Florence 13rd - 20th November 2010

International documentary film festival

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‘The Oath’, Bin Laden as seen by his ex-bodyguard

The national premiere of Laura Poitras’ ‘The Oath’ about the former right hand man of Osama Bin Laden and a prisoner in Guantanamo, accused of being a member of Al Qaeda. The special event of day six at the Festival dei Popoli,Thursday November 18 (9:40 pm, Cinema Odeon). The documentary tells the story of two men and their seemingly different pasts. This harrowing film examines two radical lives as they reflect on the current meaning of their choices.
At Cinema Odeon screenings begin at 3 pm with four films in the short film competition. ‘Inwentaryzacja’ by Paweł Łoziński (Italian premiere) about those who want to bring to light the names of men and women forgotten in an old Jewish cemetery. ‘O estrangeiro’ by Ivo M. Ferreira (Italian premiere), a peculiar, affecting meeting between one man’s eye and a city. ‘Milltown, Montana’ by Rainer Komers (Italian premiere), set in Montana, USA, the film paints a silent fresco which contrasts the rhythms of industrial production with the rhythms of a life anchored in ritual. ‘The darkness of day’ by Jay Rosenblatt (Italian premiere), a reflection on the effects of suicide on those who go on living.

At 5 pm ‘Retour aux elements’ by Velu Viswanadhan (feature film competition, Italian premiere), starring the poet and traveler Velu Viswanadhan. A travel film that examines the mysticism of India in a silent but deliberate progression.
At 7 ‘Si yo fuera tu, me gustarian los cicatriz’ by Jorge Tur Moltó (short competition, international premiere) about punk rockers Cicatriz who blew up the Basque music scene in the early Eighties, with songs dripping with angst and behavior that earned them the name “nasty dudes.”
The world premiere of ‘Left by the ship’ by Emma Rossi Landi and Alberto Vendemmiati (feature competition) , about Subic Bay, in the Philippines, which was an American naval base until 1992. Many young women had no choice but to become prostitutes in bars frequented by off duty sailors. The result is a generation of 50,000 Asian-Americans, offspring of relationships that broke off quickly when the fleet sailed home. The film follows four such children, torn between self-pride and anger at their respective fathers, who live far away, indifferent to them.
At 9:30 pm ‘Lovely Planet’ by Ton Van Zantvoort (short competition, international premiere), a failm about the travel bug, that fever inside those who criss-cross the world looking for bits of the present to transform into memory.
Afterward, the Italian premiere of ‘The Oath’ by Laura Poitras (Free style).

At Spazio Uno (via del Sole) beginning at 10:30 am re-screenings of ‘Blue sky. Dark bread’, ‘Safar-e-sabz’ (Viaggio Verde), ‘This is my land… Hebron’. At 3 pm, ‘Scissere,’ part of the Peter Mettler Retrospective, the story of a drug addict, a young mother and an entomologist whose paths cross unawares. ‘Balifilm’, a director’s hunt for elements and epiphanies, with certain echoes of the style of Stan Brakhage. Simultaneously, two documentaries will be screened for the section dedicated to Swiss cinema: ‘Premier jour – L’inalpe’ by Fernand Melgar (Italian premiere) and ‘Mais im bundeshuus – Le genie helvitique’ by Jean Stéphan Bron. At 7 pm, re-screening of ‘Et si’.
At 9 pm, ‘I am Jesus’ by Valerie Gudenus and Heloisa Sartorato (Italian premiere). A community of farmers in Siberia, a group of squatters in England, a group of lonely women in Brazil. These parallel worlds revolve around three different figures with one thing in common: each believes he’s Jesus Christ. Following these religious leaders, ‘I am Jesus’ examines the need to have a spiritual guide, the need to belong to a community, and the urgent call for an answer to the meaning of life

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