Today, July 16, two films are competing in the International Competition Program: “Wajib” and “Tower. A bright day”. Within the framework of the retrospective, “Still the water” by Naomi Kawase will be shown. However, the most anticipated film is” The Man Who Killed Don Quixote “. It’s going to be the premiere of by Terry Gilliam’s picture in the non-contests section “Gala Premiere”.
“Wajib”, directed by Annemarie Jacir, Palestine-France-Germany-Colombia-Norway-Qatar-UAE, 2017
“Sometimes it’s better to let people think what they want,” says Abu Shadi, he is a father and school teacher from Nazareth, who’s in his sixtieth. He says it to his son, Shadi, an architect. Guided by a local custom, he came from Rome to help his father, to give the invitation to his sister’s wedding. This is the way his father explains why his uncle is sure that Shadi had studied and now works as a doctor, although he is an architect. The same thing is for everything. Father tries to speak and do things that are pleasant only to relatives and strangers, often at the expenses of him. Only his own children he treats the other way: He is traditional, not flexible and stubborn.
Riding around the city in one car is a great opportunity to learn more about each other. Only the father forgets that his son is no longer a little boy. He is an independent person that has been living independently abroad for a long time and he has his own views on politics, patriotism, traditions, and music. “To live is to choose how exactly you want to live,” and not just to do what the others want from you. This is the main thesis that the son is trying to tell his father during that day. Whether they will come to an understanding, you’ll find out when you see the film.
The film is the winner of four prizes at Locarno festival in 2017.
You can watch it at 19.00, at the Festival Palace.
“Tower. A bright day”, Jagoda Szelc, Poland, International Competition, 2017
Opening credits warn you, “Film based on the future events”. However, everything begins as a typical family drama: Mula lives with her family in the country. Just before the celebration of the First Communion of her daughter Nina, after six years of absence, appears Mula’s mentally unstable sister Kaja – biological mother of a girl. Mula is convinced that Kaja came to take the child with her. The devastating conflict starts to take off.
Jagoda Szelc is recognized at home as the director in whom a lot of hopes are placed. However, “Tower” carries all the advantages and disadvantages of a big debut. On the one hand, there are obvious influences of senior masters – Michael Haneke, Lars von Trier, plus not always the clear construction of the plot. On the other hand, the author’s ability to achieve tension through acting and working on the sound, create an atmosphere of almost irrational anxiety in the alternation of carefree sunshine and gothic night shots. The thing that in the beginning seems to be Chekhov’s chamber piece suddenly turns into an apocalypse almost of the scale of Trier’s “Melancholy”. Indeed, “Tower. A bright day” is a crossroad film. Taking into account her not-yet-formed talent, Szelc can become either director of psychological pictures or a master of thrillers. There is a probability of oblivion. Her next film will unveil it with almost one hundred percent confidence.
You can watch it at 21:00 at the Festival Palace
“Still the water”, Naomi Kawase, Japan-France-Spain, 2014
Growing up is the process that is equally as bright as it is painful.
Adolescence of “Still the water” heroes, 16-year-old islanders Kaito and Kyoko is framed by death. At first, Kaito finds the dead body in the water; then Kyoko’s mother passes away. Kaito can’t understand why had his parents divorced and why his mother is taking lovers; Kyoko tries to get over her loss. On the same place, where a less gifted director would put a lot of sentiments and artificial tears, Kawase looks carefully at the intricacies of characters and emotions. In her own restrained and minimalistic manner, she unfolds in front of us her quite coming-of-age story. This director, as always, has a separate important character, it is the landscape. In this case, it is the sea. During the film, it can be perceived as a hostile life form, then as a fearsome force of nature, then as a symbol of the continuity of life – and finally after becoming “quiet water”, it reconciles everybody.
You can watch it in the blue hall of the “Rodina” cinema at 11:00
“Michail and Daniel”, Andrei Zagdansky, Ukraine, United States, European Documentary Competition, 2017
Quarter a century ago, Andrei Zagdansky filmed the short film “Two”. It was about the fate of architect and artist from Kyiv Mykhailo Schigol and his son Daniel. Daniel was born deaf, with an acute form of infantile cerebral palsy. When he was six, his mother, talented sculptor Marina Husid, had died in a car accident. Many years later, the director returned to his characters. During the time that passed, they’ve moved to the Czech Republic. Zagdansky continues the story of their lives in the full-length documentary “Michael and Daniel”.
Michael is working on a series of canvases for a new exhibition “Franz Kafka’s Diary”. Daniel is already 34 years old. In all senses, having such a dramatic material, Zagdansky, however, does not rush into a drama. Instead, he focuses on the routine. Here is Michael, who’s working in a studio. Here he performs the ritual of getting his son on a bus that will take Daniel to the church. Here, Daniel is in the church that is basically, the local cultural center. He is pleased to take part in various events, despite the deafness. The plot is hardly unfolding, the observation prevails. However, in this observation there is an essence of the film: we see heroes who have finally mastered their own lives and are no more hostages to the disability of one of them. This is a quiet but important message about human’s dignity.
You can see it at 18:00 in the red hall of the movie theater “Rodina”
We remind you that today in non-contests section “Gala Premieres” of OIFF there will be Ukrainian premiere of Terry Gilliam’s work “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”.
Text by Kostyantyn Levin and Svitlana Bondar,