When the very first Films from the South festival was going to be announced in an ad in Arbeiderbladet (now Dagsavisen) in 1991 the headline in the article said Film fra Før (literally films from before) instead of Films from the South. A grave mistake at the time, however, now we are quite pleased with the name as it is a perfect fit for our anniversary section.
We will be hosting this new event in collaberation with Cinemateket. If you have not been able see some of these classics before, or you just want to see them again, then this is the event for you! Film fra Før will become a permanent part of Films from the South, however, for the event next year you get to decide which films we will be screening. We hope you will take advantage of this great opportunity to see some of the best south films from the last four decades.
Screening times will be announced soon. Tickets will be put up for sale October 26th.
Film fra Før program:
CITY OF GOD (Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund, 2002)
City of God, Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s modern Brazilian classic set in the worst slums of Rio de Janeiro, is a film that will blow you out of your seat. This shocking depiction follows the youngster Buscape and his adventures with a gang of petty criminals with an increasing appetite for murder and robbery. Through the protagonist’s eyes, we see the slum area become a consistently brutal and lawless society in which even children kill each other. Nominated for five Academy Awards, this is a masterfully shot and edited film in which all cinematic elements contributes to an extremely disturbing and frightening experience.
AND YOUR MOTHER TOO (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)
Alfonso Cuarón's 2001 feature which proved to be the big breakthrough for him as a director as well as for Gael Garcia Bernal as an actor. During a period of political unrest in Mexico, two teenage boys, Julio (Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna), meet attractive Luisa (Maribel Verdù) at a wedding. She finds out that her husband is cheating on her and accepts an invitation from the two boys to join them on a roadtrip. Their trip becomes a life changing experience for all of them, as they learn more about each other, friendship, sex and life. Cuarón's Oscar nominated film celebrates life, but it also reminds us that a summer, friendship and life will not last forever.
RED SORGHUM (Zhang Yimou, 1987)
A young girl is wed to a leper who mysteriously disappears. As his widow, she takes over his still for making liquor, and accepts a man who has previously raped her, as her husband. Then one day, the Japanese army enters the province where they live. Red Sorghum is a burlesque, tragic, lyric and not least colourful depiction of dramatic incidents in Chinese history, but also of everyday village life. Zhang Yimou won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale for this his first feature film, which made him a leading figure of a new generation of filmmakers invigorated by their new-won artistic freedoms.
MONSOON WEDDING (Mira Nair, 2001)
Monsoon Wedding was the closing film at the 2001 Films from the South festival, after having won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival earlier that fall. This intense family drama plays out in the heart of New Dehli and sees old Punjabi cultural values being challenged by the advent of the dot.com era.
A big, expensive wedding is about to take place, but the bride Aditi keeps a secret from her husband-to-be, and the arrival of friends and family from abroad puts tension relating to class, generation and gender on full display. Like clouds gathering in the sky during the monsoon, the film builds towards a climax that later is discharged in delight of the liberating rains.
YOL (Yılmaz Güney, Serif Gören, 1982)
Yol is one of the best Turkish – and Kurdish – films of all time. Produced in the aftermath of the military coup in Turkey in 1980, it is written by Yilmaz Güney, known for his Kurdish political activism and therefore imprisoned. The screenplay he wrote in prison was smuggled into his cell and realised into a film by his former assistant Serif Gören. After Güney escaped from prison, he finished the film, which ended up winning the Palme D’Or in Cannes in 1983.
The film follows five prisoners as they are out on a weekend of leave. “But the freedom outside is not what they had hoped it would be”, explains Hisham Zaman, a Norwegian-Kurdish director, in his introduction to the film’s screening at Films from the South in 2006. Writes Zaman: “Yol is considered one of Güney’s best films. To me, it is not only an extraordinary humanistic and political achievement, but also a deeply personal film of superior artistic quality. It portrays a Turkish society ridden by human rights violations and brutal repression of the Kurdish minority. Its cinematography is beautiful, and its symbolism is subtle.”
SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER… AND SPRING (Kim Ki-duk, 2004)
Kim Ki-duk is one of South Korea’s most productive and versatile directors, and this is arguably his most visually stunning film. Set on a temple boat on a small lake, we start in spring when a monk teaches a boy some basic ethic-philosophical lessons. Their relationship us the backbone of the story, which plays out over five seasons depicted in separate tableaus. When a young woman comes to stay on the boat for health reasons, love gets into the equation and ethical dilemmas arise.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring spellbound audiences around the world upon its release in 2004, including in Norway where it screened at Films from the South and received a theatrical release. To quote our programming note from back then: “If we should classify films as masterpieces, this would definitely be one of them”.