Between the 15th and the 24th of March 2019, the 12th edition of One World Romania International Human Rights & Documentary Film Festival will take place in Bucharest.
As we did in the past years, the films selected follow heavily debated subjects, such as the four programmes we would like to present today: To be LGBTQ+, Contemporary families, Superwomen and The Work.
Through the films dedicated to LGBTQ+ we shall meet a fascinating trans woman who narrates her story in the manner of a real-life modern Scheherazade passionate about Ozu’s films, and together with a young Argentinian director we shall take upon an odyssey to put together the pieces of her father’s past, a homosexual man who tried all he could so as to hide from his own family this part of his personality
One of the documentaries in this section is „OUT”, comprised entirely of short videos posted on the internet by young people who have made the decision to come out to their loved ones as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Denis Parrot’s film documents a reality relevant to the present — the casualness with which younger generations explore and especially accept and assert their own sexuality.
Another very popular and controverted subject in the past years of Romania, but of other states in the entire world, is that of “traditional families”. Because we believe this concept should be nuanced and understood with regard to the context of our era, in March, in Bucharest, we will present four documentaries about contemporary families – children raised by adoptive parents, families in which the known roles are transformed and in which harmony is only apparent, hiding guilt no one has been willing to discuss for some generations.
The Ukrainian film “My Father Is My Mother's Brother" opens with a scene between siblings, Anya și Tolik, an encounter between two characters who seem equally naïve and childish, abruptly thrust into the world of adults. Later, Katya (Anya's daughter and Tolik's niece) makes an appearance, and the hidden threads underlying the relationships of this micro-family slowly unfurl before our eyes. Katya mainly spends her childhood alongside her uncle, paying occasional visits to her mother, whose fragile state of mind keeps her in isolation, first secluded in a flat which Tolik looks after, then within the rather bleak confines of an institution. The documentary is a tender glimpse into the existence of these three characters, an elliptic puzzle about what life is like in the exile of one's own mind.
In the Superwomen category there are five documentaries by five female directors, exploring the stories of women who have undergone and are still undergoing extreme challenges, actively working against them. Within heavily conservative communities, in poor countries and Western countries alike, many women face major and constant violation of human rights or various abuses. We try to open our eyes and mind and learn from them what should be done for the future to look brighter.
The documentary “I Had a Dream”, by director Claudia Tosi, features Daniela, a local activist for an Italian political party, and Manuela, a representative in the Italian Parliament. The film documents the past 10 years of transformations in the political life of Italy, and the threat of transitioning into a new type of politics: populism. While initially perceived as regular people with a desire to change Italian society for the better by entering the political stage, they’ve now come to be seen as no more than members of a privileged class, that of the politicians, and the impact that these labels have on them is increasingly echoed in thoughts contemplating laying down the weapons and giving up on the idea of politics altogether. The film received an award at the 2018 edition of DOKLeipzig.
The section “The work” brings three documentaries showing different communities of workers – descendants of the immigrants of 1960 or young French people in rural areas – observed in the context of today. The films discuss the question of modern-day slavery, of rights infringed by the employers, but also the lack of offers in the current working environment.
The documentary of Hungarian director Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, “A Woman Captured”, sketches a portrait of Marish, who works as a maid for a middle-class Hungarian family. As we delve deeper into her world, our perspective changes and we realise that what we are witnessing is in fact process of demystification, exposing a reality almost unimaginable in today’s society: modern slavery. Not only does Marish not receive any kind of compensation for the time and effort she dedicates to the family she serves, but her dignity is also put to the test through multiple humiliations, beatings and even a vicious case of blackmail.