IN FOCUS: ENTANGLED REALITIES
Nothing exists independently. Everything is connected. Global entanglements and interdependencies as well as their direct effects on our personal everyday lives are brought before our eyes every day: In the worsening climate catastrophe, in armed conflicts and their worldwide effects, in economic as well as humanitarian crises and conflicts, and finally in the Corona pandemic, which has also made global interdependencies more visible. The shadows of the past also have an impact on rethinking the present and influence structures, actions, and ways of life by means of which we try to understand today’s world.
In four focus programmes we highlight this year’s programme theme ENTANGLED REALITIES that is dedicated to the web of meanings of inextricably intertwined realities and their interpretations and discuss the cinematic, local, temporal and above all interpersonal dimensions of lifelines and their interconnections in a complex world.
CONNECT | FORMING RELATIONS
The focus programme CONNECT – FORMING RELATIONS deals with the delicate balance between proximity and distance in relationships that evolve between filmmakers and their protagonists. Looking for Horses gets into the unequal friendship between men, Soy Libre follows the relationship of siblings, and Uncomfortably Comfortable that between an artist and a homeless New Yorker: In all three films the act of filmmaking itself enables the filmmaker to create a connection between people or to deepen these bonds. The two directors of Bucolic and Letters2Maybe also examine the complexity of emotional contradictions in relationships. Bucolic illustrates the inner dynamics of an atypical mother-daughter relationship, while Letters2Maybe uses cinematic expressions to collaboratively explore the experiences of migrants in Houston.
DISCONNECT | SPACES OF EXCLUSION
DISCONNECT – SPACES OF EXCLUSION is dedicated to works by filmmakers who consciously explore spaces of exclusion to bring us closer to and tell us about the destinies and stories of the people who inhabit them. In Memoriam and Ushiku give insight into two isolation facilities for refugees – one in the Moria, the once largest refugee camp on European soil, the other in a so-called “detention centre” in Japan. So foul a Sky examines borders as a social in-between space where people pass through when moving between Venezuela and Brazil. Little Palestine – Diary of a Siege is a stirring contemporary testimony about the dramatic consequences caused by the ongoing siege and isolation of a neighbourhood in Damascus during the Syrian war. Room without a View tells of the fate of African and Asian women who are placed as domestic workers in Lebanon. In it we learn how architecture takes social exclusion and structural discrimination into account as windowless mezzanines for these workers are already included in the planning of new apartment complexes.
RECONNECT | CROSSED TEMPORALITIES
RECONNECT – CROSSED TEMPORALITIES explores how films facilitate connections between past and present by using audiovisual means to create new entanglements. I don’t remember that I dreamed intersects the story of an alleged kidnapping by aliens during the Chinese Cultural Revolution with the desire for freedom of a young Chinese woman, questioning thereby the political forces our personal freedom is subject to. Emulating the nostalgia of old Hollywood films, a hotel owner resists demolition in A Pile of Ghosts to avoid making way for another Chinese test-tube city. Essayistically interwoven, A Custom of the Sea illuminates the historical development of the Mediterranean as a cultural encounter space. Under the white Mask is a cinematic remix of a film from 1958 that reinterprets it to question the after-effects of a European-colonial self-image that still exist today. The film Slow Return is dedicated to a completely different dimension of time. Pointing out the long-term effects of human activity on nature through an examination of tourist developments around the melting glaciers at the origin of the Rhone.
INTERCONNECT | SHARED LIFE STORIES
INTERCONNECT – SHARED LIFESTORIES presents films whose directors take a personal approach to the linkage of individual fates in the context of history. The filmmaker of Eskape embarks on a journey into the past to get closer to her mother, who had to flee Cambodia in 1981 after the fall of the red Khmer. Radiograph of a Family tells of Iran’s turmoil between tradition and modernity through the director’s reappraisal of her family history, while the filmmaker of When a farm goes a flame sensitively works through the conflicts of his parents’ African-European marriage. In A Night of Knowing Nothing, anonymous letters from a film student lead us through a love affair that seeks to overcome the rigid caste system in India in turbulent times of student protests. And Stories from the Sea cinematically interweaves the stories of three women who embark on a search for meaning in the Mediterranean and come to terms with their own past.