Yesterday evening the doors of de Brakke Grond opened to an enthusiastic crowd of visitors and festival participants. NEU NOW has begun with a screening of the film programme at 18h30 to a full house.
The four films shown, 32 Boulevard de Magenta, My Good Fortune in Auschwitz, Vibration of the Thirteen, and I’m a miner, who is more, were tackling different issues but had a high level of professionalism in common.
Nadege Abadie’s film 32 Boulevard de Magenta was close to the field of photography. The technique employing long photographic stills was as unusual as the main character, an 80-year-old owner of a hairdressing salon in Paris with strong convictions about everything and everbody.
Reber Dosky’s film, My Good Fortune in Auschwitz, looked at the experience of an Auschwitz survivor. The Kurdish director had befriended Hajo Meyer at a conference for refugees several years back, and the close relationship they share transpires in the wonderful dialogue and close-ups on Hajo’s face as he talks about friendship as one of the elements which keep people human in situations of extreme hardship.
Kacper Nurzyński came to NEU NOW with his film Vibration of the Thirteen. Situated somewhere between the tragic and comical aspects of life, the film brings us face-to-face with a protagonist describing a number of accidents from her life as paranormal phenomena. The truth of her assertions is never questioned by the film, but left up to the audience.
I’m a miner, who is more was one of the favourites of the audience, with most questions asked during the discussion with the film directors which followed the screening. The Slovak director, Roman Fabian, achieved the feat of a wonderful medium-length film despite casting unexperienced actors from two villages in his native region. The film focuses on an 18-year-old youth, Palko, in the midst of his transition from childhood to adulthood, and the few prospects he has of working in any field other than the mining industry if staying in his natiove region. The conflict with his father, who feels hurt about his son not wanting to take up the job both father and grandfather had embraced for decades, and Palko’s confusion with respect to his future alternate with moments of serenity, where the young man enjoys a dolce far niente in the beautiful countryside with his girlfriend, or drinks and parties together with carefree friends.
In case you’ve missed the films, you can see them again on Wednesday 26 June at 15h00 in de Brakke Grond!