Into the competition (category: The BT Vision Sheffield Innovation Award) was selected Romanian film The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu by Andrei Ujica – the three-hours-long opus about the life of the last Romanian dictator that was introduced earlier this year in Cannes. As Polish representatives will be screened Beats of Freedom (Leszek Gnoinski, Wojciech Slota) exploring the wide history of Polish rock music as a weapon against the former regime, and the Little Bride (Leszek Dobrucki), the testimony of young Turkish girl about her arranged wedding that lead from Turkey to Germany. Other films in the programme that can be found in East Silver are My Perestroika (Robin Hessman) about the lives of ordinary people in post-soviet Russia; an original and creative student film King Mathias (Milan Urbajs) or the Russian Lessons by Andrei Nekrasov and Olga Konskaya following the recent events of the Russian invasion into South Ossetia.
For more information visit the festival website.
Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu , Romania, 2010, 180 min, 35 mm, History, Politics, Portrait
"After all, a dictator is simply an artist who is able to fully put into practice his egotism. It is a mere question of aesthetic level, whether he turns out to be Baudelaire or Bolintineanu, Louis XVI or Nicolae Ceausescu." (Andrei Ujica). During the summary trial that he and his wife were submitted to, Nicolae Ceausescu is reviewing his long reign in power: 1965-1989. It is an historical tableau that in its scope resembles American film frescos such as those dedicated to the Vietnam War.
Zew wolności , Poland, 2010, 73 min, 35 mm, Culture, History, Music, Politics
"Beats of Freedom" is a captivating film about the birth of rock music in Poland. In the times when life was controlled by the communist regime, music became an extremely powerful phenomenon. The Iron Curtain could not stop rock music, thanks to which young people could find their space of freedom. From the very beginning, Polish rock stood in opposition to the reality. The songs broke stereotypes and formed bonds among people. One particular freedom enclave was the festival in Jarocin, colourfully shown in the film thanks to previously unpublished archival materials.
Przyrzeczona , Poland, 2010, 14 min, Digi Beta, Human Rights, Music, Social issues
There is about 2.5 million Turkish minority members in Germany. Every year there is at least a dozen of Turkish women beaten to death by their husbands or other family members. The actual scale of those crimes in Germany, where law and order are so highly valued, is unknown — according to the official data, in Turkey there are committed more than 300 so-called honor killings annually and 40% of wives are violence victims. A Turkish girl was sent to Germany and forced to marry when she was 13 years old. Soon after that, her hell has begun; she was beaten and abused in different ways. After several years she managed to run away; she has been hiding until now – only because of that she is able to tell us her life story.
United Kingdom, USA, 2010, 87 min, Beta, History, Society
"My Perestroika" follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times — from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionments of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.
Kralj Matjaž , Slovenia, 2009, 27 min, Beta SP, Portrait, Social issues, Youth Documentary
The story of a fallen son. Seppl has turned his back on his family and the conventions of society. Inspired by the legend of Kralj Matjaž, who ruled in Carinthia (Austria) in the middle ages, he is now setting out to save the world - from Catholicism, Capitalism and the strata of society who are destroying everything, academics. When Seppl sees his sister again his hard shell is softened for a short time. Their family history has left its wounds on both sides.
Norway, Russia, 2010, 110 min, 35 mm, HD, Current affairs, Human Rights, Politics
Just after the first shots were fired in the Russia-Georgia War in August 2008, the Russian documentary-makers Olga Konskaya and Andrei Nekrasov went to the very heart of the conflict at the border with South Ossetia. Each of the directors comes from a different side of the fence: Nekrasov from Georgia, Konskaya from Russia. The two filmmakers question eye-witnesses to the events of August 2008 and try to put together a picture of the conflict. The testimony of those who witnessed the war is supplemented with references to the media's manipulation of facts. In this unconventional and very personal film the two directors try to present their own view of who bears responsibility for the war despite the difficulty of making such judgements.