Movies that change your life… at TIFF 2016

Posted on June 3, 2016

It’s rarely that you see a movie that changes your life and shakes the ground that you’re sitting on. TIFF 2016 brought at least one life-changing movie everyday.

TIFF 2016 already brought more than one life-changing movie everyday. Whether it’s inspiration and a life philosophy that inspires you to do something different, whether it’s a director’s speech at the end of a screening that makes you see his work completely different and gives you an insight or how you take your emotions and put them out into the world, TIFF feels life-changing and I can’t help but to be grateful for everything that I experienced so far. And also for the fact that I trust my gut when choosing which movies to see from the program.



This is one of the best contenders for wining the audience award at TIFF 2016. Directed by Tomer Heymann and shot during the course of eight years, the docu-movie follows Ohad Naharin’s life, giving you an insight of how it was like growing up and developing the Gaga movement and everything that followed after.

Starting with his childhood, then following his move to New York where he got married and got to work with some of the most talented dancers in the world, then the birth of the Gaga movement – which has nothing to do with Lady Gaga, it started in the 90’s after he decided to leave New York and move back to Israel where he developed Batsheva Dance Company – and his best and his most critical moments.

I’ve been lucky enough to see and experience what is, probably, one of the best shows that Ohad Naharin ever created: DecaDance. Batsheva came to the Sibiu International Theater Festival two years ago and amazed everyone with their energy, their presence and it left many people wondering about the ending of the show – it was 10 minutes of doing the same moves, with dancers sitting and jumping on chairs, undressing and chanting a Jewish song related to the Easter holidays. It was sun from the deep ends of their beings and even though no one knew what it meant, it was so powerful. So the movie Mr.Gaga shows the birth of this amazing show.

Ohad Naharin was, is and will be an inspiration for many people. He changed the world. He changed a lot of dancers and made them understand that it is a heavy duty to carry his vision as a coreographer on stage every night, he made them feel that they need to experience and be part of the Gaga movement and work with emotions, with honesty and dedicate every fiber of their being to the stage.

The movie left everyone inspired, smiling and wanting to see more of Naharin’s work. It shows the depth and the fight that goes on inside a genius’s head. No matter what kind of work you do, the production inspires you to reach your heights.

Au-plus-pres-du-soleil-TIFF 2016

Au plus pres du soleil – Too close to our son

If you thought you know anything about karma, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This is the story of how every mistake and every little time that you try to cheat on life and people with anything – be it the truth or something else – karma will get you back at some point.

First of all, it’s a beautiful French movie directed by Yves Angelo who won a lot of Cesar awards, most of them for Best Cinematography and that translates to this movie as well. There are lovely shots with a summerish mood that both inspire and make you desire the French riviera.

Second, there are many life lessons to be drawn from it. And there’s a big twist in the script towards the end. Something that connects everything, puts everything into place and shows you exactly how life is, how “we may be done with the past but the past is not done with us”.

It’s beautifully shot and makes you aware of your mistakes. Makes you think about something, raises a question. I won’t spoil it so I’m going to leave it at that.


Their distance

“Their distance” or “Shiranai futari ” in Japanese was directed by Rikyia Imaizumi who already won an award at TIFF a few years ago – but he couldn’t attend to receive the trophee because he got into a huge fight with his wife (he told us during the Q&A session).

It was a combination of fortunate and unfortunate events, a lot of coincidences regarding multiple love stories, people who fall in love with the wrong person and the signs life gives you when it’s the right person for you. The cinematography was the best one I’ve seen lately, the japanese minimalism brings so much inspiration and it feels like fresh air in the morning, it feels new and it makes you see that there are so many beautiful things in simplicity and soft, faded colors. Visually, it’s the most entertaining experience in the first few days of TIFF.

There were many lessons to be drawn from this one. If you’re interested, you can see it again towards the end of the festival, on 4th of June, when it’s the other screening of this wonderful flick.

If you manage to get that much inspiration and change your life at least once everyday and improve it with empathy, with a new thought or with understanding something that you didn’t get before, then this festival gives you more than you came for.

Looking forward to the rest of TIFF 2016! And if you want another recomendation, here’s the most emotional movie I’ve seen in festival this year!

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