Politics & History

Politics and history have always played an important role in cinema. In this selection they are at the center of the story.

Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer (2015)
Lars Kraume
Germany
106′
The story of the man who brought high-ranking German Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann to justice.
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Al asfour - The Sparrow (1972)
Youssef Chahine
Egypt
103′
The Sparrow fascinates with its parallel strands of action. The various ways of encountering a criminal trader, namely by a police officer and a journalist, are ultimately only traces that lead to the tip of an iceberg: the corruption of Egyptian society on the eve of the Six-Day War.
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Finye (1982)
Souleymane Cissé
Mali
102′
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In Her Eyes (2011)
Xiaolu Guo
China
110′
A successful screen adaptation of a novel by renown Chinese writer, Xiaolu Guo, UFO in her Eyes is a hyper-vivid portrait of chaotic contemporary Chinese society. Has a flying saucer come to disrupt life in a village or is it simply the fantasy of an illiterate, attractive single lady? Starring Udo Kier.
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Alive (2009)
Artan Minarolli
Albania
90′
Twenty-two-year-old Koli is studying at Tirana university. When he hears of his father’s death, he returns to his native mountain village in the north to attend the funeral. During a walk through the countryside of his childhood, someone takes a shot at him. In a state of shock, the young man discovers that he is part of a blood feud sparked by his grandfather sixty years earlier. He goes to see the family to whom, according to custom, he owes his life - and, in doing so, he makes the acquaintance of the murderer whom fate has determined will take it. Away from his modern urban environment, Koli suddenly finds himself in a world of ancient, inexorable rituals, from which he is unable to extricate himself even after his return to Tirana. How deeply entrenched in people are the traditions of their forebears? And to what extent are they able to accept them as part of their modern, superficial lifestyle? How far-reaching is the perception of one’s own destiny and affinity with one’s roots? Director Artan Minarolli dedicated his film drama to the eighty-six illegal immigrants who drowned off the coast of Italy during an attempt to flee their native country in March 1997.
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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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Teza (2008)
Haile Gerima
Ethiopia
134′
Anberber has studied in Germany and returns post-graduate to Ethiopia. He is full of hope that he can support his country with his newly acquired knowledge. It's a story about hope and disillusionment, about foreignness and homeland.
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Downpour (1972)
Bahram Beyzaie
Iran
130′
Bahram Beyzaie’s debut feature about a well-meaning schoolteacher in Tehran who's embattled by changes of fortune, was enormously successful in its time, but had fallen out of view in post-revolutionary Iran. This version presents the film as restored in 2011 by the World Cinema Foundation at Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna/L’immagine Ritrovata laboratory, with the involvement of Bahram Beyzaie himself.
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Neruda (2016)
Pablo Larraín
Chile
108′
An inspector hunts down Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, who becomes a fugitive in his home country in the late 1940s for joining the Communist Party.
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Transit (2018)
Christian Petzold
Germany
102′
The German troops are just outside Paris. Georg escapes to Marseille at the last moment. His luggage contains the legacy of a writer named Weidel, who took his own life out of fear of persecution. This legacy comprises a manuscript, some letters and the Mexican Embassy’s assurance of a visa. Only those who can prove that they will leave are allowed in this port town, and this means you need an entry permit from a potential host country. Assuming the identity of Weidel, Georg tries to obtain one of the few scarce passages on a ship. Talks between refugees take place in the corridors of his small hotel, the waiting rooms of consulates, and the cafés and bars down at the harbour. Georg befriends Driss, the son of his late comrade Heinz, who died whilst trying to flee. But when he meets the mysterious Marie, his plans change. Transit is based on Anna Seghers’ eponymous novel which she wrote in exile. The film is set in contemporary Marseille where these characters from the past move around. And so, refugees from back then meet refugees from today, history meets the present, and all of their stories combine to create one eternal transit space.
