Saturday, March 16, 2019


If you are a lover of all things cultural, artistic and visionary, FIFA is the finest film festival for you to attend. Each cinematic story holds a mirror up to the world’s finest artists in different fields. We learn intimate details about their personal and professional journeys.

Reviews follow 

 (Directed by Don Millar)
Canadian premiere

This compelling and inspiring documentary film brings to life one of the world;s most acclaimed living artists. In fact, he is the greatest artist ever viewed in museums, and books about him sell better than any other artist!

The film holds up a factual mirror to Fernando Botero, shining light on his personality and art. This Columbian visionary later became a sculptor, but he painted first off. His enormous figurative sculptures stand as monumental beacons for everyone to enjoy, even laugh at and climb over them. They are now in almost every country, standing in squares, outside buildings and along watery paths. With Botero, big is beautiful!

Born is 1932, he came into this world without a silver spoon. His father was a traveling salesman on a donkey, and the young Fernando sold his first painting for 2 pesos in a small store in Medellin.
His trips to Italy, Paris and New York further allowed him to grow as an artist, carving out his own unique style: the big  and distorted would be his signature way; yet he lived as a pauper in small unheated rooms. When later psychoanalysed, it was thought that this enormous size in his figures is attributed to his longing to have a father to protect him; his father died when he was four.
Most of his life is revealed though his two sons and daughter who candidly share many family moments along with explanations of his art
Tragedy and personal struggles entered his journey of life, yet he became the artist that everyone loves, never suspecting he suffered a grave personal loss.
Always believing in his own artistic vision and the goodness of humanity, he donated all the works of art he owned to a museum created in his name in Bogota.

To create something that is a work of art, it must be controversial

National Film Board Production

A fabulous up close and personal reveal of the emotions and doubts that often enter the psyches of these extraordinary musicians who play in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. We see the different orchestra sections  being coached by professionals intent on helping each player understand  the emotions in the music they must perform – in this case: Death and Transfiguration opus 24 by Strauss. In their twenties, these emerging musicians are working in preparation for their cross Canada 12-city tour. They cover 17,000 kilometres with little sleep and time to practice “on the road”. The film has many of these young artists talking about their experience in the orchestra.

 Once a band member myself, and as a classical pianist, I related to their  their joy of making music with other talented peers. 

JEANNE MOREAU L’AFFRANCHIE (Directed by Virginie Linhar)

Jeanne Moreau was France’s iconic film star whose prolific cinematic career spanned the mid 20h century. She was a woman who formed intense relationships with her directors. She married Louis Malle, Pierre Cardin; and other men, including Belmondo, Truffault and Orsen Wells fell under her spell. Later in life, her filmography included roles that emancipated the woman (A Man and a Woman; Jules et Jim). In reality she herself became totally liberated from stereotypes, and lived her golden years with ferocity freely. She was never without work.


WHEN ARABS DANCED (Directed by Jawal Rhalib)

Morocco and Egypt, Algeria and Iran, the story is always the same. Before the Fatwa and before Islamic aggression.  Arab women danced in public and at home. Belly dancing is in fact the oldest form of dance. Now it is not only forbidden, a woman can lose her life for dancing. How pathetic that famous Arabic dancers of the past have been wiped from the annals of dance history by the government. Dance is done but in centres that the dancers call their own revolution.The film goes on for too long and repeats the same shot fo women dancing. The point is hammered in the same way no matter the country filmed.  Old black and white film clips and present day testimony tell the poignant tragic theme.


UNE JOIE SECRÈTE (Directed by Jérôme Cassou)
Jérôme Cassou

On January 7, 2015, Charlie Hebdo was gun down. His important satirical magazine was the voice of reason against Fascism. Thus began the one minute dance project where dancers around the world dance for one minute. We see all kinds of dancers finding their own way to move in environments at home, outside in the rain, in squares and more places that the public sees and doesn't see. It is a strange but wonderful film that bucks the notion that dance belongs only on stage or in front of an audience outside.


 TRUE WARRIORS (Directed by Ronja von Wurmb-Seibel & Niklas                        Schenckul

A theatre troupe is putting on a play about killings in Kabul. These fearless actors dare all to show the devastation of hatred Taliban-terror style. In the middle of their show an explosion rips through the audience. Chaos and killing converge. This compelling documentary about the actors and how they dealt with the aftermath of this murderous event is touching whilst showing the ongoing courage of some who decide to keep on living in Kabul. Others left to live in Europe. A must-see film that has close-up monologues of the main actors and director involved.


No comments:

Post a Comment