The Family

The family plays an important role in cinema. Here you find a selection of movies from around the world with family stories.

Turist (2014)
Ruben Östlund
Sweden
120′
A Swedish family travels to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing and spend some precious time with each other. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba calls for her husband Tomas as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, meanwhile, is running for his life.
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The mirror - Zerkalo (1975)
Andrei Tarkowski
Russia
107′
Alyosha, a 40-year-old filmmaker, falls seriously ill. He remembers his past and collects the memories that marked his life: the house of his childhood, his mother waiting for the improbable return of her husband, the poems of his father, his wife and his son that he has not seen for a long time, the tumult of the Second World War...
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Tigre (2017)
Silvina Schnicer
Argentina
93′
A woman visits her home on an island in the Tigre Delta in an attempt to reconnect with her son, but finds that returning and reconciliation are never easy, in this atmospheric family drama from Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra Guardiola.
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The Beekeeper - O melissokomos (1986)
Theo Angelopoulos
Greece
118′
In THE BEEKEEPER, alienation and despair have so mestastasized in the film's central figure that he's virtually one of the walking dead. Spyros, a man soured by a secret, incestuous love for his daughter, on the day of her wedding, gives up his position as a schoolteacher, his wife, his home and his city to take up again the profession of his father and grandfather before him traveling across Greece to the town in which he was born and first learned to tend the bees, following the traditional beekeeper's route, looking for flowers that will produce the best honey, a wanderer obsessed by his job. Like a bee returning to its hive after searching for food he visits his old friends and his childhood home looking for threads to bind him to the present. He drives from town to town revisiting his old haunts and comrades relighting and reliving his history in his memory, trying to reconcile his past ideals with a swiftly changing nation that makes him feel uncomfortable. At some point he picks up a promiscuous young hitchhiker who sporadically tags along with him during his journey and seems to represent a new generation without memory and unconcerned with the past, drifting from one place to the next, flitting between the blinking lights of motor vehicles, gas stations, diners, cheap hotels and traffic signs along the dark, wet glistening roadways of present-day Greece. He becomes obsessed by her. She both irritates and entices him. What he seeks in her is a contact with the future. But for her the future is a casual encounter with the next moment. In the impossibility of their relationship there is a profound despair of a man without a future. He senses a rupture, but it's not the traditional one of the conflict of generations. It's really a rupture of language. He cannot communicate, even with love, with the body. From that comes his crisis of despair. Toward his end, he takes refuge in an abandoned cinema called the Pantheon. There, mocked by the sterile white screen above him, he tries - and fails - to bring himself to life in an attempt to connect sexually with the young hitchhiker but there can be no connection between these people from different worlds, either physical or emotional. For Spyros the past is everything, for her it is nothing. In Angelopoulos' words, «It's the conflict between memory and non-memory.» In the long run she only reminds him of his loneliness and isolation. Unable to come to come to terms with the present, betrayed by the past, wary of the future, Spyros falls back into silence and isolation and returns to his hives, abandoning himself to the stings of his bees.
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Lazzaro Felice (2018)
Alice Rohrwacher
Italy
127′
The tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. A loyal bond is sealed when Tancredi asks Lazzaro to help him orchestrate his own kidnapping.
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Menashe (2017)
Josua Weinstein
United States
82′
Within Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood.
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Tokyo Story (1953)
Yasujiro OZU
Japan
137′
The Hirayamas travel from their hometown of Onomichi to Tokyo to visit their adult children. But the younger generation make them feel more in the way than welcome. It also emerges that their son’s career as a doctor and their daughter’s as a hairdresser are nowhere near as successful as the couple were led to believe from afar. The only one who really makes an effort to spend time with them is their daughter-in-law, Noriko, the widow of the Hirayama’s son who went missing in the war. On the journey home, mother Hirayama is taken seriously ill and the couple have to make an unscheduled stop in Osaka, where another of their adult children lives. In a succinct, objective and non-judgemental manner, Yasujirō Ozu uses images which are as simple as they are magnificent to tell the story of family estrangement and the isolation inherent in modern society. Ozu himself considered Tōky ō Monogatari his "masterpiece" and the 1963 Retrospective of the Berlin International Film Festival, the "film-historical screenings", was dedicated to him. This is the international premiere of the digitally restored version made by Japanese production company Shochiku.
