SECTION: Feature Film Competition
Restless in the here and now
Ever since the beginning of film history, the longing for a better life has been what cinema is all about. The "dream factory" not only means reaching for the stars, but also unmasking dreams as such by breaking the promises of happiness down to reality. And it is precisely here that Eastern European cinema looks particularly closely. It shows under more challenging conditions very personal stories of people who try to wrest a certain dignity from their everyday lives – between old and new slogans and corruption, between bureaucracy and tradition. Existential interpersonal stories are presented from the Macedonian-Greek border through the Kazakh provinces to Mars, analysing their socio-analytical core with precision, but never blatantly obvious and often with a tendency to sarcasm.
They include the new film by the exceptional young Russian director Ivan I. Tverdovskiy, as well as THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY by Vladimir Blaževski, THE LOAD by Ognjen Glavonić and CRYSTAL SWAN by Darya Zhuk, which had been developed or presented at our co-production market connecting cottbus (coco). Of the twelve competition entries from 23 co-production countries, half of them come from female directors, and many of the films have female protagonists at the centre of the plots.
Almost all of the films have heroes and heroines who remain homeless in the here and now. Faithful companions of real life who are inherently contradictory, restless and often overtaxed as they, oscillate between the desire for self-realisation and the quest for the social security that they have lost. Sometimes, they look for their happiness in house music, other times, in children's music workshops and, then again, just simply in an zoo monkey that is on the run and becomes the symbolic figure of the protest "against whatever establishment". They are descriptions of situations in a global society which has run out of steam after the “faster, higher, further” promise of post-ideological freedom and saw its moral compass go astray in the ensuing populist frenzy. BB
THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY
GODINA NA MAJMUNOT
Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Kosovo / 2018 / 112 min