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THE FIVE SENSES

Canada, 1999 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Jeremy Podeswa

The Five Senses, a Cannes '99 hit and highlight, is Jeremy Podeswa's outstanding follow-up to his equally accomplished Eclipse (MIFF 1995). An allegory, with characters standing in for the senses, the film takes place over an intense three day period after a young child disappears. Against this backdrop, five characters who live or work in the building across from the park where the child went missing are engaged in their own personal crises. During the course of the film, each character discovers an essential clue to his or her own true desires.

Ruth, a widowed massage therapist, needs to learn how to truly touch again. In attempting to console the mother of the missing child, Ruth takes steps toward a closer relationship with her own daughter, Rachel. Rachel is a troubled soul who feels that she is inadvertently responsible for the disappearance—she desperately wishes to see the world with new eyes.

Robert, a house cleaner, sets out to examine his romantic past by interrogating former lovers. Rona, a pastry chef who places no value on taste, has a vacation fling with Roberto, an Italian man who wants to learn to speak English in order to win Rona's love.

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