Launched in 2009, Disappearing Act is a European film festival in New York City that celebrates critically acclaimed films from all across Europe that have still nevertheless been unable to attract widespread audience awareness. A co-presentation of the Czech Center and the Romanian Cultural Institute, the event draws on support from nearly two dozen additional European agencies. Its fourth edition begins tomorrow, April 11, and runs through April 22. Screenings will be held at the IFC Center, the Bohemian National Hall, and the Alliance Francaise. With the exception of the opening night, all other screenings are free to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
Of the twenty-five features making up this year’s line-up, four are documentaries, while an additional two are hybrid narrative/docs. I’ve already seen and strongly recommend two of the former: CINEMA KOMUNISTO (pictured) and DISCO AND ATOMIC WAR.
The remaining docs are the Slovakian THE BORDER (pictured), directed by Jaroslav Vojtek, telling the story of the village of Slemence, divided by new borders in 1946 into a Slovak and a Ukranian side, literally separating families and the entire community; and the Hungarian NEGATIVE HISTORY OF HUNGARIAN CINEMA, directed by Gyula Nemes, which intriguingly seeks to rediscover unfinished or never-made films by the masters of Hungarian cinema.
The hybrids include Italian director Pietro Marcello’s award-winning THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF/LA BOCCA DEL LUPO (pictured), a truly sui generis piece celebrating Genoa and the unlikely love story of a murderer and a drug addict; and Portuguese director Miguel Gomes’ OUR BELOVED MONTH OF AUGUST, a similarly beguiling cinematic exploration of place, focused on the attempt to make a film against the backdrop of a summer music festival in a rural village community.