This year, the annual World Film Festival, which starts on Thursday and lasts until Sunday, will focus on the human body as an amazingly sophisticated mechanism. The Kino Bize cinema will screen about 30 documentaries from 15 countries in four days – both feature films and short films.
The center of the World Film Festival this year is the human bodyBaiba Kušķe00:00 / 05:37
Every year the festival has its own theme, and this year it will focus on the human body in the broadest sense of the word. The body will be seen as a very subtle mechanism, also as a secret, which is something much more than we are used to thinking on a daily basis.
” In these films we see how often the human spiritual world can be understood directly through the bodily. How can we feel, understand, learn more about these people who may not always be able to tell how they feel. And telling how we feel is not easy for anyone.
But the film gives them the opportunity to understand, through observations, similarities, metaphors, what really happens to these people, how they think, how they see the world, why they move or behave one way or another.
This bodily experience here is much broader than we used to talk about it, ” said the festival’s creator Maris Prombergs.
The British film “In Search of the Shadows” takes you to the West African country of Guinea-Bissau and introduces one of its prophetic movements, which holds special rituals and speaks in tongues to communicate with its ancestors. The film also explores how this movement interacts with the country’s two major religions, Islam and Christianity.
The film “Healer and Psychiatrist” allows you to visit the South Pacific Islands, Tonga. Its main characters are a healer who heals the obsessed spirit and the only Tongan psychiatrist who has established a well-known psychiatric clinic in the region. The film is made as their dialogue.
But the film from Haiti focuses on the study of music and rhythm in various spiritual traditions. It’s called “Voodoo meets techno,” and it really combines techno music with images from Voodoo ceremonies in Haiti.
Some of the films focus on the still difficult-to-explain physical manifestations that people tend to experience, and one of them is Charles Bonn’s syndrome, which blind people tend to experience when they see bright hallucinations, the Norwegian film “Miracle Sight” tells about it.
But the Dutch film “Are You There?” gives an opportunity to look at the feelings of people who tend to face abscess attacks, when a person for a short time seems to lose consciousness.
The opening film of the festival is the Austrian film “Third Chance”, which focuses on the very painful question of what to do if the fetal sonography reveals that your child does not fit into the expectations of society. According to Māris Prombergs, this film has already been screened and awarded at several festivals:
” The film talks about a lot of social topics related to beauty, with technology, how much we can learn that we all want a beautiful and healthy child, how it affects some kind of political direction both in medicine and in society in general.
Very, very strong work, and talks about the body’s initial release into the world.
What a valid moment in our program, which is then the body, and we start with childbirth. ”
The special focus of the festival this time will be on Dutch director Leonard Retel Helmrich, the program includes a retrospective of his films. He is called an innovator who has developed a single-frame filming method that allows him to interact very closely with the film’s characters, becoming almost part of them, and it also brings the characters very close to the viewers.
The retrospective includes four Helmhich films, three dedicated to Indonesian culture and people. The film “Promised Paradise” is banned in Indonesia because it focuses on extremism in the Muslim world.
The fourth film, “The Long Season”, made 3 years ago, is probably Helmrich’s last film, because at the time of its shooting, he was sick and his colleagues finished the film.
” Helmrich at the time of the last film, and now it looks like he won’t be able to make any more films. He has a hard time navigating. The body has always been his main tool when making movies. He has been involved in tai chi for a long time, he has developed special methods exactly how to move the camera flexibly with the body. But, unfortunately, fate has changed in this way, and he himself will not be able to take part in the negotiations after the films, but his sister Hetty Helmrich, who is a long-term producer of his films, will take part, ” said Maris Prombergs.
As usual at the World Film Festival, after watching the films, it will be possible – this time only online – to meet its authors and listen to their stories.
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