Balkan Film Week 2022

from 27th February 2022 | UT Connewitz & online
#bfw22 #wirundsie #CommonGroundLeipzig

Introduction – Balkan Film Week

Marija Katalinić

Credits: private

THEM AND US | US AND THEM

Last year´s Balkan Film Week program angled itself towards the notion of borders and suggested we think about the ways in which they separate and/or distinguish identities, spaces, and bodies in a historical sense. The recent resurgence of violence in the context of border control also raises several interrelated questions regarding subjectivities and its convolutedness that implies deviation, manipulation, and fragmentation. Based on these implications, the symptom of “otherness” (firmly grounded in critical theory) can be historically traced to designate those “at odds with others”. Categories of age, sex, gender, as well as personal and public spaces describe and/or mark subjectivities, implying possessions of different and diverging experiences in them and us.

The categories between themselves can seem divergent and different, yet their binary nature precisely includes the relation of one towards the other. The question of how different identities coexist and how do they come together in conversation, is the theme of this year’s Balkan Film Week. The suggested categories do not necessarily insinuate opposition or oppression, but they are measured against each other, thus interdependent of those opposed. In comparing or mirroring (identities) there is also a possibility to establish difference through quantifying a lack of something or a profusion. In this respect, the relation between our presumed subjectivity and those “outside” of us, can be seen as complimentary and diverse in the sense that its understanding suggests learning and enjoyment in that diversity.

The void between different subjectivities is often filled with content of certain political nature. In striving to erase the premise used in the public discourse where “them and us” spells out “them or us”, this year’s program observes how these different subjectivities coexist in contemporary Southeast Europe. The selected films approach topics of dichotomies between identities and the political in-between those two, as potentially socially constructed and thus not a pregiven condition in constructing difference and “otherness”.

The insinuated fronting starts early on in coming of age (Sestre, Pa Vend) and surrounds us in our social and cultural reality through questions of binary normativity and sexuality (Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn), but also in times of precariousness (Frida, Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker), survival and contested geographies (Landscape of Resistance) and the privilege of migration (The Wire).

The ongoing events still yield uncertainty, loss, and change, and in these times particularly we strive to remind ourselves, and acknowledge, that “them is us” as much as “us is them”.



The Balkan Film Week is an essential part of the Common Ground – Literature from Southeast Europe project, which presents the Western Balkans as the Region in Focus at the Leipzig Book Fair 2020-2022. The overall theme this year is US AND THEM. And so, also the films selected by our programme curator Marija Katalinić for the 4th Balkan Film Week deal with themes of differences and how to overcome them.

This year’s Balkan Film Week takes place at the UT Connewitz and online. All screenings are free of charge.

The links to the films will be available shortly before each screening in the programme grid (to the right) in the description box.

 

Introduction by Marija Katalinić

27 February 2022

28 February 2022

1 March 2022

Sunday, 27th February

  • 7 PM
    Opening of the Balkan Film Week
    Online & UT Connewitz

    With Marija Katalinić and Barbara Anderlič

    Balkan Film Week Curator Marija Katalinić and Project Manager Barbara Anderlič kick off the 4th Balkan Film Week.

    Watch launch

     

  • 7:30 PM
    DOUBLE BILL NR. 1

    Displaced | Pa vend
    Online & UT Connewitz

    Samir Karahoda, 2021
    15', short film, Kosovo
    English subtitles

    In post-war Kosovo, driven by the ambition of keeping their beloved sport alive, two local players wander from one obscure location to another carrying with them the only possession of the club: their tables.

  • Sisters | Sestre
    Online & UT Connewitz

    Kukla (Katarina Rešek), 2021
    23', short film, Slovenia
    English subtitles

    Three best friends, sworn virgins, get into a fight with local boys. When things get rough, they are saved by a girl in the becoming.

  • 8:30 PM
    Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
    Online & UT Connewitz

    Radu Jude, 2021
    106', feature film, Romania, Luxemburg, Czech Republic, Croatia
    German subtitles

    Emi, a school teacher, finds her career and reputation under threat after a personal sex tape is leaked on the Internet. Forced to meet the parents demanding her dismissal, Emi refuses to surrender to their pressure.

Monday, 28th February

  • 7 PM
    The Wire
    Online & UT Connewitz

    Tiha K. Gudac, 2021
    75', documentary, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Norway, Belgium
    English subtitles

    By constructing a steel fence through the beautiful Kupa region, Slovenia made Croatia a somewhat unwilling buffer for the influx of refugees trying to reach Europe from Bosnia. Because of the fence, tourism collapsed and many new dynamics were generated. The region has now become a focus for extreme right nationalists, human rights activists, politicians, police and border forces, as well as migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe.

  • 9 PM
    Landscapes of Resistance
    Online & UT Connewitz

    Marta Popivoda, 2021
    95', documentary, France, Serbia, Germany
    English subtitles

    Sonja was one of the first female partisans in Serbia and helped lead the resistance in Auschwitz. When we initially encounter her in Landscapes of Resistance, she is a friendly elderly lady with a playful cat on her lap. This is the start of an exceptional journey through her memories of revolutionary books from her student days, her wedding to a communist, the resistance against the German occupiers and her torture after capture as a communist and anti-fascist fighter, right the way through to her escape from the concentration camp.

Tuesday, 1st March

  • 8 PM
    DOUBLE BILL NR. 2

    Frida
    Online & UT Connewitz

    Aleksandra Odić, 2021
    22´, short film, Germany
    English subtitles

    An encounter between a young nurse and her patient Frida, who is the same age, on the border of professional distance and the desire for closeness. Winner of several accolades.

  • An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker
    Online & UT Connewitz

    Danis Tanović, 2013
    75´, documentary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Slovenia
    German subtitles

    A Roma family lives far from the urban centres of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The father Nazif salvages metal from old cars and sells it to a scrap-dealer. The mother Senada keeps the house tidy, cooks, bakes and cares for their two small daughters. One day, she feels a sharp pain in her abdomen. At the hospital she is told there is something wrong with the baby she is carrying: “They say it’s dead.” They must operate immediately. But Senada has no medical insurance; since the operation will cost much more than the family can afford the hospital’s head refuses to treat her. A race against time together with a mounting sense of hopelessness played by a cast of non-professional actors re-enacting an episode from their own lives.

Trailers

Displaced
(Pa vend)

Samir Karahoda, 2021
15', short film, Kosovo
English subtitles

Sisters
(Sestre)

Kukla (Katarina Rešek), 2021
23', short film, Slovenia
English subtitles

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn

Radu Jude, 2021
106', feature film, Romania, Luxemburg, Czech Republic, Croatia
German subtitles

The Wire

Tiha K. Gudac, 2021
75', documentary, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Norway, Belgium
English subtitles

Landscapes of Resistance

Marta Popivoda, 2021
95', documentary, France, Serbia, Germany
English subtitles

Frida

Aleksandra Odić, 2021
22´, short film, Germany
English subtitles

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker

Danis Tanović, 2013
75´, documentary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Slovenia
German subtitles

Common Ground 2020-2022

Want to find out more about past Balkan Film Week events? Check out the links below:

Balkan Film Week 2021 Balkan Film Week 2020