Centrul Astra Film

                                                              

Astra Film Festival

Astra Film Festival 2009 - Films

  • 7109 Km

    Young polish man travels to Irkutsk by trans-Siberian train to see Tanya, his holiday love after 8 months. He wants to know, what was exactly between them and to say her that he loved her. ...

  • A Blooming Business

    a BLOOMING BUSINESS is a poetic documentary by TON van ZANTVOORT about people in Kenya who feel imprisoned by the power of the global flower industry. The dilemmas of the industry grow painfully clear and there is only one conclusion possible: the smell of the imported rose is not sweet, but bitter. The film combines pure observation with direct comments of the main characters. The camera is absent and present at the same time. With great humanism, Van Zantvoort shows us a different world where all human life is valuable. ...

  • A Fancy House

    Sibiu, Romania, is getting a new EU look. Everything must be gleaming. "Waiting for the EU." Debates, disclosures and an old vaccum cleaner. Sibiu is one of the richest cities in Romania and European Capital of Culture 2007. In the middle of all this is 70-years-old Ioan Drasovean, an old man trying to keep up with the drastic changes in his country. We follow Ioan in his everyday life: at home or sitting on a bench in the park: in serious discussions with his friend Ilie or with others, discussing Putin, Castro and mobile phone charges. And there is an old vaccum cleaner that needs to be fixed. "We are waiting for the EU." This is a film about Romanian society, its problems and hopes. And about how communism gave up because it was clever. ...

  • About Iulian Mihu, As He Was; About Us, The Way We Are

    Iulian Mihu, departed from amongst us for 10 years now, is a great personality of Romanian cinema. His films talk could probably say most about their creator. In spite of that, the makers of this documentary, due to the lack of hard evidence preserving Mihu’s memory, wished that he be remembered through the testimonies of some of his colleagues and friends. Violeta Andrei, Irina Petrescu, Sergiu Nicolaescu, Julieta Szonyi, Liliana Tudor Iorgulescu, Radu Boruzescu, assistant director Adriana Lupu and editor Gabriela Nasta are only some of the names of those who, each in their own manner, contributed their memories to the making of this film. Thus we catch a glimpse of a director who was able to defy rules and orders. The film-makers try, in this movie, to act a little bit like him - sincere and unconventional. He had an enigmatic persona - sometimes furious, sometimes gentle and his motto could have been “we film to have fun”. He was an artist who, despite his career ups and downs, scandals and great movie, will always be remembered for his free spirit and the fact that he was always, until the very end, true to himself. ...

  • Adakale Stories

    The amazing and thought provoking story of the tiny island of Adakale, which was known as a fairy land in the River Danube until it sank in the waters of a dam in 1970… Being the source of the most striking experiences of the Turks that may be traced in Europe and along the River Danube until our times, Adakale is being translated into the language of cinema for the first time, being aware of all sources. The documentary named "Adakale Stories" tries to connect the divided memories of the islanders who were dissolved in the lands of Turkey and Romania with their roots through their memories, albums, souvenirs, and dreams. The documentary films in disarranged archives, and accessories, maps, litographs in museums of the Adakale people who were scattered away turn into the sour taste of an incurable homesickness. ...

  • Adela and Agnetha

    Adela is a Gypsy married to a Saxon from Transylvania, while Agnetha is a Saxon married to a Gypsy. They live in the same village, Mergideal, are mothers to many children and life doesn’t go easy on them. When asked “How did you meet?” they answer plainly, “It was love.” In Transylvania, there are hundreds such families, spread in the areas where Saxons used to live. The documentary film maker tells of how he went into the Transylvanian Plateau looking for Roma and Saxon mixed families. He was interested in these minorities, opposite both in origin and culture. The Gypsies remember the times when they came about and there were many Saxons and only a few Gypsy. Now it is different. What do the two ethnic groups have in common and what differentiate them? What do they learn from each other? A close look on interculturalism in Transylvania. ...

  • Against Blood Justice

    In 1991 LuceOs son was murdered in Albania. Exploring the turmoil the country went through along with the personal and spiritual experience of this woman who chose to forgive the man who murdered her son, thus following the OBesaÓ specified in Lek DukagjinOs Kanun, we will move along the historical, religious and social path of todayOs Albania. Today the OforgivenÓ sees Luce as a OmotherÓ: thanks to her he has been totally rehabilitated in the eyes of societyÉ Luce has now become a peace mediator to help other families involved in a process of Oblood justiceÓ. ...

  • Alethea

    Since of the year of 1989 multinaational mining companies have been coming to Turkey in order to mine gold with the cyanide leaching process. Eurogold, an Australian and Canadian joint venture is one of them. Their mine is situated in Bergama. The people living in Bergama and the 17 villages in the surroundings started to resist the project. The people won all the instances of their legal struggle. However, the mine still operates. The story in the documentary is about the people and their long struggle. We followed their struggle since 1996. ...

  • Alyosha

    Monuments serve the purpose to estabilish memory and create identity. Most monuments erected during the Soviet regime were taken away after Estonia regained its independence in 1991. The Bronze Soldier "Alyosha", located in the centre of Tallinn, remaind in its place. For Estonian nationalists this monument was the symbol for Soviet occupation and marked the beginning of Stalinist repressions. However, for many Russians the monument was one of the few remaining symbols that connected them to Russia and Russian identity. Documentary Alyosha brings us the people who gathered to the Bronze Soldier and whose bahaviour created a new line in our cultural memory. What mattered were the rituals around the monument, not the monument itself. Differences of opinion about history resulted in tragic conflicts and relocating the monument. ...

  • Am I Lucky?

    Would you have been lucky if your parents, if they wished to punish you, would have forbidden you to go to school? Would you have been lucky if you had to marry at 13 years? The questions are asked by two young men, a Romanian and a Roma, turned into reporters, during their ten-day- long journey through several different Roma communities from Romania. Every stop reaches a new question: in Seaca, few remember the slaves who founded the village, in Fetesti the topic is made by the orphans returned after the deportation in Transnistria, and in Brateiu, Sibiu county, the Roma make kettles which they sell in museums and fairs, and their children already have dowry and marry on the parents’ command and only wear traditional clothing. In Dumbraveni, the Roma go to the school for children with special needs if they repeat the class for three years, while students on the special places from the student dormitories in Bucharest tell their success stories. A voyage about ignorance and stereotypes on music by Shukar Collective. ...

  • Apocalypse On Wheels

    This is not a film about the how the roads or the cars look like, but about what the traffic turns us into. I chose 5 different people whom I accompanied all over town, in their every day journeys. For 5 months, I have been with them in their car, sitting on the right seat and lidtening to them. They are all ordinary people: - a delivery boy who has been driving about 14 hours a day around the capital; - a half paralyzed man who not only drives a car, but he also helps other people to avail themselves of cars; - a Peru born eoman, who was raised in a city with an equally crazed traffic; - a father who has recently lost his daughter in a traffic accident; - a policeman who, before December '89, was beaten up by militia. ...

  • At Home Anywhere

    Documentary about the lives of a Frisian family of skippers struggling with modernity. Their daily lives are lonely and they seldom meet, loading and unloading cargo in different places. But they still celebrate the old traditions: every summer they meet and compete in their ancestor's ships during 'skutsjesilen', a famous sailing competition in the Dutch province of Friesland. ...

