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United Nations Association Film Festival: A look at ‘Guangzhou Dream Factory’

“Their Communism is better than some democracies.” This line from the documentary “Guangzhou Dream Factory” elicited some chuckles from the audience. The light was dimmed, and the small screening room was crammed with ardent viewers coming from drastically different walks of life. In fact, many of them had made this pilgrimage to the United Nations…

Coming-of-age films a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival

Mature treatments of coming-of-age stories by international filmmakers are a staple of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and this year was no exception. On Day One of TIFF, I saw the touching German film “Exit Marrakech,” directed by Caroline Link (“Nowhere in Africa”), about a privileged German 17-year-old Ben (the very handsome Samuel Schneider) who is summoned to Morocco one summer by his absent father, Heinrich. In Morocco, Ben wants to meet people and see the real country they live in, while Heinrich prefers to read about it from his luxury hotel. When Ben meets a beautiful young prostitute, he impulsively follows her home to meet her family, worrying his father and putting himself in danger; Ben is diabetic and embarked on this adventure without necessary preparations.