Tallinn Black Nights film fes­ti­val an­nounces 2018 fo­cus pro­gramme: cen­te­nar­i­ans

The Daily News Egypt - - Film -

Driven by Es­to­nia’s 100th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Fes­ti­val will fo­cus on 12 coun­tries that are cel­e­brat­ing their cen­te­nary this year, of­fer­ing a rich ret­ro­spec­tive with films made be­tween 1958-1977.

Europe’s map was rad­i­cally changed at the end of the 1st World War, dis­solv­ing em­pires and cre­at­ing new small na­tion states.Al­though many of them soon lost their newly gained in­de­pen­dence, mostly to the ex­pand­ing Soviet Union, still 1918 can be con­sid­ered as a cer­tain zero point in their his­tory.

To com­mem­o­rate that, Black Nights will screen films from 12 coun­tries: Es­to­nia, Latvia, Lithua­nia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Repub­lic, Slo­vakia, Ro­ma­nia, Hun­gary, Ge­or­gia, Aus­tria and Ice­land. All of them are films that have gained a sig­nif­i­cance in their coun­try of ori­gin, of­ten due to hav­ing been made in un­favourable so­cio-po­lit­i­cal cir­cum­stances. All the films will be in­tro­duced by ar­chive ex­perts from their re­spec­tive coun­tries.

Most of the films have been made dur­ing the tur­bu­lent 1960s when a new wave ap­peared in film, re­belling against older con­ven­tions and ex­press­ing stronger crit­i­cism to­wards their con­tem­po­rary world and the past. Some of th­ese films landed straight on the ar­chive shelves, and only be­came avail­able to the gen­eral pub­lic years later.

One of the em­blem­atic works here is Mad­ness (1969) by the Es­to­nian direc­tor Kaljo Ki­isk, a mod­ernist film which had anti-to­tal­i­tar­ian mes­sages hid­den be­tween the lines, and had its dis­tri­bu­tion both in­side and out­side the Soviet Union se­verely re­stricted. While not of­fi­cially for­bid­den, the film had sev­eral scenes cut and only nine copies were made, which the direc­tor could dis­trib­ute only by per­son­ally trav­el­ling out­side the coun­try and or­gan­is­ing the screen­ings him­self.The film was also given a for­bid­den screen­ing at the Venice film fes­ti­val, where it was in­vited, a first ever for a Soviet Es­to­nian film.

Also stuck be­tween the wheels of po­lit­i­cal cen­sure was Four White Shirts (1967) by Lat­vian direc­tor Rolands Kal­niņš, a mu­si­cal drama cap­tur­ing the re­bel­lious spirit of youth that was shelved for over 20 years.The film stars Uldis Pūcītis, who also played the lead role of in­spec­tor Gleb­ski in the Es­to­nian sci-fi clas­sic Dead Moun­taineer’s Ho­tel (1979). The Wit­ness (1969) by direc­tor Péter Bacsó made it to the screens in Hun­gary only at the be­gin­ning of 1980s, af­ter hav­ing screened at the Cannes film fes­ti­val.

The pro­gramme also in­cludes clas­sics like Sergei Para­janov’s Shad­ows of For­got­ten An­ces­tors (Ukraine) that won the spe­cial jury prize and grand crit­ics award in Mar del Plata film fes­ti­val in 1965 and The Beauty by Arunas Ze­bri­u­nas, one of the first films in the coun­try to of­fer a child’s per­spec­tive on the world, which just screened for the first time out­side of Lithua­nian cin­e­mas, be­ing shown in mul­ti­ple French cin­e­mas this Au­gust.

The ticket sale for the fo­cus pro­gramme will be­gin on the 9th of Novem­ber.

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