  • Australia

    How do seven young men, former street children in Romanian get to see the Pacific? On December 1st, 2008, a national team from Romania participates for the first time in the Homeless World Cup, in Melbourne, Australia. The film focuses on the members of the team, from selection to the end of the championship. The young men come from Timisoara and Arad, ran away from home and living now in derelict houses, or working and paying rent after having passed through orphanages or prisons. After being defeated by many teams, the young Romanians manage to beat the USA team. They are happy. They are all considering staying and never returning “home”. It is well here, nice weather and people are kind. “In case I never return, a kiss for you all”, cautiously says one of them. But after having photos taken of them on the beach with pretty girls next to them and the ocean behind, the seven return to Romanian to go on with their lives. ...

  • Back Passing

    The film tells a story of the Roma boy David, who wants to take a part in the international football tournament. David ask his father for support, but the father prefers his guitar and bottle of alchool… The football team is composed of white and Roma boys. The Roma coach, Vlado Sendrei, tries to engage for this tournament also the boys from detention home. Will David become a member of this football team? What will happen to the team on its abroad? ...

  • Balkan's Digest

    As a remanence of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Aromanian Vlachs blossomed into a cultural synthesis of the last Balkan millennium. Forgotten in the core of the south Albanian mountains, Grabova (1700 m altitude) is the most inaccessible of the 5, once flourishing, Moscopolitan cities. The last 300 years of Balkan inter-cultural relations challenged this historical urban network to keep alive its Aromanian Vlach culture. In our days this challenge transformed Grabova in one demographic winner: 50 families. Its destiny is most representative for the Aromanian Vlachs along many other cultures and settlements that share the South-East Europe. In dialogic communication with "Reader's digest", the film tries to briefly unwrap the elusive viscera of Balkan's "Self-devouring" while being convinced it is devouring the "Other". ...

  • Bastion Of Sin

    Aysel is a religious Muslim who for many years has led a sheltered life as a housewife and mother in the provincial south of Germany. When she learns that the state theatre in Stuttgart is looking for non-professional actresses for the tragedy "Medea", she see it an opportunity to escape from her tedious everyday existence - and so she auditions for a part. What initially sounds like a little bit of change in Aysel's life soon proves to be a hard challenge to her view of the world. The director Volker Lösch wants to use the boundless freedom offered by theatre to penetrate the at times highly secretive world of Muslim women. As the stage adaptation develops, Aysel finds herself confronted by the tragic stories of life endured by other Muslim women, existences that up to now she only knows through hearsay. And as the only woman in the production wearing the Muslim headscarf, she is obliged to defend her values and lifestyle to other more modern Turkish women involved. Torn between her desire for freedom and her own traditions, Aysel gets entangled in a conflict with her beliefs and is forced to question her life to date. Aysel begins to struggle with the clichés, with the "immorality" in the theatre - and ultimately with her very self. ...

  • Berlin, Kreuzberg 36

    Hip-Hop has often been credited with helping to reduce inner city street violence by replacing physical violence with break-dance, graffiti and rap. In this film, situated in Kreuzberg, Berlin, we see how hip-hop culture integrates into the lives of immigrants, giving them the opportunity to express their voice while at the same time keeping them away from gang life. ...

  • Birds Way

    It never happened before that the Old Believer community of Periprava (Danube Delta, Romania) did not have a priest - the most important leader of their traditional community. The continuity of such leadership has been kept throughout centuries without the help of any institution: Lipovan priests have always emerged from among the villagers and were educated within the community, with the help of the elders - until now. The last priest of Periprava lays in bed for more than a year already, and the person chosen by the community as a replacement refused to become priest. A young boy trained now on the expense of the entire community cannot find a wife, the indispensable condition for priesthood. The village is desperate… ...

  • Brides of Allah

    The world of women which exists behind the prison walls, a world where the greatest cruelty lurks beneath the most striking beauty, where a lullaby whispered lovingly in a baby's ear, echoes with the sting of hatred, and where compassion and cold blooded disdain live together behind the same penetrating eyes. Israeli director Natalie Assouline chronicles the lives of women who are serving time in prison for involvement in terrorist attacks in Israel. The intimate portrait, filmed over the course of two years, strives to uncover the motivations behind the actions of these women. We share the daily lives of these women, we are with them when they give birth, we listen to their pain when they talk about husbands who abandoned them, and we watch them take charge within the prison structures. We hear of religious ideology, but also of discrimination and despair in the world of these women come from. It's a world where a woman who has shamed her family has but one way of redeeming herself. ...

  • Carmen Meets Borat

    A film about a girl form Glod, the village where “Borat” was shot. The lead character, Carmen Ionela Ciorobea was selected by Mercedes Stalenhoef, the Dutch filmmaker, to be the subject of the film one year before Sacha Baron Cohen came and filmed there as if it was Kazakhstan. In the poor village, girls marry at 14 or 15, and Carmen was considered, at only 17, a spinster. Her family is doing better than the rest, owns a small shop and the boy courting her turns out to be more interested in her money. Carmen watches the telenovelas, speaks some Spanish and dreams of going to Spain. The filmmaker intended to follow up with her for another two or three years, but this storyline goes second when, after one year, Carmen’s father and grandfather star in “Borat”! The entire village stirs up after watching the movie, and foreign lawyers come with the possibility for the family to get huge amounts of money as damages. ...

  • Chronicle Of A Disaster Foretold

    A mining company wants to reopen the gold and silver exploitation from Certej Mine, Hunedoara county and build two draught lakes based on cyanide. The people whose land is about to be poisoned are determined to fight till the end. The mining company stops at nothing to hide its real intentions. And the authorities have downright reasons to support the company. A story about people who don't want their land to be poisoned, a story about companies and businesses for which humans don't matter, a story in which the political and financial interests are above everything. "The chronicle of a disaster foretold" tells the story of a company that, when got stuck in plan A - Rosia Montana, goes to plan B - Valea Frumoasei and the gold mines from Certej. At the end of the movie, from the last frame before the credits, we will find out who this mining company really is. ...

  • Constantin And Elena

    A bittersweet love story. Where "sweet" is the love (after 55 years of marriage), "bitter" is the lack of time left for the "sweet" (the old age), and "story" is the everyday life. A film about the ancestral, pure way of living and loving. A cinematic, observational, sometimes voyeuristic look at a way of life and a life itself, both, almost extinct. ...

  • Copsa Mica, Dudu's Dark Town

    Copsa Mica is a small town in the heart of Romania with a population of 6000. For decades the town has been completely covered in soot, emitted whilst producing carbon black for the European tyre market. Copsa Mica's location in a valley made it ideal for Nicolae Ceausescu to establish heavy industry. His motives were as simple as they were cruel; the emission would stay in the valley, and wouldn't harm the rest of the country. This little black town has had the questionable honour of claiming to be the most polluted town in Europe. After the revolution there was a large clean-up but not suffice to make Copsa lose it's bad reputation. Copsa's dark past has yet to be cleansed. A few years before Romania would join the EU, the question was how Copsa had endured the post-Ceausescu period and whether the town was ready for the new era to come. In the documentary 'Copsa Mica, Dudu's Dark Town' a few citizens are accompanied in 2003 - the year of the local elections-and in 2007 when Romania joined the EU. The main character is Daniel Tudor Mihalache, in Copsa better known as simply 'Dudu'. He is a successful retailer with one burning ambition: to be elected as Copsa Mica's next Mayor. He has great plans for the city despite all difficulties and ultimately wants to change its image. How will Dudu bring Copsa back to life in preparation of joining the 'New Europe' ? 'Copsa Mica, Dudu's Dark Town' is a profound and passionate story of ordinary people in a very devastating environment. It gives an intimate insight with humour and compassion of how to face the town's imperative gloomy past, but still look for the brightness of tomorrow's future. ...

