3 films



Once again, we have had many submissions of films featuring incredibly tough women as their central figures. Just as last year, the three films of this section are made by three women, almost as though men didn’t dare to make films about women, or as though women weren’t confident enough to let men film them. If we look at the films included in the other sections of the festival and at films made with/about women, only one of them is made by a man and another one made by a directorial duo man-woman. Could it mean that women are afraid some men would not know how to film them in a complex and empathetic manner? Or that men do not wish to make films with women? These are by no means the facts, but just some questions we should all be pondering.

If we were to take a closer look at this year’s OWR selection of films made in 2018 and 2019, 15 of them were directed by women, 20 by men and 3 were co-directed by a woman and a man. In the Roma section (which includes films made between 1957 and 2019), only one was directed by a woman and another co-directed by a man and a woman. All the other films were directed by men. Our retrospectives are divided equally between films by Ross McElwee and Chantal Akerman, something which we will try to adhere to every year from now on. So we have not reached the perfect goal of 50/50, as it was not necessarily our intention - what we did was only to follow our own enthusiasm for individual cinematic signature-styles, in the hope that many films would be made by women - but we are not far off. We have done better than the ‘mainly-male-filmmakers-Cannes-selection’ and almost as well as the Berlinale, which is very attuned to women filmmakers in a world with multiple points of view (as opposed to a world seen only through the men’s point of view, as it has always been).

In our first film, director Alexe Poukine invites us to reflect on rape as rarely seen before. Which acts can we include in the meaning of this word (many more than we might think)? From what point on can an abusive action be qualified as rape? It happens much more frequently than we might think - it can even occur in a “loving” relationship. This film makes us - all of us: women, men, rape victims or rapists - think. In our second film, Yoon Sung-A shows us how to no longer stigmatise the women (Filipino, in this case) who go overseas to seek a better future for their families. By shifting focus on the psychological training they undergo, we are made to understand they are fully aware of the risks involved, and how their tutors prepare them for some very abusive situations and advise them on how to avoid being abused. This makes us feel and understand the difficult situations they are faced with at home and, consequently, the price these women are willing to pay. In the third film, Irene Lusztig makes us dive into letters written by women 40 years ago for a magazine that never published them, showing us how invisible women were in those times, and raising questions about this invisibility nowadays, for what these women were writing back then in their letters could very well be written to a magazine today. Nothing has changed significantly. For this reason, the director decided that the letters should be recited today, by women filmed in front of their houses. And the result is masterful! (by Vanina Vignal)

All the films from category


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The festival was created in 2008 by the: Czech Center Bucharest

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