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Balkan Beats
This year's Balkan Beats resonate in dark tones at the law's edge, in the oppressive atmosphere of family and social structures with which the protagonists struggle. The selected films show the diversified face of the cinema on the peninsula, and the powerful stories, firmly anchored in today's reality of the individual countries, also provide an intense picture of Europe's south-eastern corner. The section's highlight is Mustang, an Oscar-nominee and the winner of the European LUX award, the debut of director Deniz Gamze Ergüven. The sensitive yet relentlessly sincere film focuses on five defiant sisters who are basically imprisoned at home by their traditional Turkish family horrified by the girls' “improper” behaviour, and gradually sent off to arranged marriages. The drama confronts growing up and burgeoning sexuality with patriarchy and religious conservatism. Another distinctive debut by a female director, Thirst from Bulgaria, depicts a family in an isolated area afflicted by draught, whose structure is disturbed by the arrival of an unfathomable teenage girl. On the other hand, the Serbian film Panama addresses paranoia supported by modern communication technologies which turns into sexual obsession, devastating Jovan's relationship with the enigmatic Maja. The descent into the darkness of one's soul and peculiar forms of love wrapped in a rugged genre package present the challenges of the main protagonist in Corpse Collector. A dramatic journey awaits the father and his young son in Before Sunrise, a Turkish social drama in documentary style. These five films represent feature debuts of young directors, and each of them approaches film narration and examination of local issues in their own fresh, confident way. They offer a unique insight into communities and areas which they pinpoint on the film map of the world, and their films' journeys to international festivals simultaneously confirm that their stories are universally understandable. The Balkan collection is concluded in a similar spirit by Orizont, a criminal drama set in Romanian mountains and directed by Marian Crisan with Oleg Mutu's cinematography, and by Patria by an acclaimed Serbian director, Oleg Nvokovic, which observes the consequences of the Kosovo war through a young woman named Macy.
Corpse Collector / Corpse Collector / Sběratel mrtvol (Bulgaria) Director: Dimitar Dimitrov (Balkan Beats )
Mustang / Mustang / Mustang (Turkey, France, Qatar, Germany) Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Balkan Beats )
Orizont / Orizont / Horizont (Romania) Director: Marian Crisan (Balkan Beats )
Panama / Panama / Panama (Serbia) Director: Pavle Vučković (Balkan Beats )
Patria / Otadzbina / Otčina (Serbia, Germany) Director: Oleg Novković (Balkan Beats )
Thirst / Jajda / Žízeň (Bulgaria) Director: Svetla Tsotsorkova (Balkan Beats )
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