Florence, 14th- 21th November 2008

International documentary film festival

  • Amour, Sexe et Mobylette
    Love, Sex and Moped

    France/Germany 2008 95'
    Directed by: Maria Silvia Bazzoli, Christian Lelong
    Through various love stories, the film takes a live look at the beating heart of a continent and some of its complex transformations. It is the story of an uncharacteristic Africa, made up of families and villages at the edges of cities sans misery, violence, or aspirations of migration - dignified human beings filmed at a respectful, proper distance, as well as a curious attention to the bizarre aspects of life.

  • Driving Men

    USA 2008 68'
    Directed by: Susan Mogul
    In a kind of intimate diary, the director makes a retrospective trip to an America of sentiment, among men who perforated its existence, to arrive at that prematurely vanished love of life. The focus, sometimes stirred, other times amused, makes a trip through archival footage to create sense of an individual and collective adventure.

  • El País del Diablo
    Land of the Devil

    Argentina 2008 75'
    Directed by: Andrés Di Tella
    The director tells the story of a trip to the south of Argentina, on the track of Estanislao Zeballos, a writer-ethnographer at the end of the 1800s who met and studied the Indios of Patagonia, after he himself played an unconscious part in their extermination. The trip brings to light both a genocide never admitted to by the Argentinean government, and the stupefying pain of a culture that has vanished forever.

  • Fondamenta delle convertite

    Italy 2008 117'
    Directed by: Penelope Bortoluzzi
    A year in the women’s prison in Venice; the day to day in the halls and communal areas of an ex-monastery facing a lagoon. Detainees from around the world, their children and penitentiary officials live in relentless promiscuousness, each maneuvering in her own way through hierarchies, friendships, role playing and power. A debut startling for its complex rendering and the humanity of its characters.

  • Gwageoneun Natseon Narada
    The Past is a Strange Country

    South Korea 2008 90'
    Directed by: Kim Eungsu
    The film revisits an event that occurred many years ago, when two students, protesting against the Korean government, decided to burn themselves on the roof a shopping center in an extreme gesture of defiance. Friends and accomplices reconstruct the event, sad in their never having expressed their grief and in their bitter awareness of the futility of the now forgotten act. An intimate trip through historic and present day Korea.

  • Hair India

    Italy 2008 75'
    Directed by: Raffaele Brunetti, Marco Leopardi
    The journey of a young Indian woman’s hair. Donated to the Temple to be then converted in exquisite hair extensions in Italy. This same hair will then return to India to satisfy the whim of a successful career woman in Bombay.
    A story of beauty cult in the era of globalisation.

  • Holunderblüte
    Elder Blossom

    Germany 2008 89'
    Directed by: Volker Koepp
    Kalinigrad, a Russian territory cut off from the motherland, is a tract of land between Poland and Lithuania. Broken by unemployment and alcoholism, the adults are absent. With the backdrop of a desolately beautiful landscape, children talk about their lives and their hope. Like Los Olvidados (Bunuel) and Dodeskaken (Kurosawa), the film is the poetic, rich work of one of today’s greatest cinematic explorers.

  • L’Empreinte
    The Trace

    France 2008 47'
    Directed by: Guillaume Bordier
    A look at the almost choreographic work of a dozen Afghan bakers in Heart; bread making, the disciplined coordination of gestures and, at the same time, the dialogue between who is filming and who is being filmed, give the viewer a sense of proximity that cancels out any cultural or linguistic difference. “I wanted to capture the inner lives of these men, while their bodies are confined to infinite repetition in a series of mechanical movements.” (G.B)

  • La Forteresse
    The Fortress

    Switzerland 2008 100'
    Directed by: Fernand Melgar
    Life inside an immigration center just beyond the border between France and Switzerland: the methodic Swiss efficiency makes a chilling backdrop for the tragedies and comedies of survival amid the growing passions involving both inspectors and inspected. “I’d like to understand what, in this country, causes the fear of the other, what makes us fence ourselves off and transform this land of refuge an impenetrable fortress.” (F.M)

  • La Vie Moderne
    Modern Life

    France 2008 90'
    Directed by: Raymond Depardon
    After Profils paysan: l’approche and Profils paysans: le quotidian, La Vie moderne is the final chapter in a trilogy about the world of farmers. Depardon films the life and memories of the last farmers who live on the isolated farms of Central Mexico. Through a series of portraits, he becomes witness to their life, values, and family stories, conveying what binds them to the land and their legacy for future generations.

  • Life After the Fall

    Iraq/UK 2008 155'
    Directed by: Kasim Abid
    The filmmaker, a resident of London, moves to Baghdad after the fall of Saddam, believing a new life will be possible for his family. Instead, he becomes absorbed in civil war and, after experiencing the pain of mourning, he re-emigrates to England. An intimate tale of a life, an account of a return from exile that becomes a trip to hell.

  • Lumière du Nord
    Northern Light

    France 2008 52'
    Directed by: Sergei Loznitsa
    The camera lens penetrates a home on the icy steppe, immortalizing the gestures and dialogue of a disparate family of recriminatory and combative wives to drunk and violent husbands to children who play in a land of fables among the terrible words of adults. All around the magnificent, threatening landscape in the distance. After Les Hommes de la forêt 21, Lumière du Nord is the second film in the series L’Usage du Monde.

  • Muzigais Meginajums
    Perpetual Reharsal

    Latvia/Israel 2008 60'
    Directed by: Herz Frank
    A study of Yevgenij Arye, founder and artistic director of the famous Gesher Theatre in Israel, as he works on staging diverse literary class; the filmmaker, who has followed the rehearsals for over twenty years, delivers a body given to perennial emotions. Thirty years after 10 Minutes Older, Herz Frank succeeds in a rare endeavor—filming the invisible around us.

  • Qian men qian
    A Disappearance Foretold

    Belgium 2008 76'
    Directed by: Olivier Meys
    “Qianmen” is a working class neighborhood in the center of Peking that authorities and real estate agencies have decided to demolish to make room for a new residential center for the Olympics. Little by little, bit by bit, the film paints a portrait of the neighborhood, capturing the life of a place on the brink of vanishing, with images of abandon and the meek protests of old residents being forced out. A story of today’s China. Belgio

  • Rumore bianco
    White Noise

    Italy/Switzerland 2008 90'
    Directed by: Alberto Fasulo
    The Tagliamento River, spine of a region that has been a hinge and crossroads in Europe’s history, is the star of a tale that examines the force of nature and its possible resistors, the persistent men and women, because “water nurtures memory.” The narrative and structural features of the film bring us into contact with the culture of a “secret” place and have the same taste and enthusiasm for youthful discovery as Pier Paolo Pasolini.

  • Sleep Furiously

    Walles 2008 94'
    Directed by: Gideon Koppel
    Welsh country. While people are busy with their daily lives, sheepdog races and domestic competitions, a yellow van delivers books on loan from one village to another. In tribute to Dylan Thomas, the filmmaker makes a poetic homage to his land, where life is still hinges on habit and tradition. A tangible feeling of belonging and a close tie to the land remain the sole values of a world destined to change forever.

  • Wa laou fil sin
    China Is Still Far Away

    Algerie/France 2008 120'
    Directed by: Malek Bensmaïl
    Fifty years after Algeria’s independence, the director returns to the village where the liberation from French rule began, and films the activities of an Islamic school and a lay school. Respectful and attentive to human values and people’s rights, the director depicts the difficult flow of living in a place where reason is substituted for irrationality and those who believe in culture as a means to overcome diffidence must struggle every day.

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