“Amal” is a coming of age tale set against the background of contemporary Egyptian politics
( Photo : DR )
Documanteries at this year's Lux Film Fest
Following our look at the official feature film competition at the Luxembourg City Film Festival, we turn the spotlight on a string of powerful films have made the final cut for the documentary competition.
A hugely popular section of the festival, documentaries often tell more surprising and dramatic stories than some fiction feature films. Among the selection this year are some truly harrowing and moving documentaries. Mexican film “Devil’s Freedom”, for instance, features interviews with disguised witnesses from all sides of the spiralling drug-related violence the country is suffering. Hungarian film “A Woman Captured” examines a case of what can only be termed modern day slavery.
Strong females feature in the documentary competition in the form of the eponymous “Amal”, a contemporary coming of age story of a young girl fighting for her place in the male-dominated society that is Egypt. And Olympic rhythmic gymnast Margarita Mamun is the purported protagonist in “Over The Limit”, which provides fascinating insight into the cutthroat world of Russian gymnastics. But the film’s centre of focus shifts to the battle of wills between two other women with influence over the young athlete.
Another charismatic woman, Julieta Salmerón, is the eccentric star of her son’s beautifully intimate and life-affirming documentary portrait, “Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle”. Finally, the recent winner of the World Cinema Documentary prize at Sundance, Talal Derki’s “Of Fathers and Sons” is another harrowing film. The director follows his powerful “Return to Homs” with this rare insight into a radical Islamist family in Syria, with whom he shared daily life for over two years.
The documentary jury this year is headed up by Mimi Plauché the artistic director of the Chicago International Film Festival, alongside Erfan Rashid director of Arabic programming at the Dubai festival, Luke W. Moody, programme director of the Sheffield Doc/Fest Yaara Ozery Programme Manager of the Docaviv Film Festival in Tel Aviv and Tomás Baltazar programmer of the Doclisboa Film Festival.
Luxembourg City Film Festival takes place from 22 February-4 March at the Utopia cinema, Cinémathèque, Kinepolis Kirchberg, Casino-Luxembourg, Rotondes, Mudam, Neimënster.