Centrul Astra Film

 

 

Astra Film Festival

Film catalogue

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  • Radio Jebel

    It all began when a radio transmitter appeared at the Mental Healthcare Hospital in Jebel, 24 km away from Timisoara. Though confronted with prejudice and bureaucracy, the patiens decide to start their own radio station right there, in the hospital. The inmates get ready to act as news reporters, interviewess, singers and technicians. A licence is hard to get, but still Radio Jebel is broadcasting these people"s craving communication. ...

  • Rapresent

    Bojan Radanov is one of the homeless young men living in Belgrade, a regular of the correction centres. He's searching for his basics in garbage bins, has homeless friends and compares himself to stray dogs. Nonetheless, Bojan is keen on hip-hop and is talented at drawing graffiti, that he signs as Rapresent, a combination of Rap (his favourite music), Res (respect for the street and its music) and Ent (as version of "end"). The young man is given an unexpected opportunity when his drawings call the attention of the Academic Film Centre and is accepted to work with a team of animators. The director follows his day to day activities that he presents himself, for us to understand him better. ...

  • Ravens

    The film tells the story of Dusan Vukovic, a father who decided to refuse the medal awarded to his dead son. Alexander was killed during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and the Slobodan Milosevic regime decorated him for bravery in defending his country. The father's decision to return the medal caused public disputes as well as domestic ones. For Alexander's parents, his death is pointless. They do not see it as the sacrifice of a hero, but rather as a tragic waste. His grandfather, on the other hand, belongs to the generation that had been indoctrinated in the communist spirit. His grandson died defending the nation and he is proud of him. This family, unable to reconcile, is the microcosm of the Yugoslavian society, where people fail to look beyond their own interpretation of the truth. ...

  • Rebel, rebel

    “REBEL, REBEL” offers fragmentary glimpses of the fascinating universe of two highly authentic teenage girls who prefer spending their time with boys and being separated from their parents. Delia and Silvia stand out from other kids their age. ...

  • Red Dust

    Red Dust is a creative, yet hard-hitting, journalistic style, environmental rights, documentary film. It tells the story of Ravenscraig Steelworks, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, in terms of pollution related illnesses, suffered and still being suffered by former workers, residents, and their children. The film aims to help these people to find a voice. By means of testimonials from local residents, the film shows a very real awareness amongst people, that there is much more illness being experienced, than there should be. The film reveals the former Ravenscraig Steelworks site is still possibly contaminated. Paradoxically, it is Europe’s biggest post-industrial, regeneration project. ...

  • Red Empress - The Life and Adventures of Ana Pauker

    Through a series of interviews with great historians and political scientists and with the help of archive images, the author re-constructs the image of Ana Pauker, the unofficial Romanian communist leader in the late fourties and early fifties, that is during the Stalinist years. This barely explored period of Romanian contemporary history, abounding in legends and misinterpretations, is presented from a perspective essentially based on verifiable truth. Although the collective memory retained her as a despicable person, responsible for all the tevils in the country, this image is but a distortion of history orchestrated by the communist propaganda for the benefit of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, the next in command who eventually became her successor. In an attempt to demystify Ana Pauker’s figure of a “criminal” and observing a chronological and thematic structure, the film casts light on a different facet of this emblematic character of Stalinist Communism. ...

  • Red Poppies

    The film was made in the framework of an anthropological research conducted within a (Boyash) Roma community from the city of Orastie, Hunedoara County. It addresses issues related to women's status, marriage, birth, abortion, contraceptives, domestic violence and prostitution through women's narratives. The viewer can understand these phenomena through the experience of the Romany women within their own community, and from the moments when they have to face off instances of institutional racism. The viewer will also observe the gap (and the lack of communication) between their perspectives and the point of views of those whom they confront with in the different situations of everyday life. The film identifies the strategies these women use against discrimination and how they construct their own world as a reaction to social exclusion and marginalization. ...

