Visions du Réel 2019 Overview

Festival:
The 50th Visions du Réel

Dates:
April 5-13

About:
This notable Swiss nonfiction event reaches a landmark anniversary year with a lineup of nearly 80 new documentary features, in addition to extensive retrospective programming.

NAÏMA

Making their world premiere in the National Competition are films like: Laura Coppens’ TASTE OF HOPE, which follows workers who manage their own factory; Tamara Milosevic’s NAÏMA, a portrait of a Muslim woman who works to prevent radicalization; Aurelio Buchwalder’s ISOLA, on an Italian agricultural penal colony; Beat Oswald and Samuel Weniger’s GOLDEN AGE, about a luxury retirement home in Miami; and Martine Deyres’ LUCKY HOURS, which explores an unusually successful 1940s French psychiatric hospital.

LA VIDA EN COMÚN

Among the debuts in the International Competition are: Jannik Splidsboel’s DREAMS FROM THE OUTBACK, which explores the lingering impact of colonization on Australia’s aboriginal community; Ezequiel Yanco’s LA VIDA EN COMÚN, which follows Argentine indigenous youth during a rite of passage hunt; Greta Stocklassa’s KIRUNA – A BRAND NEW WORLD, about three residents of an Arctic Swedish community forced to relocate; Ester Sparatore’s THOSE WHO REMAIN, on a Tunisian woman searching for answers about her missing husband; Friederike Güssefeld’s OUT OF PLACE, about three German juvenile delinquents sent to Romania for rehabilitation; and Michał Bielawski’s THE WIND. A DOCUMENTARY THRILLER, which explores the strange phenomenon of a destructive seasonal wind.

GOD

Meanwhile, the International Competition for Medium Lengths offers world premieres for, among other projects: Christopher Murray, Israel Pimentel, and Josefina Buschmann’s GOD, a collective film exploring Pope Francis’ 2018 trip to Chile; Hubert Charuel’s COWS WITH NO NAME, recounting how the filmmaker’s mother transitions her cows to an industrial farm; Nadia Parfan’s HEAT SINGERS, a look at modern Ukraine through an energy company and its choir; Verónica Haro Abril’s WHEN THEY LEFT, in which the filmmaker visits the few remaining residents of her late grandparents’ Ecuadorian village; and Alexis Delgado Búrdalo’s THIS FILM IS ABOUT ME, an intimate portrait of a woman convicted of murder.

ANIMALS

Among the debuts in the formally inventive Burning Lights Competition are: Ben Guez and Sasha Kulak’s QUICKSILVER CHRONICLES, an observational portrait of long-standing radicals as they respond to a changing America; Jonas Spriestersbach’s ANIMALS, a disquieting film about our emotional connection to pets; María Onis’ INSULA, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of an ethnographic film in Argentina; Nathan Hofstetter’s LOULOU, the filmmaker’s attempt to demystify his paranoid schizophrenia; Rory Barrientos Lamas’ EL GURU, a portrait of a Chilean cannery worker who moonlights as a boxer; Stéphane Riethauser’s MADAME, a dual portrait of the filmmaker and his distinguished grandmother; Riccardo Giacconi’s PIUCCHEPERFETTO, an essay about a teenager obsessed with his social media image; and Mali Arun’s THE HOUSE, about a once famed sanitarium now home to the marginalized.

RING OF DREAMS

Additional sections include the Swiss premieres of Grand Angle, with work like Rozálie Kohoutová and Tomáš Bojar’s OFF SIDES, following a Czech junior ice hockey team as they travel to Morocco; and Willem Baptist’s RING OF DREAMS, about a group of Dutch professional wrestlers; and the non-competitive Latitudes, with films such as Jean-Gabriel Périot’s OUR DEFEATS, in which Parisian high school students re-enact scenes from revolutionary May 1968 films; and León Siminiani’s NOTES FOR A HEIST FILM, following the filmmaker as he collaborates with an imprisoned criminal on a heist film; and Special Screenings, which includes François Ruffin and Gilles Perret’s J’VEUX DU SOLEIL !, in which the filmmakers travel France to speak with members of the Yellow Vests movement.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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