Centrul Astra Film

 

 

Astra Film Festival

Film catalogue

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  • A Story of An Old Castle

    In a canyon of Liangshan Nationality Autonomous Region, there is an old castle whose declining walls have witnessed, like an old person, the changes of history. It keeps together the 30 households of the Han and the Yi people. The hostile nature and the everyday problems of life require collaboration and solidarity among the inhabitants. Generation after generation have been farming herding and living here. What are these people’s ambitions and dreams like? This film wants to spy out the forgotten corners of life and tell a common yet thrilling story. RO: In Regiunea Autonoma Liangshan se înalta, într-un canion un vechi castel. Zidurile sale surpate au fost martore ale schimbarilor istorice de aici, aidoma unui om batrân. Acum, ele adapostesc 30 gospodarii ale unor familii din nationalitatile Han si Yi. Natura ostila si problemele de fiecare zi îi obliga pe locuitori la colaborare si solidaritate. Generatii dupa generatii, ei au trait aici si si-au crescut turmele. Care le sunt visele si nazuintele? Filmul doreste sa spioneze colturile cele mai ascunse ale vietii acestor oameni si sa spuna o poveste obisnuita, dar tulburatoare. ...

  • An Only Voice

    The film describes the situation of the indians in the Northern region of Argentina. They struggle to get the restitution of their land, to complement their culture. It was for the first time thet they accepted the “blancs” to film their discussion. ...

  • As Far As Makó From Jerusalim: We Came Back

    WE CAME BACK, the last part of the series of AS FAR AS MAKÓ FROM JERUSALIM, shows a meeting of orthodox Jews from all parts of the World in Makó to commemorate at their -or their parents- native town the 50th anniversary 1994 of the Holocaust and the death of the last Rabbi of Makó. This is not only an opportunity to meet old friends and exchange memories of the past. It also shows that Jewish life and tradition almost ceased to exist in Makó. how little has remained can be seen from the visit of the Jewish cemetery, the synagogue, which will be restored with financial support of the visitors, and the former house of the Rabbi. ...

  • Between the Old and the New

    The Masquerade Games Festival has a 30 years' history. It is held every third year and for the last 10 years it has become an international event. The Bulgarian popular calendar mentions several local versions of the masquerade, which differ according to the season: winter games or spring games. This film is about the winter masquerade games in Southwest Bulgaria. It has been shot between 27th and 29th January 1996, during the 11th International Folk Festival of Masks, Carnival and Customs PERNIK ’96. Considering old male carnival performances as they appear today, the film attempts to touch the ancient nature of the custom, focusing not so much on its genesis, but rather on its dynamics. ...

  • Beyond the Borders

    In Beyond the Borders, a Japanese professor comments that aid cannot always be one way. He feels that there must be reciprocity, even if it is not of a financial nature. Maybe this is one way to understand the phenomenon Beyond the Border examines. For, just as Japan sends aid to Bangladesh, so migrant workers are marrying Japanese women and either settling in Japan or binging their wives home to Bangladesh. Following three couples, Beyond the Borders shows the special joys and difficulties of relationships constructed across very different cultures. ...

  • Beyond the Mountains

    It is often said in the Mountainous Northeast of Portugal "Bread and wine ease the way". For many centuries the only cereal planted here was rye. The Celts who inhabited the old "Castros" are thought to have grown it first. Julu is the harvest month according to the local people. After harvesting and once the sheaves are bound, it is time to thresh There are now very few people threshing cereal with a mallet or hammer. Mutual help is still found. The mills are linked to the cultivation of rye. They are quite ancient constructions, usually used by the whole community Each family may use the mill for a certain number of hours. The cycle of rye comes to an end with the baking of bread. Women who bake bread say very old traditional words they consider essential for good baking of bread. ...

  • Biafra: Fighting a War Without Guns

    Between 1967 and 1970 the Ibo people, known as the Jews of Africa, fought a doomed struggle to secede from Nigeria and create a new state, Biafra. Biafra never had the weapons to win a military war, but with a single telex link to the outside world, it fought another war, a war in the airwaves and print media. With novelist Frederick Forsyth and Biafram leather, colonel Ojokwu, this film tells the story of a pitiless civil war. ...

  • Block 103

    This documentary offers an image of the politics of the communist party that used to transform the personal dwelling in a prison, The interviews for this documentary are with people living in the same bloc of flats. ...

  • Bontoc Eulogy

    An impressionistic film about Filipinos who have migrated to America. Fuentes uses striking visual imagery [some using his American born children at play], along with historical, documentary and feature film footage to describe and explicate his personal and emotional attachment to his cultural and historical heritage. The theme of the film revolves partly around his grandfathers' decision to migrate to America but, much more significantly he shows us incredible footage form the St. Louis World's Fair, where one of his grandfathers (Markod) came as part of the Philippine "native exhibit." Though reports of his activities were returned to his homeland frequently of his fascination with America, and the Americans' incredible curiosity about them. A totally fresh and fascinating film about cultural exploitation on one hand and a film maker's introspection about the other. Very strikingly photographed and edited. ...

