Coming back for its ninth year, the popular PANORAMA EUROPE FILM FESTIVAL co-sponsored by The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY, and Bohemian National Hall in New York City, begins tomorrow, Friday, May 5, and runs until Sunday, May 21, 2017 at MOMI and the BNH. Below is the complete schedule, with info (taken from the press release) on each of the 17 films and/or personal appearances:
With co-director Jessica Woodworth in person, followed by Q&A and opening reception FRIDAY, MAY 5, 7:00 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 7:00 P.M. at Bohemian National Hall 2016 Venice Film Festival Belgium/Netherlands/Bulgaria. Dirs. Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth. 2016, 94 mins. With Peter van der Begin, Bruno Georis, Lucie Debay. In English, Flemish, French, Bulgarian with English subtitles.
This “enormously appealing” (Variety) faux-documentary is a delightfully loopy comic road trip through Eastern Europe. While visiting Istanbul, the (somewhat awkward) King of Belgium receives word that Wallonia has seceded from his country, a national crisis that necessitates his immediate return. But when a sudden electrical storm makes flying impossible, he finds himself forced to make the journey by car. Joining a bus full of female folk singers, the king embarks on a wayward odyssey through the Balkans that will take him from a Bulgarian yogurt festival to a drunken night in Serbia, all captured on camera by a wry British documentarian along for the ride. Played to the deadpan hilt, this irresistibly goofball geopolitical satire touches delicately on the state of Europe today.
Far from Home (En otra casa)
With Notes sur l’émigration. Espagne 1960
SATURDAY, MAY 6, 1:30 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image / U.S. premiere Spain. Dir. Vanessa Rousselot, 2015, 54 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles.
They come from Latin America to Spain in search of employment to support their families back home. Taking jobs as caregivers, nannies, and housekeepers, they become part of someone else’s household, thousands of miles—and worlds removed—from their own. Who are these women? What drove them to leave everything behind to start a new life overseas? With her eternally patient camera, documentarian Vanessa Rousselot shines a compassionate spotlight on a group of women living on the fringes of Spanish society. Preceded by Notes sur l’émigration. Espagne 1960. Spain. Dirs. Jacinto Esteva, Paolo Brunatto, 1960. 19 mins. In French with English subtitles. This short documentary examines the motives of Spanish workers who migrated to Switzerland in the late 1950s, turning into a caustic yet sometimes melancholic reflection on the land they left behind.
SATURDAY, MAY 6, 4:00 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image / New York premiere Nominated for 2017 César and Lumière Awards for Best Documentary France. Dir. Olivier Babinet, 2016, 84 mins. In French with English subtitles.
The banlieue housing projects outside Paris have been the setting for many a gritty saga of desperation and despair. Swagger is not one of those movies. Instead, this joyously innovative documentary immerses viewers in the hopes, dreams, and rich inner lives of eleven teenagers growing up in one of France's most diverse neighborhoods. With thrilling flights of fantasy—including musical numbers and an imaginative science-fiction sequence—Swagger offers a refreshing, much-needed counter-perspective on the minority experience in France.
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2:15 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image 2016 Berlin Film Festival Portugal. Dir. Ivo Ferreira, 2016, 105 mins. With Miguel Nunes, Margarida Vila-Nova, Ricardo Pereira. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
The letters of renowned Portuguese novelist António Lobo Antunes to his wife form the basis of this gorgeous, sublimely stirring saga of love and war. Written in the 1970s while the author was stationed in Angola during the Portuguese Colonial War, the letters recount his experiences working in a military hospital, his growing disillusionment with the conflict, and, above all, his yearning for his wife and child. The combination of Lobo Antunes’ rapturously beautiful prose and the luscious black and white cinematography yields an exquisite aesthetic experience.
I, Olga Hepnarova (Já, Olga Hepnarová)
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 4:30 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image TUESDAY, MAY 9, 7:00 P.M. at Bohemian National Hall Czech Republic/Poland/Slovakia/France. Dir. Petr Kazda & Tomás Weinreb. 2016, 105 mins. With Michalina Olszanska, Martin Pechlát, Klára Melíšková. In Czech with English subtitles.
Based on an infamous true crime that shocked Czechoslovakia in the 1970s, I, Olga Hepnarova is the riveting account of a woman driven to do the unthinkable. Michalina Olszanska delivers a performance of mesmerizing intensity in the title role, a young lesbian who is abused at home and bullied at school. Disillusioned with society, she plots her revenge upon the world—a horrifying act of violence that is unleashed on a fateful summer day in 1973. Strikingly shot in gritty black and white, this spare, unsettling character study immerses viewers in the damaged psyche of a woman on the edge.
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 7:00 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image Austria/Denmark/Germany. Dir. Ulrich Seidl. 2016, 90 mins. In German, English, Afrikaans with English subtitles.
