SIFF Recommendations: Week 1

May 16 - 22

Monsoon Shootout
Screenings: May 16, 17, and 19
Monsoon Shootout, directed by Amit Kumar, is an action-packed and attention-grabbing film that centers on one pivotal moment in a newly hired policeman’s life and the outcomes of three different choices he could have made. With original cinematography and a saturated color scheme that expertly captures the setting of rain-drenched Mumbai, this film explores the relationship between law and justice, as well as the concept of the ends justifying the means.
- Vida B.

Screenings: May 16 and 21
The silence of Ida echoes quite loudly. It feels like walking through a history museum full of World War II-era photographs. The artfully shot black-and-white Polish film follows a young almost-nun as she explores a painful family history before taking her vows. Secrets kept and stories of lives untold punctuate this quietly heartbreaking film. Ida’s cinematography is as stunning as its story, with each shot framed as precisely as if it was a photograph.
- Kali S.

Dior and I
Screenings: May 17, 18, and 22
The sheer luxury (read: expensiveness) of haute couture is enough to alienate anyone who doesn’t have access to a private jet. Yet Dior and I makes accessible — as much as it fascinates with — the high-end design house. Following the entire process, from brainstorm to runway, of designer Raf Simons’ first collection for Dior, the documentary is a beautiful study of the artistic process — one in which the finished product is jaw-droppingly well worth the hard work.
- Kali S.

Fight Church
Screenings: May 17, 18, and 26
A powerful tale directed by Daniel Junge and Bryan Storkel, Fight Church shows a new side of Christianity — specifically, one that blends mixed martial arts and faith. Despite any viewer’s beliefs, the documentary is thought-provoking and heart-pounding. Fight Church’s prime highlight is that it’s a colorful tale appealing to both MMA fans and those interested in Christianity. Overall, this was the best documentary I’ve had the pleasure of viewing, ever.
- Daniel G.

Sreenings: May 18 and 20
#chicagoGirl makes the crisis in Syria more tangible to those unaffected than any news report ever could. By following the daily lives of protesters, director Joe Piscatella achieves an effective blend of information and empathy, shining light on both the illogic of the continuing crisis and the heartbreak of those involved. One has to wonder, if we regularly had this level of access to one another’s lives, would we still commit such atrocities against each other?
- Kali S.

Seattle International Film Festival
May 16 - June 8

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