Four Best Films to See at the Miami International Film Festival Today

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This weekend at the MIFF was a marathon of thought-provoking film, decadent parties, and endless question and answer sessions with directors from around the world. And it was just the beginning. The festival has a full week left to show the remainder of its 103 selected films. Maybe you were too busy drinking and dancing your face off at Winter Party shindigs to catch any films this weekend, but now it's Monday and you have no excuse not to partake in some hardcore MIFFing. Here's what you should hit up today.

The Student
A curious college student wanders into the murky world of politics at the University of Buenos Aires. His journey exposes the underhanded workings of the larger political scene. Director Santiago Mitre's debut feature has already won acclaim at the Toronto and New York film festivals, but will probably find its most comfortable North American home in Miami, where South American natives will comprehend the Argentinean politics its steeped in.

Underground Hip-Hop in China
What could be more novel than a documentary about hip-hop in China? Making its world premier at the MIFF, this film from director Jimmy Wang focuses on an artist named Weber, who reinvents rap with a raw new feel. His voice reflects and represents the angst he and his working class friends experience as a result of being left behind during China's economic boom. But soon state cultural officials notice the success of Weber's message and style. They sponsor the rise of more innocuous versions of his output, and Weber and his posse are drowned out by the blaring noise of government-backed media domination. Can underground Chinese hip-hop survive?

Ben Lee: Catch My Disease
Charismatic Australian pop star Ben Lee may not be much of a household name, but he was once lauded as the greatest Australian songwriter who ever lived. This playful documentary, filmed over the span of nine years, includes a lot of familiar faces. Claire Danes, Wynona Rider, the Beastie Boys, Michelle Williams and Jason Schwartzman all make cameos in this flick that gives an intimate look at the world of celebrity.

180 Seconds
The title of this film stems from the amount of time it takes to commit a robbery. That is if you are part of Zico's precision-obsessed crime gang. His heists are executed without leaving a trace -- no bloodshed, no bullets. Zico takes extra pains to plan the gang's highest stakes job ever, casting himself as the strategist and his sister Angelica as the security system hacker. A fast and powerful muscle man and a clever assistant round out the team. But Zico soon finds out that even the perfect plan can leave some variables unaccounted for. Colombian director Alexander Giraldo presents a thrilling story about the perfect crime gone wrong.

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