For me the International Filmfestival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2009 was:
The Hungry Ghosts (NYC): entertaining citystories
Blind Pig who wants to fly (Indonesia): surrealistic, wonderful disorientating, puzzeling visual poetry. Quote: ‘Schiet met je boog, maar niet in mijn oog. Want mijn oog is voor iedereen, en mijn hart alleen voor jou.’ I just called to say I love you by Stevie Wonder will never sound innocent again.
Also see Dana Linssen’s excellent review about this weird film.
The Fixer, The taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi (VS): not one second of fiction, a great journalistic documentary. ‘ Truth is much stranger than fiction’ (Mark Twain)
Jalainur (China): nice scenery of Mongolia, lots of snow and steaming trains, still do not have a clue what the story was about
Native Dancer (Kazakhstan): magical film about some crooks (petrol dollar gangsters) and a healer. The story is based on an real character who lives about seven kilometres outside Almaty. An intense story, with a heart breaking ending: neither happy, nor sad. Director Gulshat Omarova witnessed several rituals (seldom without blood) and told in the Q&A she sincerely believes in the power of this witchcraft. Currently Omarova lives in Rotterdam: ‘a great city to write scenarios’ and she travels to Kazakhstan three, four times a year. In 2006 she was asistant director of The Mongul.