One World Romania 11 - ”Past Continuous” Section

Similar to past editions, the films selected for the 11th edition are divided into several themed sections, and they will be part of traditional screenings, followed by Q&As, but also be featured in side events organised in different formats. This edition’s focal points are dedicated to subjects and areas which have recently started lengthy debates in our society, like adapting education to the 21st century standards, the political assault over justice, the revival of racism, white supremacy and illiberalism all over the world, the reformulation the policies regarding the LGBTQ community or the treatment given by European countries to refugees.


The first section we are presenting for this edition is entitled “Past Continuous” and will bring 10 recent documentaries in front of the audience, revealing the complex ways in which the past is still shaping up the present, all over the world. Although each of this section’s films analyse particular events, they will be the starting point for what we hope will be constructive reflections upon Romania’s history and those grey areas we never talk enough about.

„The Other Side of Everything”, 
directed by Mila Turajlic, winner of the Grand Prize at IDFA, one of the most important documentary film festivals, the film is presenting the story of a bourgeois family finding itself at a history crossroad in central Belgrade. Through the director’s mother, who used to be a strong objector of the communist regime, activist highbrow after 1989 and member of one of the governments of the past two decades, „The Other Side of Everything” shows sequences of historical events which, most of the time, could be mistaken for some lived by Romanians instead.


Karl Marx City”, one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of the last couple of years, is the chronicles of the fears and searches of co-director Petra Epperlein related to her father’s relationship with Stasi, the surveillance apparatus of Eastern Germany. Although apparently exploring the past, also resonating in some ways with the practices of the Secret Services from the Socialist Republic of Romania, the film is indirectly predicting the future of mass surveillance, potentially becoming at least as atrocious as the totalitarian correspondents.


Last, but not least, in the “Past Continuous” section we have the documentary thrilled called „Absent without Leave”, a personal, but also political story, about director Lau Kek-Huat, of Malaysian origins, but living in Taiwan, who leaves in search of his grandfather, present in his life solely through a mysterious family portrait. After being selected in Busan, the largest Asian film festival and receiving the Public Award in Singapore, the documentary was banned in Malaysia, by reason of the grandfather’s membership in the Communist Party, still a censored topic in Malaysian, because of reasons which are slowly revealed in the film.