100th anniversary of the death of Bertha von Suttner 2014
Holger-Madsen, Denmark 1915
feature film, 50 min, b/w, 16mm, silent
One of the best-known pioneers of Danish film, director Holger-Madsen, transformed with his creative cinematography Bertha von Suttner’s novel “Lay Down your Arms!” into an astonishing film. This anti-war-oeuvre even includes a short appearance of the writer and peace activist who won the Nobel Prize in 1905.
The film tells the story of Countess Martha Althaus (Augusta Blad) who marries an officer (Olaf Fonss). She lives through four wars and the sufferings she experiences turn her into a determined pacifist.
The Austrian writer Peter Rosegger held her book in high regard. The Danish film director Carl Theodor Dreyer wrote the script for the film. Some of the special effects used by Holger-Madsen still impress today! The film premiered during the Great War.
Accompanied on accordion by Maria Düchler.
Karima Zoubir, Morocco 2012
documentary, 59 min, color, DVD, oes
Working as a videographer at weddings in Casablanca, Khadija Harrad is part of the new generation of young, divorced Moroccan women seeking to realize their desires for freedom and independence while honoring their families' wishes. Mother of an 11-year-old son and primary breadwinner for her parents and siblings as well, she navigates daily between the elaborate fantasy world of the parties she films and harassment from her traditionally conservative family, which disapproves of her occupation and wants her only to remarry. CAMERA/WOMAN, shot in vérité style, follows Khadija on the job, at home, and with supportive women friends who are divorced and share similar experiences. As it unveils the issues that confront working-class Muslim women in societies now undergoing profound change, this arresting film reveals that for Khadija, unbowed in the face of overwhelming odds, the camera becomes a liberating force.
Awards: IDFA Academy Worldview Award, Puma Creative Catalyst Award and Tamkeen (best arabic filmproject).
After the screening Q&A with Karima Zoubir.
Rebecca Roberts-Wolfe, USA/ Algeria 2013
documentary, 27 min, color, DVD, oes
Two women of different generations are fighting for their survival. Najla und Agaila are living in a refugee camp in the middle of the desert of Algeria. They both are longing for freedom, justice and contentment. The only way to escape the brutal occupation of the Western Sahara by Marocco was the elopement.
Surprisingly intimate the two stories and lives are unveiled step by step.
After the screening Gundi Dick, scientist of political science and working in terms of female and development policy for many years, will present her new book „Eine Hand alleine kann nicht klatschen“ (One hand alone cannot applaud) about sahrauic women in the occupied areas and the refugee camps. With Fatma Sidi she invites to discussion.
Vidi Bilu, Israel 2013
feature film, 104 min, color, DCP, oes
Jerusalem, 1966. The year before the outbreak of the Six Day War, after which everything will change forever. In a crumbling old building in the center of the city, on the third floor, lives a small family. Eli, the father, is at work all day. His wife Ruthy is locked up inside her own world and spends her days in bed, reading the thick novels her husband brings her from the library. Michal, their 11-year-old daughter, is lonely and bored and seeks attention from the other tenants and attractions around the building. One day, when Ruthy decides to get out of bed, the apparent peace and serenity of the house is violated. (International Women’s Filmfest Rehovot, Israel)
Retrospective 2014 // Elisabeth Scharang
Elisabeth Scharang, Austria 2007
feature and documentary film, 95 min, color, DVD, gv
In October 1997 the Austrian terrorist Franz Fuchs (Karl Markovics) is arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder. Thus, one of the major criminal cases in Austria was solved. Elisabeth Scharang combines re-enacted scenes and interviews from the court case to point to remaining doubts and issues still open even after the suicide of the serial killer who had been sentenced to life in prison.
For this film Elisabth Scharang received several awards, including the Erich-Neuberg-Award in 2007 as well as a Romy in 2008.
After the screening Q&A with Elisabeth Scharang and Cutter Alarich Lenz, chaired by Karin Schiefer (Austrian Film Commission).
Louise Archambault, Canada 2013
feature film, 104 min, color, DCP, ogs
Musically talented Gabrielle finds love with her fellow choir member Martin. But the couple’s desire to explore their feelings for one another physically is not accepted by their environment – as both protagonists suffer from Williams-Beuren-syndrome and live in a group home for developmentally disabled adults. Determined and with vitality Gabrielle and Martin set out to prove they can be independent. Director Louise Archambault shows a love that with lightness and charm can conquer almost any obstacle ...