  • Regret to Inform

    In 1968, on her 24th birthday, Barbara Sonnenborn received a telegram announcing her husband's death in the Vietnam war. Twenty years later, in the company of a South Vietnamese war widow, she embarked on a journey to the place where her husband had been killed. In Regret to Inform, widows from both sides speak out, putting a human face on the all-too-often overlooked casualties of armed conflict: the survivors. Intercut with beautiful scenes of the serene Vietnamese countryside and shocking archival footage from the war years, the women's voices form an eloquent international chorus calling for peace. The widows transform their private sorrows into a collective acknowledgment that the price of war can be measured in many ways, but it is always too great. ...

  • Rehearsals

    Meeting for the first time, eight musicians from different corners of the world are brought together for a few days to rehearse the music of a Romanian legendary folk singer, Maria Tanase. ...

  • Remembering Gibarac

    The film is an account of the ethnic conflicts and forced migrations in contemporary Yugoslavia. It tells the story of the Croats from Gibarac, a village in Western Vojvodina in Serbia, Yugoslavia. During the 90's, an increasing pressure forced them to leave their homes and move to Croatia. The Gibaracs bartered their houses with Serbs from Croatia, who moved in their place. The process was gradual at first, dislocating one family at a time. Later on, it became a real exodus. Today, Gibarac people are scattered throughout around sixty cities all over Croatia, trying hard to adapt to their new life. However, nothing is like it used to be back home. The film investigates in what way and to what extent they have managed to preserve their Gibarac identity. ...

  • Requiem 4 Ephemeris

    The documentary follows a group of amateur fishermen who spend their free time on the shore of the Timis river, in the vicinity of the city of Timisoara. They share the passion for fishing and spend time playing the guitar, telling personal stories and stories they have heard from others, indulge themselves in petty talk, all the while waiting to catch the big fish. ...

  • Resolutions 2014

    The film presents slices of Alex's life, a young entrepreneur from Bucharest: a monologue on the awkward issue of dismissing several employees from his own company; a visit payed to his colleague Mariana and the discussion they have on clients who are unlikely to renew their contracts; a conversation between Alex and Ingrid, who talk about their relationship and the things they share; New Year's Eve and the fun they are having with friends; a car ride to teach Ingrid drive. After this realistic and fragmented depiction of Alex's life, he lays out his general views on life and problems in Romanian society in a frantic monologue. ...

  • Return to Taiga

    When Illume's film crew was filming their series Taiga Nomads, we lived in the age of the communist Soviet Union. The series told of the nomadic reindeer herders Evenk's life in the endless taiga in central Siberia. During the spring of 1994 the sane film crew returned to the taiga to visit, and see how much life in the taiga had changed. Return to Taiga also marks the last film of anthropologist, film-maker Heimo Lappalainen. ...

  • Returning Home - Revival of a Bosnian Village

    Filmed between 1999 and 2001, RETURNING HOME documents the return of the internally displaced Muslims and Bosniaks to their homes seven years after being expelled from an ethnically mixed (Bosniak/Croat) village in central Bosnia. The film is a sequel to WE ARE ALL NEIGHBORS, produced in 1993 by Granada Television in co-operation with Tone Bringa. The earlier film chronicled the breakdown in personal relationships between Muslims and Croats; the expulsion of the Muslim population; and the destruction of their homes by Croat (HVO) forces as war overtook the village of Dolina. RETURNING HOME shows how the dream of getting back to their village was a constant, burning desire of the refugees. Moreover, surprisingly we see how the Bosniak refugees find common understanding with the Croat refugees who took over their homes due to their shared experiences. ...

  • Revision

    On 29 June 1992, on the border between Germany and Poland, two farmers working in a corn field stumbled upon the dead bodies of two Roma ethnics from Romania. Much like a puzzle, the film lays down the string of events that led to their death , piece by piece. The director creates this investigative documentary as a reconstruction of a tragic event, apparently a hunting accident, cropping landscape fragments but also memory bits, by placing together statements of eye-witnesses, documents and testimonials of the relatives of the victims. ...

