Centrul Astra Film

 

 

Astra Film Festival

Film catalogue

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  • Earth in Your Hand

    The film explores the issue of the migration of Saxons, or Transylvanian Germans, to Germany. Before 1989, many Saxons living in Romania applied for migration. Very few, however, actually received the approval of the communist authorities. Some managed to flee across the border. Still, others waited long years simply to receive permission to visit their relatives in Germany. With the fall of communism, the borders finally opened, and the majority of the Saxon population decided to leave Romania. As a result, entire villages were depopulated. The ethnic configuration of the populatipn changed completely in just a few years. The film folloes the lives of some of the few Saxons still living, near Sibiu, in the village of Hammersdorf. ...

  • Earth Will Tremble, The

    Luchino Visconti based this 1948 film, one of the major works of neorealism, on a novel by Giovanni Verga. In a sophisticated pictorial language, La Terra trema (earthquake) depicts a Sicilian family’s futile struggle against poverty and exploitation. Using only amateur actors, Visconti managed to combine human interest and social comment. ...

  • East of Eden

    Economic transition is generally a difficult process for most citizens of ex-socialist countries on their way to liberal capitalism: followed by job cuts, painful dealings with the realities of market economy and getting used to a new lifestyle. The employees of the Celarevo Brewery are a non-typical example of people who have gotten rich in the transition process, having sold their stock to the international company Carlsberg for a total of 53 million euros. Overnight, their lives changed dramatically. ...

  • Easy Street

    When Charlie the Tramp wanders into a mission he is smitten by Edna and puts back the collection box which he has taken. Reformed, he becomes a policeman and is assigned to rough-and-tumble Easy Street. Unable to trick or beat Eric the Tough, he puts Eric's head in a gas pipe and anesthetizes him. A hero, he now helps many poor people living on Easy Street. Eric escapes jail, Edna is kidnapped, but Charlie (recharged after sitting on a doper's needle) conquers all. Easy Street is transformed as is Eric. ...

  • Ecopolis China

    A Finnish professor and a Chinese business magnate plan different forms of ecological cities to prevent the chaos caused by migration of two billion Chinese rurals to the cities, in the next 15 years. The teacher’s ideal is a laboratoy city in a flourishng valley, while the businessman plans to build a self-suficient skyscraper, the tallest in the world. Which of them will be the urbanistic future of China? ...

  • EGGS FOR LATER

    In this intimate documentary director Marieke Schellart reveals how she struggles with the biological clock. She would like to have children, but the right guy has not arrived yet. To give herself a bit more time she wants to extend fertility by freezing her eggs. However in the Netherlands this is not allowed. She talks frankly with her friends and parents about her plans and doubts, meeting support and resistance along the way. For Marieke a long journey has started which even takes her abroad, trying to find a solution to a problem that concerns many women today. ...

  • Eighteenth birthday

    The day before turning 18, Goska leaves the Youth Educational Center of Lodz to go home, where she dreams of throwing a bang-up birthday party with her boyfriend and friends. However, the first discussion with her mother ends up in a fight. Like a multi-facet mirror, the film shows various aspects of the young protagonist's personality, capturing with delicacy the anxieties and problems of adolescence. ...

  • Electro

    The very first applied documentary that studies the Romanian Electro phenomenon thrills the audience with the author's excitement on his profound documentation that captured on film numerous interviews with the main characters of the Romanian Electro stage (it also includes fans or foreign artists visiting), concert excerpts, live or recorded acts. The style is direct, modern and yet dapper, in perfect accord with the subject. Behind the wrapping, itself Electro - unprecedented in Romania - hides a precise and ample X-Ray of the indigenous Electro phenomenon. ...

  • Elves

    These thrilling mythical characters still play an active role in the world of the scattered villages. The film illustrates the stories told by “witnesses” of the elves’ existence. An attempt to reveal the rural atmosphere that makes contact with the Fourth Dimension possible. ...

  • Emanuel

    Emanuel is a convict in Rahova penitentiary in Bucharest. His engineer diploma did not provide a decent living. Trying to make quick money, he became a drug dealer and he was caught. Now he tells the story of how he ended up behind bars, how money has changed his life and what to expect when he will get out. ...

  • Employment Office

    The two filmmakers with a background in anthropology, Charlotte Grégoire and Anne Schiltz, indirectly question the (non-)sustainability of the contemporary Belgian welfare state model, in a ciné-verité inspired style. Assuming the role of an observer/witness, the camera captures in detail, by means of shot-reverse shots, assessment meetings between the officers from a public employment agency and the people applying for unemployment benefit. They qualify for it only if they follow the administration’s procedures and prove they’ve been actively searching for a job. The confrontation between the facilitators of an impersonal system and the particular cases, different from person to person, highlight, on the one hand, the exclusiveness of the bureaucratic jargon, the lack of power, the contempt, desperation and resignation, whereas, on the other hand, the image of a dehumanizing system sharpens gradually and subtly, and comes across, in the end, as insufficiently adequate to properly understand or satisfy the individual needs and expectations of the citizens it serves. ...

