2001-2010

So Yong Kim – Na-moo-eobs-neun san AKA Treeless Mountain (2008)

Quote:
What is the nature of childhood resilience? Sisters Jin and Bin, ages 6 and 3, live with their mother. Jin likes school and does well. One day, their mother leaves the girls with their father’s sister, a woman they do not know. The mother seeks a reconciliation with their father. She leaves them a plastic piggy bank, promising to return when the bank is full. The girls scrub and clean for their aunt, a tippler who’s often cranky and complaining. She gives them a few coins for their work. They earn more money catching, grilling, and selling grasshoppers. They miss their mother. The bank fills. They watch for her from a mound of dirt. Will she return? Will stoic faces give way to a smile? Read More »

Ron Wyman – Agadez, The Music and The Rebellion (2010)

Tuareg nomads have lived in the Sahara Desert for centuries, connecting North Africa and West Africa with their Camel Caravans. They are fiercely independent and have become famous for their rebellions, fighting to protect their freedom and culture. Omara Moctar, known as ‘Bambino’ is a young musician who has become a cult hero in Niger and represents a new generation of Tuareg. He is becoming known as one of the great guitar players of West Africa. After several years of exile, he has returned to his home town, Agadez, a remote center of Tuareg culture at the edge of the Sahara. With the Sultan’s blessing, he recently had a concert outside the Grande Mosque to celebrate their culture and their transition to the modern world. Read More »

Oleg Novkovic – Beli, beli svet AKA White White World (2010)

Quote:In the Serbian drama “White White World: The Miner’s Opera” (“Beli Beli Svet”), the characters sing, but never dance. Formulated as a modern day Greek tragedy set in the decrepit southeastern mining town Bor, the movie follows a close group of alienated locals through misguided love affairs and other brash misdeeds. But the songs feature no choreography or other stylish methods of breaking the harsh, downtrodden tableaux. It’s a surprisingly effective strategy. With his sophomore effort, director Oleg Novkovic uses musical expression to frame inner monologues that would never work in spoken form. As a result, a story exclusively populated by damaged people engaged in morally ambiguous, often depraved behavior manages to evoke sympathy for all of them. Read More »

Nikolaus Geyrhalter – Elsewhere (2001)

In 2000, the final year of the twentieth century, Nikolaus Geyrhalter and his crew set out with a video camera to film twelve, self-contained ethnographic episodes, each encapsulating a month-long document of the lives of people who perform their quotidian rituals in a figurative Elsewhere, as follow: Read More »

Costas Zapas – I antarsia tis kokkinis Marias AKA The Rebellion of Red Maria (2010)

Synopsis
In a city – with heavy metal music haunting the heroes and the voice of Maria Callas being heard, an aged man, ex-terrorist, who dresses like a woman, the “red Maria”, lives without any law and is hiding in the social shadows as a prostitute and performer, dancing in the streets, old and out-dated dances, for the passersby who give him money. In the street he meets a young boy, who lives there as a street urchin, at deaths door after a neo-fascists attack. The boy, alcohol addicted, hears the voice of Maria Callas, speaks with the dead diva, with the mother he misses. Read More »

Weikai Huang – Xianshi Shi Guoqu de Weilai AKA Disorder (2009)

Synopsis:
Through raw images of cruel and unusual news items, gathered from journalists and amateur video directors, director Huang Weikai and his film Disorder take us into the chaos of a Chinese society scarred by an overwhelming urbanization. The film is made like a mosaic of singular stories restoring absurd and hopeless situations, in an urban environment where the weakest seem to be out of place. Read More »

Michelangelo Frammartino – Il Dono AKA The Gift (2003)

Synopsis
The languid account of a disaster happening in slow motion. The film charts the bleak daily life of a village in Calabria, which once had a population of some fifteen thousand but is now down to a mere handful. An impassive old man and a retarded girl seem to be simply waiting for time to eat away their lives. They are only occasionally and fleetingly roused from their deep apathy by strange objects and sordid encounters. Read More »