Programme team member Rastislav Steranka presents his five festival tips

5. September 2022

Rastislav Steranka and his festival selection:

Repulse (Hrana Zlomu) ; CZ, r. Emil Křižka

Kateřina and Robert raise their little daughter in a luxurious villa, but their household can hardly be considered harmonious. Grown-up Viktor lives with his mother in a dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere, but their coexistence is not any healthier. The destinies of two dysfunctional families intersect in this ambiguous, dark narrative mosaic that plays with the viewer’s need to make assumptions about who is the victim and who is the perpetrator.

My Hear Can’t Beat Unless You Tell it To, USA, r. Jonathan Cuartas

Dwight and his sister Jessie find themselves at the dilemma of what to do with the mysterious illness of their younger brother Thomas. The increasingly dangerous task of keeping Thomas alive weighs heavily on the sensitive Dwight. The lives of Thomas and Jessie, members of this hermetically sealed and tight-knit family unit, depend on him and the rituals they have learned to keep secret. Dwight longs for a different life, but Jessie will simply stop at nothing to keep the family together.

Earwig, GB/FR/BE, r. Lucile Hadžihalilović

Somewhere in Europe, mid-20th century. Albert takes care of Mia, the girl with ice teeth, full-time. Mia never leaves the apartment, where the shutters are always closed. The phone rings regularly and the gentleman on the other end of the line always asks how Mia is doing andif she is healthy. Everything changes the day Albert is instructed to prepare the child for departure.

Valerie and her week of wonder, CS, r. Jaromil Jireš

This wonderful film from 1970 belongs to the group of Czechoslovak surrealist films, such as films by directors Juraj Herz or Jan Švankmajer. Beautiful, erotic, dreamy, mysterious, disturbing. Valéria is a unique “coming of age” story and perfectly captures the fear, curiosity and pleasure of a teenage girl’s sexual awakening. It has a unique blend of darkness and lightness, horror and wonder, as well as poetic and almost experimental storytelling that never goes where you think it will. One of the most lyrical and sensual films I’ve ever seen, where every one of its frames pulsates with energy and creativity.

Terror Nullius, AU, r. Soda Jerk

According to the Soda Jerk duo, Australia is more Terror than Terra nullius. This film remix assembled from more than 170 film, television and news materials presents Australia as a country that was created on colonial violence where panic about immigration or LGBTI+ people still shapes public discourse. A funny and chilling political satire with a post-apocalyptic feel, artfully overturns the film canon to talk about the rights of indigenous people, toxic masculinity or political populism.