Film critics' workshop


Homage program to Underground Spirit Award Laureates MISTER UNIVERSO Directors: Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel Austria, 2016 Circus “melancholy” Unpretentious and wisely led docu-fiction by Austro-Italian duet Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, takes us to the melancholic world of circus artists far away behind stage lights and glamorous scene. The notion of circus as a place of freedom is deconstructed in all its segments; depressive

The Real Estate

She returns home to Sweden from a love affair in Spain to a dead father and an inheritance. The inheritance is an apartment building, but she has little interest in being a landlady. Should one only be responsible to oneself? She has no kids, and she likes it that way. She does have a lot of tenants though, some of them living in her building

Year of the Monkey

The zoo is always an unfortunate metaphor for life in the Balkans. In Year of the Monkey we have a zookeeper who loses his job and an ape who cannot handle losing him, and who runs away from captivity. That is the set up for a sensitive tale about life in Macedonia, realised with a dose of absurd humor. The first suggestion to the protagonist


Parallels and Encounters BANDITS IN SEARCH OF MOM Directora: Kosta Ristić Serbia, 2018 A HARSH COMING OF AGE Kosta Ristić’s full-length debut is an urban Tom Sawyer-style saga about the life of Kristijan, a Gypsy kid accompanied by his sister and two brothers. The backdrop to this bittersweet tale is Belgrade, its derelict districts ranging from the abandoned socialist factories to gloomy train stations. The


Paralele i sudari / Parallels and Encounters KAD DRVEĆE PADA / WHEN THE TREES FALL / KOLY PADAYUT DEREVA Režija: Marysija Nikitiuk Ukraine, Poland, Macedonia, 2018. Despite the numerous contradictions, this mélange of genres- social drama, action thriller, even with hints of magic realism- actually works really well. The structure of the film is based on strong contrasts, primarily on the opposition of village and


GIRL REVIEW The effect of the film is a subtle and stripped-down realism that opens a page into the life of a young girl born into the body of a boy. This young girl wants to be a ballerina, and here we have a unique, physical exercising of the politics of the body. Must gender be practiced, or perfected? Theorists would say that it is


Parallels and Encounters VOLCANO Director: Roman Bondarchuk Ukraine, Germany, Monaco, 2018 The absence of the firm social-political motivation along with a myriad of absurd situations the film’s protagonist finds himself in, are the main features of Roman Bondarchuk’s directorial debut. As you watch this film, the reality of contemporary Eastern Europe starts to seem quite Kafkaesque in its nature. The film’s protagonist Lukas, employed as

Crystal Swan

REVIEW The visual style sits somewhere between Jim Jarmusch and Pawel Pawlikowski. The music evokes notions of Mia Hansen-Love’s recent feature Eden. The ever-present images of socialist monument detritus, looming large over scenes in a haunting way but also exaggerated to comic relief, echo Andrzej Wajda. But this is a Belarusian film. Grounded in local specificity, the story still feels like déjà vu for anyone


Official Selection HAPPY AS LAZZARO / LAZZARO FELICE Alice Rohrwacher Italy, 2018 Alice Rohrwacher is one of the few women directors the Cannes Film Festival has consistently supported. Her debut feature Heavenly Body screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section in 2011. Her follow-up The Wonders screened in competition in 2014 and won the Grand Prix. Her newest is titled Happy as Lazzaro, which also screened


Official Selection STYX Volfgang Fischer Germany, Austria, 2018 There is always something admirable about a film that relies on visual storytelling – the essence of the cinematic. Styx by the Austrian director Wolfgang Fischer is an exercise in such a mode, but it is also a contemporary morality tale about Europe and the ongoing refugee crisis. Crisis might not be strong enough a word for