Program team member Peter Konečný presents his five festival tips
10. September 2021
Peter Konečný and his festival selection:
Quo vadis, Aida? / dir. Jasmila Žbanić
Bosnia, July 1995. The Serbian army is approaching Srebrenica, which is declared a “safe zone” by the UN. Tens of thousands of people are fleeing their homes to a nearby UN base. Translator Aida, who works for the UN, knows the situation intimately inside and outside the base. She struggles with the relentlessly shortening time to find a way out of the approaching hell for the inhabitants of the city and its loved ones. As for the title of the film, it is taken from a Christian legend about the apostle Peter, who met Christ after his resurrection and asks him “Quo vadis, Domine?” (Where are you going, Lord?) And Christ answers, “I am going to Rome to die for you.” Aida herself is crucified twice, the first time during the massacre and again after her, when she begins to recognize specific people in the community which she has joined. According to the metacritic portal, this is the best rated film of the year according to the average of world critics.
107 Mothers / dir. Peter Kerekes
Lesja, a Ukrainian, has committed a crime of passion and is serving a seven-year prison sentence in one of the outgoing women’s prisons. She has just given birth to her first child and is becoming part of a world composed only of women: fellow prisoners of all ages, wives and widows, daughters, sisters, pregnant women, mothers with children, supervisors. If there were no colored uniforms, they would be almost indistinguishable. The film had its world premiere just a few days at the Venice Film Festival.
Ada / Dýrið / dir. Valdimar Jóhannsson
The childless couple María (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason) discover a mysterious newborn on their farm in Iceland. The idea of their family life will bring them a lot of joy, but in the end it will completely destroy them. Here, human drama is confronted with the supernatural animal world. A surprising and shocking film awarded for originality in the Un Certain Regard section at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. This prize was awarded for the first time.
Feathers / dir. Omar El Zohairy
A poor family in Egypt is forced to become self-aware after something very mysterious and strange happens during a child’s birthday party. A film about a strong female heroine in a markedly patriarchal world. Poverty contrasts with the search for understanding and help. This unforgettable film experience absolutely won over the audience and the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. The Critics’ Week Grand Prize and FIPRESCI Prize are well deserved.
Gunda / r. Viktor Kossakovsky
As an unusual film in its purest form, Gunda records with masterful intimacy the authentic life of a mother – a female pig, a flock of chickens and a herd of cows. Using a stark, transcendent black-and-white camera and the farm’s ambient soundtrack, the director urges viewers to slow down and live life just like his heroes, perceiving their world with magical patience and a glimpse of another world. The Gunda invites us to reflect on the secret of animal consciousness and to consider the role of man in it. This exceptional documentary premiered at the Berlinale festival and gained the attention of the entire film world.