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Das schweigende Klassenzimmer (2018)
Lars Kraume
Germany
112′
1956. During a visit to a cinema in West Berlin, East German high school pupils Theo and Kurt see disturbing newsreel footage of the uprising in Budapest. Back in Stalinstadt, one of the GDR’s flagship workers’ settlements, they have the idea of holding a minute’s silence in class for the victims of the Hungarian struggle for freedom. Neither the boys, nor their parents, nor the school’s administration are prepared for the minor and major reactions that their expression of solidarity unleashes. The school principal tries to dismiss the incident as juvenile mischief and deal with it internally, but the pupils find themselves snared in the political machinery of a state determined to make an example of them. Condemning their act as counter-revolutionary, the education minister demands that the pupils name their ringleader. They are faced with a decision that has dramatic consequences for their future. Director and screenwriter Lars Kraume has cast up-and-coming actors in the leading roles and established actors in supporting roles for his adaptation of Dietrich Garstka’s eponymous book in which Garstka recounts his own personal experiences and those of his 18 classmates. A moving chapter in German post-war history.
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Qissa (2013)
Anup Singh
India
110′
Set in post-colonial India, QISSA tells the story of Umber Singh, a Sikh, who is forced to flee his village due to ethnic cleansing at the time of partition in 1947. Umber decides to fight fate and builds a new home for his family. When Umber marries his youngest child Kanwar to Neeli, a girl of lower caste, the family is faced with the truth of their identities; where individual ambition and destinies collide in a struggle with eternity.
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Ajami (2009)
Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani
Israel
115′
Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures and conflicting views among jews, muslims and christians. Back and forth in time, and through the eyes of various characters, we witness how impossible the situation actually is …
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On the Path (2010)
Jasmila Zbanic
Bosnia and Herzegovina
103′
Luna and Amar are a couple. Their relationship is under great strain. First of all, Amar loses his job for being drunk at work. Luna is very worried and has little hope of realising her fragile dream of having a child with Amar. But her fears for their future increase when Amar takes on a well-paid job in a Muslim community hours away from where they live.Only after quite some time has elapsed during which they have had no contact with each other, is Luna allowed to visit Amar in this community of conservative Wahhabis in its idyllic lakeside location. She notices that the men and veiled women live in strict segregation and are closely watched. Luna asks Amar to return home with her but Amar insists that life in this isolated community of faithful followers has brought him peace and also keeps him from drinking. When he returns home a few weeks later, Luna realises that Amar’s attitude to religion has fundamentally changed. Amar claims that his only interest is to become a better person, but Luna finds it extremely difficult to follow his line of thinking. She begins to question everything that she has believed in, even her desire to have a child. As the wounds of a tragic war-filled past continue to haunt her, Luna tears herself apart searching if love is truly enough to keep her and Amar together on the path to a lifetime of happiness.
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Theeb (2014)
Naji Abu Nowar
Jordan
100′
In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination. In 1916, in the Hejaz Province of the Ottoman Empire, the young Bedouin Theeb (Jacir Eid) is learning from his elder brother Hussein (Hussein Salameh) the skills for everyday survival in their harsh environment. Immersed in a way of life that has endured for centuries, the brothers are unaware of the tremendous upheavals taking place at the fringes of their world: the First World War is raging in Europe, the Ottoman Empire is coming undone, the Great Arab Revolt is brewing, and the British officer T.E. Lawrence is plotting with the Arab Prince Faisal to establish an Arab kingdom. When British officer Edward (Jack Fox) and his Bedouin guide Marji (Marji Audeh) stumble wayward into their tribe's camp, the two brothers' destiny is forever changed. Abiding by the Bedouin custom that guests cannot be refused aid, Hussein is assigned to accompany the two strangers to their destination - with the uninvited Theeb, eager for adventure, following close behind. The ensuing journey, filled with danger and hardship, will result in Theeb's greatly hastened maturation in a culture where a man's honour and righteousness determines his inclusion or expulsion from the community.