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Landscape In The Mist - Topio stin omichli (1988)
Theo Angelopoulos
Greece
120′
LANDSCAPE IN THE MIST is a film about the void. It is a film about despair, about the failure of contemporary society. The prodigal father who figures in almost every Angelopoulos film here has evaporated into his mythical essence - leaving his children to become the wanderers in search of him. In the «chaos», two children appear, little Alexandros and his older sister Voula. In order to exorcise their loneliness, they invent a secret universe for themselves, inhabited by their dreams. Every night they go to a train station to watch the departure of a train to Germany, where they have been deceived by their mother (herself an off-screen presence) into believing that their absent father is living. One night they finally dare to get on the train. But their voyage turns out to be hazardous and pointless and disappointing. They confront suffering, physical and moral illness, jealousy, evil and death, if also love - as many ordeals and rites as initiations. Evading the half-hearted pursuit of the police and uncaring relatives, sneak onto trains, hitchhike in vans and lorries, and suffering poverty, rape and exploitation, take a dangerous leap of faith, an eerie plunge into liberation and danger. The familiar Greek landscape - the cafes, the depopulated towns and deserted beaches - are played for a strangely harsh fairytale quality, seen through the eyes of two children whose introduction to the real world borders on the surreal. The film is filled with extraordinary, unforgettable moments that are at once real and hallucinatory and contains intriguing references to other Angelopoulos' films. The children even encounter the Travelling Players now, thirteen years later, without a stage to act on, their costumes put up for sale. At the end Alexandros tells Voula the same story from Genesis that she told him at the start: «In the beginning there was chaos.» The children do finally reach the border, but of course there is no border with Germany and perhaps the river they cross is actually the Styx and perhaps their whole journey was a search for order in a chaotic world.
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Lola (2009)
Brillante Mendoza
Philippines
110′
In Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, Lola means grandmother. We are shown two grandmothers, one whose grandson is lying in the morgue, and the other who is visiting hers in prison because he is accused of killing him. We see two grandmothers in pain, one preparing a funeral, the other trying to get an alleged offender out of prison.
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Heavenly Nomadic (2015)
Mirlan Abdykalykow
Kyrgyzstan
81′
A nomadic family lives with their horses in the intoxicating nature of Kyrgyzstan. Schaiyr's husband drowned in the nearby river years ago. A new love is on the horizon as meteorologist Jermek sets up his measuring station next to Schaiyr's home. Told in the gentle rhythm of the nomadic life, director Mirlan Abdykalykow takes us on a journey through time into the easily vulnerable heart of a family and into the dreamlike nature.
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Our Little Sister (2015)
Hirokazu KORE-EDA
Japan
128′
After his very touching Like Father, Like Son, Hirokazu Kore-eda tells once again the story of a complex family: The three sisters Sachi, Yoshino and Chika live together in Kamakura. They travel to the funeral of their father, who left the family 15 years ago, and meet their 13-year-old half-sister Suzu. With great sensitivity for each of the sisters, Kore-eda looks at family ties.
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A Separation (2011)
Asghar Farhadi
Iran
123′
Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh. She has already made all the necessary arrangements. Nader, however, is having second thoughts. He is worried about leaving behind his father, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. For this reason he decides to call off the trip altogether. As a result of Nader’s decision, Simin decides to sue for divorce at the family court. When her request is rejected, however, she refuses to live with Nader, moving instead into her parents’ home. Termeh decides to stay with her father, hoping that her mother will soon come back to live with them.Nader finds it difficult to cope with the new situation - not least because it turns out to be so time-consuming. And so he hires a young woman named Razieh to look after his father. This young woman is pregnant and has accepted the job without her husband’s knowledge. One day, Nader arrives home to find that not only has his father been left alone, he has also been tied to a table! When Razieh returns, a blazing row ensues, the tragic consequences of which not only shatter Nader’s life, but also the image his daughter Termeh has of her father.
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Tokyo Family (2013)
Yoji Yamada
Japan
146′
In this film director Yoji Yamada bows down before his teacher and role model. Yamada was assistant director on Yazujiro Ozu’s «Tokyo monogatari», a moving family portrait set after the Second World War. In his remake, Yamada has made very few departures from Ozu’s masterpiece in order to update the story of ageing couple Shukichi and Tomiko to present day Japan. Once again, the pair decides to leave their quiet lives in the country to pay a visit to their children and grandchildren in Tokyo. Once there, they discover that neither their oldest son, a doctor named Koichi, nor their eldest daughter Shigeko - who runs a beauty parlour - has time for them: both are too busy attending to their everyday concerns. Even the youngest son went his own way. The old couple feel lonely and bewildered in the fast-paced metropolis. Adopting Ozu’s quiet observations of the family, Yamada’s version loses nothing of its topicality and, even sixty years after the original was filmed, the generation gap is still palpable. In fact, today’s young people are struggling to assert themselves in a far more confusing world, and this in a country where the scars of the 2011 tsunami still inform everyday life.
