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12th European Union Film Festival - 27th April to 4th May 2007

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  • Event Info : The EU Film Festival comprises a bouquet of films that offer vivid reflections of Europe’s myriad cultural streams and serve as a showcase of European life in a particular socio-economic and cultural environment. The Festival symbolises an important facet of the growing cultural relations between the EU and India and is part of the EU-India strategic partnership established at the 6th EU-India Summit in September 2005. It has been taking place in India since 1986.
  • This year the EU Film Festival showcases a package of approximately 23 films in New Delhi, each one representing a different member state including Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Bulgaria and Romania.
  • The films have been widely acclaimed in Europe and some of them have received prestigious prizes in recent years.
  • The Festival is being staged with the support of the Nandan–West Bengal Film Centre (Kolkata), Kerala State Chalchitra Academy (Kozhikode) and the British Council (New Delhi).
  • Films :
  • 27th April :
  • 6:45 pm : Germany - The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)
  • Year – 2006, Duration – 137 minutes, Director – Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Cast – Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch
  • The Lives of Others traces the gradual disillusionment of Captain Gerd Wiesler, a highly skilled officer who works for the Stasi, East Germany’s all-powerful secret police. His mission is to spy on a celebrated writer and actress couple, Georg Dreyman and Christa-Maria Sieland.
  • 28th April :
  • 11:30 am : Cyprus - Honey and Wine
  • Year – 2006, Duration – 76 minutes, Director – Marinos Kartikkis, Cast – Androula Irakleous, Elena Dimitriou
  • Eleni lives alone, haunted by memories of the past. One afternoon, she has an unexpected visitor; Rhea, the young woman from across the street. What begins as a normal relationship between the two women leads to unforeseen consequences for both of them.
  • 1:30 pm : Warrior
  • The Warrior is a timeless story of an epic journey from the deserts of Rajasthan
    to the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas. The story follows Lafcadia, head of a
    small band of warriors employed by a tyrannical lord, who rules the region from
    his crumbling fort in the desert. The warriors are ordered to wipe out a village late
    with its payments. The warriors set off on horseback and proceed to raze the rustic
    village to the ground. In he midst of the slaughter Lafcadia has a mystical encounter
    with a young girl. Lafcadia drops his sword and vows to never kill again. He decides
    to escape his violent life. He sets off with his young son, Katiba, for his native village
    in the mountains.
  • 4:30 pm : Finland - Mother of Mine (Äideistä parhain)
  • Year – 2005, Duration – 104 minutes, Director – Klaus Härö, Cast – Brasse Brännström, Penny Elvira Loftéen, Maria Lundqvist After nine-year-old Eero’s father is killed at the front in a war-torn Finland in 1943, his mother sends her only child to safety in neutral Sweden. Eero’s foster mother Signe welcomes him to her home but not to her heart.
  • 7:30 pm : Dancing at Lughnasa, Directed by Pat O’Connor
  • The summer of 1936 is beautiful, but Europe is on the verge of terrible change.
    Through that glorious summer, at the very edge of Europe, in Ballybeg, Donegal,
    the Mundy family shelter in their small home - fi ve sisters, one brother and Michael,
    the love child of Christina, the youngest sister. The fi lm is seen through the eyes
    of the boy as he feels the joy and security of his close-knit clan, but its secrets and
    sorrows begin to break through. They will tear this world apart. The arrival of Gerry,
    Michael’s father, on his way to fi ght for Franco in Spain, unleashes repressed passion.
    The Eden of Ballybeg is changed forever. The memory of that summer haunts
    Michael forever, memories of love and loss, of women dancing, dancing as if their
    lives depended on it.
  • 30th April :
  • 11:30 am : Spain - Iberia
  • Year – 2005, Duration – 96 minutes, Director – Carlos Saura, Cast – Sara Baras, Manolo Sanlucar
  • Iberia is an intense journey and a celebration of the passionate heart of flamenco together with classical music, ballet and contemporary dance.