  • Counting Lambs

    Franz Plotzer har been a shepherd for several decades. While he crosses with his flock of sheep the park of the german city Kassel, both him, and the passersby in the park have to answer certain questions. The shepherd's seem philosophical, they are about life and labour, while the others are simply asked how many sheep they think are in the flock. Some attempt a guess, others even try to count them. A film with gentle-sweet irony, about the "transhumance" through a park famous for building a bridge between baroque architecture and nature. Amusing and ingenious, the documentary suggests an ironic comparison between life and sheep. ...

  • Doing the Norway

    Every year, in May, in Petersburg, Alaska, the people celebrate their Norwegian heritage. On Norway's Independence Day there is a traditional festival which has by now reached the 50th edition: Little Norway Festival. The Norwegian heritage is celebrated enthusiastically, with traditional crafts, costumes and songs, as well as food. The film tells about the present importance of the old Norwegian culture, symbols and traditions and their role in safeguarding an identity, even though nowadays connections to Norway are limited. The people's need to feel special and not lose their past, even though it feeds on a small slice of time is the main topic of this film featuring Vikings, Valkyres, music and good mood. ...

  • Dolls – A Woman from Damascus

    In a traditional Damascene milieu, Manal is challenged to cherish her excellence as a housewife. Still, she insists on chasing a personal dream of getting back to work. As she tries to get hold of all ends together insistently & restlessly, her two young daughters are mesmerized by the smiling face they see on TV everyday. For here comes the Arab phenomenon doll, Fulla. Behind Fulla's smile is her marketing manager who particularly knows that Damascene society traditions are top-selling products. And that by personifying these traditions alone, Fulla was able of pushing Barbie off her throne not only in Syria, but throughout the Arab world. ...

  • Donkey In Lahore

    Brian, an Australian Gothic and a puppeteer, falls in love with a young Muslims woman in Lahore, during a short visit to Pakistan in 2000. Upon his return to Australia, he decides to convert to islam and return to Pakistan to seek her hand in marriage. Despite Amber's wish to marry Brian, her family is unimpressed by the idea of her marrying an unknown foreigner. What unfolds is a long and difficult process that leads to frustation, disbelief and despair. However, Brian's love and determination is remarkable, if not bordering on obsession. While he comes close, he does not give up on their love. ...

  • Enduring Life

    The Oostveen family lives in a quiet and peaceful street, in the same house where they have lived for 40 years and hope to stay for many more. The man of the house is 89 years old, his wife is two years younger and they have four sons. The eldest son, Rinus, is 57 years old and still living with his parents. Their days are planned following specific routines, in which way, for better or for worse, they entertain and take care of themselves and each other. For example, they are concerned with the preparations for their evening meal during the entire day. The elderly couple as well as their son have specific roles in the household. Outside of the house, their activities follow patterns that are also as tight as possible. All of this offers them great comfort. ...

  • Ethnoscape

    The film director outlines, on the background of the multicultural jigsaw in London, a few relevant lady portraits. They come from Italy, Spain, Brasil or Nigeria, have various professions (athlete, economist or stylist), but are all young and open to the camera. Their stories, recollections and identities merge with paradoxes and stereotypes. For example, their stereotypical ideas about London and Londoners are the same, regardless of their origin. By the dynamic montage of the portraits, the film director gets a composite picture, a metropolitan (inter)ethnic landscape mirroring the world we live in. ...

  • Family 068

    A family among so many people that lives in the dump of Managua, Nicaragua, acquaintance as " The Chureca ". Without interviews, or voice in off, not music, there is interwoven the daily statement of this family: of what they live and where from they extract it. Out of pretentious political considerations, every spectator can extract its own conclusion in a documentary opened for the dialog: are they happy in spite of the hard living conditions? Or is it a resigned happiness? Among other conclusions, in a observational style we've tried to transmit our experience with the family, trying to flee of the sensationalism; we were not trying to give lessons of on which it is the solution since even having an opinion that is reflected in the editing if we see the evident of an unjust situation that is explicitly, every one can know what produces it. That's why inside this sea of poverty yet it's possible to rescue brief moments of happiness or resigned happiness worth emphasizing in worthy persons that they meet obliged not to think about tomorrow, since their life depends of a every day work. The documentary reflects the idea in the complete daytime, beginning for the work in house, seeing after where they obtain the raw material, to end up by seeing as it is weighed already in the late afternoon. ...

  • Faust. The Path Of The Moment

    Faust - The Path of the Moment, direct by Laurentiu Damian, reveals a journey through Silviu Purcarete's universe, via Ghoete, the starting point of which is the play staged in Sibiu in September 2007. The myth of Faust, as seen by Purcarete, implies a certain type of theatrical formula which occupies a large area - from the classic stage to the industrial warehouse. Damian follows Purcarete's footsteps from the point when he "moulds" the characters, their movements, and the space and sound of the world of Faust, to the point of the finite work, where every detail becomes an imprint of the director's style. The rehearsal and the show are the two halves of a whole that is carefully constructed around the persona of the great theatre director, whose only method of communication is through theatre. The entire movie documents Purcarete's reluctance towards giving interviews and his escape into theatre. In his unique style, Silviu Purcarete discards the faustian compromise and proposes a creator that has been freed through his work. ...

  • Flying On One Engine

    At 77, doctor Sharadkumar Dicksheet is bound to a wheelchair, had his larynx extirpated and was diagnosed with a threatening aortic aneurysm. Still, the plastic surgeon, eight times nominated so far for the Nobel Peace Prize, living for half an year now in a flat in Brooklyn, due to the social benefits, becomes, during that other half of the year, a God in his native India. There, he performs free surgery, in marathon sessions, on hundreds of children with cleft lip and other facial defects. These relatively easy surgeries (especially for a surgeon who performed over 100,000) change the lives of these children who would be otherwise outcast. The debutant director gives a touching and uplifting documentary about a peculiar, funny and difficult at times person who knew how to overcome his own troubles in order to help others. ...

  • Funny Sisters

    Sisters Maria and Ileana live in a "museum-like" home in a village in Maramure?. Their once numerous family now consists of just the two of them. Parents and siblings died one after the other while they, just helping each other, continue living as traditionally as possible: they weave, they work on the fields, they make bread, they cut wood, they breed pig to sacrifice at Christmas. Their destiny as the last representatives of the family, keeping up a whole household without complaining about anything, is an icon of the Romanian peasants' destiny. Smart, hard-working, full of life, ready to do a man's work, satisfied with little ("I just want to have what to eat today and tomorrow"), the sisters are charming characters with a caching optimism. A touching film about the disk of an era, accompanied by subtle smile. ...

  • Gandhi's Children

    A monolithic building on the outskirts of New Delhi provides food and shelter for 350 boys. Some are orphans, some have been abandoned, others have run away from home. About half are held under a court order, having been picked up from the streets for minor crimes. Living in the institution for several months, MacDougall explores its routines and the varied experiences of individual boys. Despite the harshness of their lives, many show remarkable strength of character, knowledge, and resilience. One day 181 child labourers arrive, placing additional strain on the building's already deteriorating facilities. The institution does what it can, but can it do enough? ...

