4th International Documentary Festival in Castellorizo
Τhis year the 4th International Documentary Festival in Castellorizo will present at the opening ceremony the documentary “The East Has Set”, written and directed by Alexandros Papailiou and produced by the Hellenic History Foundation (idisme). “The East Has Set” is based on the rare historical correspondences of journalist Kostas Misailidis for the Asia Minor Campaign (1919-1922). The tragedy unfolds through the word of the Asia Minor correspondent, journalist and poet. From the hard fields of the battles and the ruins, the human drama emerges. The documentary was part of the official program of the 21st Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.
The competition section of the Festival hosts a total of 25 films with a wide range of intercultural themes from 18 countries.
The competing documentaries are:
The Second Chance
Greece 2018, 62΄
Direction-Script: Menelaos Karamaghiolis
This is a series of 12 documentaries by Menelaos Karamaghiolis, demonstrating people with dark, difficult lives, with no prospects and hopes for the future. Young unemployed scientists, homeless people, incarcerated minors, refugees and Greek immigrants in Germany manage to survive through the dead-ends of the crisis and find light at the end of the tunnel. Hope and optimism thrive through their inspiring personal stories.
February 27th (Greek Premiere)
Βelgium 2018, 43΄
Direction-Script: Marie-Thérèse Jakoubek
For 42 years, around 210.000 Saharawi have been living in camps in the Algerian desert due to the occupation of the Western Sahara by Morocco. The film focuses on the daily lives of the inhabitants of the camps, which were primarily built by the women while the men were at war. It tells about their lives in a temporary existence that evolved into a home against their will and to this day symbolizes their resistance and resilience.
The Silence of Others
Spain, USA, 2018, 96΄
Direction-Script: Almudena Carracedo & Robert Bahar
Marίa Martίn’s mother was murdered during the Franco regime, and her body has lain in a mass grave now for almost a lifetime. Marίa wants to rebury her mother’s remains, but excavating the grave is blocked due to a Spanish amnesty law adopted in 1977 that prohibits the prosecution of those who worked for the Franco regime for their “political” actions. What this means in practice is that crimes are being concealed and hushed up. Marίa is one of many Spaniards burdened by an unresolved past. It’s estimated that 100,000 victims are still buried in mass graves. Tens of thousands of babies disappeared from hospitals, dissenters were tortured and imprisoned. For six years, filmmakers Robert Bahar and Almudena Carracedo followed a group of victims and family members attempting to use international law to prosecute some prominent figures from Franco’s regime in Argentina. Executive produced by Pedro Almodόvar, The Silence of Others observes these people and gives them a voice. They clearly cannot forget, even though some of them wish they could.
The Olden Heralds
Cuba 2018, 23΄
Direction-Script: Luis Alejandro Yero
Tatá and Esperanza witness the elections of a Cuban president without the surname “Castro” for the first time in half a century. At almost 90 years old, they silently observe the end of one of many lived cycles. As two lighthouses of a remote era.
A forgotten past
Greece 2018, 45΄
Direction-Script: Andreas Hadjipateras
Solomon Juxon-Smith, whose father was head of state of Sierra Leone is a grocery store employee in New York and a political refugee. A Forgotten Past narrates the story of how Solomon and his family went from West African ruling class to disappearing into the complete anonymity of life in the US.
Spain 2017, 13΄
Direction-Script: Bernat Sampol
In 1968 Julio Villar began a four years trip on aboard a small sailboat. He recorded his experiences in a journal that he turned into a book called Notebook of a solitary explorer. Inspired by this diary, surfer Kepa Acero set out on a journey in search of a lonely wave. During his path, he leaves behind his fear of the unknown and social constraints to t in with the wild environment and the remote island inhabitants. Nowhere illustrates the traveler’s soul through Julio Villar’s words and Kepa Acero’s experiences.
Greece, 2018, 16΄
Direction-Script: Ζachos Samoladas
Tokei Maru is an animated short based on an extraordinary human in history. A story that sounds like an old myth, a Japanese captain that places human life above all else. He was the captain of the Japanese cargo ship Tokei or Tokai Maru and he was a man who took a great risk in order to save more than 800 people during the devastating fire that destroyed the Greek and Armenian quarters of the city of Smyrna, present-day Izmir, on the coast of Asia Minor in September of 1922. The Turkish army, who had gained control of the city a couple of days before the devastation started, tried to stop him. Bravely, the Captain defied them, threw his cargo in the sea, and continued the rescue mission that made him a legend.
USA, 2018, 11΄
Direction-Script: Yasmin Mistry
Ashley, a young Native-American Caucasian girl, converts to Islam in hopes of finding structure in a life where it never existed, but with that decision comes the risk of losing one of the few biological connections she still has. My Identity tells the story of how race, religion, and family heritage can shape one’s identity.