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Durak (2014)
Juri Bykow
Russia
112′
Dima Nikitin is a simple and honest plumber who works in a small Russian town. Except for his unusual integrity, nothing makes him stand out of the crowd, until one night in a dorm mainly occupied by drunkards and outcasts, the pipes burst, endangering the occupants. Everybody needs to be immediately evacuated but nobody cares, so Nikitin sets off on a night-long odyssey to fight an entire system of corrupt bureaucrats.
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Worlds Apart (2015)
Christopher Papakaliatis
Greece
103′
Set in modern day Greece, "Worlds Apart" is comprised of three separate narratives each following a love story between a foreigner and a Greek. Each story represents a different generation falling in love during a time of socioeconomic turmoil that dominates Southern Europe as a whole,only to connect as a single story in the end. Almost like a triptych work of art where each painting stands alone,yet its true impact lies when viewed as a whole. "Worlds Apart", follows the characters difficult path to love and the complications that their world has. Nevertheless Greece,despite its harsh realities,is still a place where truth,beauty and humanity exist. A place where love can thrive even in the darkest hour. Release places in german speaking Switzerland january 19th 2017 Baden, Kino Orient Basel, Kult.kino Berne, Movie Brugg, Odeon Chur, Apollo Lucerne, Bourbaki Winterthur, Loge Zürich, Capitol Zürich, Houdini Olten, Lichtspiel, january 28 Thun, february 6 Release places in french speaking Switzerland march 1st Delémont Fribourg, Rex Fribourg, Rex: CinéBrunch february 12 Geneva, Cinelux Lausanne, Galeries Vevey Oron-la-ville, march 5
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Valley of Saints (2012)
Musa Syeed
India
82′
In the valley of Kashmir, a lakeside city convulses with riots and curfews. A young man tries to escape, when he meets a beautiful environmentalist in an abandoned houseboat. Trapped together in his floating village, their blossoming romance threatens to derail his dreams.
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Sankofa (1993)
Haile Gerima
Burkina Faso
119′
Powerful, moving and highly acclaimed, director Haile Gerima’s Sankofa is a masterpiece of cinema that has had a transformative impact on audiences since its release in 1993. This empowering film tells a story of slavery and of the African Diaspora from the perspective of the enslaved, challenging the romanticizing of slavery prevalent in American culture. Sankofa was developed from 20 years of research into the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the experiences of African slaves in the New World. The film represents complex characters and empowering moments of resilience that assert humanity in the face of subjugation. Unlike Hollywood’s depiction of slavery, Gerima presents the often suppressed history of slave resistance and rebellion and represents the enslaved as agents of their own liberation. The story begins with Mona (Oyafunmike Ogunlano), an African American model on a fashion shoot at the former slave castles in Cape Coast, Ghana. Mona undergoes a journey back in time and place to a slave plantation in North America where she becomes Shola, a house slave, and experiences the suffering of slavery firsthand. In becoming Shola and returning to her past culture and heritage, Mona is able to recover her lost slave identity and confront her ancestral experience. Shola’s interactions with her fellow slaves are marked with humanity and dignity, most notably with Shango (Mutabaruka), a rebellious field slave, and Nunu (Alexandra Duah), one of the few slaves to remember her life in Africa before being stolen by Europeans. The film’s narrative structure follows the concept of "Sankofa," an Akan word that signifies the recuperation of one’s past in order to comprehend the present and find one’s future. Allyson Nadia Field, ucla
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Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (2011)
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Turkey
151′
Life in a small town is akin to journeying in the middle of the steppes: the sense that "something new and different" will spring up behind every hill, but always unerringly similar, tapering, vanishing or lingering monotonous roads...
