They ridicule and fight stereotypes, right injustices contained in archaic laws and social concepts – all with a pinch of sass and humor sprinkled in. This year’s edition of the New Horizons MFF will include movies by female directors who won the hearts and minds of both the audience and jury at film festivals across the globe.
Dirty God by Sacha Polak
Dutch director Sacha Polak, who created the acclaimed Hemel (12th NH festival), returns with the Dirty God which was shown at the very beginning of the Rotterdam festival and was very well received at the Sundance film festival. It tells a story of Jade (Vicky Knight) a young mother who has been severely scarred by her partner, now trying to put her life back together. The woman faces new obstacles and hardships caused by her changed appearance. Polak's movie is about struggle, but not without humor and vigorous defiance. It's a drama about finding your place in the world, while carrying the burdens of the past life (no matter the pretext). The movie challenges the notions of modern beauty, and the naivety that comes from following them blindly.
I Was at Home, But (Ich war zuhause, aber) by Angela Schanelec
I Was at Home, But - the winner of the Silver Bear for directing - is without a doubt the most talked-about movie at this year's Berlinale festival. No other film has coaxed this much emotion and self reflection from its audience, culminating in a wave of both ovation and outrage during its viewing for the press. In its essay-like story, Angela Schanelec follows a mother and two children - a family stricken by grief, now utterly failing to communicate. However, the kids seem to be more adult than their neurotic mother who can't seem to find a place for herself. It's a movie about loosing balance: both in the life of a family, and one's own. Scenes of forest animals absentmindedly going about their business meld with various situations at school, where the kids recite Hamlet and fascinating monologues proclaimed by the mother. This whole mixture includes a heavy dose of humor similar to the one employed by Bernhard or Jelinek.
Too Late to Die Young (Tarde para morir joven) by Dominga Sotomayor
Sotomayor, who is the first ever winner of the Leopard for Best Direction award at the Locarno film festival, takes us back to her own childhood spent at an ecological community in Peñalolén (Chile). In an environment lacking both electricity and clear social rules (since adults are pretending to live in an utopia), a group of unsupervised teenagers face the most important summer of their lives. Dominga Sotomayor - known to the New Horizons audience for Thursday till Sunday - perfectly captures the transformation that comes with becoming an adult, with all its loneliness, melancholy and apparent calm, that masks the emotions boiling within.
X&Y by Anna Odell
Anna Odell, creator of the famous The Reunion (best film at the International Art Movie Competition during the 14 th NH festival) in her latest piece conducts a social experiment to investigate the concept of identity. What does masculinity and femininity actually mean? If gender is more than just a set of chromosomes, since it is also influenced by culture, is it subject to interpretation as any other social construct? X&Y is a multi-layered complex formed by crossing art and movie practices. In lieu of a script, there is a film studio with actors locked inside. And, in the vein of reality TV, they produce the story. Fiction intertwines with Odell's biography, becoming an exhibitionist spectacle of emotion, lust and manipulation. By bringing both the actors and audience to brink of madness, X&Y makes for a spectacular intellectual thriller.
The 19th New Horizons International Film Festival will take place from July, 25th to August, 4th 2019.
Prices for holders of a Friends of New Horizons Cinema Card:
(translation by CM Translation Services, Wroclaw)