  • EMPTY HEARTS AND FULL WALLETS

    I personally want to know and let the world know what really happened in Romania during that phenomenon called „December 1989”. I believe it involved conspiracy, diversion, riot and murder, revolution and counterrevolution, repression and manipulation, a military coup and popular euphoria. Each of these one at a time and all at once. When we discuss about 1989, we cannot afford to get only the convenient things out of the event. And then I believe it was, first of all, a state crime. And that the truth about the revolution, much sought after for 22 years, actually hides a state crime. ...

  • Empty Room

    Challenging our understanding of radicalization and its reasons, “The Empty Room” is a deeply moving portrayal of a global problem personified: a Belgian family is faced with the aftermath of their 19 year old son’s death, who had left to wage jihad in Syria. Banding together with other parents in her situation, the mother fights against the silent disappearance of her son through the cracks of the judiciary system, demanding that his death be officially recognized and that she be let to grieve properly. Of course, her struggle is not easy, as she has to cope not only with her overwhelming loss, but also with the unspoken blame cast on her for not preventing her child’s indoctrination. But by making everyone her audience, from Parliament officials to teen-agers in high-school, she questions issues of responsibility and victimhood, unveiling our deeply flawed understanding of them. our deeply flawed understanding of them. ...

  • End Of Summer

    Set in a small Romanian village, the documentary follows a group of high school boys during the last nights of summer vacation. In spite of the cocky attitude they display after dark, their passage to maturity is powdered with hidden insecurities about the future, about love, manhood and identity. ...

  • Enduring Life

    The Oostveen family lives in a quiet and peaceful street, in the same house where they have lived for 40 years and hope to stay for many more. The man of the house is 89 years old, his wife is two years younger and they have four sons. The eldest son, Rinus, is 57 years old and still living with his parents. Their days are planned following specific routines, in which way, for better or for worse, they entertain and take care of themselves and each other. For example, they are concerned with the preparations for their evening meal during the entire day. The elderly couple as well as their son have specific roles in the household. Outside of the house, their activities follow patterns that are also as tight as possible. All of this offers them great comfort. ...

  • Engelthal - The Valley of The Angel

    The film documents the present status of a small village hidden in a valey of the Sibiu region. Historical documents mention it as early as the 14th century as Engenthal, meaning narrow valley in German. By the middle of the 19th century, the place is refered to as Engelthal, valley of angels. The settlement has always been the smallest and least populated in the area, but today it has become a ghost-village. The buildings, including the Saxon church, are in ruin. There is some hope, though, for the future, in the form of a restoration project conceived and conducted with much enthusiasm and determination by visual artist Tara von Neudorf. ...

  • ESPERANTO. CHILDREN OF WATER. BRETANIA, SENEGAL, GUADELOUPE, MAROC.

    Arthur, Rachid, Stanislas si Clyd traiesc in cele 4 colturi ale Atlanticului. Desi au doar 10 ani, ei incearca sa salveze mediul in care traiesc. Fac o ancheta de teren si se confrunta cu probleme ecologice majore legate de tara lor. Realitatea lasa apoi loc fictiunii, cand fiecare devine actor intr-o poveste inedita. Toti sunt uniti de aceeasi grija majora: salvarea bunul lor cel mai de pret - APA. Fiecare dintre cele 4 episoade ale serialului ESPERANTO, COPIII APEI prezinta un copil care se confrunta cu o problema legata de apa, in Bretania, in Senegal, in Maroc si in Guadelupa: Artur si algele verzi; Stanislas si padurea de mangrove; Rachid si seceta; Clyd si coralii. In fiecare etapa a periplului nostru, intalnim, asadar, cate un copil care il interpreteaza pe Esperanto (tanarul si cutezatorul razboinic pe care Zeita Akvon il trimite in tinuturi indepartate pentru a ajuta popoarele lumii sa-si salveze apele aflate in pericol). Cine este copilul? Cum este viata lui? La ce viseaza el? Cum isi imagineaza lumea? Atatea intrebari care-si vor gasi raspunsul vizionand documentarul ESPERANTO, COPIII APEI. Mesajul filmului este acesta: fiecare dintre copii poate fi un Esperanto, un erou care salveaza Terra, planeta albastra. Documentarul este prezentat in premiera in Romania, fiind lansat in Franta in 22 martie anul acesta, de ziua mondiala a apei. ESPERANTO, COPIII APEI. Clyd si coralii - Guadelupa / 26' Problema: disparitia coralilor Amenintate de deversarile reziduale in ocean, constatam o degradare rapida a ecosistemelor coraliene. Adevarate schelete de ecosisteme remarcabile, recifele coraliene sunt locul de dezvoltare a numeroase specii de pesti si sunt cele care protejeaza litoralul de cicloane. In Guadelupa, copiii descopera si pun in scena povestea «Vraja semintei albe » si pericolul in care se afla poporul lui Pedro si Koro. ...

