The World is Watching is a political film about the moral issues surrounding news gathering and newsmaking in the electronic age. Who decides what constitutes the news? How do they decide? And what about the men and women who report from the field. Are foreign correspondents allowed to tell all that they see? The film examines these complex issues by focusing on several international journalists in Nicaragua as they cover the negotiations surrounding the Arias Peace Plan in November 1987. With unprecedented access to the inner workings of ABC News, what follows is a unique portrait of a news crew in the field, as it interacts with the editorial process in the newsroom in New York City.
The Corridor is a moody, meditative essay set at a time just after the independence of Lithuania from the USSR and in a claustrophobic apartment somewhere in Vilnius in which the titular corridor forms the zone through which the residents of the building must pass in order to meet each other.
Filmmaker Joram ten Brink owes his existence to a letter flung from a train bound for the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz over 70 years ago. The letter to his grandparents from their 16 year old son, Leo, who was murdered soon afterwards, was written in Dutch under the eyes of Nazi guards. Yet hidden in the text was a single Yiddish word, “weyiverig”, meaning: “HIDE YOURSELVES!” It was enough to persuade the Jewish ten Brink family to flee and set in motion a rescue to compare with the inspiring story of Anne Frank.
A year before his death in 1972, M.C. Escher’s process and essence was captured by fellow Dutch creative Han van Gelder for the 20-minute film Adventures in Perception. The documentary, while short, is a striking portrait of the artist, whose tessellations, perspective-shifting drawings, and studies garnered fans in both the art and scientific fields. The film was crafted for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands’ program “Living Art The Netherlands.”
In Vakantie Van de Filmer, filmmaker van der Keuken brings together various audio and visual materials: memories of an elderly married couple, personal holiday photos, the saxophonist Ben Webster, poems and a portrait of his grandfather who introduced him to the world of photography. A representation in which the various spaces flow together prompting reflection about the tension between film and photography, time standing still and the moving image. Van der Keuken revises and reformulates, like an alchemist, his own aesthetic principles and shows how these tie in with his own social environment.
Ivan’s best friend, Kamen, is in an American hospital, in coma after an accident. Since he’s denied a visa to the USA and can’t stay by his side in his last moments, Ivan decides to set off for Bulgaria countryside, taking the camera Kamen has given him. There’s a legend in Kamen’s place of birth – a small mountain village – that one song could bring people back to life. Ivan starts a journey to find it and record it, collecting a myriad of stories along the way. Will he succeed?
Once upon a time in a forest, an elephant encounters a snail, when suddenly it begins to rain. The snail asks the elephant whether he wants to come inside his shell. The elephant accepts this kind invitation even though the snail’s house is a wee bit small.
In its sixty-five minutes, Paz Encina’s first film, carries Ramón and Cándida, an aging couple living in the deep country, from sunrise, when they hang their old hammock between two trees in a clearing, to sunset, when they take it in. Settled in its tenuous grasp, they talk about the heat, the rain, the dog that won’t stop barking, the war, and their son, Máximo, who is doing his military service and hasn’t been heard from lately. The father lives in hope, the mother in fear, and scenes of their daily rounds of labor and rest—images of a contemplative pictorial exaltation—are joined by voice-over flashbacks revealing the story of their son’s departure and the rumors that followed.