  • Gauchos: If You don't Get On, You Won't Fall Off

    Gauchos: If you don't get on, you won't fall off is a film about people who live life through risk. Men who always get back on, no matter how often they will fall off. Gauchos find their luck on the back of a horse. For them, freedom means to ride off not knowing what they will eat, where they will sleep or when they will come back. Some people believe that the South American cowboy has died out; that fences, stables, and machines have replaced him. But somebody who loves what he does will not give it up that easily. The gaucho has indeed survived and is still living today. He has adapted himself to the modern world and may have to work additionally in a slaughterhouse, an office or as a nurse, but he is by no means less of a gaucho. To be a gaucho is a passion. It is passed on from father to son, or daughter. You have to learn to be a gaucho but there are no schools which teach it. Here in the Argentinean mountains, the horse is the teacher and shows the human being the most important things in life. It demands of its rider patience, endurance, stamina, perseverance, intelligence and the talent of improvisation. And in return it offers faith, trust, obedience, strength and energy. To ride and to be a good rider means to hold your body in balance. If the body is in balance, your soul is in balance too. That is the moment where you can reach whatever you want. You just have to get on and not be afraid to fall off. ...

  • Gearing Up

    The Indian Institutes of Technology ('IITs') are regarded as the hardest engineering school in the world to enter, with a success rate of 2% in the annual entrance examination. Their alumni have founded or run international companies (Sun Microsystems, Vodafone, Citigroup etc) and can be found everywhere from Silicon Valley to Wall Street to research labs across the globe, making the IIT graduate a highly prized commodity internationally. 'Gearing Up' is the story of four teenagers in the months leading up to the IIT entrance examination - considered by many as the most important in their lives. The documentary examines their motivations and ambitions, and asks fundamental questions regarding the nature of 'winning', 'losing', satisfaction and happiness in a materially competitive world. ...

  • Glorious Exit

    Jarreth Merz is an actor of Swiss and Nigerian origins who lives in Los Angeles. He is confronted with his African roots when he is informed that his father has died. Nigerian tradition requires that he as the first born must take the responsibility for the father's family and his funeral. Jarreth begins a journey of discovery of a country and a culture that are part of him but to whom he doesn't belong. From Los Angeles to Nigeria, Jarreth embarks on this important chapter in his life. ...

  • Good Morning World

    Seria de filme « Les Petits Matins du Monde » ne invita sa intram în universul copiilor din lumea întreaga, si sa-i însotim de când se scoala dimineata pâna când ajung la scoala. ...

  • Health Bus At The Red Light District

    Boulevards is a place that welcomes and provides prevention information to any person practicing prostitution in Geneva, regularly or occasionally. Three nights a week, these people are welcome in a bus by social workers, nurses and cultural mediators. They get free prevention and harm reduction material, as well as sanitary information, in a non-judjemental atmosphere. This film is the outcome of an audio-visual-work, conducted within a global research on prostitution at the Departament of Sociology of Geneva University. As a result of two months field work at boulevards, the film approaches the main issues raised by the sexworkers coming to this community health setting. ...

  • Home Alone, Chapter 60+

    When the wave of people that went overseas to work became a tsunami, the mass-media reacted, but only in regard to the children left behind by those who left. They are cute and easier to love. The older people are grumpy, they have unusual habits. Some of them receive money from their children. Few of them. Others eat onions with tomato sauce. "Home Alone" is a collection of six stories, told by the very parents of those who left home to work overseas. The authorities will explain how they had to file legal complaints for bribes against those who tried to buy their parents' place in a shelter. You will hear a senator tell you about how all the law proposals regarding the old people "get stuck somewhere". But at the same time, have a look at Mrs. Ana because she would like to tell you how much she wants to get better after her surgery. Her son bought her a plane ticket to Lisbon. ...

  • Home Away From Home

    Oona's parents got divorced when she was little. Her life changed totally. When her father had to move to a different town. She started her lonely train rides between two homes. The long train ride is the only way for Oona to maintain a good relationship with both loving parent. ...

  • Horsemen

    Songpan is benefited for centuries from the trade route to the Tibetan plateau, which was travelled on horseback. Horses still play a key role in Songpan, but a lot has changed since China opened its doors to the rest of the world. Stimulated by the copetition for survival, tourism has grown into an important business. The inhabitants of Songpan discuss their situation for the camera, talking about money, or rather the lack of it. Tourism can be lucrative, but because the unfair distribution, the rich are getting richer and the poor remain at least poor. Apart from a South Korean immigrant who discusses her integration in islamic culture, most people in Songpan concentrate on how to go about making a living. They talk about the price of things, how to get more tips from tourists and how hard it is to save anyrhing. These refelections alternate with serene images of economic avtivities: forging, lumbering, farming, producing handicrafts and guiding tourists. ...

  • In January, Perhaps

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

  • Industrial

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

  • Ivetka and the Mountain

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

  • Look At The Life Through My Eyes

    This is the story about very closed, very sole world located in one village in Macedonia, village where life is like a fairy-tale, almost like lived in another time and space. People there look at the life through their eyes, very slowly accepting changes from the outside world, like not wanting to be part of it. They like to keep quiet about anything that does not fit into their fairy tale. The wishes, the fears, the fights, the secrets stay hidden behind the closed and high gates of the houses. ...

  • Lost In Transition

    Dado arrived in Serbia as a serbian refugee from Croatia. The war that made an end to Yugoslavia also ended his carefree childhood on the countryside. His dream is to become a famous actor, but so far he never had enough energy to start his studies. Lost in Transitions tells the story of this generation in serbia that grew up during the nineties and that now tries to find a way into the future. ...

  • Lost World

    The life, demolition and reconstruction of Kopaszi dam. Shot ten years long in a forgotten landscape in the centre of Budapest. People living in houseboats and wooden houses, struggling against flood, snow and investitors who want them to evict. ...

  • Me and My Life Without some Things

    Macedonian director Ilija Piperkoski, who studied in Bucuresti, made his movie by following the journey of Dumitru Dragos, 22 years old gypsy, through Romania, who trying to find his father. Search finishes completely unexpected, but through it we can find distresful life story of Dragos who after all won't loose his cheerfulness and decisivness. ...

  • Midway

    Driving through the most busy road connecting Western Romania to the main country, we notice how hills, mountains and even the river fall victims to our greed for fast progress. We look ahead through noise, mud and dust, enjoying that these harms are far away from where we live. We'll shake when everything holds still and we'll see that beauty has its own price. Which is the midway? How far will we go in order to catch up with our rich brothers from Western Europe? ...

  • Model Citizens

    How is a day in the life of a "talking statue"? Who are these professional street artists, agents of the new economic order, working on the southern bank of the Thames? Focusing on the use and role of public art, the film looks into innovative ways of earning one's living in a popular tourist area of London. People bringing to life traditional characters (a clown, a puppeteers and his puppet), as well as characters from Hollywood stories (Darth Vader or Captain Jack Sparrow), tell of their experiences as street artists. The film provides an insight on a creative popular activity, presenting different human types, with their motivations and aspirations. ...

  • Monday

    The documentary follows Tudor Sisu a regular boy in the hood. Tudor was in prison two times, for drug traffic and use of highly risk drug. He was set free in november 2007 and is now under a surveillience programme during the trial. Every Monday, he has to go to the Police Station and prove he is clean. He has to sign a paper saying he didn't leave the country and he is ''ok''. ...

