Director's Choice: Tania Hermida

Ecuadorian filmmaker Tania Hermida has become internationally reknown for her debut feature QUE TAN LEJOS, a wonderful road movie through the Ecuadorian Andes. It registered more than 30'000 spectators in Switzerland. QUE TAN LEJOS as well as her second feature film EN EL NOMBRE DE LA HIJA are available on filmingo.

Madagascar (1994)
Fernando Pérez
Cuba
48′
"I dream exactly what I live every day," a professor, bored with her mundane life, tells her therapist. But the visual evidence on screen at the start of "Madagascar" suggests that dreams are never that banal. Bicyclists crowd the street, riding to work in slow motion in a haunting, shadowy blue dawn. The 50-minute "Madagascar" has the resonance and eloquence of the best poetry, as it deftly turns an adolescent's search for identity into a metaphor for post-revolutionary Cuba. Laura is a professor at a shabby, stultifying college. Her daughter, Laurita, stops going to school, wishes to move to Madagascar and quickly races through several phases. One day, she looks like a heavy-metal fan, another like a bohemian who weeps at poetry and art. Slowly, she crosses the line from ordinary adolescent confusion to intense neurosis and beyond, finally becoming so obsessed with religion and good works that she brings 10 homeless children into the cramped house she shares with her mother and grandmother. The film's director, Fernando Perez, creates graceful scenes linked by the merest narrative thread. His compressed episodes make it clear that Laura and Laurita, pre- and post-revolutuonary women, share a desperate search for some purpose in life. When Laura looks wistfully at a photograph of herself in May 1969, it is a rare reference to her political dreams, yet Mr. Perez has created an extraordinary meditation on the lost promise of youth and revolution. (Caryn James, in The New York Times)
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«A unique vision of dreams, desires and yearnings as they collide with consensual reality in a Cuban teenager’s transit to adulthood. Another one of Fernando’s very defiant and loving approaches to what it takes to grow up in his home island.»
«A poetic recall of Chile’s history. By relating stories from different eras, the film leads us to consider, from a unique perspective, the diverse forms of violence that power has displayed (from the colonisation period to recent times) as well as the tenacious forms of resistance that have stood against it.»
«It’s difficult to choose among Tarkovski’s films, but Stalker is certainly on my list. Its unique approach to the problem of faith is very dear to me. Neither the writer nor the scientist can afford faith. Only the child (in them?) seems to be capable of believing.»
Nostalgia de la luz (2010)
Patricio Guzmán
Chile
94′
In his documentary essay film, Chilean Patricio Guzmán takes a double look at the past: On the one hand there are the astronomers who look up to the sky in the Atacama Desert and explore the origin of the universe, on the other there are the women who search in the desert sand around the observatories for the mortal remains of their loved ones who have become victims of the military dictatorship. A journey into the light.
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«An illuminating view on our never-ending quest for truths. Cosmic and intimate stories meet in this exploration of human memory. Searching for stars that have already gone or for bones of the loved ones (taken violently away) appear as efforts towards the same pursuit.»

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