Centrul Astra Film

                                                              

Astra Film Festival

Astra Film Festival 2000 - Films

  • A Month in the Life of Ephtim D.

    Ephtim D., 73 years old, a retired postman, lives in Sofia with his wife in a three-room suburban apartment. As a socialist, he feels confused by the "crazy" democracy and the uncertainties of the transition period. The couple's combined pensions amount to 66$. Ephtim experiences constant difficulties in balancing the family budget. Free medical care and lunches at a subsidized canteen are essential to his survival strategy. This portrait of a Bulgarian pensioner is presented in the context of a global hopelessness and a clearly felt nostalgia for the communist past. ...

  • Alo!?

    An isolated village, not far from Bucharest. Most of its young people have left the village for the city. They could not communicate with the families they left behind, so they bought them mobile phones. How did the villagers adapt to this new type of communication? ...

  • American Gipsy: A Stranger In Everybody’s Land

    There are one million Gypsies in America, who most people know nothing about. They continue to live according to traditions that remain mysterious to outsiders. This is at least in part because a central aspect of Gypsy culture is the limiting of contact with non-Gypsies. The film tells the story of one Romani family in the American Northwest that has defied the wall of silence surrounding their people. Jimmy Marks, a flamboyant community leader, and his family struggle to regain reputation and property after a racially motivated police raid in their Spokane, Washington home. "American Gypsy" unravels the history and culture of the Roma and the prejudices about their way of life that have arisen over the centuries. ...

  • Back Home to the Reich with Bubi

    An offspring of a very old German aristocratic family is looking for traces of his uncle, an SS General of the Third Reich, together with a young Polish film director. During World War II, Ludolf von Alvensleben called Bubi was responsible for the killing of thousands of Poles and Russians, ordering executions or putting people to death himself. Still very proud of their aristocratic origin, the large family experience difficulty in facing the memory of Bubi's deeds. They are trying to forget and conceal the Nazi blemishes in their family history. ...

  • BBB

    The film features the Bad Blue Boys, football fans of Croatia's most successful soccer team. Dynamo Zagreb, as it was called before 1992, was more than a football club, as people looked upon it as the symbol for popular opposition against the political regime. Football rivalry amplified into nationalist intolerance and the stadiums became the stage of political confrontation. For five years the BBBs actually fought for the independence of their country and some of them died in combat. The film enjoyed great success with the Croatian public, being the only documentary screened in cinemas for more than two weeks. ...

  • Black and White in Colour

    A vivid documentary portrait of Vera Bílá, a Gypsy singer acclaimed in the international music world. The film explores Romany culture and what it means to be part of a marginalised minority group. Without sentimentalizing, it questions the prospects for mutual understanding. The character emerging from the film is a woman deeply attached to her family and her origins. Her music provides an opportunity for relieving her anxieties about securing sufficient food and money, but it also sweeps her into a competitive business which has little regard for her mood or feelings. The film reveals the exceptional energy Vera brings to her music and her relationships with her family and other members of the band. Shot as a journey with encounters and stories, the film shows a woman with an impressive and challenging personality. ...

  • Building Season in Tiébélé - A Royal Compound in Change

    The royal compound in Tiebele in Burkina Faso offers an impressive sight. The buildings, which are inhabited by several families, were originally constructed as defense installations. The edifices are technically perfect and their aesthetic value places them among the great architectural achievements of the world. During the dry season, people restore the old edifices and they also raise new houses, granaries and stairways, using different techniques. The film shows the building techniques in the royal compound of Tiebele, commented by the constructors themselves. Their social life is reflected in their building activity. There is also discussion about the future of the royal compound viewed from the perspective of the political and economic change process. ...

  • Cachilo, Poet of the Walls

    For about twelve years, the artist Cachilo lived on the streets of Rosario city, in Argentina. During this time, he inscribed his unique poetry on the city walls. For many Rosarineans, Cachilo became an emblem of dignity and freedom. The documentary follows the traces left by Cachilo on the walls of Rosario and in the minds of the Rosarineans. ...

