Contemporary Lives

 

No Hero At All

Antybohater (No Hero At All)

 by Michał Kawecki (doc, Poland, 2021, 77'), Italian premiere

Due to a severe birth defect, Miszka’s arms and legs are not fully developed: he has no hands or feet. That hasn’t stopped him from becoming a multiple champion for Poland’s Paralympic alpine skiing team. But when Miszka is accused of repeated thefts of cars and motorcycles, he loses his place on the team: his future career and participation in the Winter Paralympics Olympics are jeopardized! He still has a chance to get back on the team, but he must be able to distance himself from everything that has led him astray. A personal struggle that will be the biggest challenge he has ever faced.

 

 

Eat your Catfish 

Eat Your Catfish

 by Noah Amir Arjomand, Adam Isenberg, Senem Tüzen (doc, USA/Spain/Turkey, 2021, 74'), Italian premiere

Kathryn has ASL. She is paralyzed and opted for mechanical breathing but her mind is intact. Her husband Said has worked hard to provide her with all kinds of assistance, but he is very distressed by this situation. Her grown son Noah, who lives with his parents, struggles to reconcile his academic obligations with those he feels to his mother. The disease has also been a destructive force complicating relationships in the family. Kathryn often falls into despair, but she has been holding on to see her daughter’s wedding day. This project draws on 930 hours of footage—all filmed from a fixed camera from Kathryn’s point of view. The result is a profoundly intimate, layered and wryly funny portrait of a family at its breaking point.

 

 Erasmus in Gaza

Erasmus in Gaza

 by Chiara Avesani, Matteo Delbò (doc, Spain, 2021, 88'), Italian premiere

Erasmus in Gaza tells the story of Riccardo, 24, graduating in Medicine from the University of Siena and the first student in the world to participate in the European University Exchange Program "Erasmus" in the Gaza Strip. However, entering Gaza is not easy and when the armed conflict rekindles violently, Riccardo is forced to make difficult choices, for himself and the people around him. But the advice and the presence of his new friends and colleagues will be the element of strength and courage that will allow him to overcome fears and get over professional and human difficulties, realizing, beyond all expectations, his dream of becoming a surgeon.

 

 

Eskape

Eskape

 by Neary Adeline Hay (doc, France, 2021, 70'), Italian premiere

Cambodia 1981. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, a woman flees a country in fire and blood. She holds a baby in her arms. Forty years later, confronted with her mother's silence forged by trauma and time, the director decides to embark on a long journey. From the Cambodian jungle, through the former refugee camps of Thailand and Indonesia, to the asylum-seekers centers in France, she tries to reconstruct the story of their survival and to open up the paths of memory and transmission.

 

 

Instructions for Survival

Instructions For Survival

 by Yana Ugrekhelidze (doc, Germany, 2021, 72'), Italian premiere

Alexander is a transgender person who has lived with his girlfriend Marie for more than seven years. Because of the mark “female” in his passport and his trans identity, Alexander cannot find a job and has to lead a secret life. The violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity brings the couple to the decision to leave their homeland. To afford this exodus, Marie accepts an offer of 12,000 Dollars to become a surrogate mother. But their ostensibly pragmatic plan becomes complicated when Alex and Mari gradually develop an emotional bond with the unborn child.

 

  Jason2

Jason

 by Maasja Ooms (doc, Netherlands, 2021, 90'), Italian premiere

A painfully frank portrait of 22-year-old Jason as he undergoes trauma therapy. We witness his battle against the demons of the past and the sense of injustice of having been in juvenile detention for something in which Jason is a victim rather than a perpetrator.
Director Maasja Ooms closely follows Jason as he struggles with the psychological effects of a traumatic childhood. During intense therapy sessions, it becomes clear how much he has been harmed, and how far-reaching the consequences are when wrong decisions are made in the youth care system.In this portrayal, we see Jason also as a campaigner who uses his experiences to save others from suffering in the same way and this mission gives him the strength to show his most vulnerable side.

 Golden Land

Kultainen maa(Golden Land)

 by Inka Achté (doc, Finland/Sweden/Norway, 2022, 83'), Italian premiere

When Finnish-Somali Mustafe discovers that his family’s land is full of copper and gold, he decides to leave his secure family life in the north and move to Somaliland. But starting up a mining company in the Horn of Africa turns out to be more difficult than Mustafe imagined and while he gets lost in clan feuds and bureaucracy to get his riches out of the ground, his children struggle to find their place in their new home, where everything is so different from what they grew up with in Finland.

 

 

 Melting Dreams

Melting Dreams

 by Haidy Kancler (doc, Slovenia/Finland/Austria, 2022, 84'), Italian premiere

In Bamyan, Afghanistan, three girls dream of becoming professional skiers and representing Afghanistan at the Olympic Games. They seem one step closer to achieving their dreams when they receive the permission to go to Europe to train. Once in the Old Continent, they immediately face insurmountable cultural differences and the harsh standards of European professional sports. What begins as an opportunity to follow their dreams turns into an unpredictable and emotional rollercoaster with high-stakes consequences. While the film does not judge or take sides, it offers observational insights into an emotional and unpredictable journey of melting dreams.