This far from the “ordinary” love story exudes so much joie de vivre that it won the Audience Award at the Locarno International Film Festival 2013. It was also the opening film at the Hamburg Filmfest and was selected as Canadian entry at the Academy Awards 2014 (not nominated).
Eric Esser, Italy/ Germany 2013
documentary, 58 min, color, BlueRay, ogs
Annita Malavasi was just 22 when the Germans occupied Italy, their former allies, in 1943. As a partisan in the Italian resistance named “Laila”, she moved throughout the Apennines with and between fighting units, delivering information, transporting weapons, and taking part in battles. She spent over a year in the Apennines, fighting against the German occupation. At the same time, she had to assert herself against the men of the mountain villages. By the end of the war, Laila had risen among the ranks to become one of the few female commanders in the Italian resistance.
This film chronicles the story of a lifelong struggle for emancipation that began with the battle for Italy’s liberation from fascism. Laila and her two comrades, Gina “Sonia” Moncigoli and Pierina “Iva” Bonilauri talk about their time in the Resistenza and what it meant to them and many other women.
The documentary received the Lorenzo Arduengo press award in Mexico.
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Simbabwe 2005
feature film, 30 min, color, 35mm, oes
Drought has struck. Father pushes his wife away from the family dinner of termites. In anger, when mother challenges him, he digs a pit with a brutal purpose, but little does he suspect that Mother can retaliate just as powerfully. Based on an old Shona folk tale and rendered as a musical celebrating a diversity of contemporaray Zimbabwean music, Mother's Day is the newest and most exciting motion picture development to come out of Zimbabwe.
Mother`s Day was awarded in 2005 with Golden Dhow Zanzibar along with Short Film Award Cinemaafricano Milano and Short Film Award Ziff.
After the screening reading with Tsitsi Dangarembga from the Tambudzai Sigauke-Trilogy.
Artists in Film
Elisabeth Maria Klocker, Austria 2013
documentary, 90 min, color, HD-Cam, gv
Mara Mattuschka is an actor, painter, manager, professor, performance artist, singer and film producer. The film portrait on the artist by Elisabeth Maria Klocker, who accompanied Mara Mattuschka over a longer period of time, shows Mattuschka’s complexity, her high degree of professionalism and the enthusiasm she brings to all her work – as well as her irony and humor and her courage in taking on new and different roles.
The documentary is a kaleidoscopic snapshot of a unique artistic oeuvre and talent.
Mara Mattuschka and Elisabeth Maria Klocker will attend the screening.
Sławomir Fabicki, Poland 2012
feature film, 105 min, color, DCP, oes
Tom and Mary are a married young couple with promising careers, awaiting their first baby in their new apartment. Everything seems to be bright and promising. But Mary – she is 8 months pregnant – is convinced that her superior and city’s mayor is stalking her. One day, when Mary stays at home, the superior shows up and rapes her. She is ashamed and does not want to talk to Tom, her husband. When Tom finds out the truth, their relationsship undergos a hard time. Will love overcome the fear and the feeling of being hurt? The film is inspired by a true political and social affair.
Bruno Barreto, Brasilia 2013
feature film, 110 min, color, DCP, ogs
A film about the true love of Pulitzer Prize awarded poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto). Grappling with writer’s block in 1951 the legendary poet from New York travels to Rio de Janeiro to visit her college friend, Mary (Trace Middendorff). Mary lives in a relationship with bohemian architect Lota (Gloria Pires) and Elizabeth joins the sprawling estate and their increasingly tempestuous relationship. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a political coup come between the lovers, but the intimate connections impact forever the life and work of these extraordinary artists.
The volatile and erotically charged love story received four Audience Awards as best film in 2013.
Lida Chan und Guillaume Suon, Cambodia 2012
documentary, 58 min, color, oes
The Killing Fields in Cambodia became known to the world but little is known about the struggles of the women left behind. From 1975-79, Pol Pot’s campaign to increase the population forced at least 250,000 young Cambodian women to marry Khmer Rouge soldiers they had never met before. Sochan Pen was one of them. At 16, she was beaten and raped by her husband before managing to escape, though deeply scarred by her experience. After 30 years of silence, Sochan is ready to file a complaint with the international tribunal that will try former Khmer leaders. With quiet dignity, she starts demanding answers from those who carried out the regime’s orders. (Women make movies)
Awards: Best Mid-Length Documentary at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam 2012, Jurypreis Gdansk at the DocFilm Festival 2013 and Special Jury Prize at Burma 2013
Gabriele Schärer, Switzerland 2013
documentary, 68 min, color, DCP, ogs
The film portrays the adventure of conquering an incredible summit. Hundreds of women from all over Europe affected by breast cancer ascend the 4'162-meter Breithorn near Zermatt. A breath-taking panorama accompanies the long rope of solidarity as they cross the glacier, but then the clouds move in. These women, however, are adept at dealing with extreme challenges as well as experiencing physical and a host of many other limits. Their stories tell of how a long and serious illness changes one’s life: the body, relationships and work.
