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March 11

The Last Animals

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War photojournalist Kate Brooks turned her interest from uncovering crimes committed against human beings to capturing the systematic slaughter of animals. She even visited Dvůr Králové in the Czech Republic. Poachers every year kill thousands of African elephants and rhinoceroses. Their ivory and horns are in high demand, especially on Asian markets. The illegal trade has brought some species to the brink of extinction. This documentary uncovers an international network that carries ivory from poachers and smugglers, with the support of terrorist organisations, to the target markets, in spite of international agreements and bans. It also shows the sustained efforts of nature conservationists, nature reserve administrators and scientists who, despite declining odds, are fighting for the lives of animals facing extinction. The result is an emotional wakeup call for the international community to focus its attention on the fate of these creatures. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

The Poetess

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A woman's mere public appearance is a violation of morality in conservative Saudi Arabia. Saudi poet Hissa Hilal did the unimaginable – she starred in a television show. Million's Poet is no ordinary talent contest. The superstars sought among contestants from Muslim countries do not have to sing or dance, but to recite their own poetry. The professional and lay judges decided that Hissa would become the first woman to take part in the contest, and her bold poems soon made her a star of Western and Arab media. Her open criticism of conservative norms and religious gender taboos earned her enthusiastic applause, but also death threats. The film presents the story of a woman who is able to combine her deep religious beliefs with profound criticism of theocratic dogma. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

Devil's Freedom

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Organised violence penetrates Mexican society like a disease that inexorably attacks victims and offenders. The film presents a tragic picture of ruined human lives in an environment where the law means nothing. A horrific report by director Everardo González on cruelty, injustice and corruption, which massively undermines the foundations of Mexican society, provided through the testimonies of people wearing special masks with openings for their eyes and mouth – large enough to preserve their anonymity, but without concealing their individuality. Traumatic experiences are discussed by the victims or their relatives, but also by those who have kidnappings, murders and torture on their own conscience. The film does not seek to explain the violence, only to share the experiences of those who have suffered it. This uniquely stylised film was awarded the Amnesty International Film Prize at the Berlinale in 2017. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

Recruiting for Jihad

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The fanatical ideology of the so-called Islamic State has attracted the attention of many young Europeans. From the first engagement to their decision to go to the battlefield in Syria and Iraq, they are accompanied by smooth-tongued advisors. Adel Khan Farooq is a Norwegian documentary film maker of Pakistani origin who has succeeded in infiltrating the environment where recruits for the ranks of radical Islam are found. Its prominent figure is Ubaydullah Hussain, a Muslim born in Norway, who is convinced that Muslims are oppressed worldwide and therefore rejects the laws of the country in which he was born. He lets the director film his encounters with inexperienced youngsters and provides him with very open interviews. However, when Farooq together with well-known Norwegian director and cameraman Ulrik Rolfsen plans to complete the film after years of work, the police enter the picture. What started as a film about the illegal activities of European Islamists becomes a story of the struggle for journalistic independence. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

Almost Heaven

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A deeply personal documentary set against the unusual backdrop of a Chinese funeral home that follows the story of Ying, a teenager for whom this place represents a first job, friendship, and also boredom. Ying Ling is only 17 years old and works in one of China's largest funeral homes, where she and her peers learn the precise work of washing the dead and arranging the funeral ceremony. Early years of life intermingle with the end of life and the painful emotions of relatives. Ying, however, remains a teenage girl with all the joys and sorrows this brings. She takes time to play video games, experiences first love, but also a painful separation from her parents and a fear of ghosts. Can these different worlds merge into one? Show more

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AsexuaLOVE

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They don’t care for sex and often do not even want a romantic relationship. In spite of their differences, they want to lead fulfilling lives. The protagonists of this film not only have good jobs hobbies, and friends, but, motivated by their own coming out, also the desire and courage to help other asexuals to learn to accept their own identity. Asexuals are one of many sexual minorities, and they identify as part of the queer community. As much as it may sound like a paradox, the Prague Pride event is extremely important to Czech asexuals. Although Jana loves romance literature, and has even translated many such novels into Czech, she calls herself an aromantic. Neither she nor Ondřej, the documentary’s male protagonist, feel any sexual desire. The film’s director, Eva Lammelová, uses their stories to show the lives of asexuals within a society in which sex is an inherent part of daily life. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