  • Monti Moments: Men's Memories In The Heart Of Rome

    Monti Moments captures the bitter-sweet memories and quiet desperation of men who today face dire economic threats to their lives as artisans and shopkeepers and as residents of a once mostly working-class neighborhood amidst some of Rome's most famous monuments. They wryly recall past poverty, scandals, and tragedies. An invasion of raucous traffic, the callous disregard of the rich and powerful, and the relentless invasion of market forces (with their attendant retinue of conniving loan-sharks) have not blunted the older residents' appreciative wit or their devoted intimacy with the intensely local remnants of ecumene and empire. Taxi-drivers debate old book editions; artisans ply their changing crafts amid the din of encroaching modernity; a newsagent muses over an old photograph that connects his family's business to a thousand years of local architecture. And over all looms the constant and growing threat of eviction from these familiar haunts. ...

  • My Beautiful Dacia

    My Beautiful Dacia is a light hearted and humoristic portrayal of the evolution of Romania from Communism to Capitalism, seen through the eyes of its most emblematic symbol, the Dacia automobile. In our film, we will follow different generations of Romanians - from the old nostalgic to the young entrepreneurs - showing the present transformation of Romanian society. The connecting point between the different stories is always the Dacia car: first, a symbol of the ambitions of Communist technology and now a reflection of the new global economy. In 1999, Dacia was bought by Renault and nowadays it's a best-selling car in developing markets. The first Dacia car came out the Romanian factories of Pitesti in 1968, during the Ceaucescu era. In essence, Dacia was the realization of a dream: modernize Romania and make it totally self-sufficient and independent from foreign hands. In reality, Dacia's dream was never fulfilled and Romania inthe meantime was becoming one of Europe's poorest countries. With the collapse of the Ceaucescu regime, the dreams that fed many generations of Romanians quickly dissipated. By the end of the 90's, Dacia was dying, as an old & obsolete relic, spiraling down along with the rest of Romanian industry and mortally wounded by the imports of Western cars. But she survived. Already in the XXI century and with a foot inside the EU, Dacia's grandson makes its entrance into a market addicted to petrol and a consumer obsessed with flashy cars: the Dacia Logan (the first model designed under Renault's umbrella) is born. Will this new model survive into this Darwinian global market, where Italian, Chinese and Indian manufacturers are threatening to manufacture cheaper cars than the Romanian? ...

  • My Class - From Russia With Relativity

    In 1982, 26 young specially gifted pupils are accepted at the school for Natural Sciences in the Soviet Union. Graduating from this school guarantees a most promising future. But then Perestroika happens, the old order collapses. Today, those pupils are spread all over the world, hardly any of them are still employed with scientific research. With her film, the director Ekaterina Eremenko undertakes a very personal journey into her past in order to meet her former classmates once again and to faind out, what has become of them. Based upon the laws of physics, once taught at the school, My Class tells the story of a nation. The former pupils represent a generation that was dramatically influenced by the political changes that took place their graduation. ...

  • No Es Fácil - Children Of Che Guevara

    Every single person builds their own truth, carries their own inheritance with which one goes through life. The film deals with today's life on Cuba as it happens in the shadow of its political father Che Guevara. We see graffitis with his mottos at walls, the image of his face in living rooms, written on T-shirts or even onto whole houses. School kids dedicate their greeting 'Let us be like Che' to the icon - and it becomes apparent that people growing up in Cuba cannot escape this heritage. Che, his inheritance, and its reception in every one of its variations are a solid and formative part of Cuban everyday life across all generations. As much as this is apparent no one knows how this heritage will find it's continuation. Aleida Guevara, his eldest daughter also fights for her personal inheritance. 'That Che's image does not become an empty icon' is what she regards to be her life task. For Yoel, the sports teacher form Centro Havana, on the other hand, the task of surviving on a day-to-day basis has priority - no place is left for politics. ...

  • North-South.com

    In Cameroun, cyber-bars multiply, mainly used by women seeking a white man husband. Several stories cross each other, binding couples overseas, revealing the dreams and disappointments underlying these encounters inspired by hope, phantasmas, but also illusion, when destiny reveals itself in awe ? prostituion is sometimes pending online. An evocation of both North-South and women - men relationships. ...

  • Once Upon A Train

    Old wives say that it is of bad omen to travel on New Years Eve. Ignoring the rule, the two film directors decide to spend the night between the years in the train, crossing the country in search of people with interesting stories to tell. Of the ones singing and dancing or the surfeited employees of the Railway Company, the film highlights and focuses on a few subjects: an old lady going to the funeral of her sister in law, an Adventist, a young woman who left her husband and is looking for shelter in her parents' house, an elder man looking for his fifth wife who suddenly confesses of having killed a woman with his bare hands, or a timid young man, dreaming of finding a life companion. The film directors remain mere observers, interfering in the talks at times. After all, they are all travelling towards a new year and a new life... ...

  • Out Of The Present

    Out of The Present is regarded as being the non-fiction cult film of the nineties. Celebrated throughout the world, this montage film uses mainly documentary video material of a space mission to tell the story of Soviet cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev in diary-form, from May 1991 when he set out for the MIR space station where he was to remain for ten months – twice as long as planned. He is the first person to have been able to observe the end of a historical era from the vantage point of the gods. During the time he spent in space, the August coup took place in Moscow which was to result in the collapse of the Soviet Union. By the time Krikalev returned to Earth in March 1992, his country was called Russia. ...

  • Palna's Daughters

    A film about memory, identity and the overwhelming power of love. "Mommy, you have to eat a lot of chocolate so you'll become the same color as me, a pretty brown''. One year old Devi was found starving at a railway station in Delhi. The police took her to Palna, an orphanage, where she lived for a year. "Then two people with white faces came to play with me, and after three days I understood that they would be my mommy and daddy". When Devi learned to talk she often wanted to talk about Amma, her first mother. "Amma mommy was sick and couldn't take care of me. But she did hold me". In the film the six year old Devi journeys to her own past, as her family adopts another daughter from Palna, a baby sister for Devi. "I used to live in Palna, too. I wasn't brought from a store." ...

  • Peace For All

    In the west part of Macedonia, at the little town called Makedonski Brod exist temple called church Sn. Nicolas / turbe H'idir baba. Today in this shrine prayd Orthodox Christians, Muslims (Bektashi orders, Halveti orders and Sunni) and they all acknowledge the fact that it belongs to all of them and they can use it equally. ...

  • People Dreams Action

    In search of a future-oriented model of society filmmaker Andi Stiglmayr came across the model settlement ''Siben Linden'' (seven lime trees) founded 10 years ago in the Altmark a region about 150 km west of Berlin. 120 different people divided in neighbourhoods marked by deifferent lifestyle try to accomodate various aspects of life such as work, life and leisure, communication, medicine, education, economy, ecology and culture. On the basis on the thoughts and the everyday life of two of the villagers founders the film tells in a sensitive but not glossy way about the challenges of life in community with its personal, ethical andecological demands. And it tells about the conflicts, success, aberration and the everyday encounters of people who have chosen a different way to live their lives. ...

  • Prisoners Of A White God

    The Czech anthropologist Tomáš Ryška spent a few years in the mountains from Thailand and Laos, integrating himself into the day-to-day life of the Akha population. Trying to understand their problems, the scholar got so close to them that he ended by being accepted as one of them. However, the Akha population is gradually falling victim to the development programmes initiated by the western states. The poverty and lack of hope are the worsened by major problems such as opium (thousands of people are executed without a trial in the war against drugs) and malaria (on forced relocation to the lower lands, one of the five aborigines falls victim to this fatal disease). Also, the intentions of the missionaries in what regards the Akha children are not always that Christian. To this disadvantaged population, “progress” - as westerners see it - only brings about pain and fear. Based on an investigation of terrible conclusions, the film shows in true light many of the civilizing heroes of the present days. ...

