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Monday, October 09, 2006
Anonymous Replay

The “Anonimul” (Anonymous) International Independent Film Festival takes place every year in August on quite a beautiful location, the Danube Delta. Cris and I were planning to go this year, but we missed it. Therefore, we were pretty pleased to take part in two of the three days of festival retrospective organized in Bucharest at the Sudio cinema.

The first day, Saturday, was dedicated to short movies. Out of the about 15 we watched I personally enjoyed only 3, described in the order I saw them. The first, “Love Close Up”, by Sebastian Voinea, won the jury special award. It is a story of love coming your way when you need it the most. A sudden relationship between a suicidal Romanian and a cheerful Russian girl staying in Bucharest for only a day.

The second one was the best animation of the festival, by Clemens Steiger, Switzerland. A story describing people’s attitude to working out cheating and their cactuses, which they tend to throw out the window when upset. The conclusion? Men expect to be forgiven when cheating but leave when being cheated on.

The third one, by Chris Cudlipp, Australia, was my personal favorite. It ironically presents the way hotlines treat their callers. In this case, it is a suicidal emergency line that keeps putting the heroine on hold. And funny pre-recorded messages, such as “If you want to kill yourself with a gun, press 1, if you want to take pills, take 2” or “If you want to kill yourself because your partner cheated on you, press 1, if you want to do it because she or he is gay/lesbian and left you, press 2.”

On Sunday we saw the Best Director winning movie and the film the Anonimul Trophy was awarded to. And they were as expected, one better than the other, to my utmost surprise.

Offside”, an Iranian production, directed by Jafar Panahi, focuses in a few young girls who try to watch the Iran-Bahrain game on the stadium. Disguised as boys, they try every possible trick to see if their team will go to the 2006 World Championships. Some of them get caught and they are held at the stadium to be then given to the Vide squad. The girls’ devotion to the team, the game and their freedom of seeing it all happen on the stadium is impressive. One of them actually plays football in a women team. When asked “what if a man sneaks in, dressed as a woman to watch you”, she says “No, men would never dare do that!”. Of all the girls’ reason, the one presented in the end is the most impressive. One of them says she has nothing to do with football, she only came because the young man she loved was killed during another game, Iran-Japan. If he were alive, he would surely have been on the stadium, thus she chose the most appropriate way to pay him tribute.

They say few people are happy with the film winning the big award. Well, “HEAVEN’S DOORS” had every reason to win this one. Great story, great sound, great acting. Imbricate stories taking place in Morocco’s Casablanca, story of love, hate, betrayal, death, life and everything else. The characters’ lives seem to be governed by the same philosophy stated by a drunk old man: the only way we can come to understand the things of life is the wrong way…Such as the young man misunderstanding his duty to his family and trying to make more money in illegal business; or the woman misjudging her ability of being a mother; or maybe the ex-convict thinking he can kill to revenge.

They all chose a wrong way of life. For two of them, it is possible to reconsider. The other one dies before having a chance to change. All three stories are somehow related, the three characters are connected by a feeble string, without even knowing it, one’s actions influences the others’ lives, all happening in a beautiful scenery, on great music.

The main person in each character's life is their mother. Their relationship with the being that gave them life, who accordign to this movie "hold the key to heaven's doors", is what determins their later behavior. Mothers are very important, one should care for them and always obey, as they are always right. Breaking such a rule or having a mother that does not act accordingly leads only to negative events.

The Noury brothers, who directed this film, Swel and Imad, are quite young, 28 and 23 and amazingly, this was their first long movie. I am looking forward to having the chance of seeing more of their future and past work.

Tags: Movies, Films, Film Festival, Movie Awards, Anonimul, Anonimul Festival, Anonymous Festival, Romania, Swel Noury, Imad Noury, Jafar Panahi, Offside, Heaven's Doors

posted by Alina @ 7:37 AM  
  • At 10/10/2006 12:46 AM, Blogger Cristina Banu said…

    Very interesting review of the festival, so congrats Ali :). I am glad you had the idea to go to the festival and invite me as well. It was a great weekend, full of good movies, story- telling, good food and many strolls on the same boulevard :).

  • At 10/10/2006 12:46 PM, Blogger Deb S. said…

    How exciting! I wish I had been there, too.

  • At 10/10/2006 4:14 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Yup, it was a borrowed idea because someone else told me the movies would also come to Bucharest after the festival. And yeah, I guess we can now describe every inch of that boulevard.

    Deb, it was quite exciting, but if you do get the chance, you should watch the two winning movies I wrote about. They're absolutely great.

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Name: Alina
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About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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