International Films on "Power"
"Power" is the focus of this year's LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International. In its 13th edition, the festival illuminates the world's power mechanisms with an international film program and interdisciplinary discussions.
Climate movements and global tech companies are becoming decisive pacemakers for our society. Day-to-day political business is increasingly determined by ideological trench warfare. Where would our world be without civil engagement against corruption and populism? Under the banner of these upheavals, humanity is currently at a turning point that will change the balance of power worldwide. LICHTER will examine this exciting moment from April 21 to 26 in its LICHTER-On-Demand program.
A film by Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles
Language: Portuguese and English - Subtitles: English
Cannes Film Festival 2019 – Winner Jury Prize
Sitges 2019 – Winner Best Director
A young woman returns home to the small and remote Bacurau from the funeral of her hometown’s matriarch. The inhabitants of the town are plagued: the new major has shut down the water supply, there are barely any medicines left. On TV, executions from far-off cities are broadcast, a drone hovers over the village and mysterious bikers appear. Contact to the outside world breaks off and one night, horses gallop through the streets, just like a bad omen.
Not far away, Michael (Udo Kier) leads safari-hunters through the area. Money and privilege give them access to everything they can think of. They get closer to the colourful, utopian society, where everyone is regarded the same. A confrontation of humanity, post-colonial structures, blanc capitalism and imperialistic cleansing appears inevitable.
[trigger warning: murder, explicit violence]
Feature film, BRA 2019, OmeU, Duration: 132min., with: Bárbara Colen, Sonia Braga, Udo Kier, Thomas Aquino, Silvero Pereira
The Twentieth Century
A film by Matthew Rankin
Language: English, Subtitles: English
Interview with director Matthew Rankin available here
Berlin International Film Festival 2020 - Winner FIPRESCI Prize
Toronto International Film Festival 2019 – Winner Best Canadian First Feature Film
For five legislative periods, William Lyon Mackenzie King was the Canadian prime minister. Compared to his contemporaries Roosevelt and Churchill, he had a shy na-ure, and his charisma was supposedly as lousy as his leadership qualities. Director Matthew Rankin uses his diaries, published posthumously, as a canvas for an una-bashdly bizarre political grotesque on King's rise to becoming Canadas most powerful politician.
Imagine Monty Python in a fever dream, Dali with a boot fetish–filmed on 16mm film in the aesthetic of early film. No? Not enough? Maybe an ejaculating cactus, then?
Even if it is about a piece of Canadian history very few people would be interested in: This film is in any case a biting commentary of human behaviour in politics.
Feature film, Gonzo-History/Comedy/Drama, CAN 2019, OV, Duration: 90min.,with: Dan Beirne, Marianne Cormier, Catherine St-Laurent, Mikhaïl Ahooja, Brent Skag-ford, Seán Cullen, Louis Negin, Kee Chan i.a.
Soleis Noirs (Dark Suns)
A film by Julien Elie
Language: Spanish and English - Subtitles: English
Interview with director Julien Elie available here
Hamburg Film Festival 2019 – Winner Sichtwechsel Film Award
Cocain is one of the World’s most popular drugs, Mexico is one of its major exporters. Since the government started the War on Drugs, critical observers mainly interpret it as a war for distribution supremacy, tens of thousands of people have been killed, countless others have vanished. The reigning corruption makes it almost impossible to differentiate between actors.
Dark Suns creates an overview of the catastrophic consequences for the population, that before had never been compiled in its entirety. From femicides and human trafficking to modern forms of slavery, intimidation of the free press, and threatening situations for political activists, a comprehensively researched picture of a failed state a tthe border to the World’s largest economy emerges. Activists and the bereaved report what life is like in this state of exception that has lasted several years and on the un-certainty of their loved ones’ fate.
[trigger warning: Reports of violence, murder, rape]
Documentary, CA, MEX 2018, OmeU, Duration: 154 Min.
Monsieur Killerstyle (Le Daim)
A film by Quentin Dupieux
Language: Französisch - Subtitles: English
100 percent deerskin! George’s – who is completely broke and has been thrown out by his wife – last solace: A ridiculously tight Cowboy-jacket. A free camcorder was included in the 8,000 Euros that “the beast” cost. His access to the marital bank account was permanently blocked after this last purchase, but it was worth it. Equipped with new confidence, he passes himself off as a famous filmmaker in front of bar keeper Denise. Because she is, incidentally, an editor and he is so broke that he had to leave his wedding ring as collateral for the hotel room, he summarily ropes her in for his upcoming shoot – on the condition that she keeps him, until his producers contact him again, of course.
The topic of the film: the jacket made from 100 percent deerskin. The obsession with it slowly gets out of hand, when George manifests the desire that he would like to be the world’s last bearer of jackets. Iconic director Quentin Dupieux bows deeply before the thought-occupying power of the leatherjacket in this absurdly consistent comedy.
[Triggerwarnung: explicit violence]
Fiction, F 2019 / OmeU, Duration: 77 Min. Director und Script, Camera und Editor: Quentin Dupieux, Sound: Cyril Holtz, Guillaume Le Braz, Music: Janko Nilovic, Producers: Mathieu Verhaeghe, Thomas Verhaeghe, with: Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy, Coralie Russier, Laurent Nicolas u. a.
A film by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka
Language: Xhosa - Subtitles: English
Durban International Film Festival 2019 – Winner Best Actor
Dudu is a washed-up boxer, who rather poorly provides for his ever-growing family. The womanizer prefers to spend time with female classmates of his oldest daughter or exercising vainly for his comeback. When his little brother Duke is released from prison, this one turns the already fragile family further upside down with his criminal energy.„Everything for the family“, Dudu took on from his murdered father. While he therefore tries everything to get Duke back on the right track, he himself wanders on dangerous paths. But maybe this way he will get a chance to settle long forgotten quarrels?