  • Right Between Your Ears

    Many people have a strong sense that their views are right and couldn't possibly be wrong. So how do we come to hold strong convictions and why is it hard to consider we could be mistaken? Through the eyes of a group of people convinced that they knew the date of the end of the world, Right Between Your Ears explores how people believe, how we turn beliefs into certainties, and mistake them for the truth. A stock trader with a young family, a philosophy student about to graduate, and a retail manager who became so convinced she quit her job of 18 years. As they face the consequences of their conviction, neuroscience and social psychology offer insight into how we can become convinced we're right, even when we're wrong. http://www.rightbetween.com/ ...

  • Rio 2016

    Two young gymnasts, Teodora and Andreea, aged 13 and 11, enjoy a different childhood. They spend their time training thoroughly to enter the national gymnastics team, hoping to go to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. The film tells a story of ambition and dreams, and of overcoming personal limits. The results of their efforts will be seen, probably, for only one summer at the olympics, when they will have their moment of glory in a sport that made history for Romania. ...

  • Rituals

    In a cinematic essay on life in an isolated village in the Baragan plain, the film explores the indefinite border between reality and myth, revealing the spiritual meanings the villagers assign to the most common things surrounding them. ...

  • River Voices

    Exploring such themes as fatalism and the rebuilding of a community during and after a disaster, RIVER VOICES takes the viewer on a journey of strength, resilience and heroism, as the city faced its most difficult challenge, fresh on the heels of the Great Depression. This documentary chronicles the story of how the community of Portsmouth, Ohio battled the devastating 1937 flood of the Ohio River. Although Portsmouth had a massive floodwall and extensive flood control system that protected the city for 24 years, the technology of man was no match for the river in 1937. Two-thirds of the city was covered in water and more than 34,000 people were left homeless. Told from the point of view of actual flood survivors, the documentary depicts a town with a remarkably strong sense of community, which enabled it to rebuild itself after such a devastating event. Through interviews, personal stories, historical photos, diaries and archival 16mm film footage, RIVER VOICES paints a fascinating portrait of history, culture, and way of life that extends beyond the story of Portsmouth: a snapshot of America as it was after the Great Depression and prior to World War II. ...

  • Rivers of Sand

    The people portrayed in this film are called Hamar. They dwell in the thorny scrubland of southwestern Ethiopia. They are isolated by some distant choice that now limits their movement and defines their condition. In their isolation, they seemed to have refined this not uncommon principle of social organization to a remarkably pure state. At least until recently, it has resulted in their retaining a highly traditional way of life. Part of that tradition was the open, even flamboyant, acknowledgement of male supremacy. Hamar men are masters and their women are slaves. The film is an attempt to disclose not only the activities of the Hamar, but also the effect on mood and behavior, of a life governed by sexual inequality. ...

  • Rodica Is A Good Boy

    Since his early childhood, Vasile Ghiman from a mountain village in Maramures considered himself to be rather a girl than a boy. He called himself "Rodica" and wore women's clothes. Vasile/Rodica grew up with this transsexual dilemma. At 30, he is still confused about his place in the community, although the people in the village have accepted him as he is, proving that rural communities in Romania may be more open-minded than most people might think. The film captures Rodica's confessions on camera, sharing with the viewer his anxieties and his attempts to come to terms with himself. ...

  • Roma connection

    In the Opera Square in Paris, tourists are approached by young Roma girls who ask, gesticulating, for donations for organizations that take care of speech and hearing impaired persons. In reality, the girls are neither deaf nor dumb, and they make around 100 Euro a day from deceiving the tourists. This is only one example of a criminal network led by the Roma in Bărbuleşti, an apparently poor village of Romania. They have control over important streets in Paris and Genève, but the French police has decided to act, with the support of the Romanian police. ...

  • Roma Portraits

    Under socialist conditions of fullemployament, the poorly educated Roma enjoyed a modest degree of well-being. During the present transition period, the vast minority of Roma have lost their jobs and many have fallen into extreme poverty. In this context of discrimination and despair, evangelism seems to be a ray of hope. During the month of June 997, a visual anthropology workshop took place in the town of Sliven, Bulgaria. The initial goal of the project was to train a small number of young Roma into anthropological video techniques. Following the training period, each of the roma students made a video exercice on a topic at their own choice. The workshop aimed to help the young Roma adress a wide audience and tell their stories about life in their marginal community. It was further expected that native video recorders would express in their work a much higher degree of sensitivity to cultural meaning that an outsider could do. ...

