SYNOPSIS OF THE FILMS
AUSTRIA - Suzie Washington (1998) by Florian
Nana, a former Soviet national, is on her way to an illegal entry to the
US but she is thwarted at the Vienna Airport. She manages to escape before
being deported. For five days, she travels illegally throughout Austria,
ostensibly as a tourist, constantly changing her traveling companions,
means of transportation and living quarters.
of the people who help her during her unintended travels as an illegal
tourist is a shy vacationer. When the people begin a search for Nana and
circulate her photo, and when through a moments inattentiveness
she loses her baggage and money, Nana decides to try to get to Germany
and go underground.
by a bank robber on the run, she makes it to the border, the no-mans-land
between Austrian and Germany. She fails in her attempt to cross the border
illegally, and Nana is given shelter by the manager of a mountain lodge,
who would be only too happy to keep her there. But Nana has other plans.
2. BELGIUM - Gastons War (1997) by
Robbe de Hert
1942, once again the young Fleming Gaston Vandermeerssche, who belongs
to the resistance movement, has to rescue two English air pilots, Harry
and Doug, and together with his assistant Veronique, escort
them to the Spanish coast. Crossing France and the Pyrenees has become
increasingly dangerous and Gaston would feel more useful in London. The
Allied Special Operations Executive have other priorities: they want the
Nazis to believe they are preparing to land in the Low Countries, but
the Dutch resistance network is in the hands of the Germans. Gaston is
appointed as the head of a new network to be operated from Belgium with
the help of Miep Visser, Johan Cohen and Violette. Gaston is reckless
and naïve enough to accept.
Major Smith, Security Corps boss, receives alarming news of denunciations
and arrests in Belgium and Holland. His secretary, Nicky, is surprised
to see that he doesnt take this into account. Nicky has met the
pilot Harry and knows of Gastons heroism. In vain she takes a stand
for him. Doubts are irking her mind. Are the British deliberately sacrificing
hundreds of agents to deceive the Germans into believing they are in control?
Meanwhile, Gaston and Veronique are arrested. Gastons survival was
not planned by London though.
DENMARK - Bye Bye Bluebird (1999) by Katrin
is colorful provocation and revolt against the past in the directors
Faeroe road movie. Two young girlfriends, Rannva and Barba, return to
the islands of their birth from years abroad and the sparks fly: the girls
arouse curiosity and indignation by their bizarre big-city style and lack
of restraint. But there is more to their mission than youd think.
Both have skeletons in their closets - particularly vis-à-vis their
families - and now everything is to be brought out into the open. The
girls get a lift from Runi, a local drifter who also proves to have a
dark secret, and the trio set off on a journey not only across the beautiful
Faeroese landscape but also into the land of the past.
grand unspoiled landscape stands in glaring contrast to the inhospitality,
suspicion and pettiness of the reclusive island settlements the girls
travel through. But the director, herself from the Faeroe Isles, also
has something affectionate and humorous to say about her home. En route
the girls also meet warm-hearted people with their own hopes and dreams
and a profound attachment to the wind-blown islands.
4. FINLAND Classic / Klassik by Kari
movie is a hilarious story based on a best-selling Finnish novel by Kari
Hotakainen. The main character is the writer himself. Praised by critics
but shunned by the book-buying public, he is asked by his publisher to
write a self-revealing diary of his early years as a writer.
attempts to find inspiration to write this best-seller throws the writer
into a world of fast cards and the story into an accelerating tailspin.
A disagreement over the ownership of a certain Alfa Romeo 75 Twin Spark
between a second-hand car salesman, an unemployed roughneck and a writer
desperately seeking fame finds resolution in a police chase broadcast
live on Finnish television from the motorway; the last bastion of real
men in their own-powered cars.
story binds together the writers pseudo-diaries and the reality
of traditional Finnish men and society. The outcome is fast moving and
FRANCE - My Little Business / Ma Petite Entreprise
by Pierre Jolivet
A fire has broken out in the little cutting business of Yvan. The building
is saved but not the machines! Luckily there is the insurance, which hopefully
will pay to replace the C.25, an expensive wood cutting machine. Everything
depends on Maxime, the insurance broker. However, things come to a standstill
after the insurance inspectors first visit. Does Maxime think Yvan
has committed arson? Yvan runs the business since its creation by his
grandfather in 1930. Its no longer a fire in the business but in
the boss head!
GERMANY - Night Shapes / Nachtgestalten (1998)
by Andreas Dresen
Pope is in town and the night of his stay is anything by heavenly for
some of Berlins inhabitants. When the homeless Hanna finds 100 German
marks, she and her friend Victor want to splurge it all and spend the
night in a hotel. Their search for a room escalates into a chaotic journey
through the city as well as a very hard test of their relationship. The
farmer Jochen is in Berlin looking for female companionship and bumps
into the streetwise teenage prostitute Patty, who agrees to spend the
entire night with him for a set price. But Jochens impossibly romantic
fantasies are destined to collide with Pattys sharp business sense
and his disappointment turns into violence when he discovers why she is
so keen on his money. Peschke is a burned-out businessman waiting to pick
up a colleague at the airport who doesnt show up. There he loses
his wallet and wrongly suspects an Angolan boy of stealing it. To make
amends, he offers to drive the boy to his relatives. The two of them embark
on an odyssey in which Peschke loses his car and almost his mind in the
process as well. Night Shapes is a hard-edged and humorous
look at life in Berlin at the end of this century.
