A good programme in Mons

  • EL IDIOMA IMPOSIBLE While the financial crisis overwhelms most of the world, the violence produced by decades of tyranny dripped blood in the Arab world and New Zealand was devastated by an earthquake, peace and love reigned during the film festival in the ancient Belgian city of Mons.

    This is one of the most important Festivals in Belgium and its programme and organization reaches the quality of the best European ones. Without neglecting the Mediterranean films of North Africa, the Festival reinforces its European identity as well as independent cinema. Anna Karina, one of the legends of the ”nouvelle vague” acted as godmother of the Festival.

    In this edition the Festival paid special attention to the Irish cinema, which is shown in the United Kingdom mainly in digital versions. An important part of the programme concerned pictures of countries without a widespread cinematographic production, such as Sweden, Poland, Turkey and Greece.

    The Polish film CHRZEST (The Christening) by Marcin Wrona, got a deserved first prize in the festival’s official competition, whose jury was presided over by the Portuguese actor Joaquim de Almeida. This picture, taking place in Warsaw, shows a friendship and love story in the frame of the violence of criminal gangs.

    In the section Best European Film – on which the FEDEORA Jury concentrated- the Spanish picture EL IDIOMA IMPOSIBLE by Rodrigo Rodero – an intense tragic story – was awarded our prize.

    In this section three other interesting pictures were EL IDIOMA IMPOSIBLE by Rodrigo Rodero; SEBBE, by Babak Najafi (Sweden / Finland) and  DREAMERS,  by Jitka Rudolfova (Czech Republic). In the first two films we can see conflicts developed between two persons; in the Spanish one between the protagonist and a woman, in the Swedish one between a mother and her son. But the Czech picture deals with a multiple conflict which involves many members of a group. Nevertheless the three films have a common pedagogic intention: the idea that excessive love, in a couple or in a friendship, has a negative effect on the relationship.

    The weakest pictures in this section were BLACK FIELD,  by Vardis Marinakis (Greece); RONDO, by Olivier Van Malderghem (Belgium/France) and JUST NOT NOW, by Pendrakovsky Valery and Yuri Rogozin (Russia / Poland). All of them have rather implausible scripts, somewhat old fashioned aesthetics – aged in the case of the last one and serial-like in the second one- and a lack of passion.

    Middle-of-the-road films were BASILICATA COAST TO COAST, by Rocco Papaleo (Italy); HAI PAURA DEL BUIO, by Massimo Coppola (Italy); FIVE DAY SHELTER, by Ger Leonard (Ireland); LA LISIERE, by Bajard Géraldine (France / Germany) and EUROPOLIS, by Gheorghita Cornel (Romania). All of them have a  predictable development of the plot, acceptable actors – the best being in La Lisiere – and  unadventurous photography.

    A small collection of interesting films from India, Tunisia, Syria, Brazil and China was also presented at this event.

    Oscar Peyrou, FEDEORA.eu, 1 March 2011