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Valentina

Evie Blake

It’s 2012 and pho­tog­ra­pher Valentina Ros­selli is liv­ing with her lover, Theo Steen, in Mi­lan. She’s been with him for a year but re­fuses to com­mit to any­thing more than what they al­ready have. When she is of­fered a photography as­sign­ment to cap­ture peo­ple in­volved in a shadier form of de­sire, she goes into a world that re­veals parts of her she never knew ex­isted. In 1929 Venice, Belle, an al­ter ego of a so­cialite, plays out her fan­tasies by lead­ing a se­cret life of a cour­te­san. Decades set them apart but lit­tle do Valentina and Belle know that their lives are in­ter­twined.

A Hun­dred Flow­ers

Gail Tsukiyama

The year is 1957 and the place is China. Chair­man Mao is in power and has de­clared a new open­ness in so­ci­ety: The in­tel­lec­tu­als fear it a trick and Sheng, a teacher, has promised his wife Kai Ying that he will not jeop­ar­dise their fam­ily’s safety. One morn­ing be­fore their son Tao’s sixth birth­day, Sheng is taken away and sent to labour camp for writ­ing a let­ter crit­i­cis­ing the Com­mu­nist Party. A year later, Sheng is still not home and Kai Ying strug­gles to hold her fam­ily to­gether while mem­bers of her house­hold hide guilty se­crets and fight to find peace in a world where or­der is fall­ing.

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