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April 20th–23rd, 2017 / Bucharest / Cinema Elvire Popesco / the 6th Edition

Competition

BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS AND HILLS
2016
90'
Directed by: 
Eran Kolirin
There has been a lot of talk going on in regards to the PTSD of non-active military personnel. This disorder develops especially after extreme danger situations, in the overwhelming pressure of battle and when dealing with its horrific aftermath. But what happens when this mental aggression occurs slowly, in apparently bearable doses? When the main character of the film, an Israeli officer, retires from the army after serving his country for 27 years, life seems to go back on track, in the midst of his family, next to his wife and his two teenage children. It all bears the semblance of a normal household, but the family members’ tensions and personal dramas are on the brink of explosion and force them to reveal their true selves. The ex-lieutenant colonel tries to readapt to his new life and to reintegrate into society as a sales agent. The impossibility of his transformation and his wife and children’s lives that have spun out of control will make David feel more and more powerless and vulnerable. And the only way of regaining his identity and his self-esteem is by using his combative instincts. A carefully crafted and excellently acted drama that was called by critics an Israeli American Beauty. A film directed by the renowned director Eran Kolirin, screened and awarded in many important festivales, among which Cannes and Jerusalem.
THIS IS OUR LAND
2017
117'
France/Belgium, 2017
An extremely actual film in its treatment of the ascenion of the far right within the European Union. The main character of the film, an apolitical nurse, unwittingly becomes an activist in an ultranationalist party in France. Although her sole purpose was that of helping her community, Pauline will become trapped in the party’s vortex of xenophobia and inculcated demagogy. The film stirred huge controversies, being slammed especially by the leaders of the French National Front and it was accused of slandering the organisation right before the elections in which Marine Le Pen is running with increased chances of winning. The director, Lucas Belvauz, has mantained his speech and has mentioned that his film is not a challenge to an objective debate about populism and its terrible danger, and that is in no way an act of sabotage or propaganda. E very fresh production, excellently acted and well grounded within the context of reality. The film was already screened in some important festivals and it will follow suit with a global circuit, in a year that is critical for the Occident’s status.
CLASH
2016
97'
Directed by: 
Mohamed Diab
Egypt/France
The film is somewhat of an experiment based on overwhelming psychological pressure. The setting is an overcrowded and claustrophobic prisoner transport caught in the middle of the Arab Spring that generates a conflict of characters, mentalities and ideologies that makes it a rarity in contemporary cinema. The mobile detention space becomes a microverse that resonates perfectly with the exterior one although the levels of tension that are achieved are even more profound. A physical and mental clash in a minuscule vital space. The acting is surprising, both realistic and nuanced. The twists and turns and the personal histories of the prisoners keep the viewers on the edge of their seats and involved through the film’s immersive and sensorial qualities. Although the story takes place in a very specific moment in history, the human dynamics that are displayed are valid anytime, for any culture and society. The film won’t ever lose its „now” factor. It was nominated and awarded at festivals such as Cannes, London, Valladolid or Munich.
HUMAN HARVEST
2016
72'
Directed by: 
Leon Lee
Sometimes, we are confronted with stories that, as much as we would try to understand them as real, are blocked by our personal belief system. When the information that, somewhere in China, people are being used as machines that have run their course and whose still functional organs are being harvested and used as spare parts has reached the Occident, the public opinion was, of course, dismissive. Then the evidence was brought to light. The facts. The images and the terrifying testimonies. And then there was Human Harvest. Thus, the immense human disassembly lines and the entire occult organ trafficking system have started to ingrain themselves in the perception of those that did not believe that this could happen in the real world. The shock is amplified when it’s discovered that many of the “donors” ar members of an enigmatic cult and of an alternative belief system, Falun Gong. The investigation made by two Nobel Prize nominees allows the construction of an atypical documentary that presents in cold blood the horrors of one of the greatest contemporary crimes agains in humanity.
PUTIN FOREVER?
2016
93'
Directed by: 
Kiril Nenashev
Currently, Vladimir Putin’s image and personality would be in the highest position in a ranking of the world’s most influent leaders. The importance of his decisions and strategies is overwhelming in regards to the planet’s stability or instability. However, everything starts with his dominion over his own people. Passed off as a sort of wild capitalism for the Occident, the current state of affairs of the Russian society is, in reality, hidden under the same soviet and KGB veil. Any attempt on behalf of Putin’s opponents to express themselves freely and to protest gainst the system is a very dangerous game, and the outcome has yet to be favorable: assassination, detention in federal prisons, political asylum. And many believe that it is a status quo that will last forever. A hard-hitting film, a documentary built with a huge amount of courage, in which important persons and archive material are discovered, in the midst of the most tensioned moments of anti-Putin revolts. An endeavor that will bring to the Romanian public a different perspective of the protests that have happened in our country. The similarities and the differences are breathtaking.
THE KING WHO TRICKED HITLER
2016
50'
Directed by: 
Trevor Poots
This is one of the last and greatest untold stories of the Second World War, revealed by the last surviving Chief of State, King Michael I of Romania. “We took the train to Berlin to see the other side of the coin and we had lunch with Hitler. It wasn’t an enjoyable meeting.” It is the story of a King’s decision who, in a critical moment of the Second World War, relinquished Germany’s support, guiding Romania towards the Allies, thus bringing about a quicker end to the war. It is a story of palatial intrigues. And a story of deceptions. From Buckingham Palace to Bucharest. From Moscow to Washington. Lost diplomatic signals, aristocrat spies and blackmail at gun point. And the courage of a young king who dared. Romania, at the outbreak of the Second World War, was a very young nation, with an age of only 20 years.
The King Who Tricked Hitler is a historical documentary that was selected by the History Channel UK network in January 2017. It was also selected in the official competition of the Pessac International Film Festival in France.
THE APPRENTICE
2016
115'
Directed by: 
Junfeng Boo
Singapore/Germany/France/Qatar, 2016
The story follows the immersion of a young officer in the Malaysian disturbing correctional system. Transferred to a supermax prison as a guard, Aiman will become, through unforseen events, the apprentice of Rahim, the prison’s head executioner. This experience whil change the young man’s life and will bring him closer to Rahim’s dark past which binds the two in a most cruel way to a painful event: the death of Aiman’s father. The unreleting tension of the film and the truly terrifying prison universe create a realistic and extremely profound drama, lacking in cliches. A film whose psychological realism is shiver-inducing. The film’s story is all the more interesting as, recently, in the same Asian country, a Romanian citizen was condemned to death. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, among many other festivals.

Partners

National Centre of Cinematography
Ministry of Culture and National Identity
The Romanian Cultural Institute
The French Institute in Bucharest
The Romanian Cinastes' Union