“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′
“Everybody’s got enemies, don’t they? I don’t run away from nothing. I run to it.” (Gemma, the protagonist)
Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin
Mario Adamson, Ruth Reid
Sisyfos Film, GID Films
Ellen studied Documentary Film Directing at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. Her films are usually set in deprived areas in Scotland, Scheme Birds being her first feature. She is currently working on her next documentary feature, Josefin & Florin.
Ellinor is a director and cinematographer with a background in documentary. Scheme Birds is the first documentary she co-directs. Among her cinematography projects there are the HBO series Gösta and feature film In i Dimman, which earned her a Guldbagge nomination for Best Cinematography in 2019.
17.10.2019 – 21:00 Astra Film Cinema 2 19.10.2019 – 13:00 Gong
Waad al-Kateab was a student in 2011 when the civil war in Syria started and she became an activist and citizen journalist reporting for international media. For Sama is a video diary, told in a first-person voice, addressed to al-Kateab’s infant daughter that documents five years of Waad’s life, as she falls in love, gets married and has a child, while the traumatic effects of the conflict make life unliveable for everyone around her. Struggling between her desire to fight for her ideals and the safety of her family, Waad and her husband eventually decide to flee the conflict-ridden zone. What results is a powerful statement from a young filmmaker, whose simple act of witnessing transforms the humanitarian crisis into one of the most compelling documentaries on the subject.
Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts • Great Britain • 2019 • 99′
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′
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′