  • Promised Paradise

    In a suburb in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, the largest Muslim community of the world, encased in a cardboard television set, troubadour Agus re-enacts the September 11 - 2001 attacks in New York in front of a public of children, using the packaging of a toy featuring the Word Trade Centre and a weird looking fish-plane. "Everything you see on your television is a lie: in this cardboard television the people are made of flesh and blood," he explains. Looking for answers, Agus tries to encounter terrorist Imam Samudra, the organizer of the 2002 discotheque bombing in Bali, in his cell in order to better corner him. He even consults a paranormal medium to enter in contact with one of the suicide bombers who died during the attack, and ask him if he regrets his act. confronts reality to theatrical performances through scenes inspired by acts of violence that shatter the country and the confusions that plague Indonesian society. ...

  • 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. ...

  • 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. ...

  • 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. ...

  • Shadow Of The Holy Book

    Why are some of the world's biggest international companies translating the Ruhnama, an absurd government propaganda book from Turkmenistan, into their own language? Shadow of the Holy Book exposes the immorality of international companies doing business with the dictatorship of oil-and-gas-rich Turkmenistan, thus helping to hide its human rights and free speech abuses - all in the name of profit and corporate greed. Shadow of the Holy Book investigates the morality of international companies and the dictatorship of oil-and-gas-rich Turkmenistan. These comapnies help give the dictatorship the propaganda support that it needs to survive. Turkmenistan's dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov, has written a ludicrous book: the Ruhnama, the Book of the Soul, a key tool in the government's subjugation of human rights and free speech. Yet many international companies give their clandestine support to the Ruhnama and help suppress the country's voices of opposition and dissidence - in return for multimillion-dollar business deals. ...

  • Shape Of The Moon

    The end of the Suharto regime ushered in an era of rapid sociopolitical change in Indonesia. Shape of the Moon registers those changes on aging matriarch Rumidjah and her family. Rumidjah is a Christian, but her son Bakti converts to Islam to marry a Muslim woman. Shape of the Moon juxtaposes this family drama against the rise of fundamentalist Islam in Indonesia, itself a response to the country's uncertain future. Meanwhile, Rumidjah tires of the chaos of Jakarta and longs to return to her home village. However, she remains devoted to her eleven year-old granddaughter and knows that the countryside holds little promise for younger generations. ...

  • Singing

    With sharp voices, the women of St. Costantino and St. Paul Albanese sing the most heart-rending songs. These are the ancient vjeshet, handed down from mother to daughter. They tell of the Albanian escape to seek shelter in southern Italy, five centuries ago. But they are also the creative expression of women who, to make light of their work in the fields, "threw" songs from one hill to another, to be "picked up" by the other women. Even today, the vjeshet are not said to be sung but are literally, "thrown", using the verb shtie, whilst to finish a song, one uses the verb mbjedh, to pick up. This happens when one of the voices is picked up by the others, and all then conclude in unison. These songs tell the stories of brave and ironic women, stories of emigrations and returns. They are performed throughout the summer at simple daily meetings between the women, giving expression to the memories, the joys and the bitternesses that mark the life of each of them. As long ago as 1954, the anthropologist Ernesto De Martino organized an expedition to these two villages and recorded the vjeshet. But now, more than 40 years after that expedition, as they themselves relate, with irony, it is the women themselves who make the wider world aware of the their songs by giving concerts throughout Italy, and even as far as Albania and France. ...

  • Sisters Of Lilith

    Three women who live in harmony with nature, in nature, not succumbing to anyone with the force they draw off their labour: a shepherd who lives with her flock in the mountains; a fisher who goes out to the sea everyday although she can’t swim; and a farmer who cares for her home and buys and sells land when she has to... They represent a productive way of life not yet disconnected from nature. This is a song of praise for the strong and productive identity of women told through the stories of three characters. ...

  • Somebody Like Me

    "Somebody Like Me" follows Ngunina, a young Maasai woman who was the first in her village to go to secondary school, after she returns to her family home in Tanzania. As Ngunina tries to share her story with the filmmaker - who was also the American sponsor of Ngunina's education - the complex nature of their relationship is gradually revealed. By attending to the everyday activities of Ngunina and her family, framed by the interactions between filmmaker and subject, this notification video observes those moments of discomfort - and simultaneous efforts toward emphaty - that results when ethnography, "sponsorship", and friendship intersect. ...

  • Soul

    The Ardia is an ancient, ritualized horse race that takes place at Sedilo in central Sardinia. On sixth and seventh July each year a hundred or so skilled riders race madly in honour of the Saint-Emperor Constantine. Their village's much revered protector and patron the race is led by a pre-established 'forerunner' the prima bandiera. It is considered a great honour to be nominated 'Prima Bandiera'. The aspirant riders have to register their names in an ancient tome sahrded by the parish priest. It can take years to come to the top of the list. Devotion, ability, sangue-froid, daring, courage: these are the requirements needed to participate in the race, summed up in a single sedilese term: "s'animu" (literally: soul) Women and outsiders have never ridden in this race. This ancient ceremony had remained unchanged -and uncontested- until a young sedilese woman presented herself one day at the vicarage and asked the parish priest to put her name down on the list, as a potential Prima Bandiera. He said he would. The village is now asking it self -and especially those men who ride or have ridden the Ardia - whether "females" should now be admitted. ...

  • Substitute Country

    “The substitute country” is the story of those who leave and those who stay, of the happy and sad, of those for which emigration means happiness, of those for which the leaving of their beloved means the end of story. Of those looking for their place and never find it, of those who can never say they go home … “The substitute country” is a film where each character tells his/her story, and each chapter is presented in a different color, warmer or colder, depending on the tone of the story. ...

  • SweetGrass

    An unsentimental elegy to the American West, Sweetgrass follows the last sheepherders to trail their flocks up into Montana's Beartooth mountains for summer pasture. Without commentary, this astonishingly beautiful yet unsparing non-fiction film reveals a world in which nature and culture, animals and humans, climate and landscape and vulnerability and vilence are all intimately meshed. ...

  • Testimony

    Diagnosed with brain tumour and being told that he has only has tree years to live, film director Razvan Georgescu begins to explore the territory between life and death, referring to few of its most famous “residents.” The film begins on a surgery table in Germany and then follows its author on a private journey to the venetian canals, on Broadway and Sunset Boulevard, to close the circle in native Romania. The director begins a deep search of reality, to taking him from knowing and understanding others to knowing and understanding himself. He does not record his own feelings, but the testimonials of other people who went through similar experiences (composers, painters, sculptors or writers). Captivating, touching and surprisingly filled with humour, the documentary is an extreme emotional trap, in a series of revealing meetings with artists that hope to successfully pass the test of time. ...

  • The Absence

    Set to unravel the central yet invisible place of female domestic workers in Chilean culture, this film departs on a journey through time and space, exploring the production and reproduction of family memories through photo albums and the uses of space. Walking across the different rooms of a particular home, La Ausencia aims to unlock the stories fixed in its walls. This micro-expedition raises questions regarding the limits of memory, the sense of place, the uses of photography and the fussiness of kinship, through which it finally conveys the concealed and blurred situation in which domestic workers are immerse. ...

