Topicality

Becoming Astrid
Pernille Fischer Christensen
Sweden
124′
Astrid and her siblings count themselves lucky to be growing up on their parents’ parsonage farm in Vimmerby. Although their daily routine is shaped by strict religious values, their mother Hanna and father Samuel always manage to give them security and a sense of freedom. Astrid’s parents enable her to attend a secondary school that would normally be the preserve of wealthy bourgeois kids, and they do not get in the way of the 18-year-old when the owner of the local newspaper offers her a position as a volunteer in the editorial office. Not only does Reinhold Blomberg teach her to proof-read and write texts, he also falls in love with her. When she becomes pregnant, Astrid makes a momentous decision: she refuses to marry him and instead decides to take care of herself and her son Lasse on her own. In her film about the youth of the writer Astrid Lindgren (1907–2002), Pernille Fischer Christensen portrays a strong, independent young woman who breaks social norms and faces difficult decisions with courage. Alba August plays Astrid as both wild and thoughtful, a responsible young woman battling her own feelings of guilt.
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Jazz on a Summer's Day (1958)
Bert Stern
United States
83′
Set at the Newport jazz festival in 1958, this documentary mixes images of water and the town with performers and audience. The film progresses from day to night and from improvisational music to Gospel. It's a concert film that suggests peace and leisure, jazz at a particular time and place.
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Loves of a Blonde (1965)
Milos Forman
Czech Republic
80′
The head of a shoe factory persuades the army to hold manoeuvres nearby: So his workers can meet men at a ball. But the pot-bellied reservists are anything but attractive. Utilizing a brief hint of freedom, The Love of a Blonde throws an undisguised, humorous and tender look at Czechoslovakia in the 1960s and the ridiculousness of its functionaries.
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Lunana - A Yak in the Classroom
Pawo Choyning Dorji
Bhutan
109′
Struggling with his profession as a teacher, Ugyen is sent to Lunana in northern Bhutan for his final year of training. With a warm welcome, the local children try to win him over but they do not have much time...
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