The excellent debut feature Lane 1974 from Seattle-based filmmaker SJ Chiro sold out during the festival. Now's your chance to see this film, which won SIFF's Grand Jury Prize in New American Cinema, again.

The 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival ended yesterday after 25 days of excellent programming, but, even if you attended SIFF screenings every day, chances are you probably missed some of the films. But you're in luck: SIFF also announced their lineup for their Best of SIFF Showcase yesterday, which will run from June 16-22 at SIFF Cinema Uptown. The films are listed below, along with links to watch trailers, see showtimes, and buy tickets—which you're encouraged to do as soon as possible.


At the End of the Tunnel
(Golden Space Needle Audience Awards - Best Film, Best Director)
As Americans, we have completely forgotten how to make great crime thrillers. And this is exactly what we find in every scene, moment, and line of the Argentinian film At the End of the Tunnel: a superb crime thriller. Directed by Rodrigo Grande, the film concerns an elaborate bank heist, a broken man and his traumatized dog, and a nosy stripper and her traumatized daughter. The timing of the plot’s many twists and surprises is just perfect, and its interior spaces (living room, kitchen, bedroom, basement, tunnel) and exteriors (overgrown garden, city streets) are filled with shadows. What is the man in the wheelchair up to? Is the stripper his friend or foe? What is the little girl whispering to the dog? This is how you do it, goddammit! (CHARLES MUDEDE)

Bye Bye Germany
At the end of the Third Reich, most surviving Jews from the Holocaust understandably left Germany as fast as possible. But former Sachsenhausen inmate David Bermann (Moritz Bleibtreu), among about 4,000 other real-life survivors who remained, sees his blasted homeland as a land of opportunity. He dreams of reopening his family’s seized linen business in Frankfurt, but American forces deny him a license; with his haughty demeanor and fancy suit, David is suspected to be a Nazi collaborator by occupation forces and is subject to questioning by Special Agent Sara Simon (Antje Traue). Undaunted, he gathers a group of Jewish salesmen to help him peddle imported linens door-to-door, stressing that they never resort to stoking German guilt to seal the deal―they are to be legitimate businessmen, not victims. Director Sam Garbarski maintains an upbeat tone for most of the film, wringing sly humor from the absurdities faced by the salesmen, but memories of the horrors they each faced lie just under the surface; David’s flashbacks to the camps reveal his survivor’s guilt as his smooth-talking of the guards helped save him from the ovens while the rest of his family perished. Garbarski’s adaptation of German-Swiss novelist Michel Bergmann’s Teilacher trilogy is a tale of reassimilation and rebirth, and of how maintaining a sense of humor is a vital step toward redemption. (SIFF)


Swallows & Amazons
(Films4Families Youth Jury Prize)
Hoist the sails for an adventure on the high seas―or rather, a serene lake. It’s the 1930s, and Mrs. Walker (Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire) and her four children board a train for their vacation, but during the trip the children encounter some suspicious trench-coated men looking for someone. Once they reach their summer cottage destination, the children have a strong desire to take the caretaker’s boat, “Swallow,” out to a wooded island in the middle of the lake. Upon their arrival they find another boat bearing the name “Amazon,” and shortly thereafter encounter a pair of costumed young women who lay claim to the island and demand that the boys―deemed the Swallows―push off and never return. The children eventually stumble upon Mr. Flint (Rafe Spall), and, based on their curiosity about the man, inadvertently get pulled into a more dangerous plot around stolen military papers. Director Philippa Lowthorpe has crafted a yarn with strong female roles, beautiful locations, and a pace that accelerates as the narrative ups the intensity, making Swallows and Amazons a truly rousing adventure for the whole family. (SIFF)

Becoming Who I Was
(Grand Jury Prize, Documentary)
This gorgeously shot, touching documentary by director Moon Chang-yong follows the story of Padma Angdu, an adorable young boy who lives in northern India and is believed to be a reincarnated lama from Tibet, aka Rinpoche. As such, it’s expected that his disciples will fetch him to live in their monastery, but as the years go by, young Rinpoche’s hope begins to fade. His aging teacher, Urgyan Rickzen, refuses to give up, however, and their intimate bond keeps both of them going, even against seemingly insurmountable odds. (KATHLEEN RICHARDS)

Lane 1974
(Grand Jury Prize, New American Cinema)
This excellent debut feature from Seattle-based filmmaker SJ Chiro tells the story of 13-year-old Lane and her siblings, who are being raised by their counterculture mother in 1970s Northern California. The mother, Hallelujah (The L Word’s Katherine Moennig), is the opposite of the helicopter parent: Putting her own drama and needs first, she lugs her three kids from one ill-advised situation to the next. She rejects the mores of established society, leaving the children desperately yearning for regular stuff: cheese, sugar, fashionable clothes, a nice house. The feeling of the era is well-reflected in the clothes, music, and bucolic locations. And young star Sophia Mitri Schloss has an appealing, serious presence—and as Lane, she shows the helplessness of watching her mother spiral their life out of control, unable to do anything to ground them. (GILLIAN ANDERSON)

