Dreaming, freedom, finding yourself – needs that everyone knows. But sometimes there is simply not enough time to dream, to think, to explore your own consciousness or you don't dare to go on a journey into the unknown, to create a new perspective. Exactly in these long moments we like to escape into another reality – a reality full of charms through music, art and films, which put us in a mood of departure. At the 54th Hof International Film Festival 2020, the following works deal with precisely these topics in order to make our wanderlust tangible and to satisfy our strong desires together.
A selection of the films:
AUSGANG: OFFEN / EXIT: OPEN
Directors: Laura Andreß, Victoria Halper, Kai Krösche (Austria 2020, Documentary)
A stroll through the empty rooms of an abandoned office complex in Vienna: room for room, we encounter a wide variety of "witnesses of death": a doctor, a son, a big sister, a terminally-ill woman and other victims who share their own very personal experiences of death. A reflective dance of death in the ego-perspective, documenting true stories of those affected and confronting us with individual perspectives on death, dying and transience; filmed during the weeks of the coronavirus-induced lockdown in April 2020.
AWARE - REISE IN DAS BEWUSSTSEIN / AWARE – GLIMPSES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Directors: Frauke Sandig, Eric Black (Germany, USA 2020, Documentary)
What is consciousness? Do all living beings have it? Is there a mystical state of pure consciousness? And what happens when we die? Six brilliant researchers are presented who approach consciousness, still considered the greatest mystery in the universe, from radically different perspectives: from within and without, through highly technical brain research and Buddhist meditation, through the study of psychedelic substances and the exploration of the consciousness of plants.
CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT THING
Director: Christoph Fleischer (Germany, Spain 2020, Documentary)
NAROMA leads an improvised life in old factory rooms, marked by the changes brought about by gentrification. Filled with electronic music and dance, these rooms help her to satisfy her desire for a primal sense of community. How do we want to live?
Directors: Kai Wessel, Tina Freitag (Germany 2020, Documentary)
The film pays tribute to the exceptional musicians 'Mr. Golden Hands' Eugen Cicero and Roger Cicero. Renowned companions and contemporary witnesses span a dense cinematic net and illuminate, on the one hand, a genius who constantly reinvented himself – on the other hand, an extremely successful and talented singer who died at the zenith of his career. A film about two extraordinary biographies of musicians, which reveals a special father-son relationship. Two emotionally profound and closely interwoven life stories with a tragic and moving ending.
DEUTSCHLANDREISE / GERMANY JOURNEY
Director: Wolfgang Ettlich (Germany 2020, Documentary)
This road movie through East Germany seems like a journey through time: After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, documentary filmmaker Wolfgang Ettlich undertook the same journey, for the first time and then several times at long intervals, meeting the same people again. The original footage from the first trip provides unspectacular insights into the everyday life of the people, and in contrast to the new footage, the major changes become visible. Were the people's hopes fulfilled, were their fears justified? The conversations with the rediscovered protagonists provide information about their state of mind today.
HALDERN POP - DORF MIT FESTIVAL / HALDERN POP - VILLAGE WITH FESTIVAL
Director: Monika Pirch (Germany 2020, Documentary)
Haldern on the Lower Rhine, 5000 inhabitants, 3 pubs, a train station and an internationally celebrated music festival. The film explores the question of how music makes community possible and gives impulses to the village time and again. International musical events and rural traditions encounter each other and tell a new story of home and the necessity of culture.
Director: Nikolas Darnstädt (Germany, France 2020)
This film is a wild revision of Homer's Odyssey. Europe has burned down, the earth is uninhabitable, the homeland for which O longs no longer exists. Trapped alone in his space capsule, constantly circling around himself and the dead earth, O's only companion is the hypnotic voice of the on-board computer that accompanies him in his constant self-optimization through pills and sports. The present does not interest O. All of his strength, his striving and his longing are focused on only one thing: the return, home, Ithaca, the blue planet, the locatable, the familiear, the I. Occasionally O makes excursions into virtual realities. Through a flaw in the system, he encounters a stranger there, Nausikaa.
With Felix Witzlau, Laura Eichten
THE STORY OF A PAINTING
Director: Ruslan Magomadov (Russia 2020)
Adam is a successful Chechen artist. In his early childhood he fled with his mother to France before the war in Chechnya. In Europe, Adam received an excellent artistic education. His works increasingly attract the attention of art critics and his paintings sell successfully in Europe. One day Adam receives an unusual offer that could make him a millionaire. Now he has to return to Chechnya to find something priceless that could decide his future. The journey to his home country, which seemed so easy, becomes a difficult test.
With Iznaur Ortsuev, Evgeniy Bavikin
THE WHISPER OF THE MARIMBA
Director: Greta-Marie Becker (Germany 2020, Documentary)
The Marimba is the bridge between Africa and Latin America. The sound of the wooden xylophone connects the present on Ecuador's Pacific coast with its roots in Africa that reach far back into the past. For it was over the sea that marimba music came to Ecuador. The film portrays three generations of musicians who express their worries and hopes as well as their unshakable trust in art and music as the strongest form of cohesion. A film about forgetting and remembering their own history.
YOU SING, I SING
Director: Nikos Kornilios (Greece 2020)
Paris and Yannis’ café is a meeting place for friends from all over the world, lonely neighbors and mysterious vagabonds. On the Day of the Dead, which is also happens to be their anniversary, the stories mix, past and present unite, music and dance dominate them. At night, an ecstatic ritual transforms the café into an ark of memories and longings that travels through time and place.
With Yannis Petsopoulos, Paris Ferraro