is the next best thing. Country hop around the world from the comfort (and safety) of your home with these 20 films streaming at SBS On Demand.
By
SBS Movies

10 Sep 2020 - 3:34 PM  UPDATED 10 Sep 2020 - 3:34 PM

Vai

PG
New Zealand, 2019
Genre: Drama
Language: English, Fijian, Maori, Samoan, Tongan
Director: Nicole Whippy, Amberley Jo Aumua, Becs Arahanga, Matasila Freshwater, Dianna Fuemana, Mīria George, ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Sharon Whippy
Starring: Mereani Tuimatanisiga, Betsy Luitolo, Agnes Pele, Evotia-Rose Araiti, Fiona Collins, Maliaga Erick, Hinetu Dell
What's it about?
Coming of age as an Indigenous woman on the South Pacific Islands is a process full of change. Every island may be different but they are connected by a shared history. Everywhere she goes, Vai is someone else, and yet she remains connected to her roots. Vai is a portmanteau feature film made by 9 female Pacific filmmakers, filmed in 7 different countries – Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Kuki Airani (Cook Islands), Samoa, Niue and Aotearoa (New Zealand). It is about the journey of empowerment through culture over the lifetime of one woman, Vai, played by a different Indigenous actress in each country.

'Vai': Pacific Womanhood In Eight Parts

Vai

 

One Thousand Ropes

M
Samoa, 2016
Genre: Drama
Language: Samoan
Director: Tusi Tamasese
Starring: Frankie Adams, Beulah Koale, Uelese Petaia, Sima Urale
What's it about?
From the writer and director of The Orator – O Le Tulafale, One Thousand Ropes is a story of a father reconnecting with his youngest daughter and together putting to rest the ghosts that haunt them. She arrives vulnerable: badly beaten and heavily pregnant. He struggles with the inner temptation and encouragement from the men around him, to take revenge on one hand and on the other, to build the new family and companionship desperately missing from his life. One Thousand Ropes is a deeply moving film about connections, redemption and new beginnings.

 

Bad Genius

PG
Thailand, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Crime
Language: Thai
Director: Nattawut Poonpiriya
Starring: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Eisaya Hosuwan, Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Chanon Santinatornkul, Thaneth Warakulnukroh, Pasin Kuansataporn, Ego Mikitas, Sarinrat Thomas
What's it about?
Lynn, a brilliant and wily student, helps her friends get the grades they need. She then begins to develop the idea of starting a much bigger exam-cheating business.

'Bad Genius': Exam-Cheating Syndicate Makes For Nail-Biting Heist Movie

 

Golden Kingdom

M
Myanmar, 2015
Genre: Drama
Language: Burmese
Director: Brian Perkins
Starring: Shine Htet Zaw, Ko Yin Saw Ri, Ko Yin Than Maung, Ko Yin Maung Sein
What's it about?
Four orphan boys, novice monks, live in a Buddhist monastery in a remote part of northeast Myanmar. The head monk departs on a long journey from which he may never return, leaving the boys alone in the middle of the forest. Once the boys are on their own, strange, magical occurrences begin to pass. Orphan Witazara realises he must protect the three other boys throughout this series of bizarre events, which threaten to unravel the fabric of the young monks’ reality.

 

Court

M
India, 2014
Genre: Drama
Language: Marathi
Director: Chaitanya Tamhane
Starring: Vira Sathidar, Vivek Gomber, Geeranjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane, Shirish Pawar
What's it about?
A sewage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is arrested and accused of performing an inflammatory song, which may have incited the worker to commit suicide. The trial unfolds in a lower court, where the hopes and dreams of the city’s ordinary people play out. Forging these fates are the lawyers and judge, who are observed in their personal lives beyond the theatre of the courtroom.

 

Golden Job

MA15+
Hong Kong, 2018
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Language: Cantonese
Director: Chin Ka-Lok
Starring: Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Michael Tse, Chin Ka-Lok, Jerry Lamb, Charmaine Sheh, Eric Tsang
What's it about?
A group of former mercenaries reunite to plan an epic heist: boosting a truck full of medicine held by a foreign intelligence agency to supply a refugee camp in need. But when they find the truck is actually filled with stolen gold, the band of brothers realise they’ve been double-crossed by one of their own – and putting the situation right will be all-out war.