  • Commemoration of Gabor

    On the first day of November, people from Transylvania celebrate "The Day of the Dead". They bring flowers to the graves of their beloved ones and light candles. The film shows an unusual celebration, in a Gypsy family. The Gabors are not some ordinary Gypsies. They are wealthy people and the rest of the community looks up to them as aristocrats. They gather to commemorate old Gabor, the charismatic patriarch of the family. Following their tradition, they drink and sing by the grave, to the astonishment of the other people in the cemetery. ...

  • Crazy

    Crazy is a film about violence in which violence itself is not explicitly shown. The film focusses on the experiences of a number of Dutch UN soldiers in various hotbeds across the world, but the horrors in Korea, Cambodia, Lebanon and Bosnia are brought to life mainly by their personal accounts. Heddy Honigmann spoke with the "blue helmets" in their domestic surroundings. The material showing the regions involved consists of photographs and home movies that were shot by the soldiers themselves. The vehicle of their recollections is the music they played at the time, which they will forever associate with their war memories. Crazy demonstrates that Holland also has its "Vietnam's veterans", men who took their war experiences back home and need a long time to cope with them. The film makes us realise the madness of war, raises questions about the usefulness of so-called peace missions, and shows the power of music as a means to survive in extremely difficult situations. ...

  • Cuckoo's Nest

    Local people call the mental institution in Calinesti, Prahova a realm of hell, populated by "nightmare creatures, wastes of society, useless beings with a hideous appearance". The 270 inmates live in a closed space and are quite ignorant of the outside world. The guide around this place is Florin Trîmbitasu, a patient who knows that he will spend the rest of his life among his fellow-inmates behind the asylum walls. ...

  • Days in Those Mountains. Episode II: "Winter Slack"

    Over the centuries, rural life in the Daba Mountains of the Province Sichuan in China underwent little change. People sow and crop year after year and their survival is at the will of nature . Nevertheless, they struggle for a better life and are open to modernity. The villagers start the construction of a new road. People from a neighbouring village are not happy with this project. Conflicts with the neighbours about the road building, preparations for a wedding and the purchase of a new TV set give an accurate account of the real Chinese rural life at the end of the 20th century. ...

  • Dog's Life

    Even though Romania looks more like a yard without a watchdog these days, Bucharest is obviously a yard full of dogs. Humans and dogs share the same habitat and the two species are chained together intimately, like the damned souls in Dante's Inferno. Every day, the dogs' humane eyes meet the beastly eyes of the humans. ...

  • For Ever Little

    Persons of an unusually small size have always been fascinating, either as fictional characters in fairy tales and sagas or in their flesh and bones, shown off in fairs or circuses as curiosities, as people were ready to pay a lot to see them. These days many little people rebel against this special status. They try to make their lives as normal as possible. The film follows a small opera singer and some of her friends at their work, at home and on a journey to a beautiful small island, where they have a great dinner followed by a swinging party. Gradually, each character reveals his or her personality. They talk about their problems, love affairs, difficulties in finding work and whether or not to risk having children, knowing that they could be little like themselves. The film does not try to trace the history of their lives. It aims to confront the viewer with the meaning of "being small" and uses music, humour and beauty to make people look at "imperfection" with a different eye. ...

  • Golgota

    "Ideals are lyrical, destiny is tragic and life is comic". This is the motto for Alexandru Solomon Golgota, a peasant who has grasped to his dreams and ideals all his life. ...

  • Hausmeister

    A Transylvanian village with beautiful and sound houses, once a lively place, Gherdeal is almost deserted today. Its former inhabitants were ethnic Germans and today they are scattered throughout Germany. However once a year, for Whitsuntide, they come back and the village is resuscitated for a few days. Some people are busy fixing their houses, others make preparations and everybody is getting ready for the traditional feast. After Whitsuntide they leave and the village lies empty for another year. Few people have not moved out, mostly those who were too old to leave. One of them, Ioan Ongherth, is the Hausmeister, the man in charge with the church, the deserted houses and the memories of the community. ...

  • Holi

    The portrait of the best manager of the Vienna Opera House, Ioan Holender, born in Romania, in Timisoara. In his youth, he did odd jobs before being admitted as a student at the university. They expelled him in 1957, out of political reasons. He emigrated to the West, to become one of the most important names in the opera production business. After forty years, coming home means meeting old friends and familiar places. His personal experience reveals the typical portrait of the Eastern European emigrant, with his nostalgia and illusions. ...

