Archive - ALTER-NATIVE 21

Szabó István: THE DOOR – Hungary/Germany, 2012, 97’

Cast: Helen Mirren, Martina Gedeck, Eperjes Károly, Koncz Gábor, Börcsök Enikő, Szirtes Ági, Marozsán Erika, Tóth Ildikó, Nagy Mari, Andorai Péter, Kovács Lajos, Pindroch Csaba, Ujlaki Dénes és Szandtner Anna

Magda, a female writer struggling for success, employs an elderly woman called Emerence to be her housekeeper. From their first encounter, it is clear that Emerence is no ordinary maid. Although everyone in the neighbourhood knows and respects her, no one knows anything about her private life or has ever been allowed to enter her home. However, a dramatic event in the writer’s life prompts Emerence to unveil glimpses of her traumatic past - a past which sheds light on her very peculiar behaviour. The Door brilliantly illustrates the bond as it develops between these two very different women and, ultimately, the tragic end of their relationship.

The film won the Michael Curtiz Audience Award at the Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles in November 2012.

Veit Helmer: BAIKONUR – Kazakhstan/Germany/Russia, 2011, 94’


Cast: Alexander Asochakov, Marie De Villepin, Sitora Farmonova

Whatever falls from heaven, you may keep.

When astronaut Julie Mahé crash-lands with her small space capsule onto the Kazakh steppes, local radio operator Iskander (nicknamed 'Gagarin') finds her unconscious. Hopelessly lovestruck, he convinces the amnesiac Julie that they are engaged to be married. But even the most romantic lie cannot remain undiscovered forever.

Balogh György: THORN CASTLE – Hungary, 2012, 99'

Cast: Kovács Lajos, Nagy Marcell, Péntek Bálint, Eperjes Károly, Pogány Judit, Haumann Péter

This modern adaptation of the classic Hungarian youth novel by István Fekete is an amazing and timeless adventure story. It’s a coming-of-age tale about two boys who spend their summer vacation down at the lake. Skipper is rewarded with the countryside vacation by his parents because of hisgood school grades. He is a typical urban teenager and completely clueless about nature. The old ranger, Uncle Matula, who is wise and humorous, begins to teach Skipper all he needs to know about getting along in the country, just in time for his best friend Bunion to arrive. The friends discover the wilderness and become young adults by the end of the summer.
This film is for everyone who ever longed to escape to the wonders of nature. Filled with the beauty of the Hungarian countryside, you can almost smell the food.

Radu Jude: EVERYBODY IN OUR FAMILY – Romania, 2012, 107’

Cast: Șerban Pavlu, Sofia Nicolaescu, Mihaela Sîrbu, Gabriel Spahiu, Tamara Buciuceanu–Botez, Stela Popescu, Alexandru Arșinel

Marius is a divorced man in his late thirties. His ex-wife, Otilia, remarried an accountant. Their 5 years old daughter, Sofia, lives with her mother, causing Marius a deep frustration. According to the law, Marius can spend with his daughter only a limited amount of time. The day Marius goes to take his daughter in a short holiday to the seaside, he finds out that his ex-wife is not at home and he is told that his daughter is sick. He doesn’t believe it and tries to take Sofia by force. This small incident proves to be the trigger for a violent and emotional rollercoaster, all the people in the family taking part in a story which mixes humour, violence, childish songs, police interventions, love statements, blood and a haiku.

Fliegauf Bence: JUST THE WIND – Hungary/Germany/France, 2012, 87’

Cast: Toldi Katalin, Lendvai Gyöngyi, Sárkány Lajos, Toldi György, Egyed Attila Vasvári Emese

Mari lives with her invalid father and two children in a shack in the woods outside the city. Their living conditions are modest, like their other Romani neighbors. For centuries, their "kind" has been commonly referred to as gypsies. Recently, more than ever, they must exist stealthily: five entire families in the area have already been murdered, gunned down in their own homes. The Romani community struggles to continue their simple daily routine amid the anxiety of the suspected racially motivated crimes. Mari juggles her two jobs. Teenager Anna tries to concentrate on her schoolwork and sketches. But young Rio is preoccupied with other things. He is getting ready.