 

The Host

M
Korea, 2006
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Language: Korean
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Song Kang-ho
What's it about?
In Bong Joon-ho's riveting monster movie, a mutant creature emerges from the river that runs through Seoul and creates a path of destruction on the local residents. Gang-du, who operates a snack bar on the riverbank, witnesses his only daughter, Hyun-seo, taken away by the creature right before his eyes. Faced with the government's powerlessness, Gang-du and his family have no choice but to fight the monster themselves in a desperate attempt to rescue Hyun-seo.

 

Black Hole

M
Dominican Republic, 2018
Genre: Comedy
Language: Spanish
Director: Diego Araujo
Starring: Daniela Roepke, Victor Arauz, Marla Garzon
What's it about?
Afraid to face upcoming parenthood and the ultimate deadline for his long-awaited novel, Victor, a once-promising writer, develops a crush on a defiant muse, the 16-year-old girl next door, and escapes into a second adolescence, alienating his partner and those who care about him.

 

A Fantastic Woman

M
Chile, 2017
Genre: Drama
Language: Spanish
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Starring: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Küppenheim, Nicolás Saavedra, Amparo Noguera, Néstor Cantillana, Alejandro Goic, Antonia Zegers, Marcial Tagle, Sergio Hernández, Cristián Chaparro, Diana Cassis, Eduardo Paxeco, Roberto Farías
What's it about?
Marina and Orlando are in love and planning for the future. Marina is a young waitress and aspiring singer. Orlando is 20 years older and owns a printing company. One evening, after celebrating Marina’s birthday, Orlando falls seriously ill. Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital. Instead of being able to mourn her lover, suddenly Marina is treated with suspicion, finding herself under intense scrutiny from those with no regard for her privacy.

'A Fantastic Woman': Empathetic, Resonant Oscar-winning Chilean Melodrama
'A Fantastic Woman' star takes historic Oscars win in her stride

 

El Angel

MA15+
Argentina, 2018
Genre: Crime, Drama
Language: Spanish
Director: Luis Ortega
Starring: Lorenzo Ferro, Chino Darín, Mercedes Morán, Daniel Fanego, Luis Gnecco, Cecilia Roth, Malena Villa, William Prociuk, Marcelo D'Andrea, Peter Lanzani
What's it about?
Buenos Aires, 1971. Carlos Robledo Puch is a 19-year-old with an angelic face, but he's a vocational thief who acts ruthlessly, without remorse. When he meets Ramón, they follow a dark path of crime and death. The controversial exploits of baby-faced Argentine serial killer Carlos Robledo Puch are exhilaratingly reinterpreted in this stylish biopic co-produced by Pedro and Agustin Almodóvar.

 

The Clown

MA15+
Denmark, 2010
Genre: Comedy
Language: Danish
Director: Mikkel Norgaard
Starring: Frank Hvam, Casper Christensen, Marcuz Jess Petersen
What's it about?
In this hilarious parenthood caper, Frank is determined to prove his fatherhood potential to his pregnant girlfriend. An ill-advised plan sees him 'kidnap' her 12-year-old nephew and take him along to his best friend Casper’s debauched weekend canoe trip. Together they rampage through brothels, hospitalisations and armed robberies, and form a friendship that might prove Frank is more capable than he ever thought.

 

The Other Side of Hope

M
Finland, 2017
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: Arabic, English, Finnish, Swedish
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Starring: Sakari Kuosmanen, Sherwan Haji, Simon Al-Bazoon, Janne Hyytiäinen, Nuppu Koivu, Ilkka Koivula
What's it about?
Set against the current refugee crisis, this bittersweet comedy by Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki follows two people searching for a place to call home. Displaced Syrian Khaled lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström leaves behind his wife and job and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant. After Khaled is denied asylum, he decides not to return to Aleppo – and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously.

 

Aloys

M
Switzerland, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Language: Swiss German
Director: Tobias Nolle
Starring: Georg Friedrich, Tilde Von Overbeck
What's it about?
Aloys Adorn, a middle-aged private detective, experiences life from a safe distance, through a video camera he keeps recording 24 hours a day, and his massive collection of surveillance tapes. After a night of heavy drinking, Aloys wakes up on a bus to find that his camera and tapes have been stolen. Soon after, a mysterious woman calls to blackmail him. She offers to return the tapes if Aloys will try an obscure Japanese invention called ‘telephone walking’ with her, using his imagination as their only connection.