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Ecuador (2012)
Jacques Sarasin
Ecuador
76′
In a world of one-way traffic, where the northern countries are exporting their economic and political model worldwide, one country in Latin America has undertaken a profound reform of these models to invent a new type of governance, both pragmatic and humanistic. The country in question is Ecuador. Rafael Correa, an established economist, who came to politics as a man on a mission, was elected President in 2006. Since coming to power, he has transformed a country with archaic structures into a social, independent, ecological and participative democracy. He has given Ecuadorians genuine reason to believe that the rigid structures of the past were no longer inevitable, that ordinary citizens had their word to say, and that, at long last, their voices would be heard. This film is intended for everyone, from rich and emerging countries alike. It suggests concrete perspectives to a new way of living the phenomenon of globalization. It shows that political, ecological and economic alternatives do exist. This film is not a film about Ecuador; rather, is about a political project, where utopia became reality. It is a film of ideas and reflections, suggesting solutions to the current crises besetting the globe. It proposes a real debate on the future of our society
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Ken Bugul (2015)
Silvia Voser
Senegal
62′
Ken Bugul is a Senegalese writer who lives in Africa, where her soul is anchored. She has had an exceptional life. Silvia Voser’s film shows her as an iconic figure of the female condition and of relationships between Africa and the West. Ken Bugul is considered one of the most brilliant writers in Senegalese and French of these past decades. Over the years, thanks to her great command of the French language and the uncompromising care she takes with the wording of the meaning of Wolof vocabulary, her mother tongue, her novels have become absolute references in the realm of linguistic studies. "What you read in French in my novels is how we think and speak in Wolof in my village". Ken Bugul’s personal story is overshadowed by Africa’s turbulent history. She was born in 1947 in an isolated village in Senegal, at that time a French colony. Her father was 85 years old and her mother left them before Ken turned five. This was a fundamental event in Ken Bugul’s life. In spite of lacking a mother’s love, she was full of energy and a yearning for freedom, and she received an exceptional education for a village girl of that time. In 1971, she left for Europe to go to university and there she met people from the upper middle class and discovered new ideologies and liberties, modern art, drugs, alcohol, loneliness, incomprehension and disdain, and prostitution to relieve her need for affection. As she says in "The Abandoned Baobab": "For twenty years all I had learned was their thoughts and their emotions. I thought I’d have fun with them, but I ended up even more frustrated. I identified with them, but they didn’t identify with me." She came back to Senegal, a broken, lonely and penniless young woman. People thought she was crazy and she was rejected by her family and society. For two years, she slept in the streets of Dakar, hanging out with outcasts, beggars, prostitutes and artists. Dirty, hungry, almost naked, she started writing her first novel, "The Abandoned Baobab". Worn out, she decided to go back to her family. And there, in her mother’s village, she found refuge with the Serigne (marabout), a wise and much respected man. He took her as his 28th wife, enabling her to re-enter society, and he supported her in her desire to write and to be free. He died in 1981, a year before the publication of her first novel, "The Abandoned Baobab", which was an immediate success. Ken Bugul was invited to present her book all over the world. She met a doctor from Benin, married him and moved to that country, where she gave birth to their daughter Yasmina. Her husband passed away four years later. For the past thirty years, novel after novel, Ken Bugul has painted a picture of her life as a woman, of her loves, of the relationship between her continent and the West. "To write", she says, "is to dazzle the senses, and the senses are colourless." Silvia Voser leads us gently into the secret, tormented world of an artist whose writings show an understanding of the world that is rarely achieved.
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Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Sergej M. Eisenstein
Russia
49′
The revolution film par excellence, here in the German needle-tone version of 1930: The film presents a dramatized version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their officers. Battleship Potemkin was named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958. In 2012, the British Film Institute named it the eleventh greatest film of all time.