Their lust for life, however, counteracts marginalisation.
After the screening Q&A with Gabriele Schärer.
Artists in Film
Brigitte Kramer, Germany 2014
documentary, 73 min, color, BlueRay, gv
Brigitte Kramer’s documentary offers a superb insight into the work of the versatile Expressionist dance artist, Sasha Waltz. The focus is places on the exhibition “Sasha Waltz. Installations. Objects. Performances.” in Karlsruhe, 2013. With her choreography “Allee der Kosmonauten” (1996, on stage and as film) the dancer, choreographer and opera director achieved international recognition. Since then Waltz is renowned as one of the most important and influential innovative choreographers of our time, second only to Pina Bausch.
After the screening Q&A with Brigitte Kramer.
Yael Reuveny, Israel/ Germany 2013
documentary, 98 min, color, DCP, oes
Film director Yael Reuveny moves to Berlin, to the horror of her parents. They cannot or do not want to accept that Yael is intrigued by this city. While researching her family history Yael uncovers a secret: her grandmother’s brother, long believed lost, has survived the holocaust! But why has grandma never talked about that? Yael endeavours to uncover the sore spots and takes us through difficult discussions about reconciliation.
The intriguing film received several awards: Best Documentary International Film Festival Haifa, DEFA Award DOK-Fest Leipzig, Dialogue Award Filmfest Cottbus.
After the screening Q&A with Yael Reuveny.
Penny Panayotopoulou, Greece 2013
feature film, 100 min, color, DCP, oes
September is the long-awaited sophomore effort from gifted Greek writer-director Penny Panayotopoulou, who returns to the Festival following an eleven-year hiatus from feature filmmaking. Like her 2002 debut, Hard Goodbyes: My Father, Panayotopoulou's latest explores the ramifications of the sudden loss of a loved one — though here the ruptured bond is that between a woman and her dog.
Anna (Kora Karvouni), a solitary, self-sufficient thirty-year-old, lives a life of modest contentment until the sudden death of her beloved collie. Overcome by an acute sense of emptiness, she finds herself gazing longingly at the bustling household across the street, home to Sophia (Maria Skoula), a married mother of two. Sophia's is also the only nearby property with an unpaved garden, prompting Anna to seek permission to bury her departed pet there.
The request proves to be a subtle catalyst for both parties as, despite their ostensible differences, Anna comes to recognize something of herself in her neighbour's quiet demeanour. The two women soon fall into a silent solidarity, each implicitly attuned to the other's sense of isolation. (Toronto International Filmfestival)
Penny Panayotopoulou will attend the screening.
Sarah Polley, Canada 2012
documentary, 108 min, color, DCP, ogs
Stories We Tell, the first documentary from director Sarah Polley (Away from Her, Take This Waltz), is a personal essay on the intractable subjects of truth and memory. Using a captivating combination of archival footage, still photos and testimonials, Polley examines the disagreements and varying narratives of her own family as they look back on decades-old events. The result is a lively and richly textured documentary which seamlessly blends past and present, the real and the imagined – one devoid of sensationalism and filled with tender and powerful moments. (Toronto International Filmfestival)
The film received many awards in the categories Best feature film and Best documentary, among them Grand Prix Focus (Festival du nouveau cinéma).
Ana Guevara Pose, Leticia Jorge Romero, Uruguay 2012
feature film, 104 min, color, DCP, oes
Charming coming-of-age debut by two film directors from Uruguay.
A divorced father, Alberto, takes his two children for a holiday in a spa town. Just the way in which fourteen-year old Lucía climbs into the car with her little brother says it all: puberty is such a burden. At the resort it is not beach life that awaits them but torrential rain. Alberto tries in vain to entertain his children. At least son Fede finds new friends in the resort. Lucia drifts into a more exciting world. His children being taken care of, Alberto intends to enjoy himself – but things do turn into a sort of holiday from hell ...
Greta Schiller und Andrea Weiss, USA 1986
documentary, 81 min, color and b/w, DVD, ogs
For technical reasons the film THE GIRLS IN THE BAND will be substituted by a film with the same topic - FRAUEN IM JAZZ (Women in Jazz).
