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18 Oct 2016

Listapad invites to think about the nature of documentary film

MINSK, 18 October (BelTA) – The 23rd International Film Festival Listapad will invite its viewers to reflect on the nature of documentary cinema, BelTA learned from the organizers.

The out-of-competition documentary program Postdoc invites viewers to engage in a dialogue with film directors about the role of facts and fiction in cinema and the nature of a documentary. The Minsk audience will see three documentaries that will make them reconsider their understanding of feature and non-feature cinema: Cafe Nagler by Mor Kaplansky, Land of the Enlightened by Peter-Jan de Pew and Lost and Beautiful by Pietro Marcello.

In modern literature, theater, cinema or photography, the boundaries between dramatizations of events and raw reality get blurred. Postdoc questions the capabilities of the documentary cinema to reflect the truth of life, and this doubt is no less an important part of a movie than the plot and interaction between characters.

Cafe Nagler (Director Mor Kaplansky) tells a story of a young woman from Israel going to Germany to search for traces of their ancestors in Berlin. There, according to her grandmother, their family owned a cafe which hosted the celebrities of the 1920s. However, when the author realizes that the facts are very far from her family legend, she herself faces the choice between truth, legend and history.

Belgian ex-Red Cross photographer Pieter-Jan De Pue’s film is a hybrid, combining documentary footage shot in Afghanistan over eight years with dramatizations of events. The majority of his narrative is about a group of young orphans who deal in spent bullets and opium instead of listening to music and playing football. They dream of “becoming King of Afghanistan” and “flying to the stars on a horse”. The Land of the Enlightened is not only about children but also about the country where history is mixed with myths, and where the war has become a new normal.

Petro Marcello’s film starts out as a relatively straightforward documentary about Tommasso Cestrone, a farmer in the southern Campania region of Italy. He became known as the "Angel of Carditello" because of his generous efforts to restore and maintain an abandoned Bourbon palace, toiling away for years with no financial assistance from the government. When Tommasso dies, the narration is continued by … buffalo calf Sarchiapone. Reality and imagination get interwoven in the film, with the truth somewhere in the middle.

The 23rd edition of the Minsk International Film Festival Listapad will be held under the motto “Towards Inspiration” on 4-11 November. The organizer is the center of visual and performing arts ART Corporation.

The festival has been organized by the Culture Ministry and Minsk City Hall with the participation of the Belarusian TV and Radio Company, National Film Studio Belarusfilm, and the Belarusian Union of Cinematographers.

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