The Critical Room

Since 2003 we have dug deeper into societal issues related to Asia, Africa and Latin America through The Critical Room, our regular and highly popular section of film screenings and social­ debates

Av 28. okt 2018

Screen the film, and then we debate! Since 2003 we have dug deeper into societal issues related to Asia, Africa and Latin America through The Critical Room, our regular and highly popular section of film screenings and social­ debates. We run engaging and educational films with a direct message, followed by discussions with filmmakers and experts.

- We have seen a lot of exciting and great films this year, and it has been a challenge to select only five to be in the programme. This year's programme is varied both in terms of thematic content, origin and expression. New for 2018 is that two fiction films - The Tower and Rafiki - have found its place in what has usually been a programme dominated by documentaries. Nevertheless, all the films have in common that they are driven by strong and brave characters confronting injustice and abuse in their community. All films have excelled strongly and had their first public performance at major international film festivals such as Cannes, the animation festival in Annecy, Sundance, IDFA and CPH:Dox. Engaging and exciting films that I really look forward to see and discuss in The Critical Room during this year's Films from the South festival, says project manager Per Eirik Gilsvik.

16 October we will release the tickets to the screening of The Critical Room at Vika movie theater. Note! The Cleaners will only have one screening during the festival.

Films in The Critical Room


Screening: November 9 at 5.45 pm. Buy tickets here. 

Eleven year-old Wardi is a Palestinian fourth generation refugee and lives in a camp in Lebanon. With each generation, their house there has grown into a looming tower, and Wardi's great-grandfather Sisi has lived there ever since he had to flee his real home back in 1948. Although he is dying, he clings on to the dream of returning, and still carries the key to his old house around his neck like an amulet. As Wardi begins to search the family history for the truth about Wardi's lost hope, she hears for the first time about al-Nakba, the disaster of '48 when Palestinians were forced into exile. 

The Tower is based on real stories gathered from interviews, conversations, and observations made by director Mats Grorud during his own stay in a Beirut refugee camp. The film combines puppets and 2D animation to give life to the moving and captivating tale about coming-of-age in exile

Note: Norwegian subtitles only. 

PANEL DISCUSSION: After the screening on 9 November there will be a panel discussion about the plight of Palestinian refugees and their prospects for the future, 70 years after the exile from Palestine. Director Mats Grorud will introduce the film and participate in the discussion, which will be held in Norwegian.

In collaboration with the United Nations Association of Norway


Screening: November 12 at 5.45 pm. Buy tickets here

As the first Kenyan film ever to screen at the Cannes film festival, Rafiki was a major hit there in May of this year. Still, in Kenya the film is banned and has only been allowed a few selected screenings. Homosexuality is officially banned in Kenya, so the film's depiction of a love affair between two women makes it highly controversial. Rafiki follows Kena og Ziki, both daughters of high ranking politicians. They meet and fall in love, and therefore risk not only imprisonment and social inclusion, but also being subject to violence. Rafiki is a colourful and sparking love story full of joy, heart ache, and rebellious energy.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Wanuri Kahiu visits Films from the South to present the film and will take part in a panel discussion after the screening on 12 November about the rights situation for LGHBT groups in the global South. 

In collaboration with Norwegian PEN.  


Screening: November 10 at 5.30 pm. Buy tickets here. 

Who governs and moderates the Internet? The Cleaners follows five so-called content moderators from the Philippines, whose job it is to browse through thousand of images and videos every day as they are posted on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These three giant corporations have completely changed the flow of information in societies worldwide. Meanwhile, they have left the task of censoring and moderating the very same information to a group of "cleaners" who have no formal training and who work under extreme pime pressure. Drawing from several examples, including online debates about Trump's precidency in the U.S., Erdoğan's rule in Turkey, and the genocide against minorities in Myanmar, the film focuses on the consequences of corporate power over the Internet.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Following the screening of The Cleaners we invite you to discuss the actual or possible ethic, moral and legal responsibility of the internet giants for today's debate climate.

In collaboration with JMIC – Journalism and Media International Center at OsloMet (Oslo Metropolitan University)


Screening: November 18 at 5.00 pm. Buy tickets here.

"I am more bad ass than everyone else here!" Meet Laila Hadari, a woman who does not hesitate to take on powerful and corrupt politicians on live TV, and who ignores the death threats she regularly receives, in her attempt to save heroin addicts in Afghanistan. The country has the world's largest opium production, as well as the world's highest percentage of heroin addicts among the population. Hundreds of men and women gather daily under a bridge in the centre of Kabul to use the deadly drug.

But Laile refuses to give up on the many addicts. Laila at the Bridge follows her work in Kabul, where she leads the country's only detox and rehab clinic. "I try to think of myself as a bridge on which people can cross over to a better life", she says.

PANEL DISCUSSION: After the screening on 18 November, director Elizabeth Mirzaei will attend a panel discussion about the film and Laila Haidari, and the situation for drug addicts in Afghanistan. 

In collaboration with the Norwegian Afghanistan Comittee


Screening: November 15 at 7.30 om. Buy tickets here.

Soldiers singing on their way to the front, fallen martyrs and grieving relatives: Saeid Sadeghis strong and suggestive images from the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980s were used as propaganda and a vehicle for recruitment by the Iranian government. Iran's most celebrated war photographer, Sadeghi now repents his years as a supporter of the Iranian regime, and holds himself responsible for sending thousands of soldiers to certain death, many as young as in their early teens. Stronger Than a Bullet follows Sadeghi on a journey back to the days of war. It is a strong and well-crafted film about a fallen hero, about nationalism, ideology, propaganda, and the power of images. PEG

PANEL DISCUSSION: Maryam Ebrahimi will attend a panel discussion on 15 November, held after the screening, on war, propaganda and the power of images.

In collaboration with Norwegian PEN.