Jazz is black and female!
In the 40s there existed mere female bands, who played the best jazz of that period. The ‚International Sweethearts of Rhythm’ strongly got into the act of jazzbiz since their foundation in 1939 – 16 powerful women, who made their way up to the biggest clubs of NY and Chicago. Musicians like the trumpeter Tiny Davis or the drummer Ruby Lucas not only shared the swing, but also a lifelong relationship. Singers like Maxine Sullivan advanced from narrow circumstances to the much questioned jazz-stars of America.
Gretra Schiller and Andrea Weiss met Maxine Sullivan, Tiny and Ruby and the still alive ‚Sweethearts’ and interviewed them about their extraordinary career. Original archived material gives an impression of their personality and their courage and the fascination of their performances. Thrilling biografies reveal, and a very extraordinary group of female artists is cinematicly dignified for the first time.
Retrospective 2014 // Elisabeth Scharang
Elisabeth Scharang, Austria 2005
documentary, 107 min, color, 35mm, gv
A 12-year-old girl learns that she actually is a boy. At 26, after years of confusion and self-destructive behaviour, she starts to explore why she – an individual of ambiguous gender – was forced to live in a female body. Alex Jürgen is intersexual. A hermaphrodite. An individual whose existence confuses the world’s fastidious division of male and female. _P_
documentary about intersexuality turned into the story of an enchantingly witty individual with an astonishing outlook on the world._P_
Octopusalarm premiered at the Berlinale 2005 and has since been screened at over 30 international film festivals.
After the screening Q&A with Elisabeth Scharang and Alex Jürgen, chaired by Sabine Perthold (manager for the arts and culture).
Petra Biondina Volpe, Switzerland 2013
feature film, 98 min, color, DCP, ogs
While preparing Christmas dinner, LENA (39) – in her last months of pregnancy - only just finds out that her husband cheats on her with prostitutes. JUDITH (39), the street-worker who takes care about prostitutes, is living her sexual fantasy with a policeman in a hotel suite. ROLF (58), a recovering alcoholic is trying to fix his relationship with his son. MARIA (67) wants to seduce JUAN (69) who still can't forget his wife.
All paths cross with that of a young Eastern European prostitute on Christmas Eve in Zurich.
The leading actor Luna Zimić Mijović won The Golden Bear of Berlin 2006 as an actor of GRBAVICA – our opening feature in 2006.
Artists in Film
Brigitte Kramer, Germany 2012
documentary, 80 min, color, DCP, gv
Ulrike Ottinger is an exceptional filmmaker and artist. Her cinematic universe has influenced entire generations. The 2012 Berlinale honoured Ulrike Ottinger with the Special Teddy – Queer Film Award. As a young woman, she brought the international art world to the sleepy town of Konstanz. It all began on the shores of Lake Constance where Ulrike Ottinger was born and where she still often spends time. Filmmaker Brigitte Kramer chose to begin her film at Lake Constance since she too shares Ottinger’s birthplace and a great love of these waters. This is also where the filmmaker’s own artistic development began, not least as a result of her encounter with Ottinger and her work. Other fellow travellers and friends appearing in this film include art historian Katharina Sykora, collector and curator Ingvild Goetz, film historian Ulrich Gregor, philosopher Bernd Scherer and actress Irm Hermann.
After the screening Q&A with Brigitte Kramer, chaired by Sabine Perthold (manager for the arts and culture).
Retrospective 2014 // Elisabeth Scharang
Elisabeth Scharang, Austria 2010
feature film, 94 min, color, 35mm, gv
A band of Hungarian Jews on a death march to Mauthausen in April 1945 becomes stranded in a secluded Austrian village due to a break in the chain of command. Camping in a hay barn, an opera singer from Budapest convinces his fellow prisoners to stage a version of the beloved operetta “Wiener Blut”, hoping to win the protection of the locals. The arrival of the strangers sparks conflicted emotions, from senseless hate to longing for the humanity of music.
After the screening Q&A with Elisabeth Scharang and actor Ursula Strauss, chaired by Ortrun Gauper (director of chomcharis Communications Advisors).
Artists in Film // preview
Christine Nagel, Austria 2014
documentary, 81 min, color, DCP, gv
The slow-moving and subtle portray presents life and work of the eminent contemporary Austrian poet, novelist and short-prose writer Ilse Aichinger. Aichinger’s writing is often surreal and in parables. Her own super-8-films were intricately woven into the documentary.
The audience is invited to join a sensual journey through the 20th century.