  • Lisdoonvarna, Lourdes of Love

    County Clare is a remote region on the sparsely populated West Coast of Ireland. It is not easy to find a woman in this deserted land. That is why the Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival is organised every year, a tradition that goes back two centuries. Pub-owner, horse-trader and matchmaker Willy Dale enjoys helping bachelors find a suitable partner. Quarryman Mihal Nagle lives alone with two dogs and two donkeys. He has a drinking problem and likes to gamble. He is convinced that a woman could change his life. Farmer Paddy Coughlan is an introvert and religious man who has been taking care of his parents for a long time. At 67 he is so used to living alone that the thought of having a wife has become rather a fantasy. He has been to Lisdoonvarna festival many times without success. Handyman Jamesie Keeting, a man completely dominated by his mother, hopes to meet the love of his life one day. All three men are determined to find the right woman at the Lisdoonvarna Festival. ...

  • Local Colour

    A comprehensive picture of an autumn morning in Budapest, constructed with an extraordinary visual and anthropological perceptiveness. Following the listeners of Radio TILOS (Hung. "forbidden") - an alternative radio station - during a Friday morning broadcast, the film introduces people of various backgrounds from different parts of the city and outlines the metropolitan experience in Eastern Europe. ...

  • Marriage

    For the rural communities living in the mountain area of southwest China, marriage is not a matter of a boy and a girl who are in love with each other and want to officially confirm their relationship. The protocol consists of six stages that must be completed according to the rules: the proposal, the negotiations, the engagement, the cognizance of the birth dates of the betrothed couple to ratify the marital relationship, a visit to the fortune-teller for the most favourable wedding date and finally the wedding ceremony. The film follows a marriage broker during the complicated negotiations for two marriages, somewhere in the southwest of China. In addition, the film depicts daily life in the villages, with both men and women having their share of hard manual labour. ...

  • May I have this Dance?

    The film is a study of cross cultural dance exchange between Sharon Kornelly and Yin Ying Huang. They exchange dances significant to their cultural backgrounds and to their own personal childhood experiences. As each dance is representative of collective as well as of individual experiences, the process of teaching and learning highlights issues of cultural translation. The project aims to translate art and visualized histories to one another in an attempt to understand more about the larger cultural systems in which we live. Because dance is a visual as well as a physical experience, an image based medium of transmission has been selected. Communication through moving images involves interpretation using both cultural and aesthetic codes at all levels of production and reception. This project is an experiment, a negotiation, and a collaboration across geographic and time boundaries and between disciplines and individuals. ...

  • Modern Slavery

    A simple conflict between some Roma families and the Hungarian homeless they had hired for household work arrives to be sorted out by the apparatus of justice as a case of ethnic discriminatory action. The way in which the press covered the incident played an important part in this misinterpretation. As a result, the court sentenced the Roma to years of prison, basing its decision exclusively on the exaggerated allegations of the homeless. ...

  • Mudava Comes to Town

    The story of Romania's most notorious healer, Constantin Mudava, who claims to have treated and cured over half a million people during the last twenty years. He was arrested by the communist authorities seven times. On the other hand, the Ceausescus and their families secretly wooed him for his healing capacity. Since the revolution he has been able to practice his therapy in the open. Some of his patients proved to be good mediums, and he used them to communicate with the other world. In 1995, the "spirits" started sending him a series of messages. According to them, he was to become Romania's president and his mission would be to bring people back to the Christian faith. He needed 100,000 signatures to enter the 1996 campaign and so he began a tour across country treating people and canvassing support. Like a travelling showman he stopped in major cities, renting the largest performance halls available and exchanging therapy for votes. The film focuses on his first stop, the Transylvanian city of Sibiu. Scenes of group therapy alternate with sessions of individual treatment. The film concentrates on two patients in a terminal stage: a Gypsy flower seller and a professor. The doctors had given them only a few weeks, but with Mudava's therapy they both made amazing recoveries. However, Mudava's campaign was far from successful, in spite of the predictions of the spirits, that he would get more than 50% of the votes. Allegations of forged signatures and ridicule in the press contributed to an embarrassing election result. Meanwhile the filmmakers sought the flower seller and professor and a few days later Mudava was challenged on camera over his failure in the elections and the fate of his two patients. ...

