Fescaaal 2019

29th edition of the African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival (FESCAAAL) in Milan, the only festival in Italy, and one of the three in Europe, dedicated to the cinematographies and cultures of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Over 60 films, 3 competitive sections, 4 special sections, exhibitions, events and a festival for students. The best in cinema from the three continents for a week of screenings.

 

GeoMovies Highlights

 

WINDOWS ON THE WORLD – Fictions and documentaries among the latest productions from the three continents.

LOS SILENCIOS by Beatriz Seigner – To escape the armed conflict in Colombia, Nuria and Fabio, together with their mother Amparo, arrive on a small island in the middle of the Amazon, on the border between Brazil, Colombia and Peru. They have lost all sign of their father. Whilst the mother negotiates with the local primary school, with lawyers and civil servants to find a home and a job, the husband mysteriously reappears in their new home.

KABUL CITY IN THE WIND by Aboozar Amini – A poetic well-crafted film from a city where life runs against all odds. An impressive dip, into the chaos of Kabul, into its energy, its contradictions, its proud. Abas is fighting every day to keep his worn-out bus alive in the midst of traffic chaos. Afshin must take over the role of father for his brother as their father exiled in Iran. Kabul is still covered by the dust of countless years of conflict, but life continues for its inhabitants who wait for the wind to turn.

FREEDOM FIELDS by Naziha Arebi – Emboldened by the Arab Spring, the Libyan women’s soccer team is dreaming of playing their first international game. However, their sport faces huge opposition in Libya. Over the course of several years while the country descends into civil war, they keep pursuing their dream experiencing disillusionment in searching new models for a new generation of girls.

FLATLAND by Jenna Bass – A social drama, a thriller, a story of emancipation against the backdrop of the ‘rainbow nation’ where skin colour, gender and social status actually continue to play an important role. The stories of three women in South Africa in a fast-paced road movie.

DREAM AWAY by Marouan Omara and Johanna Domke – It hasn’t been so very long since rich tourists from around the world came to stay in the luxury hotels of Sharm El Sheikh. But the Arab Spring and the confusion of the post revolutionary period quickly robbed the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula of its charm as a go-to summer resort. Saturated with elements of surreal fiction, the documentary takes us to a shimmering city of ghosts to visit its last inhabitants – resort employees who feverishly dream among the abandoned hotel suites.

DIVINE WIND by Merzak Allouache – A young man , Amine and an enigmatic woman who are called upon by extremists to perform an armed action against an oil-refinery in the Algerian Sahara. Although they have no prior connection, the duo become inexorably and intensely linked. As their bond deepens, their mission is put at risk. The power of love in a as poetic as political story.

 

EXTR’A COMPETITION – Fiction films and documentaries related to immigration, integration and interculture in Italy.

THE INTERPRETER by Hleb Papou – An Italian girl of Nigerian descent works with the police, translating the telephone conversations intercepted on the traffic of Nigerian prostitutes. Threats, curses, the murder of a Madame. The interpreter is deeply upset by this violent reality and the remainder of ancestral beliefs that she discovers she still has in her.

FASHION VICTIMS by Alessandro Brasile – Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Millions of adolescents and young women work in the textile industry, from the cotton weaving to the production of garments, for both the local and the international market.
They often come from poor and rural areas, where there are no income alternatives neither for them nor for their families, especially given the constant and persistent decline of agriculture. It is in these villages that the “brokers”, acting as intermediaries between the companies in need of a sizable and docile workforce, and a local population ever more desperate, every year recruit hundreds of thousands of girls.

SOYALISM by Stefano Liberti and Enrico Parenti – Food production is becoming increasingly an enormous business for a handful of large corporations. From the pig farms in North Carolina and China, to the monoculture of soya which has developed in the Amazon rainforest to feed animals and exported to Mozambique. A classic investigative documentary follows the entire chain of pork production describing the disastrous consequences of the ever-increasing industrialization of the food industry for both humans and the environment.

 

FLASH – Special films, the most awarded and critically-acclaimed works, the best expressions of contemporary cinema from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

ANOTHER DAY OF LIFE by Raul de la Fuente and Damian Nenow – The Angolan civil war during the 1975 chronicled in graphic by one of the most legendary war correspondent: Ryszard Kapuściński. He was sent by the Polish Press Agency to Angola where a bloody civil war has broken out on the eve of the country’s independence. As he was to get closer to the realities of war, Angola was a dangerous journey into the heart of darkness which changed Kapuściński forever turning him into a writer of a world renown.

THE DAY THAT I LOST MY SHADOW by Soudade Kaadan – Set in war-torn Syria, the story of Sana, a young mother struggling to raise her son. When searching for food, one day she shares a taxi ride with Jalal and Reem. All three are abandoned in a village by the driver, allegedly an opponent of the regime. Sana then discovers that people lose their shadows during the war. A very original look on the consequences of a war that could be everywhere, a road movie, a powerful and poetic metaphor.

SEW THE WINTER TO MY SKIN by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka – In a racially-charged and violent 1950’s rural South Africa, a liberal journalist recounts the epic chase and capture of the black South African legend John Kepe, the rebel hero of the marginalized blacks who terrorized the white people’s farms with his.

YOMEDDINE by Abu Bakr Shawki – Beshay, an illiterate man, spent his life in a leper community. He is cured of the disease but scars remain on his face and body. He decides to trace his family in search of his roots. He hopes to understand why he was abandoned. The little orphan Obama soon joins him. Riding a donkey southwards, he is helped by the young Obama, an orphan. Along the way they will discover the harshness of a world kept apart from.

 

EVERYBODY’S LAUGHING – The funniest comedies from the three continents.

INDUCED LABOR by Khaled Diab – Some people will do anything to secure an American visa, as hard as that might be. Some enter lotteries, others beg friends to invite them, others just sneak in and hope Mr Trump doesn’t notice they are there. Like an Egyptian couple are ready to do anything to obtain a visa for the United States. When the wife is almost at the end of her pregnancy, they decide to rush into the US Embassy in Cairo for her to give birth there and guarantee American citizenship for their child. A sparkling comedy with a dramatic background of political denunciation.

 

AFRICA TALKS

THANK YOU FOR THE RAIN by Julia Dahr – Five years ago Kisilu, a Kenyan farmer, started to use his camera to capture the life of his family, his village and the damages of climate change. When a violent storm throws him and a Norwegian filmmaker together we see him transform from a father, to a community leader and activist on the global stage.

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