AbstractTHE 56th LOCARNO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL'Scompetition section (6-16 August, 2003) offered nineteen films mostly representing Europe except for two from Latin America, one from the US and five films from Asia representing five different countries. The overriding theme of the festival seemed to be human rights. Solitude across generations was the most explored subject. Masahiro Kobayashi's Onna Riha Tsushi No Koi (The Hairdresser) was in some ways an extension of Japanese films of passion and obsession in the tradition of Oshima among others. The interesting part was that the woman who was abducted by her secret admirer gave in so easily, which magnified the sad solitude of her routine life with her obsessive gambler husband. The fact that the camera deliberately avoided to accentuate the passion, which was already overflowing was another plus to this film that impressed the audience with its composition, framing and tempo but...