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Salt of this Sea (2008)
Annemarie Jacir
Palestine
105′
Soraya, 28, born and raised in Brooklyn, decides to return to live in Palestine, a country that her family was exiled from in 1948. On arriving in Ramallah, Soraya tries to recover the money left in an account by her grandparents but meets with refusal from the bank. Her path then crosses that of Emad, a young Palestinian whose ambition, unlike hers, is to leave the country for good. To escape the constraints linked to the situation in Palestine but also to earn their freedom, Soraya and Emad take things into their own hands, even if this means breaking the law. In this quest for life, we follow their trail through the History of a lost Palestine. Annemarie Jacir is telling not only or simply the story of a woman that comes to visit a region where her grandparents lived («here!»), no, the palestinian filmmaker is taking us as viewers deep into that, what facts and figures could never describe. It is this strong atmosphere, she has been creating, that touches us, it's the images of a well known situation, but again, not only the images in the photografic sense, she reaches in the way she's telling this little journey a level of inside view, that has in it's silent, feverish and constantly instabile way breathtaking and heartstopping moments. SALT OF THIS SEA is one of those movies, that give us an inner view of a situation that we all know somehow and where we run out of words to discribe. And this seems to me today much more important then to repeat what we know. Annemarie Jacirs movie is touching, because it goes under the surface even by simply showing surfaces, it goes under the surface by having a wonderful actress who is able to speak not only in words. And it goes there because she did put together so many little visible and invisible elements, without pointing them out: They are simply there, from the first moment, and they speak for themselves each of them and all together. The filmmaker created a kind of soft explosive that is not blessing but touching.
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Shanghai, Shimen Road (2011)
Haolun Shu
China
85′
Xiaoli, a 16 year old Shanghainese boy, has recently turned 16, in the summer of 1988. His life revolves around his one-room apartment in a beautiful brick house in the picturesque Shikumen neighborhood of Da Zhongli which he shares with his grandfather. Xiaoli's grandfather was brought up in this neighborhood, and was one of original owners of the houses, built in the 1930s by British architects. The houses were confiscated from their original owners by the government during the Cultural Revolution and made to share with lower-income families. Xiaoli's father died in prison during the Cultural Revolution and his mother immigrated to the United States in the hope of obtaining a green card for her and her son. Xiaoli yearns to graduate from high school and open a photo shop as he is numbed by the routine of his life: his boring political education classes, his English study, the sternness of his grandfather and the lack of comforting parental figure. At the same time, he is wary of the idea of following in his mother's footsteps to America. His interest lies in his blossoming next door neighbor, a girl of twenty named Lanmi. Lanmi failed her college entrance exams and works in the Shanghai no. 2 Toothbrush Factory. She lives in the adjacent apartment with her mother and step-father. She comes from a lower class income family and was relocated in Da Zhongli with her father and mother, before her father was sent off to labor prison were he also eventually died. Lanmi does not get along with her mother and stepfather and new born sibling, and yearns to get out of Da Zhongli, if only she could afford it. She turns to Xiaoli for comfort, albeit of a different kind than Xiaoli is looking for. While Xiaoli looks at her for a mix of motherly figure and teenage lust, Lanmi plays with him. She flirts with him, arouses his senses, and yet has no interest in pursuing their relationship any further, thus giving false hopes to Xiaoli. She starts leading a double life, one which Xiaoli does not even know exists. One day, as she is delivering toothbrushes to a hotel, she is hired to work there for one of the 'sisters'. To Xiaoli, her job oddly consists of going to dances or accompanying foreign businessmen, as Shanghai progressively opens up to foreigners, foreign exchange notes and coca-cola. Xiaoli slowly becomes suspicious of Lanmi's new job yet gives her the benefit of the doubt. Until one day when Lanmi dispappears down south in search of a better life. In Lanmi's absence, Xiaoli turns to Lili who is more of his age but never looses interest in his deviant neighbor. When Lanmi comes back two weeks later, the student demonstrations start monopolizing everyone's life in the spring of 1989. They offer new opportunities to Xiaoli and Lanmi, depending on how each one looks at the events. Xiaoli becomes absorbed by the new developments and slowly looses his naivesness about the country he is living in and his interest in his next door neighbour's Lanmi turns to drugs and alcohol as an escape to her everyday life. When the situation gets so bad that Xiaoli's grandfather urges Xiaoli to leave for America, Xiaoli agrees to and flees.
