The Love & Anarchy festival starts in Helsinki on Thursday. HS selected eight films from the program of the event that are worth watching. The films on this list are not expected to be released for theatrical distribution in Finland after R&A.
Always Amber (Sweden, directed by Hannah Reinikainen and Lia Hietala)
Amber is a 17-year-old teenager with a non-binary gender identity. Always Amber documentary describes the life of his name for three years. The framework is discussions with a psychiatrist that Amber enters to gain access to the sex correction treatment process. The film is a rare intimate depiction of today’s queer generation – and of youth in general, with its delights, joys, sorrows and uncertainties. The filming is often done by Amber and the young people in this neighborhood themselves. This is their story, and it is told on their terms.
DAU. Natasha (Britain, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, directed by Ilya Khrzhanovsky and Ekaterina Oertel)
Being in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Natasha (Natalia Berezhnya) and Olga (Olga Škabarnja) rotate the canteen of the Institute of Physics. The days roll like each other until Natasha spends the night with a visiting French scientist and finds herself in a brutal interrogation process by the KGB. DAU. Natasha is the first part of 15 years DAUart project, for which, among other things, an immense visual image of a Soviet city decades ago was built. DAU.Natasha is still in itself a fierce and impressive cinematic experience. And perhaps the most authentic descriptions of what it was like to live under the watchful eye of the Stalinist dictatorship. You can read more about this extensive article in HS about the DAU project.
Exile (Belgium, Kosovo, Germany, directed by Visar Morina)
Xhafer (Misel Matijevic) is a German immigrant from Kosovo whose daily life becomes a pressure cooker. In the workplace at the chemical plant, he is left out of important email lists and recreational events, one colleague does not answer questions and another speaks in a derogatory manner. At home, there is a rat at the gate. Still, his wife (Sandra Hüller) argues that experiences of racism are only at Xhafer’s own end. Kosovo background Visar Morinan the film depicts racism and discrimination in a controlled, skilful, and michaelhaneken oppressive manner.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (USA, directed by Joe Talbot)
Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) is a young man living on the edge of San Francisco who skates his friend Monti every day (Jonathan Majors) to look at an old Victorian house in the historic Fillmore area. Jimmie’s grandfather built the house in his time and Jimmie dreams of getting it one more time for himself. However, reality comes on the path of dreams, while the history of the city is rolled with gentrification. The Last Black Man in San Francisco got its world premiere at last year’s Sundance Festival and can already be found on rental services, but it’s definitely worth going to watch on the big screen now that it’s possible. A poetically beautiful and touching film.
Lil ‘Buck: Real Swan (France, United States, directed by Louis Wallecan)
Memphis, USA, has emerged as its own sub-genre of hip hop and its byproduct is the “drink” street dance style. Young Charles “Lil Buck” Riley got excited about drinking as a child and a few years ago his rare talent was widely noticed. The celebrities were helpful Yo-Yo Ma as well as a film director Spike Jonzen Youtube video shot on a mobile phone. The French documentary about Lil Buck is ruggedly charming to watch. Like Buck himself, for whom dance is life – whether he was on the streets, skate ramps or stage of his hometown Swan pond interpreting.
Själö – Island of Souls (Finland, directed by Lotta Petronella)
Seili Island in Nauvoo has recently become a fashionable domestic tourist destination. The island has a fascinating history, including hundreds of years old Gustav II Adolf established a leper and mental hospital. Memories hidden in the rooms of an abandoned hospital building – as well as the island’s diverse nature – turn into images and sounds Lotta Petronellan in a hypnotic documentary.
This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (South Africa, Italy, Lesotho, directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese)
Mantoa, an 80-year-old widow living in a small Lesotho village (Mary Twala Mhlongo) wants to be buried in the land of his home village, where all his loved ones, parents and ancestors rest. When the village threatens to remain under the government’s dam project, Manto takes up resistance. Supervisor Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese depicts both his native country and the universal theme in a drama film whose infinitely strong atmosphere and aesthetics penetrate deep into consciousness.
The Woman Who Ran (South Korea, directed by Hong Sang-soo)
Gam-hee (Kim Min-hee) meets old friends for a long time. The quartet chats them out about these gossip, about their jobs, their spouses, the gossip they hear. That’s really all, but The Woman Who Ran is anything but bumpy. There is a huge amount going on beneath the surface and between the rows. It is effortless and fresh, light as a gust of wind, but the secrets it hides remain to be thought about for a long time.
The entire program, screening times and other info of the Love & Anarchy festival can be found at hiff.fi.