France 2019, 15΄
Direction-Script: Luc Gonodou Dossou
Inside the cockfighting pits in Thailand, in Philippines and the ones in Guadeloupe, Aod, Edgar and Dolores are preparing their roosters for an upcoming fight in front of a public of bettors and aficionados. For the Thais, the Filipinos and the Guadeloupeans, this sport runs through their veins meanwhile it is a tradition that seems meant to disappear. Why are these men so passionate for those ritualized cockfights in Thailand, in Philippines and in Guadeloupe?
In Mansourah, you separated us
France, 2018, 70΄
Direction-Script: Dorothée Myriam Kellou
During the Algerian War, 2,350,000 million people were displaced by the French Army in the fight against the FLN. Forced to leave their homes, they were grouped in camps. Back in Mansourah, his native village, Malek collects with Dorothée-Myriam, his daughter, a historical memory to this day hidden, that most young people ignore, and yet has been unprecedented in upsetting-It has caused this rural Algeria.
Greece, 2019, 80΄
Direction-Script: Dinos Giotis
“I wonder, did I live well or did I waste the amount of time given to me?” Important people, standing on the cusp of their life, bestow their precious essence of wisdom on us, while we follow the course of a child alongside a small wooden boat floating in the water: from the springs of a river to the mouth of the sea, corresponding to Man’s voyage from birth to death.
The Greek of the Russian Empire
Russia 2018, 73΄
Direction-Script: Svetlana Muzychenko
A biopic about Ioannis Kapodistrias, a splendid diplomat and the first Governor of Greece. The life of Kapodistrias combined all the elements of the greek tragedy: love and betrayal, intrigue and noble ideals. An indepth look into the lesser-known sides of a charismatic leader, whose murder remains an unhealed wound for subsequent generations of Greeks.
Children Below Deck
Αustria, 2018, 90΄
Direction-Script: Bettina Henkel
The film is the personal story of three generations: the (late) grandmother, the father and the daughter, who is directing the film. It focuses on the trans-generational transfer of traumatic experiences. It’s a spiritual road movie through deep and diffuse layers of feelings resulting from historical transformations in north-eastern Europe.
Time to Leave
Turkey, 2019, 51΄
Direction-Script: Orhan Tekeoğlu
After working in Germany for many years, the 80-year-old Hasan returns to Turkey and moves in to his old wooden house in the highlands with his cow and calf. Hasan’s son Erdoğan, who works in Germany, ailing a serious disease and his last wish is to spend a few nights in the wooden house, falling into sleep listening to the sounds of the wind. Hasan, who has neglected his son in the past, gets to work on his son’s wish and prepares a room for him. He races against time and after finishing his preparations starts waiting for his son’s arrival.
To the Living (Greek Premiere)
France 2019, 28΄
Direction-Script: Pauline Fonsny
In 1998, Semira Adamu, a 20 year-old, so-called “illegal”, Nigerian immigrant on Belgian soil, was smothered to death by a police cushion as they attempted to evict her. 20 years later, in a combined female war cry, two women tell her story. Through their tales, they highlight the reality of detention centers intended for migrant people, the conditions of such imprisonment, the suffering of detainees, the abuse of guards and policemen.
Our Territory (Greek Premiere)
Βelgium, Ιtaly 2019, 22΄
Direction-Script: Mathieu Volpe
When I got to Rignano, the Ghetto residents told me: “You mustn’t keep any trace of our lives here in these precarious houses. This despair is not yours to display.” The misery in the Ghetto is the first thing that struck me, the first thing I wanted to show.
Tokyo Kurds (Greek Premiere)
Japan 2018, 21΄
Direction-Script: Fumiari Hyuga
Ozan’s family left Turkey when he was six in the hopes of finding a better life in Tokyo. Now a young adult, he finds himself feeling isolated and desperate. Despite his alien status in the only country he’s ever really known, he pursues an opportunity in the entertainment industry in the hope of making his mark on the world.
Hugo Blanco, Deep River
Peru, Austria 2018, 108΄
Direction-Script: Malena Martίnez Cabrera
Portrait in a diptych of Hugo Blanco, the “Peruvian Che Guevara”, a legendary Trotskyist guerrillero and famous peasant leader of the sixties, who preferred to deconstruct his leadership and to encourage self-government becoming an anonymous activist: Hugo Indio. How and why did the inspiring hero come to decide to withdraw from his position of leadership? The film is a diptych divided by a hiatus of silence and mourning for the sixty thousand indigenous people whose blood flowed in rivers when a generation’s dream turned into a nightmare: the dream of the armed revolution.
Direction-Script: Eliza Soroga & Aegli Drakou
This is a documentary about the daily life of elderly women who live alone in remote villages of Epirus. A timeless cinematic approach, built on the metaphysics of female existence, as it emerges out of the wilderness. These women, through their particular relationship with time, narrate inner dialogues and stories from the past. They are the last guardians of memory of those particular places.
