Volume 26, Issue 6 / June 2022

Fantasia International Film Festival 2021

As per usual the past few years Offscreen offers its annual report on our favorite festival, The Fantasia International Film Festival, a short time before its next year’s incarnation. To be exact, as of this writing, about two weeks prior. So this June 2022 issue places a focus on the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival with three different overviews/reports, starting with Randolph Jordan’s coverage of one of his favorite Fantasia regulars (along with many other Fantasians, I should add), Takashi Miike. In this article Jordan concentrates on Miike’s follow-up/reboot to his 2005 The Great Yokai War, The Great Yokai War: Guardians (2021). Jordan, father of three young ones, waxes philosophical about the pros and cons of a kid-friendly Takashi Miike film. My own report looks at a collection of about ten films whose themes coalesce around the omnipotence of the computer, Indigenous stories, toxic masculinity and the rape revenge film. And Frédéric St-Hilaire’s report concentrates on the Asian offerings. Continuing the East Asian connection (though not in a Fantasia context) is Christopher Brown’s interview with Taiwanese director Bon An (Black Sheep, 2016, Sen Sen, 2017). Concluding the issue is George Kowalik’s essay on two documentaries, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015) and Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine (2017), which look at the recent history of social and political unrest (Russian invasion of the Crimean peninsula, the Maidan Uprising) that is part of the political climate that has given rise to the horrifying ongoing events in Ukraine. With this hindsight of what is happening in Ukraine now, the two films are a sobering reminder of how fragile democracy and peace can be when facing unpredictable authoritarian governments. (Donato Totaro).

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