Centrul Astra Film

 

 

Astra Film Festival

Film catalogue

0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

  • Ubuhle Bembali- The Beauty of Flowers

    Ubuhle Bembali means “beauty of the flowers” and it is the name of a music band in South Africa. The members of the band are Zulu migrant workers, who put their life experience into music and dance. The performances are reflections of their social trauma. The film explores the connection between reality and dramatized facts. ...

  • Umberto D.

    An elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on a government pension in Rome. Umberto and his dog are faced with eviction by a greedy landlady who would rather rent his room by the afternoon to adulterous couples. He must find a solution in order not to lose his humble room and end up living in the streets. Shot on location with a cast of nonprofessional actors, Vittorio de Sica’s film, considered by prominent critics as the best of the Italian neorealism, is more about the struggle of a once honourable man to keep from falling from poverty into shame. ...

  • Uncle Joh Still Has a Farm

    It's not economically rewarding to be a farmer in Norway today. And because of this, there aren't many full time working farmers left. This is a close and truthful portrait of a stubborn and special man in his sixties - who refuses to quit being a sheep-farmer, even though his bookkeeper told him to.That's why my Uncle still has a farm. ...

  • Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service

    The film reiterates the story of Antony Trayanov, who gave life to one of the most well-known cartoon characters in Bulgaria – Suncho (Sleepy, the main character in the famous TV program, “Good night, children”) and who lived most of his live in anonymity. Although the film was initially considered a biographic project, in the end it became a political documentary presenting the particular case of a man who fought against the system. ...

  • Under Surveillance

    The film traces the way in which a key-institution of communist Romania – the Securitate – has acted during the 70s and 80s to control, survey and, in some cases, to repress the citizens with the purpose of domesticating them, ideologically speaking. It sketches a portrait of the Securitate at that time through the direct experience of certain people who agreed to share their stories upon consulting their files. By presenting these testimonials, the film wishes to entice the curiosity of viewers who do not know much about the recent past of Romania. Twenty years since the fall of the communist block, this film is best regarded as a test of our capacity to face the past with lucidity and as an argument for the future. ...

  • Under the Men's Tree

    Filmed 1968, released 1974. At Jie cattle camps in Uganda men often gather under a special tree to make leather and wooden goods and talk, relax, and sleep. This brilliant ethnographic documentary by renowned filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall captures one particularly riveting discussion one afternoon under the men's tree. The conversation on this particular afternoon becomes a kind of reverse ethnography, centering on the European's most noticeable possession, the motor vehicle. This is a uniquely delicate and intimate film, filled with the humor of the Jie and, implicitly, the ironic wit of the filmmakers. ...

  • Under the Palace Wall

    In the 16th century, the Indian village of Delwara in southern Rajasthan was ruled as a principality of the kingdom of Mewar. Its palace, which overlooks the village, is now a luxury hotel—a world remote from the daily life of the villagers. Following on from his film SchoolScapes, which was inspired by the early cinema of Lumière, David MacDougall here employs a series of precisely observed scenes to explore Delwara's local primary school as a part of contemporary village life—a life that continues "under the palace wall". ...

  • Underground Brotherhood

    This documentary revolves around the mines and miners of Valea Jiului. The series consists of four episodes of about 25 minutes each, developing four different views on the subject: the history of the mining area, the process of coal extraction, the hard life of the miners working under ground, and the filmmakers' personal experience while making the film. The documentary also attempts to offer a new perpective over the miners, who have been mispresented or only partially presented by the Romanian media over the past 20 years. It is a unique perspective over their life filmed mostly in the underground galleries of the mines. ...

  • Unit

    The fall of the Communist regime was followed by a financial downturn, and the lives of the workers in the synthetic wire factory Modosin from Vaslui city has changed forever. They found themselves plummeting in a new, free world, where they did not fit anymore. Even if they made efforts to adapt to transition and find new jobs, the workers still remained trapped in the past. The factory disappeared, and the very foundation of their lives vanished with it. Nowadays, the former employees still meet in various reunions, anniversaries or funerals only to relive the memories of the "most beautiful years" of their lives. The documentary casts an insider's look on this community of people who are bound together not necessarily by a nostalgic feeling, but by the desire to belong to a structure - a large family, a social order. ...

  • Universities and Prisons

    Nicolae Margineanu has studied at the most important universities in Europe and the United States. With twelve psychology books published, he is recognized as one of Romania's most prominent psychologists. In 1948, Nicolae Margineanu was a one of the many convicts in the communist prisons. After a mock trial, he had been sentenced to twenty-five years of hard labour. Years of extreme suffering, humiliation and continuous attempt to annihilate his personality followed, during which the psychologist Nicolae Margineanu observed the impact of this terrible experience on the convict Nicolae Margineanu. After 16 years, when he was finally released, he declared that "…against maltreating and injustice, the only defense is a full and firm conviction in the final triumph of Trust and Justice." ...

