Centrul Astra Film
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Astra Film Festival

Astra Film Festival 2016


No man is an island. The construction of the self, the dynamics of family relations and social configuration are concepts difficult to separate from one another. Whether we like it or not, they’re constantly influencing each other, as can be seen in any of the seven documentaries from the programme SELF, FAMILY, SOCIETY.


How does one carry on, days on end, when you’re aware that one of your children isn’t going to have the chance of leading a normal life? For the shooting of the observational documentary A MERE BREATH, awarded Heart of Sarajevo this year at Sarajevo IFF, Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan followed  the intimate texture of family relations, as they unfolded inside the Sicrea family in the course of seven years. Dobrin Sicrea, a devoutly religious man, and young director Sára Haragonics, author of the participatory documentary COMING FACE TO FACE, ask themsleves – one as a father, the other as a daughter – if they’ve done everything they could to save their beloved. Forms of testing family ties is the subject matter also in the subtext of Klára Trencsényi’s TRAIN TO ADULTHOOD: three preadolescents are forced in the light of financial issues to face too soon grown up worries, at a time when the end of their childhood is likely to be taken over by uncertainty and disillusionment.


CHAT WITH ALICE by Isabela Țenț, a portrait of a 19-year old mother working in the field of video chat to support her family, plays upon the contradictions between the persona Alice constructs for herself and the normative expectations one might have in regard to motherhood. Angela, too, is a young mother, Botond Püsök’s homonym titled documentary X-raying a series of wider issues young girls from the Roma community from Transylvania deal with such as the lack of education, gender inequality or the persistency of traditional customs. The causes of what’s hindering young women from having a child in Romania are of a pervasive nature, regardless of the social category they belong to, as is pointed out in the sociological documentary by Jesús del Cerro, PREGNANT IN ROMANIA. Here, the lack of support offered by the state through incoherent governmental policies is correlated with a predominantly conservative collective worldview in regard to the condition of women overall.


AGE, an anthropological kaleidoscopic essay by Veronika Hafner și Nancy Camaldo, questions how our perspective on happiness, love, death and on how we value life changes over time, with the help of more than a hundred people of different ages, starting from 0 to 100. The film also conveys the on-going shift in the way we approach the playfulness of life, social conventions, normative concepts and our own body, while generally repressing an inherent life premise, namely that the process of ageing begins at birth. (Andreea Mihalcea)