Centrul Astra Film

 

 

Astra Film Festival

Film catalogue

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  • I Am the People

    January 2011 in Egypt was marked by anti-government demonstrations. While tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo, poor villagers in the country’s south followed the tense situation on Tahrir Square on their TV screens and in the daily newspapers. It is from their perspective that this documentary captures the political changes in Egypt, from the toppling of President Mubarak to the election and fall of Mohamed Morsi. The film reveals the villagers’ hopes and disappointments, and shows that despite the wild events, very little has actually changed in their lives, Anna Roussillon's interviewees fretting more about their irrigation systems and pregnant wives than ideological struggles and political emancipation. ...

  • I and Lucia

    A young couple expecting a baby is adapting to their new situation. The two of them try to become responsible adults and to prepare for the arrival of their newborn, always displaying an optimistic tone and observing the changes that this event brings forth. This observational documentary captures the importance of small moments, such as assembling a cradle, choosing the clothes, picking a name and the decisions that are made while waiting for the main event. ...

  • I Know How

    Boro Miranovic, a former actor, campaigns to be President of the small Republic of Montenegro. His electoral bid consists of cartoonish television spots of him dressed as a gladiator or a body builder giving simple-minded solutions to the pressing issues of the day. In order to remain on the ballot, he needed at least 2000 supporters; but as it turned out, only 200 of the 2000 signatures on his list were valid. This film takes a humorous look at the larger than life buffoonery of his presidential campaign, which is an example of the types of campaigns that happened in many Eastern European countries after the fall of communism. ...

  • I Love My Music! Egipt, Korea, France, Hong Kong, Cuba, Liban, Japan, Austria

    Ten-year-old Esraa lives in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Her passion in life is singing. After school, she takes extra lessons at the Royal Society of Arts. She and the rest of her class are rehearsing for their Mothers’ Day concert. ...

  • I Love My Music! Norway, England, New York, Canada, Egipt, Napoli, Greece, Korea, Thailand, Harlem, Cuba, Ivory Coast

    ...

  • I Love You As You Are

    Every year, in Lisbon, at the beginning of summer, Saint Anthony's Day is celebrated. In the oldest districts, street festivities and popular community marches are organized. On Saint Anthony's night, each district presents its march in a competition parade along the city's main avenue. This film follows a family from the Bica neighborhood during the preparation and rehearsals for the parade through the point of view of its various members. The expectation grows: will Bica neighbourhood win this year's March? ...

  • I Shot My Love

    Seventy years after his grandfather escapes from Nazi Germany to Palestine, Israeli documentary director Tomer Heymann travels to Berlin Film Festival where he meets German dancer Andreas Merk. Some time later, when Andreas decides to join Tomer in Tel-Aviv, he not only has to cope with a new partner obsessed with documenting his every single step, but also to manage the complex realities of social insertion as a German citizen trying to find his place in an Israeli family. I Shot My Love tells the personal but universal love story of an intense gay relationship unfolding against the backdrop of the challenges posed by larger family and national stories. An intimately told, richly textured, occasionally visceral account, the film unfolds as an exercise in raw honesty, which results in a rewarding, albeit at times uncomfortable viewing experience for the spectator confronted with the events taking place in front of Tomer's unrelenting rolling camera. ...

  • Iagalo

    The protagonists of the film are the members of a Gypsy music band. People in the community call them Iagale, meaning fiery, because of their electrifying music. Their fame goes far beyond their village home. In the film, they speak proudly about their admirers, who include stars like Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. But in spite of their international success and fame, they are not completely happy because at home they do not feel accepted as part of the majority. ...

  • If 6 was 9

    The film is the portrait of a 50 year old man who tries to prove that he is "a normal person". Corneliu Simionescu finds his peace by making movies, including production, acting and sound. This is the reason why he sometimes argues with the filming crew about subjects related to filmmaking. The favourite characters he enacts are Saint Nicholas and the Romanian feudal ruler Ştefan cel Mare. Fed up with fighting with the state authorities and with the other residents who fear him and believe he is "crazy", the protagonist looks for salvation in religion because, as he says, the relationship with God is constant, while the one with people is not. ...