  • Next Year in Lerin

    In 1948, during the Greek civil war, the Democratic Army was losing ground. They made their escape over the border and took children with them for more safety. 28,000 Greek and Slavic Macedonian children were taken away from their mothers and smuggled out of Greece. Eventually, the children were dispersed to orphanages throughout communist countries in Eastern Europe. Only those of Greek origin were allowed to return. The film centres on a reunion in Skopje to mark the 50th anniversary of the Exodus where the "children" talk about their feelings of identity and longings to see the villages where they were born. Intercut is archive of the children's journey, family photographs and the villages themselves where the houses lie forlorn and empty. ...

  • No Rush, No Women

    During the last years of his regime, Ceauşescu planned the construction of an artificial lake on the site of a residential area in the southern part of Bucharest. As a result, the whole neighbourhood was demolished, but the lake was never built. After 1989, a sheepfold appeared on the location of the abandoned building site. The film is a fragmentary chronicle of the shepherds' life, following the rhythm of their hybrid existence at the crossroad of rural pastoral tradition and metropolitan experience. The female component is both present and absent from their lives, absent from the daily routine but present in their thoughts, memories and fantasies. An anthropological document about shepherding in an Eastern European capital city at the end of the millennium and a visual and ethnographic comment on its social and political background. ...

  • Not By Bread Alone

    The Christian church is not only the place where worshipers congregate to serve the Lord. Of old, it has also played a role in charity and the relief of the financially weak. The Nassau Church in Staatsliedenbuurt in Amsterdam takes this task very seriously. In recent years, a reception centre was set up here where addicts, homeless people and illegal immigrants can have a simple meal and take a rest. Not all believers appreciate this initiative. Some churchgoers do not like seeing shabby clad and smoking visitors during Sunday mass. This film concentrates on four people, including the young reverend Jannet van der Spek and one of the regular visitors, the heroin addict Doede. In interviews, they tell about the place that the Nassau Church occupies in their lives. ...

  • Nuba, Pure People

    During his first visit to the Nubia mountains in1980, Tomo Križnar met a community of healthy people, leading a fulfilled life. He called them the "pure people". After nineteen years and two million casualties in the Sudan civil war, Tomo smuggled his way through the besieged areas on a bicycle and crossed the border between the zone under control and the uncontrolled territory, capturing on video the scenes of one of the most brutal genocides ever, yet ignored by politicians world-wide. ...

  • Photo Wallahs

    Filmed 1988-89, released 1991. Co-directed by David & Judith MacDougall. An encounter with photography and local Indian photographers in Mussoorie, a hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas. A profound and penetrating documentary that explores the many meanings of photography, focusing on the photographers of Mussoorie, a hill station in the Himalayan foothills of northern India whose fame has attracted tourists since the 19th century. Through a rich mixture of scenes that includes the photographers at work, their clients, and both old and new photographs, this extraordinary film examines photography as art and as social artifact -- a medium of reality, fantasy, memory, and desire. ...

  • Portrait of Altine in the Dry Season

    Altine Ba is a 27 years old Peul woman, living in the Ferlo Desert, in Northern Senegal. Altine is the carrier of values, culture and knowledge of adaptation to the harsh environment of the Sahel. The documentary portrays her daily life during the dry season, following her natural sense of time. ...

  • Price of Knowledge

    Day by day, the 11-year-old Sherab Dorji must walk for three hours to school. In the early morning he meets the other children of his village at a stupa, a Budhist shrine. From there, they walk to school together singing, because it kills the time. The road leads across a mountain and through the woods. Along the way, Sherab picks berries and mushrooms for his family. When he walks the last part by himself at night, he prays aloud to fight his fear. They have to walk so much, his father says, that their socks are torn within a week. Sherab's family is very poor. They live on farming. At nights, they must stay out with brandishing torches to protect the farmland against wild boars. Price of Knowledge depicts life in rural Bhutan. ...