Inspired by real events.

Srdan Golubovic: CIRCLES Serbia/Croatia/Slovenia/France/Germany, 2012, 112’

Cast: Aleksandar Bercek, Leon Lucev, Nebojsa Glogovac, Nikola Rakocevic, Hristina Popovic, Boris Isakovic, Vuk Kostic

Bosnia, 1993. Serbian soldier Marko, while sitting with a friend, sees three soldiers hitting a Muslim civilian Haris. Marko interferes saves Haris and three soldiers beat Marko to death. Fifteen years later, Marko’s father is reconstructing a church near the town. The son of one of the three soldiers comes asking for a job. Marko’s friend is a heart surgeon. The leader of the tree soldiers is brought for operation. Surgeon discovers that the patient feels no guilt, refuses to operate him. In Germany, Haris a family man protects and shelters Nada (Marko’s girlfriend in the past) from a criminal husband who is beating her.

Adrian Sitaru: DOMESTIC – Romania/Germany, 2012, 85’

Cast: Adrian Titieni, Gheorghe Ifrim, Sergiu Costache, Ioana Flora, Clara Voda, Dan Hurduc, Ariadna Titieni

Wonderfully surreal, painfully real, this is the story of children, adults and animals who live together trying to have a better life, but sometimes death comes unexpectedly. The lives of three characters surrounded by a bunch of extraordinary, funny, absurd but quite realistic events. It is all about us, people who eat the animals that they love and the animals that love people unconditionally.

Groó Diana: REGINA – UK/Hungary/Germany, 2013, 63’

Diana Groó’s documentary tells the story of Regina Jonas (1902-1944), a strong woman who made history by becoming the first properly ordained woman rabbi in the world. The daughter of an Orthodox Jewish peddler, Jonas grew up in Berlin’s Scheunenviertel, studied at the liberal Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums (College for the Scientific Study of Judaism) beginning in 1924, and was ordained in 1935. During the Nazi era and the War, her sermons and her unparalleled dedication brought encouragement to the persecuted German Jews. Regina Jonas was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944. The only surviving photo of Jonas serves as a leitmotif for the film, showing a determined young woman gazing at the camera with self-confidence. The film was awarded by Lia Award for dealig with Jewish heritage at 30th Jerusalem Filmfestival.

Paul Negoescu: A MONTH IN THAILAND – Romania, 2012, 85'

Cast: Andrei Mateiu, Ioana Anastasia Anton, Sînziana Nicola, Tudor Aaron Istodor, Raluca Aprodu, Victoria Răileanu, Bogdan Cotlet, Ionut Grama, Sabina Posea, Simona Ghită, Stefan Munteanu, Mircea Rusu, Maria Ploae, Adriana Schiopu, Tompa Eszter, Diana Bogdan, Raluca Cărpinici, Cristina Gavrus

An young man suddenly decides to stop the two years relationship with his girl-friend, Adina, right in the last night of the year, and to resume the romance with his previous ex-girl-friend Nadia. Theese two girls not only have their names composed by the same letters, but they have the very similar comportament, reactions and look. After a short explanation with Adina, Radu leaves the Revelion party where they are celebrating the begining of the new year, and goes for a long trip, in many clubs and restaurants to find Nadia. The last part of the film describe haw Radu . The film begin with a bed scene and end with another bed scene. Meanwhile Radu is trying to convince the girls to go with him in a journey to Thailanda, but it seems that all the problems resolve home.

Benni Torati: THE BALLAD OF WEEPING SPRINGTIME – Israel, 2012, 105’

Cast: Uri Gavriel, Ishtar Uhvana, Dudu Tassa, Nir Levy, Uri Klauzner, Adar Gold

A beautiful drama about Mizrahi music. Mizrahi music in this film refers to the musical style that combines elements of the Mediterranean musical tradition with that of Middle Eastern/North African countries. The storyline, which is less important than the music, is about putting together the old band - a nod toThe Blues Brothers - and a metaphor for taking Mizrahi music out of retirement and placing it back into the Israeli mainstream, where it has become very popular in the last 15 years.

