In this century-spanning family saga, Janna Ji WONDERS embarks on a voyage of discovery. She takes us from the family cafe at the Lake Walchen (Walchensee) in the Bavarian Alps, to San Francisco in 1967, where the infamous 'Summer of Love' took place. Tracking down each link in the chain, this documentary is a timeless family story about women from three generations and their search for identity, their self-realisation, love, loss, birth, and death.
In 2045, a man living on Mars examines footage brought back from his encounters with an indigenous community in the jungles of Vietnam. His thoughts drift from ritual burial practices, issues of identities, the politics and aesthetics of image-making, to the seen and unseen forces that shape cultures. Combining elements of science fiction and ethnography, The Tree House is a powerful exploration of how time and environment relate to our understanding of home.
Ada was 19. A man she knew invited her to dinner and she accepted. Everything went wrong so quickly before she could even think to defend herself. With her body and mind in tatters, Ada returned twice to confront the perpetrator. Intertwined with other people's experiences, different yet at the same time so chillingly similar, Ada's story, as written by her own hand, is not only a personal catastrophe, but part of a wide-ranging social violence.
16-year-old Alessandro and Pietro live in the gang-ravaged Traiano region of Naples, where in 2014, a teenager Davide BIFOLCO was gunned down by a policeman. These two inseparable friends accept the director's proposal to film themselves with an iPhone, recording and commenting on their daily experiences, their own neighbourhood—now empty in the middle of summer – and the tragedy that ended Davide's life.
I grew up in an ashram, a spiritual hermitage in India, of which I had to keep silent. I was taught to dedicate my life to the Guru, so I could understand the 'truth' of life and become enlightened. About 20 years and a lot of therapy later, I set out on a journey to understand the secret I was forced to keep and to answer the questions I had throughout my life: Was I raised in a cult? What happened to the other ashram children?
Seven-year-old Zakhar lives on the vast Siberian tundra in the Arctic, hundreds of miles away from other human settlements. One day, his nomad family is joined by a teacher, sent by the authorities to explain to Zakhar and his brother Prokopy why they need mathematics and PUTIN. The teacher is supposed to give them a standard set of knowledge, but Zakhar's inquiring mind craves answers to millions of questions about the world.
What were you doing, when I took this photo as the train was passing by your house last year?' Carrying pictures taken from the train a year ago, the director returns to the same sites, asking this question of those who appear in the images. More often than not, people do not remember. Many things have changed in a year, but those fleeting moments and bygone memories are captured on film, sealed forever.
Born in Abkhazia, marionette artist Sipa LABAKHUA had to flee with his family to Moscow when the USSR collapsed. Years later, Sipa returned to his small and unrecognised birthplace, taking to the road with his autobiographical one-man marionette show, provoking audiences from different backgrounds with his own history of displacement and war. Combining elements from documentary, fiction and animation, this road film sheds a poetic light on the highly topical questions: What makes a country? What is home?
'Mama has two phone numbers. We do not talk about immigration on her “Obama phone”. For that we use the other number with no data plan', says the narrator as he crosses the United States by train. From Los Angeles to New York, multiple voices share thoughts, dreams and histories that evoke images far away from the enclosed interior of the train, creating a site of precarious movement, migration, and fugitivism.
In 1972, astronaut Charles DUKE landed on the Moon on the Apollo 16 mission, in charge of taking photos of the lunar surface with a high-resolution camera. From the exploration of space to cyberspace, from an analogue Moon in 1972 to a virtual Moon in Google Earth today, this film is a meditation on the human perspective on Earth and the constant struggle with our temporal and spatial limitations; a story about parallel universes where eternity seems to be lost between frames and interfaces.
Through the 1,623 entries, the world comes into shape. Come along with the 15 titles selected in this programme on a journey to the unknown. Open up your eyes, ears and mind, and wander along the perilous roads, where the disappeared are exhumed by the living; fantasies uncovered in mundane lives; ghostly wounds healed with images; all the stories tasted, so forbidden and so sweet.