Children of the Green DrsgonChildren of the Green Dragon

Hungary 2010. Director: Bence Miklauzic Cast: Zoltán Rátóti, Yu Debin, Eszter Bánfalvi, Ferenc Lengyel, Attila Egyed

János is a depressed, sick and struggling Hungarian real-estate salesman, and Wu is an immigrant who, after getting divorced and going through hard times in China, must now work and reside in a dilapidated suburban warehouse in the Hungarian capital. The two men develop a strange, contradictory, but great friendship. Wu, creatively using some of the wonderful imported goods in his boxes, teaches János a new approach to life and also some unusual ways of having fun and coping with hopelessness, pessimism and loneliness. This is a good film full of humour that keeps the audience entertained for an hour and a half and makes them clap in the end. Miklauzic manages to create an unending chain of humorous situations, dialogues and interactions that connects well with and relates to both Canadian and Hungarian audiences.


Small CrimeSmall Crime

Cyprus/Greece/Germany 2008. Director: Christos Georgiou Cast: Aris Servetalis, Vicky Papadopoulou, Antonis Katsaris, Rania Ekonomidou, Errikos Litsis

Excellent film by this Cyprus-born filmmaker who's known for his character-driven comedies. In this film, frustrated policeman Leonidas (Aris Servetalis) longs to be reassigned to Athens. He's tired of doing nothing except tell naked tourists to put on their clothes. Leonidas' life changes when Zacharias (Antonis Katsaris), the local drunk, turns up dead. The unexplained death offers a puzzle for him to solve, and introduces him to Angeliki (Vicky Papadopoulou), the island's most famous former citizen, now a successful talk-show hostess. Comedy mixed with the mystery- thriller genre makes this an entertaining film to watch. You'll laugh all through the film.



France 2011. Director: Maïwenn Cast: Karin Viard, Joeystarr, Marina Foïs, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Maïwenn

This film won the Jury Prize (the third-highest honour) at Cannes last year. The film wasn't too bad. In fact, it got some audience members clapping at the end. The film deals with the CPU (Child Protection Unit) of the police department of Paris, and is a somewhat semi-documentary of the lives of this police unit dealing with the protection of children especially child sex abuse cases. Director Maïwenn appears as Melissa, the timid photographer commissioned by the Interior Ministry to document the unit’s activities. There were some moving scenes in this film, for example, the African child who had to be separated from his homeless mother. The filmmaker managed to unleash the raw realities of today's Paris, and the cast was visceral in their individual performances. I'd give an 8 out of 10 for this film.


Los PelayosWinning Streak (Los Pelayos)

Spain 2012. Director: Eduard Cortés Cast: Daniel Brühl, Lluís Homar, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Oriol Villa, Blanca Suárez

The director tried to copy an Ocean’s Eleven- style beat-the-casino caper film, but failed drastically. There was no continuity; the transitions were lacking; and it wasn't very clear how the Chinese got involved in this caper. It's based on a true story, but sadly, the way the production and direction went didn't keep the audience entertained. There was even someone that was snoring at the back of the theatre. This was a poor choice of Spain to include this particular film in this festival.

© 2012 Ed Farolan