  • Igrushki

    In the town Zhlobin of Belarus, after 21 years since the Soviet Union collapsed, most of the locals make a living from making and selling soft toys. Their only customers are the passengers of the trains passing by that make a brief halt in the station outside the town. However, this itinerant trade is a more difficult activity as it might seem, since selling things in the station is illegal and the authorities are always there, ready to stop the merchants to get near the trains. ...

  • Imagine a School...Summerhill

    In 1997, Summerhill, the famous coed alternative boarding school, was threatened with closure by the British Labor Government because it refused to compromise its educational and social philosophy. The film follows a number of students from the ages of eleven to sixteen as they grow up and make important decisions about life and their education at the same time that they become involved in the legal and political fight to save their school. This is an extraordinary documentary about an exemplary school in England, in which the students, the staff and a few formidable barristers take on OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education) and Tony Blair's Labor Government to fight for its existence and the lifeblood of alternative education throughout the world. ...

  • In Between

    The film focuses on the effect of decades of violence, precipitated by internal armed conflict and drug trade, on the children of Colombia. Colegio Agropecuario is a boarding school in Pueblo Sanchez, on the eastern border of the Colombian Andes. It is a program developed by the local authorities with the help of international organizations, as part of a peace plan. It offers shelter and education to some 400 children, of diverse backgrounds, from different regions of the country. The film is built on interviews with one of the students of this program. John William speaks about his experience with a guerilla group, for whom he was forced to work on a coca plantation. At 15 years of age, he is familiar with weapons and the market rates for coca. He is also in the second grade, and, together with classmates half his age, has just begun learning to read and write. While the film tells troubling stories of children deprived of their childhood, it still gives a sense of hope in change for the better. ...

  • In Between

    There are people leaving behind loved ones and sense of place against their will, to escape a home country turned into a warzone. However, there are also those who leave of their own free will, sacrificing the stability of their lives to help those forced into flight. A deeply moving tale about the hidden costs of empathy, “In Between” follows the silent struggles of an Estonian family of Muslim faith separated by the woman’s humanitarian work in a Jordanian refugee camp. Although reunited through small everyday habits, their Skype calls don’t abolish but only reinforce the distance. This destabilizes the sense of purpose the young woman finds in her job, revealing the limitations of her emotional resilience and the clash between values and emotional needs. Director Liis Lepik astutely portrays how the barely noticeable can chip away at your inner strength, leaving you bare, struggling to find your mental footing. ...

  • In January, Perhaps

    Dan, a Romanian emigrant, hardly earns a living in Spain. At home, in his village he had a wife and worked as a history and geography teacher. He could hardly afford paying the heating bills so he left, as many others, to Spain. He worked on the black market, in constructions. Now he is homeless, in Barcelona, sleeps in parks or in cardboard boxes, prays to the Lord and dreams. He cannot go back home like that. What is he expecting? January 2009. After Romania entered the EU, in 2007, the Spanish Government took measures to reduce the flow of Romanian migrants: thousands of Romanians coming to Spain are not allowed to get employed by January 2009. Dan is waiting for this two year transition period to end, so he may find a job and get his life back. A whispered harsh story. A drama told in an endless poem, on pursue, failure and belief. ...

  • In Love Zone

    The film follows a Mansi family, living on the shore of the Pelym river in Western Siberia. Pelym is on the northern edge of the Urals, on the divide between Europe and Asia, and it used to be a location for some of the many remote penal colonies during Stalinist times. In the middle of the taiga, and among the remains of a deserted forestry area, people attempt to reinvent themselves in the midst of abandoned socialist infrastructure. We meet a teenager who has never seen a village or a town in his life, a blind man who sets traps to catch wild animals, and a mechanic who assembles spare parts into weird machineries. The documentary proposes an encounter with one of the many faces of Russia. ...

  • In Mayor's name

    Welcome to Piatra Neamţ, Romania! At the Townhall, people queue for audiences even if the mayor himself is out of office. Everything looks like a game closely captured by the camera. Each look, each gesture create an allegory of power. Tragic, comic, and at the same time very serious, the documentary alludes to Ionesco's absurdism. ...

  • In Search Of Happiness

    In 1934, Stalin had the strange idea of founding a so-called Siberian Israel, with the capital Birobidzhan. The hero of the film, Boris Rack, was born in the very same year, and the story of his life mirrors the fate of the weird land conceived by Stalin. Boris Rack is a person who lost his nationality, his culture and his language. His children migrated to Israel. The only concrete thing in his life is the ruined kolkhoz he used to work for as a manager. ...

