Centrul Astra Film
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Astra Film Festival

Astra Film Festival 2016


The more recent the history, the less attractive its relics. There is no patina to cover their ugliness. The unpleasant or even sinister meanings they carry have not yet been blurred by the passage of time. Disturbing as they are, these remnants are bound to populate our existence until they fall to pieces or get old enough to become appealing. The documentaries in this theme section are about people who, instead of looking at them with nostalgia or with indiference, found in vestiges of the recent past a source of inspiration and a fertile ground for their entreprenorial skills.

A small airport near a German town, once of some military importance, since it was used by the Luftwaffe and later by the Soviet Air Force, becomes, in our globalized times, of interest for a Chinese businessman whose ambition is to open an economic and cultural gateway from Europe to China. “Parchim International” walks on the fine line between perseverance and utter folly and takes us along a journey of absurd humour, grit and a little bit of culture clash.

The manager of a cinema theatre in a provincial Romanian city does more than reminisce about good old times when, besides being a social glue, going to the movies was one of the few entertainments available and people formed long queues in front of the box office. “Cinema, mon amour” tells the story of his don quixotesque struggle for the survival of the cinema theatre he has worked in as a manager for the most part of his life.

'In 'The Block'', the relic of the past is  a person. A former director of an important communist enterprise, the protagonist, now a pensioner, exercises his leadership skills on the occupants of the block of flats of which he is the administrator. Observing his daily efforts to keep things going and relationships between neighbours at the level of decency, the film explores the rich social and material universe of the typical Eastern-European flat and its dwellers. (Adina Marin)