Programme team member Peter Konečný presents his five festival tips

7. September 2023

Picks of Peter Konečný:

Past Lives

What if? In Korean there is a word In-Yun, which means ‘linked by fate’. When two people meet, it means that their fates have been intertwined in other lives. This sensitive modern romance tells the story of writer Nora and her two loves, the childhood one – Hae-Sung – and the adult one – Arthur – set across continents and decades. Nora and Hae-Sung are separated by tens of thousands of miles, but they share an extraordinarily deep bond. The film’s poignancy lies not so much in the lost love as in the aspects of parallel lives and their potentiality. One of the most intelligent representatives of relationship films in recent years, and one of the best films of the year.

Blaga’s Lessons

When a recently widowed retired schoolteacher falls victim to a phone scam, she loses her life savings and has no money left for her late husband’s headstone. She realizes there is no way to get the money back, and her life is turned upside down until she receives a tempting but suspicious job offer. Everything changes when she takes matters into her own hands. This literally captivating, almost electrifying drama represents one of the most important European films of the year and one that is yet to be talked about.

A Happy Man

The intimate story of a man who discovers his true self and must risk what he values most in order to live authentically. Should he risk everything for happiness? And what about those close to him? The Happy Man opens with Czech graphic designer and writer Marvin Horvat reminiscing about his recent past in Gothenburg, Sweden, when he was an ordinary Czech woman in a relationship with her Slovak husband, psychiatrist Ivan, and their two children. One of the most important Slovak-Czech co-produced documentaries of recent years.

Karaoke Blues / Fallen Leaves

Holappa works as a construction worker, lives in a hostel and chases away his sadness with excessive alcohol consumption. Ansa works a low-paid job in a supermarket and in the evenings returns to an empty apartment where the radio is blaring news of Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine. The trajectories of their lives intersect one evening in a shabby karaoke bar… A beautifully melancholic and sadly funny film, the bard of Finnish cinema.

Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light

Eleven-year-old Tonko has a unique characteristic – he has been glowing since birth. His overprotective parents try to keep him at home to protect him from the outside world. When the mysterious Nightingale moves into their house before Christmas break, Tonko’s world is turned upside down. He makes his first real friend and sets off with her on an adventurous quest to find the origin of the mysterious wisps of darkness that are sucking the sunshine out of their house. Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light is a film about what it’s like to be different, a story of friendship and fantasy, of light and darkness.