One World Romania – 16th edition
31 March - 9 April 2023

Chantal Akerman and Ross McElwee retrospectives at OWR#13

Among the special events of the thirteenth edition of the One World Romania festival, which will take place between the 20th and the 29th of March in Bucharest, there will be two retrospectives dedicated to the American documentarist Ross McElwee and to the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman.

These screenings will allow us to discover (or rediscover) these two unique authors’ filmographies, in which they combined their life experience with extremely actual reflections on the role of the individual in society.

Regarding Ross McElwee's work, we will present the short film Back Yard (1984) and the feature films Charleen (1980), Sherman's March (1986), Time Indefinite (1993), Six O'Clock News (1997), Bright Leaves (2003) and Photographic Memory (2011). The filmmaker will be present after the movies and will engage in discussions with the viewers. Chantal Akerman’s retrospective will include her first short, Blow Up My Town (Saute ma ville, 1968), and I, You, He, She (Je, tu, il, elle, 1974), Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels (1975), News from Home (1977), From the East (D'est, 1993), South (1999), From the other side (De l’autre côté, 2002), Down there (Là-bas, 2006) and No Home Movie (2015). Claire Atherton, who has worked with Akerman for over 30 years, will present the films and will teach a masterclass in which she will discuss in detail the defining professional and personal meeting that she had with Akerman.

Last year, during the Ruth Beckermann retrospective, the One World Romania audience discovered how the Austrian filmmaker analyzed the history of the twentieth century through the persecution of European Jews and the community's attempts to escape the Holocaust and to rebuild itself after it was over. Ross McElwee uses an even smaller unit of measure to take the pulse of a country and to meditate on the influence of the past onto the present: that of his own family. Born into a conservative family in the Southern United States of America, McElwee has sought since the early days of his studies to see how the schism between the south and the north is felt, especially regarding racial and moral issues, in the behavior of those closest to him. Later, the filmmaker pushes the exploration of his own intimacy further, using the various personal hardships he goes through, such as his wife's miscarriage, his father's death or him finally becoming a parent as opportunities to change his gaze on American society and (in more philosophical terms) on life.

Chantal Akerman also uses her intrinsic or temporary belonging to certain categories - that of woman, daughter, Jew, expatriate - to speak knowingly, but without didacticism, about the burden involved in assuming those roles. Her entire cinema militates against reducing the individual to a series of traits and tasks that are imposed on one by society, and this refusal is expressed precisely by the meticulous and empathic observation of human complexity that she shows throughout her movies. For those who have eyes to see, this complexity manifests itself everywhere, both in the mundane activities of the people of Tel Aviv, which Akerman films from her window in Down There, as well as in her relationship with her own mother, Natalia, whose physical or metaphorical presence marks the films News from Home and No Home Movie.
Beyond their message, Chantal Akerman's films are notable for their formal experiments as well, especially for the treatment of temporality. Her work is an indispensable map for any filmmaker that is interested in the evolution of cinematic modernism in the last fifty years.

Claire Atherton grew up in New York, with her American father and her mother of Romanian origin and went to France to study Oriental civilization. Later, she attended the prestigious Louis Lumière National School. She met Chantal Akerman at a theater performance, which actress Delphine Seyrig had asked both of her to film. This was the beginning of a fertile collaboration, first as an director of photography and then as an editor, which lasted over 30 years and included fictions, documentaries and video installations. Atherton is often invited to share her experience in various workshops and she is a professor at schools such as La Fémis and HEAD Genève.

From now on, all the tickets for individual screenings as well as all the types of festival passes can be bought on Eventbook.

For all the details regarding the 13th edition of the festival - complete program, film descriptions, events and special guests - you can access

One World Romania Association
Rule of Law Programme South East Europe of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation
National Cultural Fund Administration, National Centre of Cinematography, Romanian Cultural Institute, UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency, Romanian Filmmakers Union, DACIN-SARA, European Commission - Representation in Romania, National Council Against Discrimination, Bucharest City Hall by ARCUB - The Cultural Centre of Bucharest Municipality
Bosch, HBO, Aqua Carpatica, Domeniile Sâmburești, Kronenbourg Blanc, Somersby
French Embassy in Romania, French Institute of Bucharest, Goethe-Institut Bucharest, U.S. Embassy in Romania, Czech Centre Bucharest, Austrian Cultural Forum, Embassy of Switzerland in Romania, Embassy of The Netherlands in Romania, CEREFREA Villa Noel, Embassy of Sweden in Bucharest, Embassy of the State of Palestine, Palestinian Cultural Centre „Mahmoud Darwish”, Palestinian Film Festival, Polish Institute in Bucharest, Italian Cultural Institute, Wallonia-Brussels Delegation, Embassy of Spain in Romania, Balassi Institute - Hungarian Institute in Bucharest, SUPER Festival, Apollo 111, Mezanin, UNATC, ODEON Theatre, Londohome, Împreună Agency, Balkan Documentary Center, Moldox Festival, Verzio Festival, Kinedok, Astra Film Festival, Transilvania Film
Magic FM, Rock FM, Radio România Cultural, Radio Europa Liberă, Scena9, DOR, Films in Frame, Cinepub, Cărturești, Observator Cultural, Perspektiva, Humanitas, Film Menu, Cutra, Igloo, Liternet, All About Romanian Cinema, Zile și Nopți, The Institute, Graphic Front, Verbs Describe Us
Czech Centre Bucharest

The content of the project is solely the responsability of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund.

This project was funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

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