  • In Search Of The Hamat'sa: A Tale Of Headhunting

    The Hamat'sa (or "Cannibal Dance") is the most important-and highly represented-ceremony of the Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) people of British Columbia. This film traces the history of anthropological depictions of the dance and, through the return of archival materials to a First Nations community, presents some of the ways in which diverse attitudes toward this history inform current performances of the Hamat'sa. With a secondary focus on the filmmaker's fieldwork experience, the film also attends specifically to the ethics of ethnographic representation and to the renegotiation of relationships between anthropologists and their research subjects. Although the Hamat'sa was outlawed by the Canadian government from 1884 until 1951 as part of a broad policy of assimilation, the Kwakwaka'wakw maintained knowledge of the dance, in part through participation in performance displays in ethnographic contexts such as films and world's fairs. During the same period, they came under intense anthropological scrutiny, especially with the voluminous work of Franz Boas and the popular photography of Edward S. Curtis. Since the 1950s, the dance has reemerged in both ceremonial and intercultural contexts, and now claims pride of place as a kind of cultural emblem for the Kwakwaka'wakw. ...

  • In the Arms of Buddha and the Drum

    The film is the story of the Kagai-ool family from Tuva. Tuva lies in Central Asia, in Siberia, not far from the Mongolian border. Mama and papa Kagai-ool live alone in a yurt, moving from the steppe to the forrest and back several times a year. They have one horse, some sheep, goats and cattle. The entire Kagai-ool family depends on them in the coming winter. Their son Alexei is a stone carver and lives in the city of Kyzil but many things keep him tied to his home village. He is the modern nomad. City life does not prevent him from hearing the voices of the spirits who live in the stones he carves. The Kagai-ools are "in the arms of Buddha and the drum". Buddhism and shamanism have survived here in spite of the attemptsof the communists to destroy people-s traditions and old beliefs. Buddha and the shaman are always present, even if the modern world has sometimes penetrated the traditional life stile. ...

  • In-Between Days

    This is the story of Chiranjit and Bubai, two young transgender friends from Kolkata. Rejected by society, and even by their own families, they have no other choice but prostituting themselves to well-paying customers, while also working for an NGO working in LGBT advocacy and HIV awareness. Chiranjit dreams of becoming an important business person, while Bubai seeks a loving partner. Time goes by, and their dreams come true to some extend: Chanjit gets promoted, and Bubai finds a new boy-friend. But their former bond ceases to exist. ...

  • Independence

    Independence is a former one-person apartments building in Sibiu, transformed into a block of flats. The very narrow apartments make life not very comfortable here. Razvan is a child living in the Independence building, whose mother left to Western Europe for work. A sensitive portrait of a child who tries to live a normal life, but who sometimes is overwhelmed by the feeling of missing his mother. ...

  • Independence

    Independence is a former one-person apartments building in Sibiu, transformed into a block of flats. The very narrow apartments make life not very comfortable here. Razvan is a child living in the Independence building, whose mother left to Western Europe for work. A sensitive portrait of a child who tries to live a normal life, but who sometimes is overwhelmed by the feeling of missing his mother. ...

  • Industrial

    Since its beginnings, Vladimirescu has been a migrants' village. Looking back to its last hundred years we discover at least 5 waves of migration, some of them with major effects on the local culture and customs. Listening to the locals' opinions, the film puts together a giant puzzle about the changes which took place in this community. In time, the main German community left, being replaced together with its customs by a mixed Romanian working class, which continued to migrate from time to time to or from Vladimirescu. ...

  • Intercession of the Virgin Day of the Kiliny Family

    The film introduces the Kiliny family, focusing on the patriarchal figure of Anany Kleonovich Kilin, a philosopher, a writer, and the spiritual leader of one of the most viable communities of Old Believers in Russia. The Old Believers, also known as Old Ritualists, came into existence in the 17th century, when a part of the Russian population refused to adopt the imposed changes in the traditional Russian Orthodox practices. They were harshly persecuted under the tsars and later, and many of their communities lived in almost complete isolation for centuries. After several unsuccessful attempts, Anany Kleonovich finally found a place to settle with his family, in the suburbs of a southern city. In time, more and more relatives, and members of the old believers community joined them. The film shows them as they prepare and celebrate the feast of the Intercession of the Virgin, which coincides with Anany Kleonovich’s birthday. It is the portrait of a lively community gathered around a powerful and charismatic man, whose spirit has not been defeated by the crucibles in his life. ...