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The Orator (2011)
Tusi Tamasese
Samoa
111′
While The Orator's status as Samoa's first feature film makes it a native landmark, writer/director Tusi Tamasese's deft command of atmospherics, tone, and rhythm transforms it into a genuinely noteworthy achievement. Primarily employing first-time actors to bring this delicately wrought tale to life, Tamasese centers his film on Saili (Fiaula Sagote), a diminutive pariah who lives with his wife Vaaiga and her wilful daughter at the outskirts of a remote jungle village. When Vaaiga's estranged family suddenly demands her return, Saili must settle the dispute through the Samoan tradition of oration. While frequent silent passages lend The Orator a meditative air, they also offer an opportunity to admire the resplendent cinematography of Leon Narbey (Whale Rider) and the subtlety with which Sagote evinces his character's remarkable transformation. Scene by scene, we witness a sense of self-worth being instilled in Saili, lending him the resilience necessary to fight for what he holds most dear. And when the climactic war of words erupts, we find ourselves hanging on every heartfelt word that leaves his lips.
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Worlds Apart (2015)
Christopher Papakaliatis
Greece
103′
Set in modern day Greece, "Worlds Apart" is comprised of three separate narratives each following a love story between a foreigner and a Greek. Each story represents a different generation falling in love during a time of socioeconomic turmoil that dominates Southern Europe as a whole,only to connect as a single story in the end. Almost like a triptych work of art where each painting stands alone,yet its true impact lies when viewed as a whole. "Worlds Apart", follows the characters difficult path to love and the complications that their world has. Nevertheless Greece,despite its harsh realities,is still a place where truth,beauty and humanity exist. A place where love can thrive even in the darkest hour. Release places in german speaking Switzerland january 19th 2017 Baden, Kino Orient Basel, Kult.kino Berne, Movie Brugg, Odeon Chur, Apollo Lucerne, Bourbaki Winterthur, Loge Zürich, Capitol Zürich, Houdini Olten, Lichtspiel, january 28 Thun, february 6 Release places in french speaking Switzerland march 1st Delémont Fribourg, Rex Fribourg, Rex: CinéBrunch february 12 Geneva, Cinelux Lausanne, Galeries Vevey Oron-la-ville, march 5
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Hana (2006)
Hirokazu KORE-EDA
Japan
128′
The time is 1702. A young samurai, Aoki Sozaemon (Okada Junichi) has left his countryside hometown, and is now living in Edo (now Tokyo), in search of Kanazawa Jubei (Asano Tadanobu), the man who killed his father. He is living in a dilapidated tenement house, in the poor quarters of the city of Edo. His neighbors in the so-called "row houses" are all good, solid folk who can never even hope to rise out of the squalor of their surroundings. Sozaemon, the provincial samurai, becomes friends with a variety of characters including a habitual drunk, an unsuccessful would-be petty official, a ragman, a perky girl, a doctor, and a scrivener. As the relationships between the characters unfold we are led deeper in the blossoming love story of Sozaemon and the beautiful widow, Osae (Miyazawa Rie). Although he has never forgot his task to find his father's enemy and to succeed in his vengeance, being around Osae and her son, Sozaemon feels a warm feeling inside, which leads to doubts about the entire act of revenge. However, to walk away from the "revenge-act (ADAUCHI)", could actually bring his entire family down, not only without the reward from the Shogun, but also, as a samurai, to be unsuccessful on revenge would be an act of cowardice, and a disgrace to the entire family name. Sozaemon, still not being able to decide on if he should take the act of revenge, goes on with his everyday life, teaching the neighborhood children mathematics, reading and writing. He wonders whether he can ever enjoy life without the specter of revenge and swordplay. With the discovery of the rich meaningful life rather than the meaningless death of a warrior, Sozaemon, together with his strange friends at the tenement row house, decides to plot an act of the lifetime...
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Yumurta - egg (2007)
Semih Kaplanoglu
Turkey
92′
Yusuf is a poet, trapped between countryside and big city, who returns to his small hometown after five years after receiving the news of the death of his mother. Ayla, a distant relative, awaits him in his now run-down home. He makes friends with Ayla and the mother's absence causes an argument with his own self.
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Araf (2012)
Yesim Ustaoglu
Turkey
124′
Pretty Zehra and handsome Olgun spend most of their young lives working in a service station cafeteria near a lonely highway. Their monotonous work shifts are broken up only by sparks of naive expectations of a brighter future. Everything seems transient about their surroundings. The once important industrial area is now a faceless place of economic waste and unemployment. Most of the area's occupants have all escaped to the big city in search of opportunity. But Zehra, Olgun and their friends still remain, caught somewhere in between the past and an uncertain future. Zehra dreams that love will take her away from her meaningless job and life at home with her strict old-fashioned mother. She becomes fascinated by an older truck driver, Mahur, who spends much of his time on the road. As Zehra's desire for Mahur turns into a tragic first love, her rebellious friend Olgun becomes more and more frustrated, stuck at home, not yet a young man on his own. Zehra and Olgun will experience a bittersweet rite of passage, leading to both suffering and awakening. But as they say goodbye to their childhood innocence, love and hope will help them to move forward.
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