  • The Amount Of Small Things

    First year in school and life ain't easy: Laethicia, Sanita, Fuat and Bright are 7 years old and confronted with the adult world of discpline and merit. "Why don't like school?" Because I cannot play with the teacher'', says Laethicia. She is one of four first-graders struggling with her new primary school reality. Potentially a safe haven for children with delicate family backgrounds, the school's demands are however tough on the youngsters who already feel caught in a rat race. Will they fit in or will they be left behind? Fuat, Sanita, Bright and Laethicia are trying hard to find the balance between school and play, between fulfilling demands and rebelling for a personality for a personality of their own. And this only the beginning of a life-long quest. A moving trip back to childhood. Whoever kiked Etre et Voir will love this film! ...

  • The Children Of Uranium

    After working in the mines for decades, the survivors are there even in their dreams: in the uranium mine. However, in reality, in B?i?a Plai nothing resembles what once was. The "Avram Iancu" mine was closed in 1998 due to environmental concerns. The settlement is ailing. From the labourers of those times, few are alive. The once nice blocks are but a ruin. The people live by collecting mushrooms and selling them abroad. Because "who gives you a job, all sick and irradiated? We kick the bucket one after the other." A black irony - even though the mine is closed, the traces of uranium can be found everywhere. The radiation level is high, the houses are double afflicted: from both the mine and the construction materials taken from the area. There is ore everywhere: locals can find pieces in the road dust, the children play in soil with a radiation level much above the allowed threshold. Above all, an innocent boy's whistling is heard. ...

  • The Cross

    Everyone bears their cross. It seems as though the cross of Natasha, a mother of three, was predestined by her place of residence. She took a different path. While truly rusting in God she believes in herself. Natasha lives on the island of Valaam with her three children of the first marriage and her husband. Anatoly returned after serving time again a few years ago. They didn't know each other before even though Anatoly comes from this island. They met as pen pals. He asked her to believe him and she did. Anatoly drinks. He sometimes keeps on drinking for days or even weeks. Then he doesn't work although at the monastery he is appreciated as a good worker and leader. He tortures Natasha with suspicions, interrogations and demands. She takes all his claims humbly and meekly. But then there is a guest in their home. She finds Anatoly holding a knife and it turns out he slapped Natasha's daughter in the face. They plead Anatoly to leave the house for awhile. Natasha goes to church. She prays for him, for her children and for herself. She keeps on believing that he will change and she won't have to leave him. And that whatever happens, life with Anatoly is her cross that she is going to carry with all humility. For the sake of him, and the children, and God… ...

  • The Eye Of The Day

    Against the backdrop of growing protests in opposition to party of Indonesian dictator Suharto and the elections that will bring Megawati to power, The Eye of the Day follows the daily lives of Rumidjah, her family and their friends. Rumidjah, a sixty-two year-old widow, lives with her children and grandchildren in a working-class section of Jakarta. The Eye of the Day encompasses the life in Rumidjah's living room as well as the political confrontations in the streets of Jakarta and the nighttime labor of scavengers at a massive garbage dump. Helmrich's patient camera reveals the drama, and striking images, in each of these locations. ...

  • The Flower Bridge

    Costica Arhir raises his tree children in the village of Acui, Republic of Moldavia. His wife has left for Italy three and half years ago to find work, and has not been home since. In a similar situation are around half of thr active population of this country. The documentary film, shot between january and april 2007, uses fictional elements in storytelling and camerawork, creating a stage where the characters interpret themselves. ...

  • The Last Mission

    Tiberius Petre is the first Romanian soldier to die in a direct crossfire, since 1945. The film shows his last mission to Afghanistan. Commander of a mixed Romanian-American commando with the mission to liquidate the Taliban leaders, Tiberius Petre was filmed only two months before his death. He was shot to death two weeks before he was supposed to return home. The documentary made by the well- known television journalist Adelin Petrisor, include the interview of the soldier killed in his mission and the statements of his colleagues, witnesses of his last moment, as well as word of his wife. The filmmaker spent two weeks next to the soldiers, joined them into mission and slept in their camp. ...

  • The Last Rites Of The Honorable Mr. Rai

    The Last Rites of the Honourable Mr. Rai is a film about the cremation of a longtime resident of the holy city of Varanasi. This film, made at the request of the Rai family, is possibly the most detailed and respectful study of the Hindu rites of cremation on the sacred banks of the river Ganga at the historic Harish Chandra Ghat. With no invasive narration but with inter-titles and subtitles the film enables the viewer to see, hear and experience all that is said by the mourners, the funerary priest and cremation ground specialists, as they carry out this final rite of passage for a Hindu. To underscore that death is as much a part of everyday life, the film begins and ends with the experience of everyday life on the famous ghats of Varanasi and shows the interaction of people with their gods, animals and the sacred river itself. ...

  • The Massacre

    „The Massacre” presents the tragedy of the Black Sea dolphins killed each year by fishing nets, pollution or ships. The number of the marine cetaceans decreased from millions some 60-70 years ago, to several thousands in current years. The documentary highlights the efforts of several people to stop the massacre of the marine mammals. The protagonists are Razvan Popescu Mirceni - Director of the NGO „Oceanic Club”, Angelica Curlisca - Director of the „Delphinarium” Constanta and Nicolae Papadopol - Scientific Director of the Museum Complex of Natural Sciences in Constanta. Papadopol recalls in a dramatic interview, the dolphin slaughter in the '50's-'60's, when the marine mammals were hunted most often without purpose. Another important moment of the film presents the Coast Guard tracking and catching a Turkish fishing vessel, one of which in 2002 had massacred thousands of dolphins in the Black Sea. ...

  • The Power of Suspecting - Eginald Schlattner and the Securitate-Trauma

    Eginald Schlattner, author and prison chaplain, experienced the terror of the Romanian dictatorship first hand. Already at the age of ten, as a member of the German minority, Eginald Schlattner witnessed the turn many Siebenbürger Saxons took towards Nazism. At the end of the '50s, Schlattner, then a student, was arrested by the Securitate. The henchmen torture him with sleep withdrawal and beatings. After months of intense interrogation, having become a convinced communist, he decides to disclose information about a number of authors who were critical of the regime. In his controversial novel, "Red Gloves" (Paul Zsolnay Edition Vienna), Schlattner recapitulates the two years of his imprisonment. The book minutely reveals the psycho-terror of the secret service. In the film we encounter the author, who lives in Siebenbürgen (Transylvania), and several of his comrades-in-fate who survived the crimes of the Romanian regime as political prisoners. The research leads us to former Securitate officers, a former penal camp and to the department for the review of Securitate files. Almost 20 years after the Romanian Revolution of Dec. 1989 Eginald Schlattner's recollections are a challenging contribution to the painful reappraisal of history. ...

  • The Proze Of Time

    Trying to solve a problem many people create a new one. In this way we ignore the sacral values of the nation: to grow up a child, to dig up a well and to build a house. The house is left at the mercy of date, the children are abandoned and... the well of our soul is profaned. The salvation will come in the same time with the returning of the nation values. This is the prose of time, the prose which converts in the human drama. ...

  • The Shore

    The Black Sea Shores of Turkey are doomed as trucks have begun pouring tons of rock into the sea along the five-mile-long coast irreversibly destroying the shoreline to create a new highway. A culture shaped by the sea is on the brink of extinction. The new highway will stand like a wall between a seafaring people and the wild waves of the Black Sea they have sailed for centuries. ...

