In September, One World Romania prepared a new series of OWR RETROcessions. During this programme we re-screen a few of the documentaries from the 11th edition of the One World Romania festival selection. The events are scheduled at ARCUB – Sala Bolților and tickets are sold through Eventim.
Monday, 10th and Tuesday, 11th of September we will screen three of the documentaries presented in March in the category called „Seeking: Country”.
After much political hand-wringing, Romania apparently received 710 refugees - but their presence is nowhere to be felt in the public discourse. That's the best we could do, given that millions of Romanians have themselves gone to the West in search of a better life. But what about the other million souls who have tried to escape terror and war further East by making their way to Europe? The films in this section paint a picture from multiple perspectives: the places left behind, the news that come out of those places, the people refugees encounter in their new adoptive countries, and the distorted lenses they are all reflected through in the media. Humanity in motion - a process with no clear solution, and therefore even more deserving of our compassionate gaze and understanding.
On Monday, September 10 th, starting with 20:00 we are screening the film „Another News Story”. Orban Wallace's debut film is a fresh take on the story of the Middle Eastern refugee crisis. As he follows a large group of refugees who start off in Lesbos and travel across Europe, Wallace adds a new level of representation as he turns his camera towards the journalists who accompany these refugees through their entire trip. The outcome of this shared experience is a moving documentary which becomes exactly the opposite of what its title suggests: not just "another news story" about the plight of refugees, but a powerful, oblique perspective of the humanitarian disaster on Europe's doorstep, as reflected in the conscience of the men and women in the media.
On Tuesday, September 11th, starting with 18:00 we invinte you for the screening of the film „Sand and Blood”. Stock photos of overcrowded boats and people forcing their way through borders are all over the media. How do we continue to speak meaningfully about the plight of the refugees without hitting compassion fatigue? Filmmakers Matthias Krepp and Angelika Spangel have attempted a novel approach, by combining fragments of interviews with refugees from Austrian camps with disparate footage from Syria and Iraq, mostly filmed with mobile phones and circulated through social media. The accumulation of these blurred and tremulous images of violence and devastation, accompanied by candid confessions from refugees who remain unidentified throughout the film, conveys the horror of having one's own home invaded, and the grief suffered after being forced to leave: "Home is paradise / Even your hell is paradise".
Also on September 11th, from 20:00 we will show the documentary „Stranger in Paradise”. In a small room, similar to the likes of a classroom, a white man meets three groups of hopeful refugees and describes to them their predicament since arriving in Europe. For each group, he creates a different scenario, each delivered on a different tone and with a different attitude- from detachment, to compassion, to cold procedural habit. Filmmaker Guido Hendrikx is a provocateur. His sharp docu-fiction about Europe's refugee crisis is a masterful, though brutal, performance which forces us to question our own opinions about this global issue. It is a documentary experiment fit for the present, where we are confronted not only with dilemmas about physical borders between countries, but also with the increasingly more urgent question of where to draw the line between fact and fiction.