My top 25 of SIFF 2009

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1.
Troubled Water (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man convicted in his teens for killing a child is released on parole. He struggles to build a new life, but his past is uncovered. (115 mins.)
Director: Erik Poppe
 
2.
Zift (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Moth is freed on parole after spending time in prison on wrongful conviction of murder. Jailed shortly before the Bulgarian communist coup of 1944... (92 mins.)
Director: Javor Gardev
 
3.
Departures (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. (130 mins.)
Director: Yôjirô Takita
 
4.
The Necessities of Life (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In 1952, an Inuit hunter named Tivii with tuberculosis leaves his northern home and family to go recuperate at a sanatorium in Quebec City... (102 mins.)
Director: Benoît Pilon
 
5.
Na-moo-eobs-neun san (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In Seoul, Korea, two sisters must look after each other when their mother leaves them to search for their estranged father. (89 mins.)
Director: So-yong Kim
 
6.
Tengri: Blue Heavens (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
This is a love story set in the steppes of Central Asia of today. Temür a thirty year old Kazakh decides... (96 mins.)
 
7.
The Strength of Water (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
When a mysterious stranger arrives in their isolated coastal town, 10-year-old twins, Kimi and Melody are forced apart. Kimi must find the strength to let go of what he loves the most. (86 mins.)
 
8.
Tulpan (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
On the steppes of Kazakhstan, Asa lives in a yurt with his sister Samal, her husband Ondas, and their three children... (100 mins.)
 
9.
Tears of April (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
There is civil war in Finland. Between whites vs reds. A woman soldier of reds is captured by the whites. She is ordered to be executed. (115 mins.)
Director: Aku Louhimies
 
10.
Snow (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Post traumatic life of the Bosnian Muslim widows and daughters after their husbands and fathers were murdered by Bosnian Serb Army. Plot is set in post war eastern Bosnian village near town of Zvornik. (100 mins.)
Director: Aida Begic
 
11.
ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Life is wonderful for the people in the quiet, island town of Port Gamble....until a zombie virus outbreak! (89 mins.)
Director: Kevin Hamedani
 
12.
About Elly (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The mysterious disappearance of a kindergarten teacher during a picnic in the north of Iran is followed by a series of misadventures for her fellow travelers. (119 mins.)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
 
13.
Little Soldier (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A soldier returning from war is hired by her own father to drive his prostitutes around town. She calls upon herself to help one of them. (100 mins.)
 
14.
Tahaan (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A tender fable about childhood innocence amid the realities of war is set against the rugged landscape of Kashmir... (97 mins.)
Director: Santosh Sivan
 
15.
Wild Field (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young doctor relocates to a remote region of central Asia, thinking his fiancee soon will join him ... (108 mins.)
 
16.
Still Walking (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Still Walking is a family drama about grown children visiting their elderly parents, which unfolds over one summer day... (115 mins.)
 
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18.
Laila's Birthday (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Abu Laila used to be a judge, but because the government doesn't have the means to renew his assignment he is forced to be a taxi driver... (71 mins.)
 
19.
Welcome (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Bilal is 17 years old, a Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe... (110 mins.)
Director: Philippe Lioret
 
20.
A Woman in Berlin (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A woman tries to survive the invasion of Berlin by the Soviet troops during the last days of World War II. (131 mins.)
 
21.
Mothers&Daughters (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A comedic exploration of the turbulent lives of three very different women and the complex relationship each has with her daughter. (85 mins.)
Director: Carl Bessai
 
22.
Apron Strings (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Celebrity Chef Anita hasn't seen her family for twenty years. That is until her son Michael decides to do some soul searching and track down his aunt. (90 mins.)
Director: Sima Urale
 
23.
Gabbla (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Living almost as a recluse, the topographer Malek accepts a job in a region of western Algeria at the insistence of his friend Lakhdar... (140 mins.)
Director: Tariq Teguia
 
24.
Mid-August Lunch (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Gianni is a middle-aged man living in Rome with his imposing and demanding elderly mother. His only... (75 mins.)
 
25.
Wind Blows in the Meadow (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Shooka, a spirited, hardworking girl from an Iranian mountain village is to be married in an arranged marriage... (91 mins.)
Director: Khosro Masumi