  • Unknown Photographer

    The Unknown Photographer is a surreal plunge into the fragmented memories of a First World War photographer. A documentary/fiction hybrid unfolding in virtual reality, the project invites participants to take a stroll through a museum—a vivid dreamscape whose images are set in a 3D universe of otherworldly structures, improbable architecture, and impossible sculptures. Participants meet captivating allegorical characters while walking through a world that invites them to question the power of images and the ravages of war in times past and present. The photographs used in this project were taken from a photo album discovered in an abandoned barn north of Montreal, Canada. ...

  • Until the Time Comes…

    The film features an old woman named Ilonka, who lives in a small village in the outskirts of Magyarkanizsa. The locals call this place 'Mosquito Village'. The travellers of the passing railbus can see only two rows of houses and most of them stare in surprise and cannot believe that there are people who live here, far from the din of the town. It is a small world where time seems to have stopped, and I think it has stopped indeed. The village's only connection with the outside world is the railbus that passes two times a day. Ilonka has been living here for decades- keeping animals and working on her fields in order to supplement her little pension,- in this isolated community where time goes by at a snail's pace as every day is the same. Meanwhile the world goes on. An everyday story, the film does not concentrate on the plot itself. As days form a continuum, one day after another, time becomes absolute. This continuum is like a chain and we collect the links of the days and years. It is not the story that is important to me. It is the everyday life of the old woman, who is far beyond seventy, what makes me wonder. I would like to know about her little insignificant rituals and find the person behind them. I would like to know what life is like in this secluded world in the back of beyond. The film is also trying to find out if this tiny, stooped woman feels good in the middle of nowhere, if she accepts her fate. When time continuum is disrupted our relationship with the world changes and our point of view gets the main role. My aim is to reveal and show this delicate point of view. Everyday rituals, strange as it may sound, are the only events in this world, and these events mark the flow of time. Collecting eggs, feeding chicken, corn shelling, cooking and baking are the activities that make the days go by. I know little about the old woman, but I know that she lives in reduced circumstances, that her pension is a trifling sum of money, and therefore her neighbours buy corn and eggs from her. Sometimes she even sells at the town's market so that she can buy what she needs. However, I do not want to emphasize her story, the film is not really about her. What I want to show for a brief moment is the fate with its cruelty and mercy, ungratefulness and gratitude- the fate that many people share. I follow her to the town in order to show what it is like when she leaves her own world, and how she perceives the town, where she often goes to do her duties. My aim is to contrast her world with the town life, and enable the encounter of points of view. The rail bus rattling along every day adds to this contrast but also shows something else. It brings regularity into the village people's life - the railbus and the days pass together, while the stooped old woman stays at the same place, doing everything in the same way, as she always did. The point of view and the relations are the essence of everything. I hope that others will share my curiosity and we can catch a glimpse of the very moments of time in this everyday story, noticing the strange, the special, and the surprising moments of life…Relations, circumstances and fate that is above all- and all this through a unique personality. 'Until the time comes…' ...

  • Unto the Fold

    A film about the Gaddis, a transhumant tribe of shepherds who live in the Himalayas. Their life is a continuous journey shaped by the change of seasons. The film captures this rhythm exploring Movement and Rest, Journey and Home, Meetings and Separations.Gods and Goddesses, rituals, songs, festivals and legends emerge as they move their flocks over snow-covered mountains. Their stories are wry, humorous, sad or bitter comments on a society who tries to make them give up their traditional life-style, offering very little in return. ...

  • Upstream Battle

    Hoopa, Yurok and Karuk native American tribes once owned a flourishing land, where big salmons gambolled in the clear waters of Klamath river (north California and Oregon). But the diking of these waters by the electricity company PacifiCorp lead to the decimation of the salmon population in the area. To native Americans, it is more than a food supply issue; it is an issue of faith. To their vision, the Creator meets their needs through these waters and these fish, the river being both their church and religion. On the other hand, the PacifiCorp agents claim to only “borrow” the water, to generate energy and then return it to the river. The filmmaker tries to objectively present the positions of both sides, and does not easily conceal his fondness for the Klamath tribes and their traditional life style. He explains, through images and the brilliant montage of the interviews, why we should not allow for this close to nature civilisation to disappear as a result of globalization. ...

  • Upstream Battle

    Hoopa, Yurok and Karuk native American tribes once owned a flourishing land, where big salmons gambolled in the clear waters of Klamath river (north California and Oregon). But the diking of these waters by the electricity company PacifiCorp lead to the decimation of the salmon population in the area. To native Americans, it is more than a food supply issue; it is an issue of faith. To their vision, the Creator meets their needs through these waters and these fish, the river being both their church and religion. On the other hand, the PacifiCorp agents claim to only "borrow" the water, to generate energy and then return it to the river. The filmmaker tries to objectively present the positions of both sides, and does not easily conceal his fondness for the Klamath tribes and their traditional life style. He explains, through images and the brilliant montage of the interviews, why we should not allow for this close to nature civilisation to disappear as a result of globalization. ...

  • URBAN BESTIARY

    Animals seem to have disappeared from the city together with our relationship with them, except for that modern phenomenon: pets. A closer look shows, however, that they are still there, calling into question the traditional boundaries between city and countryside, culture and nature. People and institutions keep coexisting with them in different and surprising ways, often unnoticed. The attitude towards them is also very diverse and the increasingly technological environment of the city leaves these frontiers more unstable. ...