Second International Film Competition block.

In the Second Block there were also a number of different topics that were explored by the filmmakers. There was a mix between animation, documentary and fiction, and so each was equally powerful in their own way. For example, Faith told the story of a rape survivor from her perspective and the sheer terror she experienced during and after the attack, and even twenty-two years later. The story was highly emotive because of how personal it was, and because it was told and shown in a graphic way.


Other themes that were explored included immigrants moving to different countries, and feeling a sense of belonging and dislocation, as well as curiosity for their home countries all at the same time. It was moving to hear the personal stories of the hardships, triumphs and everyday lives of those who featured in this short film (Journey Birds).


The film The Sled featured two boys from different countries and cultures who are bought together by a sled. This sled carries them through the winter woods of the Italian mountains, far away from their parents; prejudices and isolation. It was heart-warming to see the two innocent children playing together with one sled, which made a lasting friendship. Strings is an animated story which also explores the theme of friendship between two young children: an able-bodied and outgoing girl and a disabled boy who was unable to walk or talk. Despite the heart-breaking untimely death of the young boy and the girl’s sadness that she would never get the chance to make him better, she treasures the friendship and keeps the memory of him close to her heart for the rest of her life, in the form a rope around her wrist that they used to play with.


The next three films explore relationships between different family members. For example, Pedro explores the relationship between a lonely mother and her secretly homosexual son; Last Act of a Dying Horse is about a girl, who, after a string of rejections begins to explore her sexual desires, vulnerabilities, surreal dreams, and yearnings to be anywhere else. Finally, Child Dream follows the journey of a mother and a child in the rain in a dream-like state. In it, water suddenly takes a human form and rainfall leaves puddles deep enough to drown in, indicating that it might be representing a child’s dream.

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