The Lost Voice / Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela / 2016 / Spanish, Guarani
Insights through women speaking from Paraguay where we are told and hear radio reports on campesinos who have been murdered in Curuguaty in the leadup to the fall of the Socialist Government. Deaths that were never investigated.
Girls and Honey / Belgium, Ukraine / 2017 / Russian
Bees feeding off nectar from roses. From giant sunflowers. The beauty and tranquility of a Ukrainian village. In juxtaposition with the neighbouring activity of the Ukranian army. Frame following gunshots. The sense of home that remains strong despite the invasion of war.
Chinese Obama / China / 2017 / Chinese
This one left me with a beautiful warmth. A character who offers a witty honesty. He tells us how he has been able to pay his family’s debts thanks to rising to fame as an Obama impersonator. And life beyond Obama.
A Life Together / Australia / 2017 / English
We follow the lives of an Aboriginal woman/Anglo man couple living in poverty in Melbourne. It certainly raised some questions. What was the director’s motive? Is it about showing a bunch of privileged people (festival attendees) how underprivileged people are living? Trying to ‘humanise’ them? To put on display another reality? I am not sure, but the outcome seemed quite disrespectful and judgmental to me.
Connection / Cuba / 2016 / Spanish
The failures in connecting, the disconnections and the connections of the free internet service in public spaces. People gathering in parks trying to connect. The conversations, videos and photos in exchange. A snapshot and not much more.
The Rabbit Hunt / USA, Hungary / 2017 / English
We follow a group of African American young people as they go hunting for rabbits. Tractors move through fields and rabbits run out with the falling of crops. Rabbits run out and are caught. Or not. We return with the characters and their catch to their home. Once again, I was not really sure what the purpose of showing all this was beyond a voyeuristic exposé.
Lightning Ridge: The Land of Black Opals / Australia / 2016 / English
Words from a text intermingled with interviews with miners on the search for the rare black opal. Shots of the landscape that has been invaded by mines. One tells us how success will take him and his mates to the pub. A reminder of Australia’s mining history still striking in the present. But there are moments that once again feel voyeuristic. The shots around one man’s place of residence presumably to show what his living conditions are like. The short is aparently being developed to feature length but once more, I’m not so sure about the why.