Feature Films

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The 2016 Kalamazoo World Languages Film Festival at Western Michigan University features the following feature films.
All films have English subtitles and most of those films are not rated.

Help us know how you enjoyed those films! Click on the links below to grade and comment about the films you watched, these are anonymous surveys.


In Félix and Meira, an unusual romance blossoms between two lost souls who inhabit the same neighborhood but vastly different worlds.
Giroux’s film is a poignant tale of self-discovery, a fascinating glimpse into the Hasidic community, and a modern love story set against backdrops both familiar and unknown.
  • Drama/Romance, in French/English/Yiddish, Québec, Canada, 2014, 106 minutes; directed by Maxime Giroux, who will be present on our opening night.
  • Rated R
  • Best Canadian Feature Film Award (Toronto International Film Festival, 2014); Best Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Canadian Film Borsos Awards (Whistler Film Festival, 2014); and more.
Click here to vote for this film. Buy tickets.

"congo, un docteur pour sauver les femmes (congo, a doctor to save women)"

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country constantly at war. A man, doctor Denis Mukwege, a 58 year old gynaecologist and surgeon, founded some 15 years ago the Modern Hospital in Panzi, in South Kivu, solely dedicated to women who have been victims of sexual abuse. Dr. Mukwege was awarded the Sakharov prize in 2014. He is outraged by a situation that he does not see as a fatality. This film gives a voice to him, other doctors and their patients; crying out to the world.
  • Documentary, in French, France/Senegal, 2014, 52 minutes; directed by Angèle Diabang.
Click here to vote for this film.
(There are no subtitles for this trailer, but there will be English subtitles during the screening)


A superstar musician falls in love with his manager and struggles to choose between his career and true love.

  • Romance, in Mandarin, China, 2015, 98 minutes; directed by Tony Chan.
Click here to vote for this film. Buy tickets.


Victoria, a young woman from Madrid, meets four local Berliners outside a nightclub. Sonne and his friends promise to show her a good time and the real side of the city. But these lads have gotten themselves into hot water: they owe someone a dangerous favor that requires repaying that evening.

This film is not a movie; it’s not about a bank robbery. It is a bank robbery. “Victoria” was shot in one single take. Two hours and eighteen minutes. No cuts. No CGI. No cheap tricks. No expensive ones, either. Just one shot.

  • Drama/Crime/Thriller, in German and English, from Germany, 2015, 138 minutes; directed by Sebastian Schipper.
  • Outstanding Artistic Contribution Silver Berlin Bear, Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas, Reader Jury of the "Berliner Morgenpost" Award (Berlin International Film Festival, 2015); Best Female Lead (Gaudì Awards, 2016); Outstanding Feature Film, Best Direction, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Best Cinematography, Best Film Score (German Film Awards, 2015); and more.
Click here to vote for this film. Buy tickets.

"El misterio de la felicidad (the mystery of happiness)"

Santiago and Eugenio are more than friends, they are life long business partners. They understand each other without words, they care for each other, they need each other. One day Eugenio disappears without leaving any clues behind. Santiago immediately notices his absence, but only realizes what happened when Eugenio's wife, Laura, lost and hopeless assures him that Eugenio has left. Santiago and Laura begin a journey in order to find him. 'The Mystery of Happiness' is a film about love, but goes beyond it, it pushes boundaries, it explores the idea of loyalty and estrangement, and it definitely puts dreams over long lost promises.

  • Drama/Comedy, in Spanish, Argentina, 2014, 92 minutes; directed by Daniel Burman.
Click here to vote for this film. Buy tickets.

"(the gate of departure) باب الوداع "

The Gate of Departure is a meditation on grief, death and psychological entrapment that dispenses dialogue and narrative for a visual experience that breaks the conventions.
You are invited to join us to debate after this screening.

  • Biography/Family, in Arabic, Egypt, 2014, 65 minutes; directed by Karim Hanafy.
  • Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Sounds, and Best Poster Awards (Egyptian Cinema Film Association Festival, 2016)
Click here to vote for this film. Buy tickets.

"millefeuille (hidden beauties) ما نموتش "

This is the story of a whole country through two young women, symbols of the Tunisian Revolution and future. One wears the hijab, the other one doesn’t. They both fight for their independence and freedom.  They fight against a cultural and religious rigidity established by an archaic society.  That same society that, after the Revolution, hesitates between modernity and traditionalism.
  • Drama, in Arabic, Tunisia, 2013, 105 minutes; directed by Nouri Bouzid.
Click here to vote for this film. Buy tickets.


Two men make the dangerous journey from Africa to Italy for a better life, but then face hostility and violence in this shocking look at the life-and-death struggle of refugees.

  • Drama, in French/Italian/Arabic/English, Italy/France/Germany/USA/Qatar, 2015, 107 minutes; directed by Jonas Carpignano.
  • Best Film, Best Actor Awards (Cairo International Film Festival, 2015); Best Directorial Debut, Top Five Foreign Language Film Awards (National Board of Review, USA, 2015); Best Actor, Best First Film, Telia Film Awards (Stockholm Film Festival, 2015); and more.

Click here to vote for this film. Buy tickets.

" テルマエ・ロマエ (thermae romae)"

Ancient Roman architect Lucius is too serious. His inability to keep up with the fast-moving times costs him his job. When a friend takes the dejected Lucius to the public bathhouse to cheer him up, Lucius accidentally slips through time and resurfaces in a modern-day public bath in Japan. There, he meets aspiring young manga artist Mami, along with others of the "flat-faced clan". Shocked by the many inventive aspects of Japan's bathing culture, Lucius returns to ancient Rome and garners tremendous attention when he implements these novel ideas back in Rome. As he time-slips back and forth between ancient Rome and modern-day Japan, Lucius' reputation as the ingenious, new bath architect begins to grow.

  • Comedy, in Japanese and Latin, Japan and Italy, 2012, 108 minutes; directed by Hideki Takeuchi.
  • Best Actor Award (Awards of the Japanese Academy, 2013); My Movies Audience Award (Udine Far East Film Festival, 2012)

Click here to vote for this film.

"zvezda (star)"

Three different persons, three different lives are connected in a mysterious way. 15 year old teenager suffering of misunderstanding, his glamorous and arrogant stepmother and the young untalented but full of optimism actress. Their destinies aren’t predetermined and their lives are very fragile.

  • Romantic drama, in Russian, Russia, 2014, 128 minutes; directed by Anna Melikyan.

Click here to vote for this film.

Click here to watch the trailer.


All films have English subtitles.