Sami Blood
(Grand Jury Prize, Official Competition)
Few know the history of the Sami people, a group native to Europe’s northernmost region, Lapland. Those who do know it’s a history marked by devastation. Sami Blood, the latest project of filmmaker Amanda Kernell, is set in 1930s Sweden and tells the story of Ella Marja, a reindeer-breeding Sami girl who attends a Swedish boarding school. Fitting into Swedish society proves more challenging than she thought, and she quickly learns that to integrate, she must break all ties with her family and culture. Ella comes to the heartbreaking realization that no matter how desperately she tries, she will never be fully accepted. Despite the prejudice of many, the compassion of a few shines through, offering Ella a sense of hope in her otherwise bleak world. The film’s characters, whether they’re easy to adore or entirely loathsome, are always believable. The film takes place in untamed Lapland as well as refined urban Sweden, two incredibly different yet distinctly Swedish locations. A muted color palette conveys beauty and subtlety―two very Scandinavian traits. While the region has always been at the forefront of social progressiveness, no place is immune from prejudice. Sami Blood reminds us of the pervasiveness of harmful ideas and encourages us to acknowledge and challenge them. (SIFF)


(Golden Space Needle Audience Award, Best Documentary)
Director Peter Bratt follows the life of civil-rights icon Dolores Huerta in this documentary, constructed significantly from archival footage from the 1960s and 1970s. This character study on the “most vocal activist no one has ever heard of” follows Huerta as she rejected the standard 1950s-housewife role and put her life on display to drive home the fight for racial, class, and gender equality. While Cesar Chavez is often thought to be the mastermind behind the Agricultural Workers Associations (later known as the United Farm Workers), Huerta was in fact the instigator. She was eventually pushed to defend her rights as a woman when she was subsequently forced to leave the union she helped establish. Juggling her responsibilities as a mother of 11, she was a key leader in the 1965 Delano Grape Strike, which compelled 17 million Americans to boycott grapes to bring attention to the plight of farm workers. Dolores Huerta lived her life overshadowed by men, but is now celebrated as a role model in feminism and the fight for equality. (SIFF)

In Syria
Hiam Abbass (May in the Summer, SIFF 2014) turns in a powerhouse performance as Oum Yazan, a Syrian woman trying to protect her household from the war that is raging just beyond her doors. Barricaded inside the apartment are her elderly father-in-law, her young son, two daughters, their teenage friend, a housemaid, and a young neighbor couple with a baby. Under siege, they try to approximate some kind of normalcy despite the most abnormal circumstances. Outside their building in an increasingly deserted city, bombs are falling, invisible snipers target anyone they see, and armed men fight their battles street by street. As these dangers draw ever closer, every decision could be a matter of life or death, forcing difficult moral choices in the struggle to survive. Director Philippe Van Leeuw (The Day God Walked Away) and the cast―all of whom come from war-torn countries, including Syria―have publicly discussed their intentions in making this film: to share with the world what life is like for ordinary Syrians. This intimate drama does just that, revealing the personal stories too often eclipsed by the headlines of geopolitical crisis. (SIFF)

(Grand Jury Prize, New Directors Competition)
Fifty kilometers off the coast of Labrador lies Besco, a tiny island nation about to be pulled kicking and screaming into the global arena. Newly elected Besco president Danielle Richard (Macha Grenon, Barney’s Version) has inherited an economic crisis, and with much trepidation calls an emergency summit to discuss potential foreign investment in her country’s iron ore. Enter the Canadian politicians, a blustering group of men in three-piece suits who will not hesitate stripping the island’s major natural resource for the lowest possible figure; among them is Félixe (Nathalie Doummar), the sole female Ottawa representative and the only one with a conscience. Between the two sides―ministers, developers, lobbyists―sits Emily (Emily VanCamp, ABC’s Revenge), the bilingual American negotiator desperately trying to hold things together. These meetings―appropriately set in schoolrooms and gymnasiums considering the schoolyard-esque bullying perpetrated by all parties―quickly spin out of control, a biting social commentary on small-scale politics writ large. Following up her triumphant, Cannes-nominated debut Sarah Prefers to Run (2013), Chloé Robichaud fashions a feminist-leaning political satire with an impressive tonal range, spanning from humor to satire to terror, as these three women try to make good in a frustratingly sexist world. (SIFF)


The Paris Opera
What you must not do with this superb documentary about the workings and the ups and downs of one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world, Paris Opera, is compare it with Frederick Wiseman’s work. Wiseman’s documentaries are simply exhaustive. They are not beautiful and have very little or no poetry in them. This documentary by Jean-Stephane Bron, a Swiss director, has the pace, the editing, the appearance, and the mood of a big-production drama. A young man from the Russian sticks auditions and, to his surprise, is hired by the opera. He hardly speaks any French, and now he is at the center of this civilization and this institution (which has a view of the Eiffel Tower, the business district, the gray and black rooftops of the great old metropolis). There are certain sequences in this doc that will lift your spirits up to the highest states of feeling that this art can reach. (CHARLES MUDEDE)


The Farthest
Now that we’re stuck with an administration that has nothing but disdain for science, a documentary about 1977’s Voyager mission seems more nostalgic—and necessary—than ever. After all, it was in 1972, under soon-to-be-disgraced President Richard Nixon, that the project came into being. Each probe contained a golden record with greetings and songs for aliens that might be encountered while exploring Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and beyond. Scientists involved with the project talk about the thinking behind it, which can get jargony, but their passion generates a warm glow—until the reality of 2017 sinks in again. (KATHY FENNESSY)


Best of SIFF Shorts
(Audience Favorites and Jury Winners)
The audience and juries have spoken! Join us for these six short films from around the world, covering everything from Standing Rock to a 50th birthday party. (SIFF)