Knuckle City is an authentic genre film with an energetic soundtrack. The raw perspective on impoverished post-apartheid South African province does not sugarcoat anything and reveals machismo and male demonstration of power that has developed out of hopelessness.
[trigger warning: violence]
Drama/Crime, SA 2019, OmeU, Duration: 120 min., with: Bongile Mantsai, Thembekile Komani, Patrick Ndlovu, Faniswa Yisa, Siv Ngesi i.a.
A film by Kantemir Bagalov
Language: Russian - Subtitles: German
Cannes Film Festival 2019 - Winner FIPRESCI Prize and Winner Un Certain Regard for Best Director
Peace is the continuation of hell. In fall 1945, poverty – bordering on starvation – is rampant in war - scarred Leningrad. Masha and Iya, who due to her tallness is also called beanpole, have been welded together by their joint fight for survival. When Masha’s son suffers an accident under Iya's care, the two of them feel it is their duty to cure the inner wounds in their mutual support. In doing so, however, the two women enter downward spirals of trangressions and mutual dependencies.
With the story of Masha and Iya, Bagalov masterfully tells an exemplary tale of powerlessness in the face of post-traumatic momentums that scarred a whole generation in Europe. The film was inspired by storys from Swetlana Alexijevich’s documentary novel The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II that awards late recognition to female front-line veterans.
[trigger warning: Death of a child, euthanasia]
Drama, RUS 2019, OmdU, Duration: 139 Min., with: Viktoria Miroshnichenko, Vasilisa Perelygina, Timofey Glazkov, Andrey Bykov , Igor Shirokov i.a.
A film by Jan Komasa
Language: Polish - Subtitles: English
WATCH CORPUS CHRISTI HERE (available soon)
Does the Bible not say „Thou shall not lie?“ Twenty-year-old Daniel has found God in the youth penitentiary. However, due to his being a felon, he does not have a chance at getting a place in the seminary. Instead, he is sent to the other end of the country to work in a sawing mill. But opportunity presents itself and so it happens that he spontaneously pretends to be the new village pastor and that he can thusly follow his calling. Thanks to charisma and unorthodox methods, the impostor quickly conquers the hearts of the small community. And they seem to be in dire need of a new chaplain. Soon, Daniel uses hi snewly won authority to–against numerous oppositions–investigate a dark secret, which threatens to destroy the community from the inside. A special kind of cat-and-mouse game ensues, because his fraud is, after all, only secured by others’ belief in him.
Drama, POL/F 2019, OmeU, Duration: 116min., with: Bartosz Bielenia, Eliza Rycembel, Aleksandra Konieczna,Tomasz Ziętek, Leszek Lichota, i.a.
A film by Luke Lorentzen
Language: Spanish - Subtitles: English
Interview with Luke Lorentzen available here
Academy Award shortlist for Best Documentary
U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography Sundance FF
What does a city look like that has only 45 licensed abulances for nine million inhabitants? An entire network of thousands of self-proclaimed paramedics that mostly follow one goal in a city of corrupt police and rivaling businesses: reach accident scenes in wealthy districts first and take the injured to far-off private hospitals and receive high insurance payouts.
Midnight Family follows such an operation through it’s nightly battles in Mexico City: the family Ochoa, themselves driven by the need to secure their own survival. The documentary imparts the powerlessness of the Mexican city through its intricately choreographed action sequences and is defined by its absurdities. Street races among the ambulances are only one consequence of the shocking state of the system–whoever is there to help first gets payed.
[trigger warning: blood, traffic accidents]
Documentary, MEX/ USA 2019,OmeU, Duration: 81 Min.
One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk
A film by Zacharias Kunuk
Language: English and Inuktitut - Subtitles: English / German
1961. A wall is built in Germany, the first man travels to space and John F. Kennedy ends segregation in the United States. What history does not tell: Another indigenous nation is uprooted. On the Baffin Islands in the very north of Canada, Noah Piugattuk and his clan leave their camp to hunt.
On their first break, a white man approaches them on his dogsled carrying gifts and a translator. The Canadian government sent him; the Inuit are supposed to move to a reservation and send their children to school. But the Inuit will not consider giving up their nomadic lifestyle. A never-ending dialogue begins between the different languages, lost somewhere between comedy and hopelessness.
In the midst of an icy snowscape, One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk represents the ruthless attack of the west on the habitat of the „First People“ all over the world.
Feature film, CAN 2019, Original language, English / German subtitles, Length: 111 min., with: Apayata Kotierk, Kim Bodnia, Benjamin Kunuk and more
La Camarista (The Chambermaid)
A film by Lila Avilés
Language: Spanish - Subtitles: English
Interview with director Lila Avilés available here
Mexican Contribution to the 92nd Oscars
Eve (Gabriela Cartol) is working a full-time job at a luxury hotel in Mexico City, her daily work is characterised by a draining routine. Cleaning up ravaged rooms, changing sheets. She does her work reliably and efficiently. Always in the hope to climb in the hotel hierarchy to improve her circumstances. In one of the City‘s suburbs, far from the hotel, she lives with her son, whom she calls from work as often as possible. In her gray, rationalised every day life, in the staff elevators, staircases and rooms, Eve seems to be slowly becoming invisible. She has to learn that hopes will be disappointed, desires remain unfulfilled and dreams burst.
La Camarista is a mercyless, painful portrait of a young employee in one of the numerous fine hotels in the Mexican capital. With a slow but steady gaze (á la Akerman) and an eye for detail, Avilés shows the dead-end, socially unacceptable fate of a hotel employee.
Fiction, MEX 2018, OmeU, Duration: 102 Min., with: Gabriela Cartol, Teresa Sánchez, Agustina Quinc