  • Intersection

    At a four corner crossing in a small mountaneous village, time flows differently. Various vendors, lumberjacks, policemen and nuns are among the people who constantly spend their days selling, buying, quarreling, drinking and gossiping while the rest of the world rushes past them. ...

  • Into the Field

    Into The Field follows the everydays lives of nuns in the Romania Orthodox monastery of Varatec. Documenting the nuns's relationships and roles within their community, it focuses on the ordinary and mundane aspects of their daily routines, conveying how seemingly secular activities are interwoven with the more explicitly spiritual sides of monastery existence. Utilizing an observational style of filming combined with both informal and formal interviews, it explore the concept of "obedience work" and how this principle is followed on a day-to-day basis. The film provides a look at the larger structure of the monastery, as well as glimpses into several of the nuns' personalities, backgrounds, and life choices that led them to the convent. It additionally incorporates several sequences of stop-motion animation into the film narrative structure, in order to reflexively depicts some of the anthropologist's own challenges of working in the field. ...

  • Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment

    More than 100 years ago, men and women from the south-east of Europe migrated to Palestine to form kibutzes in order to form an independent socialist Jewish state. Suffering recent decline, this social structure has enough young adepts, but continuity might not be realistic in the actual economical context. ...

  • Invisible Lives: Romanian Night Workers In London

    This documentary explores the experiences of several Romanian immigrants who work during the night in London, while the inhabitants of the city are resting or having fun. A construction worker, a man working in the hotel industry, a prostitute and a salesman share their stories about what they do, from the more difficult moments, to the peaceful ones when the dawn breaks. All these portrait sketches intertwine with the visual portrayal of a large cosmopolitan city that never sleeps. ...

  • Ioan

    Ioan is the priest of a mountain village in Transylvania. He is known as an exorciser. Strange things happen sometimes in the small village church, as Father Ioan has the power to unchain terrible forces. The film approaches this phenomenon with caution, leaving the viewer the freedom to judge whether it is just a fraud or a real insight into another world. ...

  • Ion

    The film presents the unusual destiny of Ion Beleaua, a blind Romanian immigrant living in Liège since the early '90s. Ion lost his sight as a child but he managed to overcome his disability with the support of his wife Maria, also visually impaired, and even to take risks and confront dangerous situations, such as speaking his mind during the communist regime. Today he is one of the six visually impaired persons employed by the Belgian police for transcribing telephone interceptions. ...

  • Ion Nicodim - A Passanger on Earth

    A film about the artist Ion Nicodim, about the place of his birth and inspiration - Dobrogea, about the creation process, about our origins. ...

  • Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?

    An interview with the acclaimed linguist and activist, Noam Chomsky, is seized as an opportunity by director Michel Gondry to use complex and unique methods to accompany their talk. The director employs freehand drawing, digital animation and a 16mm camera to translate Chomsky's vision into bold cinematic imagery. Trees that grow out of a stylized form of the human brain, to be turned into complex geometric shapes, turn back into groups of people in a continuous cinematic review, which explains the way in which we perceive the world using language. ...

  • Isolation Chamber

    A working day in a slaughter house near Bucharest. ...

  • Iulian. A True Story

    Iulian, an orphan boy living on the streets and looking for his family, finds a new one in his adulthood. Iulian talks about how hard life is in an orphanage, about his getaway and the struggles he had to overcome to create a new existence. He made new friends in Bucharest who are trying to help him. This expository documentary portrays a charismatic character with an emotional life experience. ...

  • Ivetka and the Mountain

    Between 1990 and 1995 two girls, Ivetka and Katka, from the village Litmanova in Eastern Slovakia, met with the Virgin Mary each month. They were ten and eleven when it started. Both of them could see her. Ivetka could also talk to her and transmit messages. After the revelation ended, Katka got married and now lives the life of a normal private citizen. Ivetka joined a covent and spent 9 years there. After fullfilling her initial vows she decided to leave... The place of their revelations - Zvir Mountin near Litmanova - has become a famous place of pilgrimage. Millions have visited already and many continue to come every day... The film recollects Ivetka's inner and outer experience of meeting the Virgin Mary and opens the question: how to live with a revelation? ...