16.04. ‐ 21.04.2024

International Programme: “Chaos”

The international film programme with emphasis on our theme “Chaos” is complete. Great directors like Lav Diaz, Lynne Ramsey and Sergei Loznitska present their newest efforts at the 11th Lichter Film Festival.

At the Cannes Film Festival last year, A Beautiful Day by Lynne Ramsey won double: The director was awarded Best Screenplay and lead actor Joaquin Phoenix the Best Actor Award. Phoenix portrays an assassin who beats up human traffickers of girls for a living. The coarse giant rescues girls from organised prostitution for money.

Loosely based on Dostojewski’s “A Gentle Creature”, Sergei Loznitsas holds a mirror to the broken side of Russia in A Gentle Creature. A woman lives alone in the remote Russian provinces, her husband is in prison, but innocent. As one of her packages to him is returned and no one in her hometown can help her find out way, she takes on the difficult journey through Russia to deliver the package herself. Arriving at the prison, her odyssey still won’t end. The Ukraine-born Loznitsas, who continuously associates the Putin-government with Stalinistic methods, has once more filmed harrowing images in a society of lies.

The political heart in the question on chaos especially comes to light when orders are subject to dissolution. Individuals or whole communities are then subject to the consequences. Sergio & Sergei debates humorously how the fall of the Soviet Union bans an astronaut from returning to earth, or, more seriously, explicit political films like Women Of The Venezuelan Chaos, Devil’s Freedom and Season of the Devil, in which the long-term damages of collectively traumatising experiences are reconstructed in almost extra-legal contexts. Lav Diaz’ newest film, Season of the Devil, which ran in the competition of this year’s Berlinale, has a runtime of almost four hours and is Slow Cinema par excellence.

A topic always relevant is addressed in the coming-of-age dramas Home and Blue My Mind. Both are unfathomable in their own way, but very different in choosing their tools as they discuss the emotional chaos of puberty and develop their spirals of escalation in conflict with the adult generation.

The lead characters in The Gulf and All You Can Eat Buddha couldn’t be more different, but still have something in common. They are unable to react, even as the world around them sink into chaos. Sometimes crazy, sometimes laconic, sometimes completely off, but always strongly standing out from the “coolness” of omnipresent productions of Netflix and other platforms, this contemporary cinema is a surprisingly critical comment on a time dominated by self-portrayal and actionism, when everything is possible and somehow important but also completely negligible and no one really knows where to go.

All films in competition for the „LICHTER International Feature Award“, powered by prolight+sound:

All You Can Eat Buddha (Director: Ian Lagarde)

Blue My Mind (Director: Lisa Brühlmann)

Dhogs (Director: Andrés Goteira)

In Praise of Nothing (Director: Boris Mitic)

Pig (Director: Mani Haghighi)

Sergio & Sergei (Director: Ernesto Daranas)

The Goose (Director: Mike Maryniuk)

The Green Fog (Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson)

Women of the Venezuelan Chaos (Director: Margarita Cadenas)  

Films out of competition:

A Beautiful Day (Director: Lynne Ramsay)

A Gentle Creature (Director: Sergei Loznitsa)

Devil´s Freedom (Director: Everardo González)

Home (Director: Fien Troch)

Season of the Devil (Director: Lav Diaz)

The Gulf (Director: Emre Yeksan)