  • 1:30 pm : Persona Non Grata, Directed by Krzysztof Zanussi
  • Victor, the Polish ambassador to Uruguay, is pained by the death of his wife. Visiting
    his country, he meets with the Russian Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Oleg. They had made friends 20 years earlier when Victor was an activist of the political underground and Oleg a young Soviet diplomat in Poland. However their friendship is burdened with suspicions. Victor thinks that Oleg could be delegated to infi ltrate the Polish political opposition. Oleg’s friendship with Victor’s deceased wife also suggests that the wife may have betrayed Victor. The plot deepens when Victor recommends his protégé, Waldemar, to work with the Polish Embassy in Uruguay. Back from the home country, Victor unwittingly transfers some of his feelings for his dead wife onto his new employee’s beautiful wife, Oksana, whom he had met in his student years. The tension is increased when the Polish Embassy works to structure an arms deal, competing against Russians. The deal is important to Poland and it seems that the Embassy may be infi ltrated by the Russian intelligence.
  • 4:30 pm : Slovak Republic - Rain falling on our Souls
  • Year – 2002, Duration – 80 minutes, Director – Vladimir Balco
  • While stealing a car, young Yoko comes across little Kika and they quickly become close friends. Though the duo is on the ‘wanted’ list nationwide, Kika stays by Yoko’s side until the very last moment.
  • 7:30 pm : Romania - The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
  • Year – 2005, Duration – 2 hours 30 minutes, Director – Cristi Puiu, Cast – Ion Fiscuteanu, Luminita Gheorghiu
  • On a Saturday evening, what looked like a headache from a hangover turns out to be much more serious. As the night unfolds, a paramedic drives around Bucharest trying to find a hospital that will accept Mr. Lazarescu, whose state is deteriorating at an alarming rate.
  • 1st May :
  • 11:30 am : Luxembourg - Perl oder Pica (Small Secrets)
  • Year – 2006, Duration – 90 minutes, Director – Pol Cruchten, Cast – Thierry van Werveke, André Jung
  • Watch the miniature-scale adventures of Norbi, the mischievous 12-year-old son of a pious shop owner in the mining town of Esch in 1962.
  • 1:30 pm : Portugal - Tiro no Escuro (A Shot in the Dark)
  • Year – 2005, Duration – 104 minutes, Director – Leonel Vieira, Cast - Joaquim de Almeida, Vanessa Mesquita
  • The search for her kidnapped baby takes Verónica through a journey where she poses as a stripper in a nightclub and robs banks as she gets involved with Carlos, the ex-doorkeeper.
  • 4:30 pm : Netherlands - Do Not Disturb
  • Year – 2000, Duration – 95 minutes, Director – Laurens Geels, Cast – William Hurt, Jennifer Tilly
  • After she witnesses a murder, 10-year old Melissa manages to reunite with her parents only after she crashes into a street café. And then things take a turn for the worst.
  • 7:30 pm : Bulgaria - Crazy Day
  • Year – 2004, Duration – 78 minutes, Director – Sylvia Pesheva, Cast – Kosta Tsonev, Vesela Kazakova
  • Ina loses her job, her boy friend and all chances to help the person she loves most – her grandfather. But on the same crazy day, she learns that every end is a new beginning.
  • 2nd May :
  • 11:30 am : Denmark - Wallah Be (Kald mig bare Aksel)
  • Year – 2002, Duration – 85 minutes, Director – Pia Bovin, Cast – Adam Gilbert Jespersen, Nour Abou El-foul
  • Ten-year old Aksel has to spend a week’s holiday at his local after-school club. A budding friendship with two girls goes wrong and Aksel has to rescue a song contest, a dog and the school holidays.
  • 1:30 pm :
  • France - Mon petit doigt m’a dit (By the Pricking of My Thumbs )
  • Year – 2005, Duration – 105 minutes, Director – Pascal Thomas, Cast – Catherine Frot, André Dussolier
  • An elderly woman disappears in a village which hides a dark secret. There’s a house split in half, tombs that are better left untouched, a doll that reappears from the past and a terrifying lawyer who wears a death mask.