  • Quest for the Lost Tribes

    Over 2700 years have passed since the Assyrians conquered the kingdom of Israel taking into captivity ten of the twelve Israelite tribes. Only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin who inhabited the southern portion of the kingdom remained and most Jews today claim descent from these Tribes. The captive tribes were scattered throughout the Assyrian domain and their descendants became the stuff of legend. The apostles Paul and James mention them and there is even a tradition that Jesus ventured to India in search of them. In medieval Europe, it was widely speculated that Mongolian invaders were the Ten Tribes come back for blood. And even in modern times, the Mormons in the United States believe that native Americans are descendants of the Tribes. Stories and theories about the Lost Tribes continue to proliferate and not all of them are easily dismissed. The filmmaker separates ancient myth from contemporary fact. ...

  • 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. ...

  • 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. ...

  • 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. ...

  • Seguir Siendo

    A cultural statement about the Mbya-Guarani Indian communities from Misiones, a subtropical province in Northeast Argentina, and their struggle for identity. Dwelling at the edge of the "white world", a world more powerful than theirs in some ways, they use the strength of their spiritual life to survive. ...

  • Seven Stories from Beyond. Ghosts

    For those who know Transylvania and its history it is easy to understand why Bram Stoker chose it as a setting for his story of Dracula. By the middle of the seventeenth century, the Austro-Hungarian Empire sent special envoys to investigate the ever increasing number of cases when locals had dug out dead bodies from the graves and thrust stakes in their hearts. Eventually, some of the bodies were burned. The strange thing about them was that they were perfectly conserved, even if they had been buried for a long time. After hundreds of years, this practice is still alive. People do it to destroy the "Strigoi", the vampires. The author documented many cases of such revenants haunting the living, killing their animals and sucking out their strength. People fight back with means they have inherited from a distant past, before the age of Christendom. This documentary is a search of answers to the eternal questions of life and death, reality and fantasy. ...

  • Silence Darkness

    In Poland sculptor-workshop are organised for blind and deaf persons.The film is a psychological study of this people.It shows the joy caused by the act of creating. ...

  • Standards

    A travelogue of portions of the USA, Europe and Latin America mixes the concept of "standards" with facts and fiction to explore the state of our culture at the end of the millennium. This is the century which brought us the parking meter, television dinners and enough plutonium to annihilate every living creature on earth. So how does it feel to be a part of all this? ...

  • The Long Tears - An Ndebele Story

    The film documents over a period of five years Ndebele art, culture and traditions, as seen through the eyes of one family. It also tells the untold story of the Ndebele defeat in war against the Boer farmers over a hundred years ago, their subsequent enslavery and mistreatment at the hands of Boer farmers, and explores the decline of Ndebele wall art and dress traditions in the changing tapestry of the New South Africa. This is a unique look at the Ndebele culture, seen from a modern perspective and through an intimate relationship with one family. It is a South African story, told in their own words by the people themselves. ...

  • The Price of Silence

    A silent island. A peaceful monastery with a quiet cemetery and with mute monks… The world is provocative but they should keep quiet. This film is about the silence price of a monk. ...

  • The Wedding Camels

    Filmed 1974, released 1977. Co-directed by David & Judith MacDougall. A narrative documentary about a wedding among the pastoral Turkana of northwestern Kenya. One of Lorang's daughters, Akai, is going to marry one of his friends and age-mates, Kongu. Because of the close ties between the two men everything should go smoothly, but the pressures within the two families are such that the wedding negotiations over the bridewealth become increasingly tense. Arranging the number and type of animals to be given as bridewealth demands an intricate balance between psychology and economics: Kongu must offer enough animals to please Lorang and his relatives, but not so many that he appears weak or foolish, or depletes his own family's herds. Negotiations drag on for several days, then threaten to break down altogether. The outcome depends not only on traditional patterns of behavior, but also on the influence exerted by Lorang's wives and the manner in which Lorang chooses to resolve the dilemma that confronts him. ...

