Reza moves to the countryside in northern Iran with his wife and their 12-year-old son, hoping to live a freer and more independent life. But corruption is everywhere. The “company” runs just about every aspect of local life, and Reza is increasingly getting into trouble for not following the rules. Reza, as a man of integrity, does everything he can to protect his family and his rights, but at which cost?
A MAN OF INTEGRITY fits well into the modern realist film tradition in Iran, but while some of his colleagues are more indirect in their criticism of the Iranian society, Rasoulof presents a down right explicit system critique. Hence, none of Rasoulof’s films have been screened in Iran and the director has a pending jail sentence for filming without a licence. Last year the authorities confiscated his passport, just before he was due to appear at the Films from the South festival in Oslo. A MAN OF INTEGRITY won the “Un Certain Regard” Award at Cannes 2017.
On the Irish island of Inishbofin (Inish Bó Finne), the vocation of fisherman is passed from father to son, and has been for generations. When new regulations put in place by the European Union prevent John O'Brien from practicing his ancestral way of life (fishing for wild salmon), he decides to lead a crusade to regain the rights of local communities to earn a living from traditional resources. Bringing together support from NGOs, fishermen all over Europe, and ordinary citizens, John spends eight years braving industrial lobbies to prove that, from the coast of Donegal to the corridors of Brussels, a different vision of Europe is possible. It is a contemporary case of “David vs. Goliath”: one man, 500 million European citizens to convince.
The language spoken on Inish Bó Finne is Irish Gaelic (Gaeilge na hÉireann), thus underscoring the theme of threatened traditional ways of life in the post-industrial world.
Introduction before both screenings.
The people of Taiji, a small town of 4000 on the Japanese Pacific coast, have made their living from whale and dolphin hunting for centuries. One morning in 2009, they woke up to a new reality: their practice of dolphin drive hunting had become the subject of a documentary film called THE COVE. While their hometown turned into a battleground for international anti-whaling activists, THE COVE (also featured at TIFF 2018) went on to win an Academy Award, forwarding the film’s explicit goal of putting an end to these hunting methods.
A WHALE OF A TALE allows local whalers, politicians and bureaucrats to weigh in, offering a more balanced view of the situation. Meanwhile, the global community has stakes in the questions raised here: Is tradition a sufficient argument to sustain a practice that world opinion perceives as morally reprehensible? And finally: Who has the authority to make the call?
Introduction at screening on Tuesday. Introduction and Q&A at screening on Wednesday.
What happened to the Arabic spring? Norwegian-Syrian director Nizam Najar travels to Aleppo in search for answers. He follows a group called The Free Syrian Army in their fight against the Syrian regime, and in what eventually leads to the downfall of the rebellion. ALEPPO'S FALL offers a unique insight in to the desperate struggle against the oppressive Syrian regime, in the shadows of the geopolitical tug of war that eventually seals the faith of the uprising. This is the story about the Arabic spring and how it went from hope to despair, from spring to fall.
Najar goes to great lengths, and puts his own life on the line in order to tell this story in all its brutality. As a Syrian born, and partly raised in Aleppo, he gains unique access to the people behind the uprising. This in combination with the director’s reflections, both in front of and behind the camera, makes ALEPPOS'S FALL a strong and gripping piece of documentary.
Introduction before the screening Thursday.
Introduction before and Q&A after the screening Friday (Fokus 2).
Amy Winehouse burst onto the global stage as the most gifted jazz and soul singer of her generation, and she enjoyed enormous success for a few turbulent years. Recording only two full albums, she quickly spiraled downwards through a fatal mix of substance abuse, unhealthy relationships and a failure to handle her life as a celebrity.
And yet, despite telling so tragic a story, this documentary manages to let her musical talent shine in almost every scene. Director Asif Kapadia has assembled a montage that chronicles these turbulent years in minute detail, and the audience must wonder at the fact that such plentiful and intimate footage exists of her every moment. It is hard not to be touched by both her music, and the tragic fate that ended a remarkable career much too soon.
Introduction with director present at the screening on Friday.
An older government official rapes two 12-year-old girls in a hotel in a quiet Chinese resort town. The only witness who can corroborate the girls' story is Mia, a teenager working at the hotel. She is an illegal alien with no work permit, hence in dire circumstances herself.
The movie quickly focuses on two female protagonists: Mia and Wen – one of the assault victims. Wen depends on Mia's testimony to get justice, but both of them are essentially defenseless facing a corrupt system. Mia and Wen must fend for themselves the best they can as the faceless men play with their lives.
The story is told in a restraint manner. The violence and abuse of power are central themes in the movie, but they are never blatantly shown. The acts of abuse are rather portrayed through the close-up images of the effects they have on their female protagonists. This makes for an, in many ways more harrowing story of violence against women.
A series of unfortunate circumstances forces an alien spaceship to crash-land in a Moscow suburb. The Russian government immediately introduces martial law, as the locals grow increasingly angry with the unwelcome guests. But Colonel Valentin Lebedev, appointed to lead the army response, urges caution. Resisting hawkish politicians who demand an all-out assault, Lebedev instead makes contact with the aliens and agrees to seal off the crashed spaceship so the extra-terrestrials can complete their repair plans and leave the planet.
Everything goes according to plan, until the colonel’s rebellious teenage daughter Yulia and her loose-cannon boyfriend Artyom decide to sneak into the heavily guarded crash zone in search of revenge.
How do we behave at memorials and on historical ground? Director Sergei Loznitsa offers us an insight into collective behavior, with help from observing film cameras. Tons of tourists pour in and out of the camera viewfinder. They are visiting the former concentration camps Dachau and Sachsenhausen. The cold, mechanical camera eye doesn’t judge or interpret. It’s up to us – the viewers – to understand what the tourists are looking for and thinking about. Is their behavior appropriate for memorial sites like this?
In AUSTERLITZ, past and present are merged naturally. We are aware of the genocide that happened in the camps. Today the sites are crowded with tourists using smartphone cameras and audio guides. AUSTERLITZ is also a film about looking: We look at the tourists. They look at the remains of the camps. What are we all looking for?
Vampires seem to get all the attention these days and the horror-themed amusement park Zombielennium is struggling to attract visitors like it used to. Our main protagonist, safety & health inspector Hector is there to close it down, unaware that the various creatures in the park are in fact undead for real, not staff in costume. Sticking his nose where he shouldn’t gets him killed, only to rise to unlife as a demon of sorts, horns and all. He quickly realizes that this means mostly boring and menial work as part of the exploited work force in the park, and joining the union doesn’t change much. But trouble is brewing in the park and Hector is worried about what will become of his now orphaned daughter back in town.
This French-Belgian animated film has an unmistakable «Euro» feel to it, while mixing 2D characters with 3D backgrounds and creating its own visual style with plenty of flair. It is based on the comics of co-writer/-director Arthur de Pins.
Bring your toddler to the Baby Cinema! At this screening of ZOMBILLENIUM the sound level is a bit lower and the lights are not completely off. For parents and kids who are one year or younger.
In the year 40 000, representative of the earth's united authority, Barbarella, sets out on an intergalactic mission to find Durand Durand – a scientist with a positronic ray so powerful it could end humanity. This brings her to the Tau Ceti solar system where all technology is permeated with sexual decadence and perverted innovation.
Based on the French comic book with the same name, BARBARELLA was eternalized on the movie screen by director Roger Vadim in 1968. In a time characterized by sexual liberation and space exploration, the film is a well-timed mixture of sex, satire and absurd technology in a psychedelic set design, with a social commentary so lavish the movie almost surpasses itself.
Introduction before the screening.
This film is picked by Tromsø Film Society.