Is it possible that in the era of social media and virtual communities we are more disconnected than ever? A third of the population of a small town in Poland emigrated to Iceland for work, leaving the older generations behind. Using creativity to produce an intimate study of homesickness and familial affection, with projections of Skype conversations on unconventional spaces, Pawel Ziemilski underlines the ephemerality of human contact. As images of Icelandic landscape are projected on the walls of a gymnasium or families “sharing” a meal despite thousands of kilometers separating them, the film highlights how even when in touch people are disconnected.
Pawel Ziemilski • Poland • 2019 • 63′
“This is my sister Danuta, she lives in Iceland. This is Jaro, her son. He lives in Iceland. This is Jasia, she lives in Iceland. [..] That’s me, Jagoda. I live in Poland.” (Jagoda, one of the residents of Stare Juchy, Poland)
ŁUKASZ DŁUGOŁĘCKI / HAUKUR HRAFNSSON
ÁRNI VALUR KRISTINSSON / MARTINA BERTONI
Pawel was born in 1981. He graduated from the Łódź National Film School and from the Wajda School in Warsaw. His short fiction and documentary films have been selected at various film festivals around the globe. Pawel is also involved in social animation, organizing workshops for troubled youth. In Touch is his latest project.
16.10.2019 – 19:30 Astra Film Cinema 1
18.10.2019 – 20:00 Astra Film Cinema 2
Narrated by French actress Irène Jacob, Letter to Theo is an ode to late Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos and at the same time a study of the current European conditions, following the global economic recession and the migrant crisis. Using meticulous long takes, Elodie Lélu constructs a poetic cinematic experience. Angelopoulos, the “filmmaker of the lost gazes” – who died in 2012 in a motorcycle accident on the set of his last, unfinished, film – had often dealt with themes of immigration in his work, and Letter to Theo celebrates his legacy by interweaving scenes from his films with documentary footage of present-day Greece with the migrant influx and local political unrest. Elodie Lélu • Belgium • 2018 • 64′
“If you stay here you get either locked up or knocked up,” says Gemma, the teenager protagonist of this coming-of-age documentary about the prospects for young people in a drab Scottish town a few miles south of Glasgow. The closing of the local steelworks in the 1980s by Margaret Thatcher’s economic restructuring created persistent social issues that lead most of the new generations into dead-end situations. Gemma’s determination and strong personality coupled with directors’ Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin intimate yet unobtrusive camerawork, provide moments of lyrical beauty and even humour, despite the almost ever-present violence and bleakness that clouds her life. Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin • Suedia • 2019 • 90′
Former child bride Laila Haidari, who had witnessed her brother’s long battle with drug addiction, devotes her life to helping the men and women in Kabul struggling with one of the deadliest problems in Afghanistan: heroin addiction. Determined and courageous, Laila takes initiative and fights to pull as many of the city’s addicts from their seedy environments and bring them to the treatment centre that she runs together with her brother. As financial aid dries up after the departure of the foreign troops from Afghanistan, leaving behind a corrupt government and a chaotic society, the centre survives through funds generated by a local restaurant that she runs, where the waiters are recovering drug addicts. Laila’s efforts are presented directly, as an observational documentary, with the camera unobtrusively following her on her journey to save some of these men and women. Elizabeth Mirzaei, Gulistan Mirzaei • Canada • 2018 • 97′