  • The Wheelchair

    A film about a man who lost his ability to walk at an early age but did not lose his faith in life, in kindness and in his own skills. At one point in his life, he threw away his wheelchair and replaced it with a skateboard he had adapted to suit his condition, because he wanted to be free and to depend on no one. The film looks beyond Banko's personal drama into the general situation existing in Eastern European countries, where people with special needs must rely on their own inventiveness in order to survive. ...

  • Theory of Numbers

    A based view of an extinguishing world, the Jew Community in Iasi. There were more than 100,000 Jews living in the city before World War II. Out of them, there are not more than a few dozens left today. The meeting of an engineer who emigrated to Israel ten years ago and a young doctor who is about to emigrate to the US shortly is only a pretext for a broader analysis of the condition, the hopes and the prospects of the Jewish Community in Iasi and of its members. ...

  • Thomson of Arnhem Land

    In 1933, a state of panic erupted in Darwin after five Japanese fishermen and three white men were killed by Aboriginal clansmen on the east coast of Arnhem Land. Donald Thomson, a young anthropologist working in the field, was appalled by calls for a punitive expedition. Thomson suspected the Aboriginal men were resisting invasions of their land and had acted in self defense. At the same time he was aware that the official policy of "protection" of Aboriginals had failed. He volunteered to go to Arnhem Land to try to prevent the race war that people feared. He also proposed to make a scientific study of indigenous culture which he hoped would provide the basis for new policies that would finally bring justice to Aboriginal people. Thomson became more and more isolated from the anthropological establishment, but he continued his fight for Aboriginal rights until he died in 1970. Today, his extraordinary photographs, field notes and artefacts are housed at Museum Victoria and are considered one of the most significant ethnographic collections in the world. ...

  • Time of the Barmen

    "Time of the Barmen" is one of the most acclaimed works of renowned ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall. It profiles three goatherders in the mountains of eastern Sardinia and, with extraordinary insight and nuance, explores a traditional way of life that is rapidly disappearing as commercial farming displaces herding and young people drift to the coast for the higher pay and glamour of the tourism industry. Pietro, a boy of 17, loyally helps his father in the herding and milking of their goats. His father Franchiscu, 62, would like his son to stay in the mountains but knows he will probably have to leave to further his education and his prospects. Their friend Miminu, in his 40s and still unmarried, knows all his goats by name but faces a future of increasing poverty and isolation. For Pietro, the lives of his father and Miminu provide reference points against which to measure himself and consider his future in a changing world. ...

  • To Live With Herds

    To Live With Herds is a film about the Jie, a predominantly pastoral people of northeastern Uganda. Following a period of relative isolation under the British Protectorate government, the Jie are now under increasing pressure to exchange their traditional culture and subsistence economy for a cash economy and participation in a modern nation-state. The film examines this predicament in the light of Jie values. The question is not whether change is avoidable, but whether forms of change can be found that extend rather than attack the foundations of Jie life. ...

  • Torment for The Romanian Tongue

    A fresh approach of the work and biography of Mihai Eminescu, the great Romanian poet. Over the years, all the political regimes in Romania used his image in propagandist purposes and constructed a legend around his name. At the 150th commemoration of his death the filmmakers attempt to evaluate the place of Eminescu in the consciousness of ordinary people, beyond the official myth. ...

  • 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. ...

  • 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. ...

  • Village at the End of the Rainbow

    A piece of archaic life in a picturesque Maramures village in northern Romania, where people live in harmony with nature, obeying ancient rules. The film focuses on four people, who seem to come from the old times. An old man who built two wooden churches with his own hands, a woodcarver and an old couple make a chronicle of an extinguishing world. ...

  • Wotenik

    Meklenburg-Pomerania, in the Federal Republic of Germany. There are 10,000 unemployed people in the district of Demmin. Sociologists describe this place as one of the most disadvantaged regions of the former DDR. Local young people grow up with a persistent feeling of social demotion. A private training centre has selected twenty-five adolescents for an integration programme. The staff need plenty of commitment and patience to dismantle the acute sense of personal and social failure experienced by these people. In only one year's time, they must find either a job or an apprenticeship for their trainees. Wotenik, the summer of 1999. The film observes the daily routine in the training centre. A documentary about imperfect human beings who claim fortune but lack chance. ...