Sunday, February 12, 2017

Notes on some short films for children-Programm 3-Berlin Filmfestival 2017 III.-Generation Kplus

Aaba (Grandfather), by Amar Kaushik, India: 2016

The film takes place in the Indian state Arunachal Pradesh where foreigners have only access with a special visa. There is a girl who lives with her very old grandparents in the mountains. Her mother abandoned her, her father has passed away. She is one of the best pupils in school but still living with grandparents deeply rooted in traditions of their tribe.Only a small TV and a radio are thr only signs of the modern world outside this simple cottage. The grandfather has lung cancer and without a chance to get healed, his forthcoming death is inevitable. While the child has to deal with the fact, the grandfather already begins to dig his own grave, already accepting his fate. The fiction of this film is very frail and often it disappears behind the ethnographic aspect. Very few words are spoken and the film focus on observation. Among this 6 films in this short film program, Aaba is the most laconic one.
The world of the girl´s grandparents seems to be already in the process of disappearing. When they are gone the girl will continue her way through school into a new life. The world revealed in this film will change soon. Aaba is a beautiful miniature and a gift of 22 intense minutes of pure cinema.

Engiteng`Larok Lukunya (Black Headed Cow), by Elisabeth Nichols, Tanzania: 2016

The film is made by teenagers in Tanzania under the direction of Elisabeth Nichols. Like all the films in this program, it is a Coming Of Age-story embedded in a certain geographic landscape, this time a village in Tanzania. The father has decided to marry his teenage daughter to an elderly man with an implicitness he sells a cow. He accepts no objection, the mother remains silent. But early in the morning, the mother wakes up the girl and helps her to escape. In the last shot wee see the girl hiding in a bush and heading to an uncertain future. This film is less a miniature but more like a seed, an initial point to a much more extended story far beyond the visible 12 minutes.

Min Homosyster (My Homo Sister), by Lie Hitula, Sweden/Norway: 2017

Three girls make an excursion to the Norwegian Fjords. Cleo is ten and her elder sister is homosexual. During this excursion Cleo meets her sister´s girlfriend. Cleo has a lot of questions about her sister´s relationships and the elder girls answer her with patience. The film is focusing on an event, a situation. It looks rather like a scene from a longer film but a scene which includes already the DNA of n imagined much longer feature film. In cinema the questions of life asked by children or adolescents often takes place in natural landscapes like in this film the mighty fjords. The discoverings of the visible landscapes and the exploration of the more abstract human landscapes happen concurrent. We know this from Renoir´s The River or from Ray´s Pather Panchali and other examples from the history of cinema.

The Catch by Holly Brace-Lavoie from Canada, the animation film Li.Le by Natia Nikolashvik from Georgia and Terrain de jeu by Maxence Lemonnier from France complete this wonderful kaleidoscope of short Coming of Age-films. In Terrain de Jeu a young buy builds a little refuge in the middle of a forest. Signs from the world around him are disturbing. A search group of policemen and dogs are walking through the forest, the sound of helicopters circling the heaven appear.s The little cabin the boy is installing for himself is literally the try to define his own place in the world, a quest which is part of the history of cinema and often present in these sub genres Road Movie or Coming of Age.

Rüdiger Tomczak

15.02, Filmtheater am Friederichshain, 12.30
16.02, Cinemaxx 1, 14.00

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