100 years ago the great war broke out, bringing death, suffering, and sorrow. Soldiers, weapons, and explosives – we know this perfectly well. The war, however, also brought something completely different, something not talked about at all. Swedish director Freja Andersson has made a visually compelling documentary with elements of experimental cinema, and has shared an entirely different perspective on the issues of war. A year ago her film “Stories From the Wars” was presented at Szczecin European Film Festival.
Vittorio Antonacci’s film is a warm story filled with humour and music, about a travelling band. We observe the musicians’ behaviour while on the road, their nomadic ways, customs, unorthodox ideas, and hierarchy that exists within the group. The protagonists compete against other bands when visiting a variety of festivals. Their true purpose in life is music and sharing it with others.
“This is the third and most interesting part of my life” says Mr. Schürmann. The protagonist is wandering through corridors in search of new tasks. In the past, Mr. Schürmann loved to read, take pictures, and film. His new world is entirely different – it is a clean and cold atmosphere of a hospital whose patients never leave. For two months Mr. Schürmann has been living in a closed home for people suffering from dementia. He lives by the rule that there must be mutual support. The director has made a warm, moving, and occasionally humorous story about elderly people who only have each other.
As a young girl, Monica used to dream of becoming a hairdresser. Unfortunately, her life went differently from what she had planned. Things went wrong. She became a victim of human trafficking and has been forced into prostitution. In the form of an intimate interview, the picture tells her dramatic story. The film is based on a real conversation.
At a marketplace in Yerevan, an immensely charming merchant takes us on a remarkable journey and shares not only his fruit and vegetables, but most of all – his story. Accompanied by birds we discover this man’s extraordinary life filled with almost all the colours of Armenia. The French director, in a fascinating and nearly fable-like way, has blended documentary film and animation, and the result also features elements specific to travel films.
“Six degrees of separation” is the theory according to which we are all connected by 6 steps of acquaintance or less. This documentary constitutes an insightful observation into a small-town society and puts this theory to the test. It also takes us on a trip through the States, one that we are unlikely to have ever experienced. What is important here are the chance encounters that determine the path one will be taking. Trond Kvig Andreassen’s film is amusing, full of accurate observations, although it is occasionally cruel.