 

 

Nel nome di Gerry Conlon4

Nel nome di Gerry Conlon (In the name of Gerry Conlon)

 by Lorenzo Moscia (doc, Italy, 2022, 82'), World premiere

At the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland, Gerry Conlon and three others were wrongly convicted for IRA bombings in Guildford. In 1975 “The Guildford Four” were sentenced to life imprisonment – in one of the biggest judicial errors in Britain. In this intimate documentary, Gerry shares his story of 15 unjustified years in prison and life after release. He speaks about the biopic “In the Name of the Father”, depression, drug use and how he found meaning in life by fighting for others in similar cases of miscarriages of justice. His story has a special relevance at a time when civil and human rights are threatened by the rise of right-wing extremism all over Europe.

 

 

Ostrov Lost Island

Ostrov - Lost Island

 by Svetlana Rodina, Laurent Stoop (doc, Switzerland, 2021, 91'), Italian premiere

The inhabitants of Ostrov Island, in the Caspian Sea, abandoned by the Russian state after the collapse of the Soviet Union, survive thanks to poaching. Once, the inhabitants of the island were three thousand, today there are fifty left. The island has no gas nor electricity, no legal jobs, no doctors nor policemen. Ivan risks his life and freedom every day by going out to sea. He struggles, he has fun, he dances, he fights and he believes that one day Putin will save the island from misery and help them. Sometimes Ivan turns on the generator and watches propaganda on state television. Ivan continues to believe in Putin and Russia's imperial ambitions. His patriotic pride protects him from the misery of everyday life.

 

Storia di nessuno

Storia di nessuno (Nobody's Tale)

 by Costantino Margiotta (doc, Italy, 2022, 80'), World premiere

In April 2015, Barack Obama announced the death in Pakistan of an Italian volunteer, Giovanni Lo Porto. A Palermo native with a fate that seems already sealed, Giovanni instead manages to spread his wings. He works to pay for his travels and studies, graduates in London, and works for international NGOs. During the last humanitarian mission, he is kidnapped, held captive for three years amid the silence of Italian politics and press, and finally killed in an American counterterrorist operation. Friends and colleagues, journalists and lawyers tell the story of a man who had managed to change his fate and who, after the mission, was supposed to return home to Palermo, to his mother Giusy, who’s still waiting for him, dreaming of hearing his voice again.

 

Summer Nights

Summer Nights

 by Ohad Milstein (doc, Israel/Switzerland, 2021, 53'), Italian premiere

How does the world look like through the eyes of a 6-year-old child? The movie Summer Nights is an open window on a child's world, on his fears, his desires, his way of thinking. It is a journey into the subconscious of an innocent and naive child, engrossed by the depths of his own mind.

 

Tsumu

TSUMU - Hvor går du hen med dine drømme? (Tsumu – Where Do You Go With Your Dreams?)

 by Kasper Kiertzner (doc, Denmark/Sweden, 2022, 88'), International premiere

Lars (19) lives in Tasiilaq, East Greenland, where his generation doesn't have much to look forward to. If you want to study in the nearest city, you have to travel 700 km. Together with his best friends Eino and Thomas, and other young people in Tasilaq, Lars creates theatre plays to express emotions and to stand up against suicide and abuse. But struggling for a brighter future, Lars and Eino are faced with a dilemma: should they stay or should they leave? If they leave, they will hurt their families and friends who need them. If they stay, their own dreams of another life will vanish.

 

 

Who Would You Tell

Who Would You Tell?

 by Dery Sultana (doc, Malta/Australia, 2022, 70'), World premiere

In October 1960, with the promise of a better future, three young brothers from Malta were separated from their destitute family and sent to Tardun in Western Australia under a child migration scheme. A failed second chance turned into a lifetime of regret, pain and missed opportunities. Fifty years later, Raphael, Peter and Manny reflect on their stolen childhood and how the sexual, emotional and physical abuse they endured shaped their life. Through archive and oral history, we delve back through their memories of abuse, homesickness and severed family ties. Their story unravels the failure of a scheme backed by two states and broken promises of the Catholic organization that received them. 

 

Young Plato

Young Plato

 by Neasa Ni Chianáin, Declan McGrath (doc, UK/Ireland/Belgium/France, 2021, 102'), Italian premiere

An observational documentary set in post conflict Belfast’s Ardoyne, where a marginalized, working class community has lived for years plagued by poverty, drugs and guns. This film charts the dream of Headmaster Kevin McArevey and his dedicated, visionary team illustrating how critical thinking and pastoral care can empower and encourage children to see beyond the boundaries and limitations of their own community. We see how philosophy can encourage them to question the mythology of war and of violence, and sometimes challenge the narratives that their parents, peers and socio-economic group dictate.
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