  • Borders

    There is a complex situation of geo-human isolation in Tras-os-Montes, a province in the Northeast of Portugal. Will a second-hand railway bridge bought from the Portugal Railway Company only by 22 peasants with the help of European LEADER Program, save the old village of Chelas from an isolated existence between two rivers? The contrast between generations. A postponed dream. So identical ways of life and so different points of view about the bridge are given us by people who dream the way they die. Alone. ...

  • Bury Me Twice

    “River of borrowed life” is the description for earth in the sacred language of the Ngaju-Dayak. Earthly existence to them seems to be a troublesome stage of transition. Death consequently is not a tragic event for a dying person, but promises access to eternal life in the village of the dead in the upper world.The bones of the deceased are put in an artistically decorated shrine specially made for bones. The entire cosmos: plants, animals and human beings are created new once again through reciting the myth of creation. The film shows the different rituals that were executed on the occasion of a Tiwah ceremony in 1993. It lasted 38 days. ...

  • Christmas For Horses

    Ever since lately in the village of Veliki Izvor which is famous for breeding pure-blooded horses, there was a celebration on the day of Sf. Tudor. For the sake of good health and fertility of the horses a lot of magical activities were performed. The most important of them was leading the horses around the fire. The purpose of this was to purify them, protect them from any disease and keep the fertile. At last a horse-race is organized. ...

  • Christmas-tide-Dreadful Nights

    Festivities played an important role in the peasants' life of the village of Vokhtoma. Christmas-tide that included a number of various ritual games remained popular till the midtwentieth century. This film depicts the oldest and most tenacious fragments of fortune-telling, round-dancing games and walking mummers masquerades that were arranged both indoors and outdoors. The participants dressed themselves up as a bear, a crane, Satan, an old woman - "dirty mummers", and as "good, pure mummers" - a horse, "a youth", a barin (landlord). The northern winter landscapes, original and unembellished scenes of life, villagers' festive clothes, costumes and disguises prepared by the peasants with inextinguishable fantasy, natural and open - hearted laughter, jokes, dances, chastushkas - all this gives the film singularity and energizes spectators for a whole year. ...

  • 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. ...

  • 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. ...

  • Forgotten Godesses – A meeting with Marija Gimbutas

    When you are looking at the heading of ASTRA FILM, you can see a goddess figurine from the European Stone Age. You can find such figurines all over Europe, but who produced them and why? Marija Gimbutas gives us her answer to this mistery. By doing so, she also gives us a revolutionary new understanding of the origin of our civilization. Maria Gimbutas was born in Lithuania in 1921 and came to the USA as a refugee after the second World War. Working in American universities, she soon became a leading authority in European Bronze Age history. She then combined her great knowledge about European linguistics, folklore, mythology and archeology and started her great work about religion in the European Stone Age. When she presented her theories about a peaceful and woman centered civilization where goddesses were worshiped, she created a storm of controversy. ...

  • Jewish Item

    JEWISH ITEM is a contemporary documentary about the British-Jewish 18-30 somethings who don't fit in the mainstream of social/synagogue life. The starting point was a controversial survey about the so called missing generation which suggested that increasing numbers of young Jews are leaving the fold, to the dismay of the religious establishment. So we interviewed a diverse cross-section of "outsider Jews" who cut across class, race and gender boundaries. Many of whom, like experimental film maker Sandra Lahire, lesbian performance artist Helena Goldwater and club queen Philip Salon, live, breathe their Jewishness without ever needing to attend a Talmud Tareh or a kibbutz club. JEWISH ITEM reflects strong opinions and is lively, challenging, funny and irreverent. ...

  • Life is Elsewhere

    Life in a nunnery. Nuns and their neighbours speack about their expectations and their relationship with "the outside world". ...

  • Prayer

    In the village Topolnitza in Eastern Serbia, a ritual takes place every year on Saint Wednesday before Easter. Women come to the graveyard and light tree branches. It is a way to send and warmth to the dead. ...

  • 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. ...

  • 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”. ...

  • Sobre el Pampano Roto

    Appearing from the mysterious past, in Guayadeque rises the memory of an embarrassing celebration: until today, the only known phallic dance - let's call it that way - on the Canary Islands. We are talking about the Pampano Roto, dance or game of the broken vine leaf. The Pampano Roto, a celebration apparently exclusive of Guayadeque. Something still close, that elder people say they heard about in their childhood or youth to eldest people that, on their turn, said was heard from their parents and grandparents. although there are several versions of the celebration, all of them refer that a woman covered her private parts with yam leaves while men try to drill the leaves with their penis. It's said that the woman usually helped skillfully with her finger to drill the yam leaves when she had chosen the one who would be her husband. ...

