Films 2021

CHIAO CHÉRIE

Written & directed by Nina Kusturica, Director of Photography Michael Schindegger, Sound Andi Pils, Editing Nina Kusturica. Austria 2017, 87 min

To make phone calls, send money, surf the net – that’s what brings people to this small call shop in Vienna. Homesickness and love, worries and hopes, doubts and uncertainty – all these issues are discussed in the small phone booths, where homeland and belonging stand in total contradiction. To keep in touch or to say farewell? – In her latest film, Nina Kusturica (Little Alien) tells of living in a foreign land and the yearning to overcome distances.


FLESH OUT

Written & directed by Michela Occhipinti, Director of Photography Daria D’Antonio, Sound Lavinia Burcheri, Editing Cristiano Travaglioli. Italy 2019, 94 min

Verida is a modern girl. She works in a beauty salon, is addicted to social media and hangs out with her friends. Still, she is engaged to a man chosen by her family. Like many girls her age, she is under pressure to gain a substantial amount of weight in a tradition called gavage, in order to reach the voluptuous body considered in Mauritania a sign of great beauty, charm, wealth and social status. The wedding is fast approaching and meal after meal Verida is starting to challenge everything she always thought was normal: her loved ones, her way of life, and not least, her own body.


SONGS OF REPRESSION

Written & directed & filmed by Marianne Hougen-Moraga and Estephan Wagner, Sound Jan Schermer and Paul Bijpost, Editing Niels Pagh Andersen and Estephan Wagner. Denmark 2020, 89 min

In the middle of an idyllic valley at the foot of the Andes in central Chile lies the “Villa Baviera”. But the beauty of this modern tourist resort hides a dark past

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. Built on the siteof the former Colonia Dignidad, a sect with the sadist Paul Schäfer at its centre committed atrocities there for decades. After Schäfer fled and was subsequently sentenced, many inhabitants left the colony to build a future far away from their traumatic experiences. Yet some 120 people across three generations still live in the place where they experienced and carried out physical and psychological violence. They oscillate between reality and extenuation, processing and repression, remembering and forgetting. The filmmaking duo Estephan Wagner and Marianne Hougen-Moraga gained unique access to the victims and perpetrators of Colonia Dignidad. SONGS OF REPRESSION creates an oppressively absurd atmosphere and shows the contrasting ways of dealing with trauma through the haunting statements of contemporary witnesses.


TASTE OF CEMENT

Written & directed by Ziad Kalthoum, Director of Photography Talal Khoury, Sound Ansgar Frerich, Editing Alex Bakri and Frank Brummundt. GER/LB/SY/AE 2017, 85 min

In Beirut, Syrian construction workers are building a skyscraper while at the same time their own houses at home are being shelled. The Lebanese war is over but the Syrian one still rages on. The workers are locked in the building site. They are not allowed to leave it after 19.00. The Lebanese government has imposed night-time curfews on the refugees. The only contact with the outside world for these Syrian workers is the hole through which they climb out in the morning to begin a new day of work. Cut off from their homeland, they gather at night around a small TV set to get the news from Syria. Tormented by anguish and anxiety, while suffering the deprivation of the most basic human and workers right, they keep hoping for a different life. After The  Immortal Sergeant, Ziad Khaltoum composes an excruciating essay on what it means to live in exile in a war-torn world with no possibilities to return home. Precise camera framing, unorthodox editing, and dreamlike narrative detours are the trademarks of a daring, imaginative and visually challenging cinematographic work.