  • The Speaking Tree

    The film presents, in monochrome tones, the unusual destiny of a man named Deva, living in the Kutch region (north-west of India). Mother nature has taken his senses, while he was walking his camels into the desert. As a result, his wife left him and took their child with her, and his relatives tied him to a tree. After more than a decade, mother nature creates an earthquake that destroys the entire region, leaving behind hundreds of thousand of victims. Paradoxically, Deva recovers his mental health after this calamity. Sometimes, nevertheless, madness is the safest refuge in front of the modern world chaos. The director Natasha De Betak (com)passionately followed Deva for five years, this absolutely exceptional character who has to chose now between "normality" and "madness." Interviews with family members and images capturing the Indian rural life today contribute to this empathetic, profound and visually splendid portrait. ...

  • The Store

    THE STORE is a film about the main Neiman-Marcus store and corporate headquarters in Dallas. The sequences in the film include the selection, presentation, marketing, pricing, advertising and selling of a vast array of consumer products including designer clothes and furs, jewelry, perfumes, shoes, electronic products, sportswear, china and porcelain and many other goods. The internal management and organizational aspects of a large corporation are shown, i.e., sales meetings, development of marketing and advertising strategies, training, personnel practices and sales techniques. ...

  • The Tale of Nicolai & The Law of Return

    The story of Nicolai begins in a tiny, remote village in the Roamnian region of Moldavia. With the collapse of communism, Nicolai - like many thousands of others villagers - suddenly found himself out of work, so he decided to seek his fortune overseas, far from his family and home. For three years he worked as a guest laborer in Israel, exploited to the hilt by the company that sent him there. He had little contact with his wife, who gave birth in his absence. Finally, determined to gain control of destiny, Nicolai fled his employer and became an "illegal". He was cought by the police and sent to prison, but suddenly his life took an abrupt turn and at once everything changed... Nicolai plays himself in this film, and relieves the dramatic events of his life. as his story unfolds, the film raises ethical questions about life in Israel and the kind of law that defines Israel's national identity. ...

  • Today I Was Young and Pretty

    Most of the gypsy population of Clejani, a village located some 50 km away from Bucharest, traditionally consists of musicians going back for many generations. The film shows how musicians relate to daily life and the way their perception of reality influences their music. Firm belief in superstitions, the unavoidable blows of fate, communication with the dead, become the sources of inspiration and expression, of joy and sorrow. Alexandra Guleas unconventional documentary takes us on a musical journey to the origins of romanian gypsy music. ...

  • Two Or Three Things About Activism

    Two or Three Things about Activism is a counter-documentary based on a distinction made by Godard between making a political film and making film politically. While different protagonists discuss their perspectives on Romanian activism, the voiceover reflects on the motivations behind the video. Two or three things about Activism begins with a richness of sound and image, immersing the viewer in the stories of activists, but becomes increasingly more bare and fragmented, preventing an easy identification. The video aims to become a tool for self-reflection - it doesn't represent Romanian activism, but tries to intervene in it from the inside, to provoke change. ...

  • 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…' ...

  • 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. ...

  • Waiting For Women

    In the romte spanish village of "Riofrio" the women have left years ago. Only men are left without the sligthest possibilty to find a relationship. Not bearing the desastrous situation any longer, they organize a busload of single women to come from Madrid into their lonliness. Their ideal aim is to fall in love! But having never learned how to deal with women, beside their mothers and some motorway prostitute, the event goes terribly wrong. Waiting for Women is a heart-warming documentary about love and solitute, about gender, migration and hope. ...

  • Water That Kills

    The Balkan Endemic Nephropathy is a disease that makes hundreds of victims in Romania each year, most of them coming from Mehedinti. The Balkan Endemic Nephropathy (BEN) is a deadly and irreversible kidney disease, geographically limited to a couple of rural regions in the Balkan Peninsula. The first village in Romania in which BEN was discovered is Erghevita, in Mehedinti. It appears that potential centers of contagion exist close to Drobeta Turnu-Severin: in Erghevita, Izvorul Anestilor, Hinova, Bistrita and close to the towns of Strehaia and Vânju Mare. Several thousands of people died of this enigmatic disease and at present experts estimate that only in Romania, in the south-vest region, there are approximately 20 thousands of people in the preclinical stage of the disease. ...

  • We Weren't People We Were Numbers… Auschwitz

    Coming round to Auschwitz today may engender many questions and for each of us could mean something different. Jewish people, certainly, have different feelings and perceptions. There still are lots of questions to be asked about Auschwitz and Holocaust. But not all will have an answer. Three jews, different ages and different experiences in life, raise exceptional moments from all the drama of Holocaust did or does, at the moment, represent. Under the sign of a powerful emotion, we can raise those moments in the memory of Elie Wiesel, one of the Holocaust survivors. Laureate for the Nobel Prize for Peace, in 1986, he is one of the 50.000 jews from Maramures who was embarked in the "trains of horror" in may 1944. The producers of this documentary, those from Maramures, consider it a debth of honour, they do homage to the person who has reached the age of 80 right in the completion year of the documentary. ...

  • Weddings, Music And Video Tapes

    The film is a trip behind the scenes of the Romanian wedding industry, on the thin line between art and kitsch. In the foreground, a series of photographers, cameramen and singers, from Sibiu to Iasi, from Piatra Neamt to Bucharest. From the now classic photos – to the well in the central city park – to eccentric photographs – on the football camp – to cheesy scenes, with strikingly coloured credits and ridiculous messages, or more elegant filming, with no flashy trinkets. Everybody tries to offer the weds the same, in their own vision, the perfect memory of an unforgettable day. Life stories, work styles, forgotten or parallel crafts. A exceptionally funny film, about people looking for perfection and the often hilarious results. ...

  • Where The Sun Doesn't Rush

    A small village lost somewhere in Slovakia. A place inhabited by common people, and common days passing one after another. A place where nothing seems to occur and the little community events are announced by a neutral voice in loudspeakers: hiring at the cemetery, payment of some taxes, the death of an old woman… Nothing seems to bother the slow passing of the days. In the total silence, time seems to be created by the calendar pages which naturally leave place for life, love, beauty of nature, and, in the en, death. A metaphor of the setting of an eon when traditions, having dried out, lost their spirit and vigour. ...

  • World Number 2

    Have you ever long to visit the most beautiful places in the World? Drive Ferrari? Trade with parts of human´s bodies? Take off the Earth and fly? Change your hairstyle or colour of your skin or even sex? Welcome inthe World where everything is allowed. The World of unlimited possibilities is unbelievably close...A short documentary film WORLD NUMBER 2 offers the audience a view on the virtual world Second Life, which offers turning from reality and gives fulfilment of the most bizarre dreams. ...

  • You Live And Burn

    You Love and Burn is a gritty and powerful documentary film about two Roma siblings on the verge of adulthood in Finland. The film is a story about the search one's identity and about finding one's path in life. For the main characters of the film, Mirella and Benja, Romani culture represents shackles that prevent them from getting on with their lives. These two young people question the rules and regulations that the mother of the family still swears by. You Love and Burn fights for the right to listen to one's heart and for the right of expression. ...

  • Zen

    Bordering fiction, the film brings back the true, instructive story of Dogen, a legendary Zen master from Japan. In 1223, the orphan Dogen goes to China to learn about real Buddhism, thus reaching spiritual accomplishment. After learning the Practice and the Teachings of a Chef, he goes back to Japan where, through the books he writes and through the disciples that he gathers around, preaches the real teachings of Buddha. Orin, a girl whom he had saved in his youth and has become a prostitute in order to support her son and her crippled husband, joins him as well. Although he enters Nirvana four decades after his initiating journey, Dogen continues to date to teach people the way of living a paradise on earth, taking things as they are and finding the Buddha within each and everyone. ...