Last week, we gave you our most anticipated movies for TIFF 2023. After gorging ourselves on cinema, here are our five favourites that we watched at the fest.
5. NAGA: This madcap Saudi thriller is an instant classic in the “night out gone wrong” genre. In it, a young woman (TIFF Rising Star Adwa Bader) must get home from a desert party before curfew, fighting bad hallucinogens, a rabid camel, and other wild obstacles.
4. Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person: As delightfully off-beat and macabre as its title would suggest, the debut feature from Québec’s Ariane Louis-Seize is filled with deadpan humour and lots of heart. In a just world, it gets a huge cult following.
3. Bye Bye Tiberias: This immensely moving doc sees director Lina Soualem trace the lives of four generations of Palestinian women in her family—including her mom, actress Hiam Abbass, aka Marcia in Succession—amidst a history of displacement. Bring tissues!
2. KILL: India is making the best action movies in the world right now, and this insanely violent (be warned) martial arts flick about a soldier fighting train bandits keeps the hot streak alive. Applause broke out multiple times after some of the fight scenes. They’re that good.
1. Last Summer: Please don’t be scared off by the scandalous plot (a woman begins an affair with her teenage stepson… yes, it’s French); master filmmaker Catherine Breillat’s latest is lush, funny, and thought-provoking. It’s undoubtedly a tough sit, but a hugely rewarding one.—QH