Austria’s master of unsettling provocation, whose films include Import, Export, Dog Days, and The Paradise Trilogy, returns with one of his most incendiary statements yet. Training his characteristically impassive camera on a group of European hunters on holiday in Namibia, Seidl records, with disquieting detachment, as they stalk and kill zebras, giraffes, and other big game for sport. By turns, disturbing and mesmerizing, this impossible-to-shake (and not-for-the-squeamish) documentary raises serious questions about colonialism’s legacy, the ethics of killing for recreation, and the nature of humans.
FRIDAY, MAY 12, 7:30 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image / U.S. premiere 2016 Berlin Film Festival/Panorama Switzerland/Germany. Dir. Jan Gassmann, 2016, 110 mins. In English, Spanish, Estonian, Greek with English subtitles.
Amidst the fractious political climate of modern-day Europe, four couples in four cities—Seville, Dublin, Tallinn, and Thessaloniki—go about their everyday lives, their private fears and struggles laid bare with extraordinary intimacy. Contending with everything from unemployment to heroin addiction, they surf uncertainty with often nothing more than their love for one another to see them through. Jan Gassmann’s up-close-and-personal documentary examines the political via the personal—and, in the case of the film’s unabashedly raw sex scenes, the very personal. Far from gratuitous, they’re at the heart of the director’s plea for tenderness in a world consumed by chaos.
Mariupolis SATURDAY, MAY 13, 1:30 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image / U.S. premiere 2016 Berlin Film Festival/Panorama Lithuania/Germany/France/Ukraine. Dir. Mantas Kvedaravicius, 2016, 82 mins. In Russian and Ukrainian with English subtitles.
In the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, life unfolds with almost surreal normalcy while just miles away violence encroaches. Despite the ongoing Russian invasion, residents go about their daily routines: an ensemble rehearses for a dance performance; a cobbler repairs shoes and discusses religion; a man is brought into court for fishing illegally. In a place where daily bomb threats are the norm, these seemingly mundane acts take on an eerie resonance. With spare, lyrical images, director Mantas Kvedaravicius’ trenchant documentary captures the tragicomic strangeness of life in a war zone.
SATURDAY, MAY 13, 4:00 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image Poland. Dir. Kuba Czekaj, 2016, 101 mins. With Staszek Cywka, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Sebastian Lach. In Polish with English subtitles.
A dark, science-fiction fairy tale plays out in a rush of moody, mind-scrambling images in this dizzyingly ambitious coming-of-age psychodrama. It charts the complex bond between a misfit teenage physics genius and his overbearing mother, a codependent, practically incestuous relationship that’s disrupted by the reappearance of the boy’s father. Parallel universes, apocalyptic warnings, and mythic wolves: The Erlprince takes viewers down a surreal rabbit hole to evoke the turbulent psyche of a troubled young man reckoning with adulthood.
SUNDAY, MAY 14, 1:00 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image Best Documentary Feature Film Award, Toronto Arthouse Film Festival Croatia. Dir. Hrvoje Mabić. 2015, 95 mins. In Croatian with English subtitles.
This heart-wrenching documentary chronicles a year in the life of Ana Dragicevic, a young Croatian lesbian dealing with the psychological fallout of the years of gay conversion therapy she was forced to undergo as a teenager. As Ana sets out to build a future with her girlfriend, she struggles to move on from her past, tormented by PTSD and consumed with anger at her parents. Director Hrvoje Mabić relates his subject’s story with evocative, mood-drenched imagery and a surplus of empathy. The result is a powerful portrait of a woman in the process of reconstructing her life.
Do Re Mi Fa
With director Chris Zarb and actor Sean O'Neil
in person, followed by Q&
A SUNDAY, MAY 14, 3:00 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image / U.S. premiere TUESDAY, MAY 16, 7:00 P.M. at Bohemian National Hall Malta. Dir. Chris Zarb, 2016, 143 mins. With Paul Flanagan, Irene Christ, Sean O'Neil, Marc Cabourdin. In English and Maltese with English subtitles.
Four people, four explosive tales of life in contemporary Malta: a birthday party clown struggles to keep his pedophilic urges in check; a depressed actress contemplates an act of unthinkable violence; an American radio DJ finds himself at the center of a firestorm when he speaks out for immigrant rights; and a husband and father buckles under the weight of stress at home and work. As their lives cross paths, each hurtles towards a moment of reckoning. This all-too-rare example of Maltese cinema tackles a host of hot-button issues—from the refugee crisis to mental illness—with a mix of dark surrealism and unflinching candor.
SUNDAY, MAY 14, 6:30 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image / New York premiere FIPRESCI Award, 2016 Thessaloniki Film Festival Greece/UK/Germany. Dir. Yannis Sakaridis, 2016, 86 mins. With Yannis Stankoglou, Makis Papadimitriou, Vassilis Kukalani. In Greek with English subtitles.
Hailed as “one of the best European films to date on the subject of immigration” (The Hollywood Reporter), this riveting Greek drama tackles the hot-button issue with a clear-eyed urgency. It charts the intersecting fates of three people living in an Athens housing complex: a local, aging hipster bar owner who falls in love with an African singer; a Syrian refugee who turns to a human trafficker in order to emigrate to Germany; and an unstable, xenophobic nationalist who takes matters into his own hands to stop the influx of migrants. What plays out between them is a bracing, morally complex look at the human side of the immigration debate.
SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2:00 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image / U.S. premiere Slovakia. Dir. Rasťo Boroš. 2015, 79 mins. With Peter Kočan, Ivana Kanalošová, Marcel Bobák. In Slovak, Italian, French, English with English subtitles.
This tragicomic road movie handles a sensational subject—human trafficking—with refreshing naturalism. Stanko is a down-and-out deadbeat living on a farm in Italy. In desperate need of money, he accepts the job of smuggling a young woman from Slovakia to Italy, where, unbeknownst to her, she will be forced to work in a brothel. Over the course of the journey, these two outsiders strike up a friendship, leaving Stanko with a stark moral choice: carry out his assignment, or rescue the girl from a life of prostitution. Driven by the surprising rapport between its two non-actor leads, Stanko is an engaging, human portrait of life on Europe’s margins.
The Days that Confused
SATURDAY, MAY 20, 4:00 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image Estonia. Dir. Triin Ruumet. 2016, 105 mins. With Hendrik Toompere Jr, Juhan Ulfsak, Jaanika Arum. In Estonian with English subtitles.
The raw, risk-taking feature debut from Triin Ruumet captures the feeling of being young, adrift, and drunk on the possibilities of life. It’s set during one summer in 1990s Estonia, where 27-year-old Allar wastes away his days drinking, partying, and cruising in his car. But after a near-death accident leaves him contemplating his life’s direction, Allar finds himself torn between the call of adult responsibility and the allure of reckless abandonment. Bursting with bold stylistic flourishes and spot-on period detail (particularly the propulsive pop soundtrack), The Days That Confused is a heady time capsule of Eastern Europe’s post-Soviet wilderness years.
SATURDAY, MAY 20, 6:30 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image Italy. Dir. Gianfranco Cabiddu. 2016, 103 mins. With Sergio Rubini, Ennio Fantastichini, Renato Carpentieri. In Italian with English subtitles.
Art and life mingle amidst sun-kissed Mediterranean locales in this play-within-a-play Italian charmer. When boats carrying a theatrical troupe and a band of mobster convicts are shipwrecked on Asinara, a prison island near Sardinia, it sets into motion a comedy of errors as both actors and criminals alike are commissioned by the island’s warden to stage a production of The Tempest. Mixing Shakespeare’s text with the L’arte della commedia by Neapolitan playwright Eduardo De Filippo, The Stuff of Dreams is an irresistible, Pirandellian play on illusion and reality.
With director Ferenc Török in person, followed by Q&A SUNDAY, MAY 21, 4:00 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image / New York premiere 2016 Berlin Film Festival / Panorama Hungary. Dir. Ferenc Török. 2017, 91 mins. With Péter Rudolf, Bence Tasnádi, Tamás Szabó Kimmel. In Hungarian and Russian with English subtitles.
Based on the acclaimed short story "Homecoming" by Gábor T. Szántó. Hungary, 1945: in the aftermath of World War II, residents of a remote village struggle to return to normalcy. One summer day, their uneasy peace is shattered by the arrival of two Orthodox Jews, whose presence sets the townspeople on edge. Who are they? And what do they want? As rumors spread that they may be relatives of former residents deported by the Nazis, members of the community—many of whom have benefitted materially from the disappearance of the Jews—are forced to reckon with their own complicity in the atrocities. Shot in evocative black-and-white and set to a haunting score, this riveting exploration of collective guilt fearlessly confronts a traumatic chapter in Europe’s history.
With First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and director Dirk Jan Roeleven in person and followed by Q&A and reception SUNDAY, MAY 21, 6:30 P.M. at Museum of the Moving Image Netherlands. Dir. Dirk Jan Roeleven. 2016, 90 mins. In Dutch with English subtitles.
This all-access documentary charts two years in the life of Dutch diplomat Frans Timmermans who, as First Vice-President of the European Commission, is one of the foremost leaders of the increasingly fragile European Union. From 2014 to 2016, director Jan Roeleven follows the perpetually-on-the-go Timmermans as he crisscrosses the continent, dealing with everything from the migrant crisis to Brexit. The result is both a candid portrait of a major European power player and a rare, insider’s glimpse into the state of the European Union today.
VENUES AND TICKETS
Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street), Astoria, NY 11106. Subway: M, R to Steinway Street or N, W to 36 Avenue. Telephone: 718 777 6888 (recorded information). Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $15 ($11 seniors and students / free or discounted for Museum members). Advance tickets are available online at movingimage.us.
Bohemian National Hall 321 East 73rd Street (between 1st and 2nd Ave), New York, NY 10021. Subway: Q to 72nd Street, 6 to 68 Street Hunter College or 77 Street. Visit www.czechcenter.com for more information. Tickets for Panorama Europe at the Bohemian National Hall are free with RSVP on www.eventbrite.com