Alicia

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Over the course of three years, nine-year-old Alicia has changed. At first she was just sad, then rebellious and eventually aggressive. What happens to the soul of a child that has been yearning for years for love and a home? Alicia was born to an underage mother in Dutch institutional care. After a year of living with her parents and three years at foster homes, she finds herself in a nursing home, but unlike most other children she cannot find a new family. Her mother keeps sporadic contact with her, but enough to make the girl wish she could go home with her. As time goes by, Alicia's frustration grows, turning into aggressive rage and keeping her ever further away from her dream of having a loving family. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

Golden Dawn Girls

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The leaders of the notorious Greek extremist party, Golden Dawn, have been in custody for four years and are awaiting trial. Their daughters, mothers and wives are entering the scene in order to keep the movement alive. “What happened to Greece?” Norwegian filmmaker Håvard Bustnes asks at the beginning of his film. In order to better understand why a movement proclaiming racial superiority, violence and hatred has gained such popularity in what is the cradle of European democracy, he decided to make a documentary about the women who stand behind it. Careful of what they say in front of the camera, they – unfortunately for them – no longer watch their mouths when they think that nobody is filming or listening. Their unguarded opinions, combined scenes from the various actions organised by the women fighters of Golden Dawn, create an impressive yet disturbing picture of what is happening in today’s Greece, at a time when it is throttled by austerity measures. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

Cocaine Prison

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A unique insight into life in an overcrowded Bolivian prison, where prisoners must pay US dollars for each night of their stay in a cell. The film illustrates how the judicial system works in a country that is one of the world’s largest cocaine producers. Criminals connected to the cocaine trade usually end up in the infamous San Sebastian prison. The twenty-year-old Hernan, captured during his first attempt to move cocaine across the border, also finds himself in the old colonial house that contains the prison. While he tries to familiarise himself with the rules of life behind bars, his sister Daisy tries to help him. She visits him in jail, consults with lawyers who give her contradictory advice, and even contacts members of the drug-trafficking network to ask for help from the boss for whom Hernan had been carrying cocaine. The film manages to get up close and personal with people who are mainly struggling to become more than disposable accessories. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

The Red Soul

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At the end of the 1980s, eight per cent of Russians considered Stalin a great man and hero. Surveys today put this figure at 52 per cent. What do modern-day Russians admire about the Stalin era and what do they not want to know about it? Millions of people died in labour camps and executions at the hands of Stalin. Nevertheless, in current Russian society there is a tendency to downplay the horrific side of Stalin's rule and to focus on his alleged virtues. The Dutch film maker Jessica Gorter travelled to Russia on behalf of the people whose families were affected by Stalin's terror, even those who believe that Soviet totalitarianism is preferable to democracy. The victims' children visit places in the middle of forests where mass graves continue to offer new testimony about the atrocities of the gulags. Their memories of the appalling violence perpetrated against innocent people are confronted with the naive nostalgia of those who see today's era as chaotic and cruel compared to Stalin's. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

Braguino

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"I had strange dreams. Suddenly we weren't living there anymore." A hypnotic documentary from the heart of the Siberian taiga depicts an awakening from the dream of life in the middle of untouched nature. The rusty powerboat breaks through the mist over the river surrounded by centuries-old trees. The boat is being piloted by one of the sons who have never known civilisation because their father left human society to live according to his own rules. The large family's life in the Siberian taiga, far away from every city, could easily be a celebration of virgin nature and the simple life. Their only human neighbours sow rivalry in the silence of the forest and are a constant topic of conversation in the tightly knit family; but the real danger is only just coming. As the father says: "In the taiga, man is the most dangerous animal." Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info

Silvana

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Silvana is an angry young woman who raps about how “this world is fucked up”. Her feminist, anti-racist lyrics, strongly influenced by her sexual orientation, have made her an idol in Sweden. Her mother is Lithuanian, her father Syrian, and she is a feminist lesbian. This is the cocktail that gave rise to Swedish rap superstar Silvana Imam. “You say my love is breaking the law. I say you have a super slim dick. Go and kiss your fucking swastika,” these are the words of her hit “Imam Cobain”, which fans go crazy over. Silvana’s courtship with Beatrice Eli, the pioneer of feminist pop, has strengthened her influence on the LGBT community. People can fall in love with their personalities without liking their music. The directors of this highly emotional film managed to capture an intimate portrait of the famous “power pussy”, who is fearless onstage but often doubts herself after the show. Show more

2D CS/ES 12 info
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