 

Loro

MA15+
Italy, 2018
Genre: Drama
Language: Italian
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Toni Servillo, Elena Sofia Ricci, Riccardo Scamarcio
What's it about?
Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino (The Young Pope) unpeels the complex personality and motivations of the billionaire former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – played with unmistakable panache by Toni Servillo – during a tumultuous period in his career, as his marriage to second wife Veronica Lario fractures; all the while skilfully threading together stories of a wide variety of characters from different levels of society and their attempts to either ingratiate or distance themselves from him.

 

With Heart & Soul

MA15+
Greece, 2014
Genre: Drama
Language: Greek
Director: Pantelis Voulgaris
Starring: Vangelis Mourikis, Giorgos Symeonidis, Victoria Haralabidou
What's it about?
During the 1946–49 Greek Civil War, young brothers Anestis and Vlassis are recruited by opposing sides. Anestis joins the National Army while Vlassis becomes a soldier in the Democratic Army. Fighting in the countryside they grew up in, the boys become increasingly fanatical as the war progresses.

With Heart & Soul airs on SBS VICELAND Saturday 19 September at 11:55PM and is available to stream at SBS On Demand after broadcast.

 

Winter Sleep

M
Turkey, 2014
Genre: Drama
Language: Turkish
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Starring: Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sözen, Demet Akbag
What's it about?
Former actor Aydin now runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his wife Nihal, with whom he has a stormy relationship, and his sister Necla, who is taking time to recover from a messy divorce. As the snow begins to fall, the hotel becomes a refuge but also an inescapable prison that fuels the animosities between the family members.  

Winter Sleep review: Home truths hit hard in Palme d'Or winner
2014 Cannes Film Festival: Palme d'Or winner Winter Sleep - Review
2014 Cannes Film Festival: Winter Sleep – Palme d'Or/Jury press conference highlights

 

Yeva

M
Armenia, 2017
Genre: Drama
Language: Armenian
Director: Anahid Abad
Starring: Narine Grigoryan, Marjan Avetisyan, Shant Hovhannisyan
What's it about?
Yeva is a young woman who escapes her influential in-laws with her daughter Nareh, after her husband’s tragic death and takes refuge in one of the villages of Karabakh, Armenia. Yeva is a complete stranger in this village and is obliged to live her daily life in disguise. Although she has escaped from the capital city of Yerevan, events follow her to the Artsakh Republic.

 

Capernaum

M
Lebanon, 2018
Genre: Drama
Language: Arabic
Director: Nadine Labaki
Starring: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Nadine Labaki, Kawthar Al Haddad
What's it about?
Zain, a 12-year-old boy scrambling to survive on the streets of Beirut, sues his parents for having brought him into such an unjust world, where being a refugee with no documents means that your rights can easily be denied.

Nadine Labaki, on how 'Capernaum' has changed her life

 

The Reports of Sarah and Saleem

MA15+
Palestine, 2018
Genre: Drama
Language: Arabic
Director: Muayad Alayan
Starring: Kamel Basha, Mohammad Eid, Maisa Elhadi
What's it about?
Sarah is Israeli and runs a cafe in West Jerusalem. Saleem is a Palestinian deliveryman from East Jerusalem. Despite both being married and coming from opposing sides of a deeply divided region, they are locked in a passionate and dangerous affair. When a risky late-night trip to the West Bank goes awry and threatens to expose them, they quickly become the subject of a minor international crisis, caught up in the machinations of two warring states. Desperate to keep their secret and protect their families, Sarah and Saleem find themselves trapped in a web of deceit, espionage and collusion that not even the truth looks able to stop. This gripping, accomplished thriller set across the Israeli–Palestinian border refuses to take sides, instead illustrating how in Jerusalem, even sex can be made political.

 

Foxtrot

MA15+
Israel, 2017
Genre: Drama
Language: Hebrew
Director: Samuel Maoz
Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler, Yonaton Shiray, Shira Haas, Yehuda Almagor, Karin Ugowski
What's it about?
Michael and Dafna are devastated when army officials show up at their home to announce the death of their son Jonathan. Michael becomes increasingly frustrated by overzealous relatives and well-meaning bureaucrats. While his sedated wife rests, he spirals into a whirlwind of emotions, which rival the surreal and darkly comic military experiences of his son.

The personal cost of war resonates throughout Foxtrot

 

 

 

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