  • Essay on a landscape

    An everyday sight or an exotic vision, instantaneous or obsessive, minuscule or panoramic, the landscape only exists through our emotions, our sight, our representations. The power of the landscape of Buoux comes from it's harmony, the correspondence between the memory of the water in a limestone area it dissapears between the rocks and human memory which dissapears in the depth of history. The traces of the ancient past are much more present and tangible in the landscape than the contemporary marks of human life. ...

  • Ethnoscape

    The film director outlines, on the background of the multicultural jigsaw in London, a few relevant lady portraits. They come from Italy, Spain, Brasil or Nigeria, have various professions (athlete, economist or stylist), but are all young and open to the camera. Their stories, recollections and identities merge with paradoxes and stereotypes. For example, their stereotypical ideas about London and Londoners are the same, regardless of their origin. By the dynamic montage of the portraits, the film director gets a composite picture, a metropolitan (inter)ethnic landscape mirroring the world we live in. ...

  • Eunuchs: India's Third Gender

    Kirian is a homosexual living in India, who wished he had been born a woman. In order to change his gender he joined the traditional Indian sect of the Hijras, or Eunuchs, and had himself castrated. Shardabai is the traditional Empress Eunuch of Rajasthan. She rules over 105 eunuchs in her territory and is considered to be holy and deeply respected by all who meet her as an ascetic who has overcome the dichotomy of being neither male nor female. She has risen above and beyond the oppositions of gender and the traumas that come with this. She is considered both wise and a holy woman - the keeper of a esoteric knowledge and power. In a society where gender roles are strongly polarized, India is one of the few cultures that has traditionally given people who neither men nor women a high status. The Hijras of India were once wealthy and respected by the royal courts as entertainers, dancers and guardians of the royal harems. But today these ancient beliefs and customs are dying. Today, Rehmat Guru, who lives in Mumbai has to live by renting out her fourteen eunuchs as prostitutes in the slums of the city. The film explores an ancient and esoteric tradition with great intimacy. We discover the private motivations that lead many Indians to undergo the traumatic and dangerous complete removal of their genitalia. ...

  • Every Good Marriage Begins with Tears

    Migration is usually analysed from the point of view of immediate material problems. The issue of the immigrants' children is the object of recent discussions. What culture do children of the 1950-1970 immigrants belong to? Do they fit into the Western European culture, or are they still part of the culture of their parents? The film makes a statement about what we call "culture clash" in the contemporary world. ...

  • Exclusive suburb

    Ica, Laci, Pisti and Miklos live in a garden suburb of Budapest. They are homeless. They eat, they work, they have fun and sometimes they cry. They are, in short, alive! The camera follows them for eight months and documents their daily routine as well as some dramatic moments which bring changes in their lives. ...

  • Exiles, The

    For 12 hours one Friday night, from late afternoon until dawn, director Kent MacKenzie follows a handful of urban Indians. Yvonne is pregnant, commenting on her life and dreams as she shops, walks home, cooks dinner, and watches her husband Homer leave with his friends. Homer and his pals go bar hopping, play some poker, and end up, bottles in hand, with other Indians on a hilltop. During the night, the men pick up women, there are fights, there's camaraderie, and Homer reflects on life in the city versus life on the reservation. At dawn, Yvonne watches Hector from a window as he and two pals and two women head somewhere. "Let's do it again tonight," says one. One of the first independent American filmmakers draws the painful portrait of the tragic destiny of an American minority. ...

  • Extreme lands

    An insight report on the living conditions of the original population of Chukotka. Due to gouvernment policies most Chukotka natives who live on whale fishing and hunting have been moved to the countryside to be resettled in squalid city housing where they have no chance to continue their traditional way of life. Most children of the families who do remain in the countryside are forcibly sent to boarding schools. There are efforts to teach them indigenous skills, but teaching is merely theoretical so that once they return to their villages, children experience a break with their own culture. Their main language has become russian and they face difficulties in re-adjusting to their parents way of life. Yet they maintain a yearning to find a balance between the old and the new and many of them try to find ways to reconcile with their cultural identity. ...