  • Romania, as seen by Norman Manea, Gabriela Adameşteanu, Mircea Cărtărescu, Florin Lăzărescu

    Four writers, four lifestyles, four different life experiences, and one country: Romania. For Mircea Cărtărescu „living in Romania is like swimming in a pool filled with sulphuric acid”. Norman Manea survived his deportation in Transnistria at the age of five and another exile to the States when he was 50. Gabriela Adameșteanu returned to literature after 13 years of political journalism and civic activism. The youngest of the four, Florin Lăzărescu, splits its time between writing, photography and organizing a literature festival. Four subjective geographies overlap and form a complex and surprising map of a country that is still trying to find its place in the world. ...

  • Romanian

    The story of the concerts in the Româneşti Cave (Poiana Rusca Mountains) began 26 years ago as the dream come true of a speleologist – Doctor Constantin Lupu from Timișoara. Ever since, tourists from all over the world come here every year looking for unique moments of harmony at the place where nature and music meets. The film briefly shows fragments of concerts and preparations, focusing on the initiator and owner of the project himself. ...

  • Romanian Autumn

    In 2011, TIME magazine proclaimed the protester as human of the year. It all began with the Arab Spring, then spread to Istanbul, Syria, Madrid and many other places around the world. Last year, the protests reached Romania: Romanians everywhere took to the streets. Not (just) because of low salaries, the meager life conditions they have to suffer, the injustice that they have to endure daily from a system that is stronger than them, but also for Rosia Montana. The bill regarding mining in Rosia Montana has become a symbol for Romanians who, at long last, have decided to make their voices heard. The short film, “Romanian Autumn”, documents the protest movement that united tens of thousands of people in an unprecedented peaceful manifestation on the streets of Bucharest. ...

  • Romanian Voices - Sicily - Romania Round Trip

    The journey of the Romanian immigrants returning from Italy takes three days and three nights. The camera follows them from the Italian town of Gela to the North of Moldova. The road, wearisome and seemingly endless, gradually shows that it is not all that marvellous at all to work in Italy. On the contrary. Romanian workers tell of how little they got paid, much less than the Italians doing the same, while contracts are out of the question. They can hardly live on 15 or 25 Euro a day. Saving for home is highly unlikely. As the journey draws to its end, their story grows ever more dramatic. Three thousand kilometres resounding of the disillusionment and broken dreams of people who will go back to work in Italy, hoping for something that only proves to be an illusion. A journey melting hatred and humour together, just as the languages – Italian and Romanian crossbred – spoken by the characters, on a background of humiliation. ...

  • Room 11, Ethiopia Hotel

    Ethiopia Hotel used to be part of the Italian army barracks during the Fascist occupation. From the hotel windows you can see the street, and the street children who struggle to survive each day. The film recounts the life of street children in Gondar, Ethiopia, by witnessing the communication and collaboration between the filmmaker and two children in a limited spatial setting, room 11 in the Ethiopia Hotel. This limited space allows the film to focus on communication and captures some of the ideas that enable them to endure and survive on the street. ...

  • Roots deep in the stone

    Dionysos comes from the sea. The mast of his boat is a vine arbourlike those rising out of the fresh cellars in the streets of baroque boroughs of the „Vale d'Itria”.For two thousand zears potters have been making the same jars for preserving wine in the “trullo” beside home-made olive oil, cheese and bacon. In a forsaken estate, branches from a two hundred zears old vine grow throught tactful stone rings earved from the block. In the “cantina” of Locorotondo, an EG funded palace of technologz and marketing, an ecologist is searching for adjectives tu qualify the limpiditz, aroma and flavour of a white wine born from the red earth of the garden like “vignete”. ...