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The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
Michail Kalatosow
Russia
94′
Veronika and Boris come together in Moscow shortly before World War II. Walking along the river, they watch cranes fly overhead, and promise to rendezvous before Boris leaves to fight. Boris misses the meeting and is off to the front lines, while Veronika waits patiently, sending letters faithfully. After her house is bombed, Veronika moves in with Boris’ family, into the company of a cousin with his own intentions.
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The suspended step of the stork (1991)
Theo Angelopoulos
Greece
143′
While working on a story in the border area, a young journalist discovers a divided town bisected by a river which is also the national frontier. He observes a surreal wedding in which the bride and her family stand on one shore and the groom and his relatives on the other, lost under a cold sky: figure in a landscape who only delude themselves that they are masters of the earth and their destiny The town, a remote ghost town, almost forgotten at the end of the world, has been named «waiting room» by the locals because most of its inhabitants are refugees from different countries many of whom have crossed the border illegally at some time or other and are now waiting for their turn to leave and start life anew «somewhere else.» In the course of his investigation he also comes upon an aging, reclusive refugee, who lives there cultivating a field. But the young journalist believes he is a famous Greek politician who disappeared years before, leaving behind him many unanswered questions. The man's identity is never resolved but the hapless refugees and divided village allow the reporter to understand his despair over the human condition. Theo Angelopoulos weaves yet another poetical allegory on the great open questions of our turbulent age. The film is very contemporary in its treatment of borders, refugees and a changing world since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. «Being a refugee is an internal condition more than an external one, says one of the characters in the film. And later on he also says, «We've passed the borders but we're still here. How many frontiers do we have to pass to get home?» Do politicians really care? Does anyone? Finally, there is the image of the stranger standing on the bridge poised over the dividing line between the two countries. He has one leg suspended in mid air, like a stork. «If I take one more step I am... somewhere else, or... I die.»
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Closely Watched Trains (1966)
Jiri Menzel
Czech Republic
93′
The young Miloš Hrma, who speaks with misplaced pride of his family of misfits and malingerers, is engaged as a newly trained station guard in a small railway station during the Second World War and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. He admires himself in his new uniform, and looks forward, like his prematurely-retired railwayman father, to avoiding real work. The sometimes pompous stationmaster is an enthusiastic pigeon-breeder with a kind wife, but is envious of the train dispatcher Hubička's success with women. Miloš holds an as-yet platonic love for the pretty, young conductor Máša. The experienced Hubička presses for details of their relationship and realizes that Miloš is still a virgin. The idyll of the railway station is periodically disturbed by the arrival of the councillor, Zednicek, a Nazi collaborator, who spouts propaganda at the staff without success. At her initiative, Máša spends the night with Miloš, but in his youthful excitability he ejaculates prematurely before achieving penetration and then is unable to perform sexually; and the next day, despairing, he attempts suicide. He is saved, and a young doctor explains to him that ejaculatio praecox is normal at Miloš's age. The doctor recommends Miloš to "think of something else" (at which point Miloš volunteers an interest in football), and to seek the assistance of an experienced woman. During the nightshift, Hubička flirts with the young telegraphist, Zdenička, and imprints her thighs and buttocks with the office's rubber stamps. Her mother sees the stamps and complains to Hubička's superiors, and the ensuing scandal helps to frustrate the stationmaster's ambition of being promoted to inspector. The Germans and their collaborators are on edge, since their trains are being attacked by the partisans. A glamorous Resistance agent (a circus artist in peacetime), code-named Viktoria Freie, delivers a time bomb to Hubička for use in blowing up a large ammunition train. At Hubička's