Film Festival 52

Our ginormous guide to the best of the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival

Innovative docs, fractured fairy tales, Disney ditties, dinosaurs, and at least one scene-stealing camel highlight the Fest's fifty-second year. Our critics take a peek at some of the more buzz-worthy entries below.

THE 52ND SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL runs April 23–May 7. Main venues are the Sundance Kabuki, 1881 Post, SF; Castro, 429 Castro, SF; Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft, Berk; and Clay, 2261 Fillmore, SF. Satellite venues are Premier Theater, Letterman Digital Arts Center, Bldg. B, One Letterman Drive, Presidio, SF; and Roxie, 3117 16th St, SF. Tickets (most shows $12.50; special programs vary) and additional information at

>>52 pick-up
SFIFF rides again, with a quietly terrifying North Korea doc
By Cheryl Eddy

>>In the realms of the real
Sacred Places and Z32 -- SFIFF's unconventional docs
By Max Goldberg

>>Unhappily ever after
The film fest's fractured, freaky, and feminist fantasies
By Kimberly Chun

>>Oaktown fugue
Everything Strange and New: stillness interrupted
Lynn Rapoport

>>Tune Boom
SFIFF's catchy ditties and dino-riffs
By Dennis Harvey

>>Shots in the dark
Our short, sharp takes on other SFIFF flicks

Also in this section

  • Ye of little faith

    A priest struggles with his flock in John Michael McDonagh's tasteful, frustrating 'Calvary'

  • Rise up singing

    'Alive Inside' charts one man's quest to bring music to patients with memory loss

  • Shots fired

    A PFA series brings World War I films into focus