GREAT BRITAIN - Wonderland (2000) by Michael
in present-day London, the film follows each of three generations of a
family through one wintry November weekend during the citys traditional
Bonfire Night celebration. Their respective places in life - from that
of the mildly unhappy, aging parents to those of the three searching daughters
and estranged son to that of their young grandson - weave together in
a vivid kaleidoscope that is simultaneously invigorating, depressing,
challenging and endearing.
directors choice to film Wonderland on location in the
pubs and streets of London in super-16 mm, with a hand-held camera and
natural lighting, gives the film a realism that is at once tragic and
honest. Added to this is the entire cast, who embody their characters
so completely that one might forget theyre even acting. Michael
Nymans despondently blissful score appears under the sped up and
slowed down images of a dreary London, boldly expressing the characters
inner melancholy, making Wonderland a film that retains a
glimmer of hope even at its bleakest moments.
8. ITALY - The Queen of Chess / La Regina degli Scacchi
by Claudia Florio
Florio, also nicknamed in Italy as Our Lady of the Thriller,
wrote the screenplay of this true story, told by one of the characters.
Real names and places, have, of course, been changed.
Maria Adele, pretty and intelligent, has a knack for chess. Shes
got the makings of a real champion. Watching her playing expertly on five
different check boards at the same time. Emilio, a young journalist, seeks
her out for an interview. She suffers from recurrent nightmares regarding
her childhood and one day searching among her deceased mothers belongings
for photographs, Maria Adele realizes that shes been adopted. Yet
Emilios real aim is not the girl, although he greatly admires her
skills. He is really after Mr. Sterlizia, a somber figure, who acts as
the girls chess master and mentor but whom he suspects has a past
as a child abuser. Maria Adele is hurt and feels betrayed by her loving
father for not disclosing the truth and misused by Emilio, whom she suspects
of pursuing the scoop of a lifetime. The girl would like to know the truth
about her real parents. Mr. Sterlizia, who, through his job at the Juvenile
Court, is in a position to help Maria Adele & promises her to find
out her natural parents names, should she beat him in a chess game.
Maria Adele wins the game, which is extremely difficult, because Sterlizia
brings to life his shady past during the game. Maria Adele meets her real
mother but the woman she finds is withered and hard, with no joy or love
left to give. However, Maria Adele decides to go and live with her. It
is only when she confronts her, then loses a chess game for the first
time, that the past will come back to her with all its force, and the
real meaning of her worst nightmares will finally surface.
- Leak / Lek by Jean van de Velde
young cop is forced to run an old buddy turned drug-dealer as an informer.
A drama about drug trafficking and corruption in the Dutch police force.
Based on a true story by former Dutch policeman Jan van Daalen.
SPAIN - Flowers from Another World / Flores de Otro
Mundo (1999) by Iciar Bollain
from the Dominical Republic, seeks both home and financial security, which
her illegal situation in Madrid makes it impossible for her. Milay, born
in Havana, is 20 years old and the whole world yet to see. Marirosi, from
Bilbao, has a house and a job and is utterly lonely. Just as lonely are
Alfonso, Damian and Carmelo, the men of Santa Eulalia, a town with neither
marriageable women nor a future. These men and women are brought together
though a singles party and so begin this bittersweet tale of relationships
that are at times impossible.
10 (W) - Bye Bye Bluebird (2 p.m.), Classic (Klassik) (5
p.m.), My Little Business (Ma petite entreprise) (8 p.m.)
October 11 (Th) - Night Shades (Nachtgestalten)(2 p.m.), Queen
of Chess (La Regina degli Scacchi) (5 p.m.), Leak (Lek) (8
October 12 (F) - Gastons War (2 p.m.), Flowers from Another
World (Flores de Otro Mundo) (5 p.m.), The Christmas Oratorio
October 13 (Sa) - Wonderland (2 p.m.), Suzie Washington (5
p.m.), Bye Bye Bluebird (8 p.m.)
October 14 (Su) - Classic (Klassik)(2 p.m.), My Little Business
(Ma petite entreprise)(5 p.m.), Night Shades (Nachtgestalten) (8
October 15 (M) - Queen of Chess (La Regina degli Scacchi)(2 p.m.),
Leak (Lek) (5 p.m.), Gastons War (8 p.m.)
October 16 (Tu) - Flowers from Another World (Flores de Otro Mundo)
(2 p.m.), The Christmas Oratorio (5 p.m.), Wonderland (8
October 17 (W) - Suzie Washington (2 p.m.), Bye Bye Bluebird
(5 p.m.), Classic (Klassik)(8 p.m.)
October 18 (Th) - My Little Business (Ma petite entreprise)(2 p.m.),
Night Shades (Nachtgestalten)(5 p.m.), Queen of Chess (La Regina
degli Scacchi) (8 p.m.)
October 19 (F) - Leak (Lek)(2 p.m.), Gastons War (5
p.m.), Flowers from Another World (Flores de Otro Mundo) (8 p.m.)
October 20 (Sa) - The Christmas Oratorio (2 p.m.), Wonderland
(5 p.m.), Suzie Washington (8 p.m.)
October 10 to October 20, 2001.
All films will be shown at Shangri-la Cinema 2.