Cinepolitica International Festival starts on Thursday, April 20, at Elvire Popesco Cinema. Powidoki / Afterimage is the most recent masterpiece of Andrzej Wajda; the film will be screened at the opening Gala of the festival. Wajda brings to life the turmoil-infused world of an avant-garde artist that struggled with the Stalinist social-realism, in the era of its absolute power. The film echoes the contemporary spirit of the Polish society and the post-communist world in general.
From this year’s film selection, we recommend 5 highlights:
- – Chez Nous / This is our land directed by Lucas Belvaux. The film tells the story of an apolitical nurse who, in an unforeseen way, becomes an activist in an ultra-nationalist formation in France. Although her sole purpose was that of helping her community, Pauline will become trapped in the party’s vortex of xenophobia and inculcated demagogy. In his speech, Lucas Belvaux says that his film is not a propaganda act; he aims to provoke an objective debate on populism and its huge danger.
- – Putin forever? is a realistic documentary made by Kiril Nenashev about the Russian protests which took place in 2011-2012 and a journalistic step which could expose another perspective of the protests to the Romanian audience. The film contains very important archival footage caught from the anti-Putin revolution. Vladimir Putin’s image dominates the ranking of the most influential leaders of the world and all his power comes from the domination that he has on his own people. The ideology opponents’ attempt to speak freely and of protest against the system is a dangerous game and the finality has not been favorable yet: assassinations, federal prison detentions, political asylum. And a lot of people believe that it will be like this forever.
- Die Reise Mit Vater / The trip we took with dad that is part of the special screening of the festival, is the feature film debut of Anca Miruna Lăzărescu. A road movie whose action takes place during the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, when two Romanian-German brothers have to take their sick dad from Arad to Dresden, the closest place where he can receive the surgery that could save him. But their plan does not come through because of the unstable political context. On the road they meet with soviet tanks and the situation gets complicated.
If you want to find out more about The trip we took with dad, about the story behind the film and about what is means to be a director, you can read the interview that Anca Miruna Lăzărescu gave for Romanian Film Development.
- The King Who Tricked Hitler is another historical documentary (directed by Trevor Poots and narrated by Marcel Iureș) from the special screening of Cinepolitica. In 2017, the 90th anniversary of the proclamations of Prince Michael as King is celebrated and the film shows us one of the important and unknown stories of the Second World War, told by the King himself: “We took the train to Berlin to see the other side of the coin and we had lunch with Hitler. It wasn’t an enjoyable meeting.” It’s a story about palace intrigues, about deceptions, aristocrat spies and blackmail under gun threat.
- – The fifth film that we recommend from this year’s Cinepolitica line-up is Trump vs. Clinton, a Romanian production directed by Trevor Poots. The film focuses on essential issues of USA that have a major impact on Central and Eastern Europe. These include Putin and security in defense, NATO, refugees, post-Brexit and EU survival, or a cyber-war between the EU and Russia.
The award for Best Film (Cinepolitica Trophy), worth 2.500 EUR, will be given by The Romanian Cultural Institute.
The Cinepolitica International Film Festival will take place between 20 and 23 of April at Elvire Popescu Cinema from Bucharest and Balassi Institute.
The film competition has 7 films and is completed by the special screenings. The Closing Gala is scheduled for Sunday, April 23, at 9:00 PM and will end with the screening of Their Finest. You can find here the full schedule of the festival.
Tickets can be purchased from Elvire Popescu cinema, as well as from the Eventbook website. The access is free at the Balassi Institute.