My Unknown Soldier
Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia 2018, 79΄
Direction-Script: Anna Kryvenko
How does it feel to become an occupier without your own intentions? Using known as well as never published archival materials from the whole Europe and Russia we tell a family story of the director Anna Kryvenko about how the high politics destroys the lives of ordinary people. Only couple of years ago the director found a family secret of her grand-uncle who came to occupy Czechoslovakia in 1968 as a Soviet soldier. When searching for great-uncle’s story the author touches upon themes like fragmentation of personal and national memory, inherited guilt, interpretation of history, media manipulation, today’s relationship with Russia, but also attitude of Czechs and Slovaks towards foreigners – all very current topics.
Heart of Stone (Greek Premiere)
France 2018, 90΄
Direction-Script: Claire Billet, Olivier Jobard
Ghorban reached France alone in 2010 when he was 12 years old. He had travelled over 12,000 km from Afghanistan, experiencing the terror and dangers of clandestine migration. He was taken into the care of the child welfare services, and his social workers addressed him to a psychologist. He had to tame nightmares caused by abandon and poverty as well as deal with his teenager’s questionings. The filmmakers have followed his quest for a new life over 8 years, until he enters adulthood.
Seydouba (Greek Premiere)
France 2019, 14΄
Direction-Script: Nathalie Blomme
Nowadays many young foreigners living in France like Seydouba, find themselves forced into illegality as they are unable to submit the “right documents”.
A Simple Life
Greece, Germany, USA 2018, 17΄
Direction-Script: Μyrto Papadogeorgou & Robert Harding Pittman
Gioula lives a simple life on her olive farm somewhere on the Greek coast. When a golf resort destined for wealthy foreigners threatens to change her entire world, she fights back. In times of economic crisis, development pressure is intense. All Gioula wants is a simple life.
I Itsai Romni (The Girl Woman)
Greece 2017-2018, 53΄
Direction-Script: Εvangelia Goula
A film that centers on the institution of marriage in the Roma tribe. In particular, the film refers to the position of women, their way of life, the way that they perceive their position in their community, as well as how they define themselves socially through marriage. The film is comprised of personal accounts of Roma people, women and men. Despite the importance of marriage, Roma parents regardless of gender are positive towards education. What happens, however, when the girl turns thirteen?
Sweden, Norway, Germany 2018, 89΄
Direction-Script: Eloy Domίnguez Serén
With vitality, humor and unexpected situations, this film paints an unusual portrait of a group of young friends living in a refugee camp in the middle of the stony Saharan desert. A minefield and the second largest military wall in the world separates this group of friends from their homeland that they have only heard about in their parent’s stories. They are called the Sahrawis and have been abandoned in this refugee camp in the middle of a stony desert ever since Morocco drove them out of Western Sahara forty years ago. Trapped somewhere in between life and death, Sidahmed, Zaara annd Taher refuse to be bothered by it. They spend their days fixing cars that can’t really take them anywhere, fighting for political change without response and together they use the power of creativity and play to denounce the reality around them and expand beyond the borders of the camp.
France 2019, 90΄
Direction – Script: Maxime Caperan, Éva Sehet
In Ouvéa, New Caledonia, Macky and his family commemorate, as every year, the tragic events of 1988 that deeply shook the Island. Day after day, all bear witness to the atrocities inflicted upon their tribe during the occupation by the French military in a cathartic act of remembrance. None of them want to hear from the State nor the army ever again. All they wish for is the independence of the Kanak people. Yet, this year, thirty years later, the French President has decided to pay a visit.
Below you may find a list of the special screenings. Two of them, were presented at 21st Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.
Hidden Landscapes of Naxos
Greece 2018, 36΄
Direction-Script: Vassia Hadjiyannaki
Venturing beyond the sea and the beach into the heart of the islands reveals hidden landscapes forged by nature and shaped by people for thousands of years. These landscapes are like a monument to the communities that lived in them; if you ask the right questions, they can reveal fascinating stories. The documentary, a collaboration between the McCord Centre – Newcastle University and ERT, explores some of
these hidden landscapes of Naxos, the largest island of the Cyclades, through its archives, its monuments and the stories of people who live and work there.
Italy 2018, 15΄
Direction-Script: Tommaso Montaldo
The Afar region in Ethiopia is considered the place where humanity
started millions of years ago. Now due to the climate change this region become one of the most inhospitable place on earth. Through the story of the humanitarian operators of the NGO LVIA the documentary bring us to the discovery of this region and of his people. It is showed how the job they do is important to give them opportunity to remain where they belong.
The Poet Maria Polydouris in Paris of the Ιnter
Greece 2018, 62΄
Direction-Script: Kostas Dandinakis
In collaboration with the 21st Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Unconventional Greek poet Maria Polydouri (1902-1930) escaped
from the mournful society of Athens in 1926 and resorted to Paris to
join her Fate. The chronicle of a quest.
The Antikythera Mechanism – Narrations
Greece 2018, 78΄
Direction-Script: Nikos Papakostas
In collaboration with the 21st Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
The documentary presents the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient computer of the 2nd century BC, which is the most important artefact of antiquity. Invented by Greek scientists based on Pythagorean philosophy and Greek science 2500 years ago, it shows that ancient Greeks developed advanced technology.