My top 25 of SIFF 2010

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1.
City of Life and Death (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In 1937, Japan occupied Nanjing, the Chinese capital. There was a battle and subsequent atrocities against the inhabitants, especially those who took refuge in the International Security Zone. (132 mins.)
Director: Chuan Lu
 
2.
Winter's Bone (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. (100 mins.)
Director: Debra Granik
 
3.
Castaway on the Moon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A failed suicide attempt leads a heartbroken man to live a life in the wilderness. (116 mins.)
Director: Hae-jun Lee
 
4.
Au revoir Taipei (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A love story takes place over the course of one evening in Taipei. (85 mins.)
Director: Arvin Chen
 
5.
Hipsters (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Young people struggle to do things their way in the 1950s. (130 mins.)
 
6.
When We Leave (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Umay is a young woman of Turkish descent, fighting for an independent and self-determined life in Germany against the resistance of her family. Her struggle initiates a dynamic, which results in a life-threatening situation. (119 mins.)
Director: Feo Aladag
 
7.
Southern District (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
For a rich upper-class family locked into their own little world, Bolivia's social changes threaten to burst their bubble. (108 mins.)
 
8.
Cell 211 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal. (113 mins.)
Director: Daniel Monzón
 
9.
Backyard (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The true story of the border town of Juarez, Mexico where since the mid-1990s thousands of women have gone missing or turned up as sun-burnt corpses in the desert. Can new police captain Blanca Bravo stop the savagery? (122 mins.)
Director: Carlos Carrera
 
10.
Farewell (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The French intelligence service alerts the U.S. about a Soviet spy operation during the height of the Cold War, which sets off an unfortunate chain of events. (113 mins.)
 
11.
Prince of Tears (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Two sisters whose family moves to Taiwan after their father fights in the civil war against the communists in mainland China, find their lives turned upside-down after their parents are thrown into jail and accused of being spies. (122 mins.)
Director: Yonfan
 
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13.
Altiplano (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A former war photographer and her physician husband are caught up in a riot when locals in an Andean village vent their unhappiness with contamination from a nearby mine. (109 mins.)
 
14.
Balls (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
(97 mins.)
Director: Josef Fares
 
15.
Reykjavik-Rotterdam (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Financial concerns tempt a security guard to return to his smuggling ways. (88 mins.)
 
16.
Tehroun (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Ibrahim left his family to try his luck in Tehran. But in this asphalt jungle where everything can be... (95 mins.)
 
17.
Before Your Eyes (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Diyarbakir, in the late nineties: Two young Kurdish children are forced to live on the street after their parents have been murdered by a member of a secret state security force. (102 mins.)
Director: Miraz Bezar
 
18.
The Hedgehog (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Paloma is a serious and highly articulate but deeply bored 11-year-old who has decided to kill herself on her 12th birthday... (100 mins.)
Director: Mona Achache
 
19.
A Little Help (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A woman gets entangled in a series of bizarre lies in order to take care of herself and her 12 year old son. (109 mins.)
 
20.
The Trotsky (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A Montreal high school student who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky starts a revolution against apathy among his fellow students. (120 mins.)
Director: Jacob Tierney
 
21.
Dear Lemon Lima (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Vanessa gets a dose of reality when Philip, her one true love, ends their relationship, again. The quirky teen enrolls in his school to win him back... (87 mins.)
Director: Suzi Yoonessi
 
22.
The Reverse (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A story about women, set in the present and in 1950s Warsaw. The main character is Sabina, a quiet, shy woman who has just turned thirty... (99 mins.)
Director: Borys Lankosz
 
23.
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A biography of Ian Dury, who was stricken with polio at a young age and defied expectations by becoming one of the founders of the punk-rock scene in Britain in the 1970s. (115 mins.)
Director: Mat Whitecross
 
24.
Me Too (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Daniel - a recent university graduate with Down's Syndrome - falls in love on his first day at work in the Department of Social Services... (103 mins.)
 
25.
Stigmata (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
The story of Bruno, a rough, heavy man overly fond of drinking. His only desire is to be a normal person...
Director: Adán Aliaga