request, the "experienced" Viktoria also helps Miloš to resolve his sexual problem. The next day, at the crucial moment when the ammunition train is approaching, Hubička is caught up in a farcical disciplinary hearing, overseen by Zednicek, over his rubber stamping of Zdenička's backside. In Hubička's place, Miloš, liberated by his experience with Viktoria from his former passivity, takes the time bomb and drops it from a semaphore gantry, that extends transversely above the tracks, onto the train. A machine-gunner on the train, spotting Miloš, sprays him with bullets, and his body falls onto the train. With the Nazi collaborator Zednicek, winding up the disciplinary hearing, dismissing the Czech people as "nothing but laughing hyenas" (a phrase actually employed by the senior Nazi official Reinhard Heydrich, the implicit retort to his jibe comes in the form of a huge series of explosions that destroys the train. Now Hubička and the other railwaymen are indeed laughing - to express their joy at the blow to the Nazi occupiers - and it is left to a wistful Máša to pick up Miloš's uniform cap, hurled across the station by the power of the blast. (wp)
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The Other Bank (2010)
George Ovashvili
Georgia
90′
Twelve-year-old Tedo lives with his young mother in Keto in an isolated hut on the outskirts of Tiflis. Tedo and Keto are refugees from Abchasia. The civil war has claimed everything they ever owned, including Tedo’s and Keto’s hopes for a bright future as an intact family unit. Tedo was just four years of age when they were obliged to flee from Abchasia. At the time, they had to leave behind Tedo’s father - his weak heart made it impossible for him to take on such a strenuous journey. Tedo is now an apprentice at a car repair shop and Keto is working as a sales assistant. Tedo gives the few pennies that he earns to his mother so that she no longer has to be nice to strange, unfriendly men. It pains the young boy agreat deal that he cannot earn more of a living for them; moreover, his mother’s moral conduct begins to weigh heavily on him. One day, when he discovers that she has a lover it becomes all too much for him and he decides to return to his father in Abchasia. Perhaps he will find the solution to all his problems there. Tedo meets many people on his journey - and suffers many a blow. He is by no means welcome everywhere. As his journey comes to an end he has acquired many an insight - such as the realisation that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side.
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Birdwatchers (2008)
Marco Bechis
Brazil
104′
Birdwatchers (La terra degli uomini rossi) is a film set in Brazil, in the Matto Grosso do Sul. It depicts the breakdown of a community of Guarani-Kaiowa native Indians whilst attempting to reclaim their ancestral land from a local farmer.
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Une famille respectable (2012)
Massoud Bakhshi
Iran
90′
Arash is an Iranian academic who lives in the West. He returns to teach classes in Shiraz, where his mother lives, far from Tehran. Trapped in a whirlwind of family and financial intrigues, he plunges back into the difficult hours of his childhood at the beginning of the Iraq-Iran war in 1981. Following the death of his father and discovering what has become of his "respectable family", he is forced to make choices.
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Pepe Mujica - El presidente (2014)
Heidi Specogna
Germany
94′
A former resistance fighter who is elected president of Uruguay and donates almost 90 percent of his salary to social projects: Pepe Mujica, one of Latin America's most charismatic personalities, has become known as "the poorest president in the world". He has always remained true to his ideals, having spent many years in prison for political reasons. His modest lifestyle - he lives in a small finca instead of a government palace - and his unconventional appearance underpin his credibility with young and old. Pepe Mujica represents his concerns with humour, intellect and passion, and his political commitment to a more just society attracts international attention and encouragement. Filmmaker Heidi Specogna and her cameraman Rainer Hoffmann often visited Pepe Mujica and his wife Lucía Topolansky and accompanied them with their cameras. This is how the portrait of an extraordinary person was created, who, at almost 80 years of age, has retained his courage, his wit, his humanity and his strong hope for change. "Pepe Mujica - el presidente" is an optimistic and moving film that inspires courage.
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