  • ROSIA MONTANA, TOWN ON THE BRINK

    Rosia Montana has been thrown into a state of disarray ever since the arrival of a Romanian gold mining corporation with powerful Canadian shareholders. The corporation is planning on razing a large portion of the town and its surroundings to the ground in order to gain access to the rock there, which happens to hold the largest gold deposits in Europe. The mining process will involve the use of highly toxic cyanide to extract the gold from the rock - arguably a necessary risk to spur economic development in the area, but potentially fatal for the local environment and the beautiful landscape. More than 2000 people are poised to lose their homes. Many of them have chosen resettlement in big cities, but a small group of inhabitants are battling against the Company and defending their homes with all they have. A long-standing fight of the people in a deeply divided village where the division between the opponents and supporters of the mining project splits families down the middle. ...

  • Rouge Nowa Huta

    The Polish industrial citi Of Nowa Huta, "New Foundry", was intended to symbolize the utopic promise of communism. Now This clossal Metallurgical complex embodies the kind of monstrosity that this ideology gave birth to. A fortune teller plunges us into the heart of this broken dream and offers us a vision of the future. But some twenty years after the fall of Berlin Wall, who really knows what dreams men want to come true? ...

  • Rough Cut

    The window displays of the Tehran clothing shops catch the interest of passersby who stop and linger. Gradually, the onlookers meet the stares of the grotesquely mutilated mannequins, disturbing reproductions of the female figure. The mannequins, redefined according to the regime's law, have become a metaphor for Iranian women's veiled and covered bodies. In the 1980's the mannequins disappeared from shop windows altogether, reappearing only after the war between Iran and Iraq. First the male mannequins reappeared, followed by the female mannequins, modified by the manufacturers in order to minimize the feminine characteristics, like a warning call sent to Iranian women and society, an absurd totem intended to perpetuate the established order. ...

  • Royal De Luxe, Back from Africa

    For the past fifteen years, the street-theatre company Royal de Luxe has travelled across the world, seeking to meet the most diverse forms of culture. Having decided to settle in the remotest territories of northern Cameroon for six months, they chose to interact with a country where theatre, whether indigenous or imported, did not exist. The region was so isolated, that the very attempt of photographing the local people was an intrepid endeavour. This theatrical laboratory gave birth to the half-caste son of the "big" giant, a huge puppet six and a half meters tall. Walking about in the African bush, the huge puppet generated the same elation and verve among the African villagers as he produced among European spectators on his return from Africa. The film is an account of the Royal's latest human and artistic adventure. ...

  • Royal Palaces in Romania

    The exterior and interior architecture of the royal palaces in Romania (Peles Castle, Controceni Palace and the Royal Palace - at present the Art Museum in Bucharest). The film tells their story and examines their meaning within Romanian history and culture. ...

  • Ruina

    3000 people take over the building of a failed bank, a 200 meters skyscraper, to make it their home. The 750 families formed a socialist micro-society in a vertical town. The administration of the city ignores the project and people from the neighbourhood despise them, considering their place a slum which invaded the city center. Against all odds, the inhabitansts continue to adapt the space to their needs and even establish an internal regulations system. ...

  • Rumenye, Rumenye

    Kletzmer music originates in Central and Eastern Europe and has become a symbol of Jewish culture. Kletzmer used to be a functional music, always played at weddings and others Jewish ceremonies. Today, this music link European and Jewish culture and stands for the post-Holocaust revival of the latter. Kletzmer music is like a bridge connecting the sufferings of the past with the hope for conciliation and understanding in the future. American ethnologist Yale Storm is world famous for his research of Kletzmer music. He gives an acount on the revival of Kletzmer from a double perspective: as a historian and as a musician. No other country had a stronger impact on Kletzmer music than Romania. " Doina-Jewish Blues" celebrates the connection between Jewish and Romanian music. The film features Elisabeth Schwartz, the famous Yiddish singer whose ascendants were born in Romania. ...

  • Runaway

    This film is set in a refuge for girls in Teheran and follows the stories of five girls who come here. These girls, in leaving situation that has become intolerable, show incredible courage and resourcefulness. The film explores their expirience of male authority, their longing for respect and freedom, and their hopes for a brighter future. The centre is run by the dynamic and charismatic Mrs. Shirazi, who protects the girls from their relantionships. The film shows how iranian women are learning to challenge the old rules, and how rapidly their country is changing, ...