  • 4:30 pm :
  • Czech Republic - Hanele
  • Year – 1999, Duration – 99 minutes, Director – Karel Kachyna, Cast – Lada Jelinkova, Miroslav Noga
  • The beautiful Hanele escapes provincial Polana to meet and fall in love with Ivo Karadzic, a handsome, successful free thinking secular Jew, who has renounced all traditional religious beliefs. The result is a collision of the modern and the traditional world.
  • 7:30 pm : Step by Step, Directed by Philippe Blasband
  • Investigating the murder of the family of a drug lord, the police round up another
    suspected drug lord, who is the probable enemy of the deceased in fi rst-time
    director Philippe Blasband’s psychological thriller ‘Step by Step’. Verkamen is brought
    in again as the chief suspect in the massacre. Leading the interrogation are two
    offi cers, as all three are watched via video hook-up by division chief Bex. Control
    of the interview changes hands, as Verkaman sets out to destroy the integrity of
    Bex and her offi cers, aided by the ghost of his old gangster mentor, Mr. Chevalier.
    Soon the offi cers begin to gain an insight into past that may lead them to bringing
    him down.
  • 3rd May :
  • 1:30 pm : Workingman's Death, Directed by Micheal Glawogger
  • Is heavy manual labour disappearing or is it just becoming
    Where can we still fi nd it in the 21st century?
    Workingman’s Death follows the trail of the heroes in the
    illegal mines of the Ukraine, sniffs out ghost among the
    sulphur workers in Indonesia, fi nds itself face to face with
    Lions at a slaughterhouse in Nigeria, mingles with brothers
    as they cut a huge oil tanker into pieces in Pakistan, and
    joins Chinese steel workers in hoping for a glorious future.
    Meanwhile, the future is now in Germany, where a major
    melting plant of bygone days has been converted into a
    bright and shiny leisure park.
  • 4:30 pm : Italy - Tre Giorni d’Anarchia (Three Days of Anarchy)
  • Year – 2004, Duration – 96 minutes, Director – Vito Zagarrio, Cast – Lo Verso Enrico, Tiziana Lodato, Maria Coco
  • Seen through the eyes of a 25-year old man, this film details the events that unfold in a Sicilian village in a span of three days between the landing of the American troops in July 1943 and the entry of the ‘liberators’.
  • 7:30 pm : Sweden - As it is in Heaven (Så Som i Himmelen), Directed by Kay Pollack
  • Year – 2004, Duration – 132 minutes, Director – Kay Pollack, Cast – Michael Nyqvist, Frida Hallgren
  • A successful international conductor returns to his childhood village in Norrland, in the far north of Sweden. He develops the church choir, makes both friends and enemies and finds love.
  • 4th May :
  • 1:30 pm :
  • Estonia - Stiilipidu (Shop of Dreams)
  • Year – 2005, Duration – 112 minutes, Director – Peeter Urbla, Cast – Marja Jakobson, Anne Reemann
  • Alice, Ada and Jana start a new company which can provide people with everything they need to make their dreams come true. Alice has to confront the darker side of the business world, but rediscovers the power of love and enduring friendship.
  • 4:30 pm : Slovenia - Delo osvobaja (Labour Equals Freedom)
  • Year – 2005, Duration – 71 minutes, Director – Damjan Kozole, Cast – Peter Musevski, Natasa Barbara Gracner
  • Peter, a machine operator, loses his wife and his job and ends up in a psychiatric ward. Life looks up when he meets a young woman from Primorska through a lonely hearts advertisement, and they agree to see each other the next Sunday.
  • 7:30 pm : Hungary - A Long Weekend in Pest and Buda
  • Year – 2003, Duration – 90 minutes, Director – Károly Makk, Cast – Mari Törõcsik, Iván Darvas
  • The man who left Hungary during the 1956 revolution lives in comfortable retirement with his British wife. One day he receives a strange telephone call, which causes him to return to his birthplace after 40 years to meet his old love.
12th European Union Film Festival - 27th April to 4th May 2007 12th European Union Film Festival - 27th April to 4th May 2007 Reviewed by Rohit Malik on 05:25 Rating: 5

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