IN FOCUS: LIMINALITIES
Ethnocineca‘s 2023 programme focuses on transitional phases and intermediate states that become recognisable in microcosmic observations of personal biographies or are echoed in comprehensive socio-political reflections of social change. We are interested in cinematic approaches to and reflections on those periods of life or social states of limbo in which the old has already passed, but the new has not yet been achieved.
The films of the focus programmes devote themselves to personal conflicts and social challenges that are situated in these unfinished, unnegotiated or uncertain stages. In addition, we illuminate hybrid filmic approaches to staging and narrative strategies to explore these topics beyond the documentary format. Consequently, on the level of content as well as form, the focus is on engaging with and breaking up established structures, dependencies, interests, norms, and dogmas.
With the four focus programmes, we thus open up a differentiated approach to the nuances of suspended states and the forces at work within them.
BLURRED BOUNDARIES | HYBRID CINEMA BETWEEN FICTION, DOCUMENTARY & THE ETHNOGRAPHIC
Boundaries between fictional staging and documentary narrative strategies are blurred in the focus programme BLURRED BOUNDARIES, creating thereby new forms of cinematic expression through the interweaving of ethnographic and documentary practice and fiction.
SWIRLING IN THE DREAMS is dedicated to the shamanic worldview in its ritual practice and the bequeathed spirit world in Taiwan where images of the everyday are mixed with impressively staged mythological imagery. In L’ÎLOT, the restrictions of cinematic fiction and documentary character are dissolved in a new filmic narrative. Magical realism blurs with scenes of patrols by two security guards in Lausanne, Switzerland. The conceptual Heimatfilm KORENI places the audience and the protagonists into the enclosed space of a cab. Told cyclically, the film creates a poetic image of the filmmaker’s Croatian home village through the stories of the passengers. The film ANHELL69 itself becomes part of the staging of a portrait of a marginalised queer Colombian generation. By interweaving fictional feature film footage with documentary records of the experiences of those affected, the film becomes an expression of rebellion against the establishment.
BETWIXT AND BETWEEN | EXPERIENCES OF FLIGHT & MIGRATION
BETWIXT AND BETWEEN is dedicated to the topic of flight as a liminal experience. In four films, this focus programme engages with the experiences of flight between departure and arrival, as well as with uncertainty and being in-between after the hardships of flight.
In NOUS AUTRES, refugees exchange their experiences of migration in the hold of a truck. In this re-enacted setting, poetically reflective footage intertwines their narratives with historical trans-European stories of migration. The filmmakers of LO QUE QUEDA EN EL CAMINO accompany a single mother and her minor children on their 5,000-kilometer flight from Guatemala to the U.S. border. In NOTES ON DISPLACEMENT, the director himself takes the perspective of a refugee and with his camera joins a group of refugees trying to reach Germany from Greece via the so-called Balkan route. Confronted with constant exclusion, the protagonists in the film EN ATTENDANT LE DÉLUGE find themselves in a Kafkaesque limbo. Between life-saving dialysis and the hope of a residence permit in Belgium emerges an emphatic picture of waiting in uncertainty that is marked by humanity.
REVISITING RELATIONS | SHIFTING ROLES AND EXPECTATIONS
The films in REVISITING RELATIONS negotiate the dynamics between societal expectations and the fragility of intra-family relationships between mothers and their children. We question socio-culturally learned ideas and role models and direct the view to family life.
In UNE VIE COMME UNE AUTRE, the director explores the family video archive and discovers the hidden story of her mother. She finds a narrative that brings her closer to her mother’s emotional world. In CLOUDY MEMORIES, the filmmaker approaches her own family with an equally moving intimacy, following her grandmother’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease and shedding light on the role of her mother, who cares for her. In DESTINY, we meet a young woman who, since her mother’s death, takes care of her intellectually disabled father. Despite the pressure within her family, which is deeply rooted in traditional social role models, she holds on to her dream to one day study medicine. The filmmaker of MAMÁ reflects on his relationship with his mother in a social environment marked by violence against women. In coming closer to each other, they start a process that slowly closes the wounds of the past.
CONTESTED CONNECTIONS | A MORE THAN HUMAN WORLD
The focus programme CONTESTED CONNECTIONS explores human-nature relationships and opens new spaces for reflection on the inseparable interconnection of humans with their habitat and the animal world. The films invite us to a different view on the climate catastrophe looming on the horizon of the near future.
Ten years after the Fukushima Tsunami, the essay film ALL OF OUR HEARTBEATS ARE CONNECTED THROUGH EXPLODING STARS explores the invisible bonds between humans and living things and asks how humans and nature can reunite after the trauma of natural disasters. TERRA IN VISTA tells of seasonal harvest workers in the fields of Europe and depicts how they find themselves in harmony with nature and in turning away from social norms. VIDA FERREA follows a train across Peru and tells of social upheavals and effects on the environment along the railroad line that was built to exploit natural resources for the capitalist world market. Experimental and playful, BEIJING ZOO, interrogates the artificially created meeting space, explores the habitat of the zoo and the abstract architecture that man has produced for himself and the animals.