Tromsø International Film Festival 2005

TIFFlogoI’ve just got back from Tromsø. It’s the third time I go there to attend the Tromsø International Film Festival (TIFF). As I already said for the 2003 and 2004 edition, I love this tiny-but-extremely-lively town of the far north (it takes still 700 km to get there from Oulu), and the film festival is a good occasion to visit it. Since my passion for film festivals is growing more and more as time goes by, I decided to list the films I have seen with a small comment, in case someone else had the chance to see them.

Attended screenings at the Tromsø International Film Festival 2005

  • Turtles can fly (Iran, Iraq, 2004). The story of a group of Kurdish children, refugees on the Turkish-Iraqi border just at the beginning of the Iraqi war. I was impressed. The skills of this young actors are unbelievable. If someone had told me it was a real document, I would have believed it. Personal best film of the festival.
  • Revolution of pigs (Estonia, 2004). Year 1986, a summer camp in Estonia, at the time ESSR (Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic). The stories of teenagers and their dreams of freedom, in a country which was foreseeing the end of the communist era.
  • Czech dream (documentary, Czech Republic, 2004). Think of being a film student, and you get an idea for a documentary: promoting the opening of a new hypermarket. You make advertisements on radio, TV, on posters at the bus stops and all around the town. You say things like "don’t go there", "don’t by anything" and so on. You tell people that the big opening will be on a particular day, in a particular place. And you are the only one to know that that hypermarket is just a big scam. That there is no supermarket there at all. Ah, and think that you might also be able to take a governmental fund to finance the whole thing…
  • Beautiful city (Iran, 2004). A young boy condemned to death for murder is turning 18. The day of the sentence to be carried out is closer. His best friend and her sister are trying in any way to convince his plaintiff to stop the execution. Also an interesting perspective of a love story between a guy and a divorced woman in Iran.
  • Our summer (documentary, Finland, 2003). The story of a summer spent by a woman with her father, in his old house in the countryside. He suffers of the Altzheimer’s disease and lives together with his wife in an old people’s home.
  • The first in the family (documentary, Finland, 2004). In Finland there is a small minority of gypsies. Here’s the story of a Finnish gypsy teenager who’s starting his life outside the family.
  • The GULag heritage (documentary, Norway, 2004). After the October Revolution, the owner of an industry in Archangel is sent with fake accusations to the Solovki-GULag. He will never make his way back home. His wife and children escape Russia, and nowadays they and their descendants live in Belgium, Norway and the United States. Some of them go back to the place where their granfather lived and try to get information about his death.
  • Pei’vv paast (documentary, Finland, 2004). The Skolt Sami identity is dying. Two girls who now live in Helsinki, go to Nellim, in the heart of Lapland, to meet Päivi’s (one of the two girls) grandfather. They are Skolt Sami (Sami is the correct name for Lappish people), but they have never got to learn the language. Päivi’s granfather still speaks it, but unfortunately there are not many Skolt Sami left. I really liked this document. The name Päivi is the Finnish version of her original Sami name "Pei’vv", that gives also the name to the document. "Pei’vv paast", "The sun shines".
  • Somewhere over the rainbow (documentary, Norway, 2004). Story about the difficulties of the acceptance of the homosexual identity by the Norwegian Lutheran church. In the town of Svolvaer, in the Lofoten islands, a flag is hung at the entrance of the church, as a symbol of acceptance and toleration.
  • Crow (documentary Finland, 2004). A winter lived (in Oulu!!!) by a crow who decided not to migrate to central Europe.