MAMI 2018: Critics list their top film picks from the festival line-up
The annual feast for Mumbai’s moviegoers is here. The 20th edition of the Jio MAMI film festival, organised by the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI), stretches from October 25, to November 1, with a spread of 64 films to choose from, in a total of 37 languages, from across 43 countries.
Which are the movies not to be missed? We asked four film critics — Raja Sen, Rashid Irani, Deepa Gahlot, and Mihir Fadnavis — to weigh in.
Two unanimous picks were BlacKkKlansman by American filmmaker Spike Lee — the incredible true story of the first African-American police officer and detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department and his efforts to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan; and Roma by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, which follows a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.
“Lee pushes boundaries like no other American filmmaker. The conversations he starts up about diversity make his films among the top picks of this festival,” says Sen.
He also recommends Shoplifters by Japanese filmmaker Kore-Eda Hirokazu, the story of a family that resorts to shoplifting to cope with poverty. The film premiered at Cannes, where it won the Palme d’Or.
Fadnavis is excited about Turkish film The Wild Pear Tree, about an aspiring writer’s return to his native village. “Nuri Bilge Ceylan executes the slow burn of existential mystery drama like no other filmmaker,” Fadnavis says. This film is Turkey’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Oscars.
From among the Indian titles on offer, Rima Das’s Bulbul Can Sing topped the list. Gahlot said she was looking forward to Kabir Chowdhry’s Mehsampur. “The film is based on the life of Punjabi folk singer Amar Singh Chamkila, known as the Elvis of Punjab,” Gahlot says.
Irani urges everyone to watch Dominic Sangma’s debut film Ma.ama and Ridham Janve’s The Gold-Laden Sheep & the Sacred Mountain, describing both as showing “visually ravishing parts of northern India”.