  • Story Maker, Story Taker

    This is an attempt at bringing together a selection of the stories and paintings of the Warlis, and some of the writings about “them”. To the Warlis, a community of Adivasis (indigenous peoples), who live close to Bombay, these stories represent their “history”, their world-view. All the outsiders, the Portuguese, the Marathas, the British, the “native” settlers ... they all tried obliterating this history and wisdom. The work of the outsiders who wrote about “the Warli” represents this process of creating new mythologies. By bringing together these disparate discourses, this video aspires to critique these mythologies ... to read between the lines, as the stories themselves do. O incercare de a aduna legendele si picturile comunitatii Warlis, precum si scrierile acestora despre ei insisi. Aceste legende reprezinta pentru indigeni istoria si viziunea asupra lumii. Filmul urmareste o privire critica asupra unei noi mitologii. ...

  • Swarms

    The members of an orthodox hermitage in the mountains of Moldavia, Romania make preparations for the feast of the monastery, each year on the Sunday of Holly Saints. On this occasion, peasant people as well as town dwellers from the neighborhood join them for the holly services and for the final community lunch. As soon as they leave, life turns back to its quiet original rhythms. Membrii unei manastiri ortodoxe din Muntii Moldovei pregatesc hramul manastirii, care are loc in fiecare an in Duminica Tuturor Sfintilor. Tarani si oraseni vin la slujba si participa la masa colectiva. ...

  • Sweet Sorghum

    Twenty years old Kaira Strecker, daughter of anthropologists Ivo Strecker and Jean Lydall, remembers her 1983 visit to the Hamar of Southern Ethiopia, where her parents carried out fieldwork for many years. Sorghum plays a central role in Hamar economy and nutrition. Grinding and making various dishes out of Sorghum is a common activity. Focusing on the topic of Sorghum, the staple food in Hamar, the film is, at the same time, an unusual reflection of anthropological fieldwork - not by the fieldworkers themselves, but their daughter. ...

  • The Aracomorabeans

    Plan d'Aou, a suburb of Marseille, North District, swept by the wind, stowed to the hill, above the Mediterranean sea. Managers are completing the Great Urban Project. The district is going to change. Young people of the suburb, most of them Arabs or Comoreans, perform on stage their daily life, their fears and their hopes. They tell their uncertain future. ...

  • The Candle

    The candle-making process at a monastery in Serbia. All the communities from the neighbourhood participate in the process. Each family collects bee wax and donates it to the monastery for candle making. ...

  • The Fairy Island

    Celebrates a lost way of life of generations of artisans in Hungary who for centuries have lived around the banks of the river Danube and made their livelihood from it, including gold washers, thatchers, basket weavers and feather strippers. The river is being diverted into the massive Gabcivko hydro-electric dam in neighboring Slovakia. ...

  • The First Inhabitors of the Strouma River Basin /VII-V millenium BC/

    By means of archaeological finds from the last decade, discovered around the riverside of Strouma and kept in the funds of the Museum of History, Kyustendil, are performed the character and the changes of the prehistorical cultures there -during 7th -5th millennium BC (the time of the Neolithic and E neolithic). The first inhibitors of the Strouma basin were farmers and stock-breeders For their material culture and spiritual life we can draw conclusions from the tools, pottery, "prewriting" signs, the cult objects, the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines. The film is one possible view towards the "ruins" of the bright Neolithic and E neolithic cultures of the Strouma basin, which mark the supreme achievements in the prehistorical societies of the Balkans and Europe. ...

  • The Two-Wheel Dream

    A documentary about the Finnish man and his two-wheeled dream: The moped. ...

  • Tierradentro. Home of Spirits, Land of People

    Tierrandentro is not simply San Andres of Pisimbala and the Hippogeos and statuary that has been found here. Tierradentro is 1900 square kilometres in the Cacua Departament, where 45.000 natives and a black community live. In addition to the landscape from the snow-capped mountain of Huila, there are hot springs and salt mines scattered all over the region. ...

  • Tonel And Vieru Or TheMeaning Of The Ballad

    The memory of a tragic accident - a crime that happened fifty years ago at a peasant wedding - was transformed into a ballad. The victim’s father - the one who ordered the ballad – organizes the revenge and another crime. ...

  • White carnaval at Kruscica

    An ancient pagan custom meant to revive nature has been preserved under a new form and with a new significance. Seven weeks before Orthodox Easter the shrove-tide begins. The old customs still exist in a few Serbian villages in Banat. ...