Four must-see foreign films at SXSW

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The Belgian film BLACK follows a 15-year-old girl torn between loyalty to her gang and her love for a rival gang member. The film is part of the SXGlobal category, which showcases films from across the world.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Toronto Film Festival
  • Every year, South By Southwest showcases hundreds of narratives, documentaries and experimental works. In an effort to expand diversity this year, the festival includes a substantial number of films from foreign countries, going so far as to create a SXGlobal category under which a select number premiere. The Daily Texan takes a look at four foreign films across all categories worth checking out at this year’s festival.
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  • Baby Bump (Poland)
  • In his latest experimental work — and first feature — writer and director Kuba Czekaj immerses viewers in the chaos of adolescence. Told through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy, “Baby Bump” conveys the ups and downs of a changing body, turning his refusal to accept growth into a blend between reality and fantasy. In keeping with the tumultuous nature of adolescence, the film utilizes vibrant visuals, rich symbols and enigmatic sequences to drive the narrative, alternating between fact and fiction in the same way that the 11-year-old protagonist does. 
  • Section: Visions
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Premiere Time: March 12 at 9:15 p.m. 
  • Premiere Location: Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S Lamar Blvd.
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  • BLACK (Belgium)
  • To Mavela, a 15-year-old girl who struggles to fit in, the Black Bronx gang becomes a haven in which she is accepted for who she is. Despite their lawless ambitions, Mavela pledges lifetime commitment, confident that her first true calling will remain her last. When she falls in love with Marwan, a member of a rival gang, she finds herself torn between following her heart and remaining loyal to the family that took her under its wing. Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah capture the consequential fallout in their latest film, “BLACK,” showcasing the power of love and loyalty in environments that seek to eradicate them. 
  • Section: Narrative Spotlight
  • Running Time: 95 minutes
  • Premiere Time: March 12 at 1 p.m. 
  • Premiere Location: Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 320 E Sixth St.
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  • Kill Me Please (Brazil)
  • In her first feature, writer and director Anita Rocha da Silveira blends darkness and innocence to capture the influence of threat on local youth. In Barra de Tujica, the West Side Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a string of murders send residents into fear over the prospect of being targeted. Among these residents is Bia, a 15-year-old girl whose encounter with death drives her to evade further threat at all costs. The events that transpire challenge stereotypes about adolescence, womanhood, religion and youthful “innocence,” captured with emphasis on an aesthetic pleasure that contrasts the morbidity of death, violence and discovery. 
  • Section: SXGlobal
  • Running Time: 101 minutes
  • Premiere Time: March 12 at 9:15 p.m.
  • Premiere Location: Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 320 E Sixth St.
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  • Mr. Gaga (Israel)
  • To choreographer Ohad Naharin, dance is not limited by structure, codification or physical appeal. In his eyes, dance should be a completely somatic experience, relying on instinct and physical intuition to convey deeply moving messages and experiences. The movement language that has resulted, “Gaga,” serves as an immersion into the senses, requiring dancers to think with their bodies, rather than their minds, so as to remain true to the human experience. Director Tomer Heymann captures the essence of the movement in his latest documentary, “Mr. Gaga,” showcasing the roots of the language while assessing its impact today. 
  • Section: Documentary Spotlight
  • Running Time: 100 minutes
  • Premiere Time: March 11 at 6 p.m.
  • Premiere Location: Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 320 E Sixth St.