Călin Peter Netzer: CHILD'S POSE – Romania, 2013, 112’


Cast: Luminiţa Gheorghiu, Bogdan Dumitrache, Ilinca Goia, Nataşa Raab, Florin Zamfirescu, Vlad Ivanov

One cold evening in March, Barbu is riding down the streets going 50 kilometers over the speed limit when he hits a child. The boy dies shortly after the accident. A prison sentence of three to fifteen years awaits. High time for his mother, Cornelia, to intervene. A trained architect and member of Romania’s upper class, gracing her bookshelves with unread Herta Müller novels and fond of flashing her purse full of credit cards, she commences her campaign to save her lethargic, languishing son. Bribes, she hopes, will persuade the witnesses to give false statements. Even the parents of the dead child might be appeased by some cash. Călin Peter Netzer portrays a mother consumed by self-love in her struggle to save her lost son and her own family, long since torn apart. In a quasi-documentary style, the film meticulously reconstructs the events of one night and the days that follow, providing insights into the moral malaise of Romania’s bourgeoisie and sharply emphasizing the state of societal institutions such as the police and the judiciary.

Andrea Segre: SHUN LI AND THE POET – Italy/France, 2011, 100’


Cast: Tao Zhao, Rade Serbedzija, Marco Paolini, Roberto Citran, Giuseppe Battiston, Giordano Bacci, Spartaco Mainardi, Zhong Cheng, Wang Yuan

A study of the friendship between a Chinese woman and a fisherman, nicknamed “the Poet” by his friends, who came to Italy from Yugoslavia many years ago and lives in a small city-island in the Veneto lagoon. Their encounter is a poetic escape from solitude, a silent dialogue between cultures that are different, yet not distant. But the friendship between Shun Li and Bepi upsets the local community.

Srđan Dragojević: PRIDE – Serbia/Germania/Hungary/Slovenia/Croatia, 2011, 115’

Cast: Nikola Kojo, Miloš Samolov, Hristina Popović, Goran Jevtić, Goran Navojec, Dejan Ačimović, Toni Mihajlovski, Nataša Marković

The gays in Belgrade wish to organize their first Pride March, but their initiative is not supported either by public opinion or the police. The irony of fate is that in the end, they obtain the support of a middle-aged homophobic mobster, who makes use of his connections made during the war in Yugoslavia to ensure protection for the gays: former Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Albanian soldiers, joined by a few gay Serbians are to form the team facing the armed skinheads.

Simó Sándor: MY FATHER'S HAPPY YEARS – Hungary, 1977, 89’

Cast: Lohinszky Loránd, Szakács Eszter, Harsányi Péter, Bujtor István, Meszléry Judit, Madaras József, Tarján Györgyi, Garas Dezső, Patkós Irma, Andorai Péter, Káldi Nóra, Szilágyi Tibor, Lázár Kati, Dudás Mária, Holman Endre, Müller Péter, Csányi János

Like a fairy tale: the boy remembers his father, his family, the "happy years" after the war. After the siege, people come back from the shelters. Török, the pharmacist is happily playing "Symphony in G minor" with the factory orchestra. He miraculously recovers from diphtheria and comes to own a small  chemical plant. He achieves his great dream: extracting a female hormonal drug from horse urine. But the plant is nationalized and Török is sent to an internment camp. Even in the camp, he continues to hope and make plans with undaunted faith.

Kósa Ferenc: BEYOND TIME– Hungary, 1972, 92’

Cast: Lohinszky Loránd, Szilágyi Tibor, Haumann Péter, Konyorcsik János, Bencze László, Juhász Jácint, Szőke István, Madaras József

1929. In a model prison, political prisoners and common law inmates serve their time together. Warden Udvardi wants to lead the institution based on modern, humane principles. He urges prisoners to do useful and pleasant activities, and hopes to mollify them. His second-in-command, the cynical Babella, is an advocate of violence. His methods are based on division and snitches as well as stirring animosity between the two groups of prisoners. Tension between inmates is on the rise. In the end, a strike by the political prisoners becomes Babella's opportunity to seize power...

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