European Hits in The Great 5 program

Every year, The Great 5 side program, which ZFF realizes in cooperation with the network of EU National institutes for Culture in Croatia (EUNIC), presents recent films from five largest European cinematographers: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

This year, United Kingdom is represented by a social drama, in the vein of Andrea Arnold’s films (Fish Tank, American Honey), Perfect 10 by young Scottish director Eve Riley. It is a small film with a large heart which, in an honest and warm way, shows growing up when your future is uncertain, your parents are absent, and the society is indifferent. 14-year-old Leigh is living on the outskirts of Brighton and finds an outlet for her shyness in gymnastics. Maybe she’s not the best in her team, but she’s the hardest worker. Other girls make fun of her because of her shabby leotards because she can’t afford better ones, and her father isn’t much better. His parenting strategy comprises of avoiding her and ignoring her. When she finds out she has a half-brother, Leigh’s life will finally be full of excitement and adrenaline. Don’t miss Perfect 10 at from Wednesday, November 11th, at 6 PM till Thursday, November 12th, 6 PM.

The French film in the Great 5 is By Your Side by Audrey Estrougo, a drama about family relations shaken by mental illness with Lucie Debay (The Barefoot Emperor – ZFF 2019) in the lead role. Manu returns home for a few days for her mother’s birthday. But the place where she spent her childhood is now haunted by ghosts wherever she goes. While she’s overwhelmed by memories, Manu must deal with her problematic sister who has her own demons to fight with and whose mental instability has left a wound on family relations. As time goes by, no one can predict the unexpected direction the family gathering will to. The film premiered at this year’s International Film Festival in Warsaw. By Your Side will be available from Friday, November 13th, 6 PM till Saturday, November 14th, 6 PM.

One of the most well-known modern German directors, equally loved by audiences and critics, Christian Petzold is known to ZFF’s audience by intimate stories of protagonists set in dark periods of modern German history (Phoenix – ZFF 2015 and Transit – ZFF 2019). His latest movie, Undine, is a modern fairy tale inspired by a myth that has inspired artists for centuries, and known to us as a story about a little mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, Disney, and Neil Jordan. Undine (Paula Beer) is a historian and a young urban woman working in a museum. When her lover, Johannes, leaves her, Undine must submit to an ancient myth: if a lover betrays her, she must murder him and return to the water. Berlin also plays an important part in the movie. We get to know it through seductive shots of Petzold’s regular associate, Hans Fromm, and Undine’s lectures about the urban development of the city which, like Undine, grew out of a swamp. The film premiered at Berlinale where it won the FIPRESCI award and Paula Beer received a Silver Bear for best actress. Undine will be available from Thursday, November 12th, from 6 PM till Friday, November 13th, 6 PM, and Saturday, November 14th, from 11 AM till Sunday, November 15th, 11 PM.

Spain is represented in the Great 5 by Madre, a new film by the master of political and criminal thrillers, Rodrigo Sorogoyen (The Realm – ZFF 2019, May God Save Us – ZFF 2017). Madre is a sequel to Sorogoyen’s 2017 short film of the same name, nominated for the Academy Award, and which reminds us of every parent’s worst nightmare: a Spanish woman Elena (Marta Nieto) receives a terrifying call from her six-year-old son, who was abandoned at an unknown beach in France. The boy’s mobile phone is impossible to locate and his battery is nearly out… The film picks up on the story ten years later after the boy’s disappearance, while Elena is living and working on that same beach. Her ostensible inner peace is shattered when she meets Jean, who reminds her of her lost son. Marta Nieto won the award for best actress at the Horizonti Festival in Venice in 2019. Madre will be available from Monday, November 9th, from 6 PM till Tuesday, November 11th, 6 PM, and from Saturday, November 14th, from 11 AM till Sunday, November 15th, 11 PM.

Gabriele Muccino is an Italian director, screenwriter, and producer most known for his Hollywood films Seven pounds (2008) and The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), both of which starred Will Smith. In the Great 5 program we’ll be seeing his latest film, The Best Years, a saga about four friends and their relationship, told over the course of 40 years. Italy, 1980. Sixteen-year-old idealists Paolo, Giulio, and Riccardo are close as brothers and share everything. There is also Gemma, Paolo’s girlfriend, who becomes a part of the squad. But life is unpredictable and our young friends will go about their different paths. Their stories, hopes, successes and failures intertwine in touching and amusing stories about friendship and love, thereby creating a rich tapestry of Italy and different eras of its modern history. One of the main roles is played by Pierfrancesco Favino who was the lead actor in The Traitor by Marco Bellochio (ZFF 2019). You can watch The Best Years from Tuesday, November 10th, from 6 PM till Wednesday, November 11th, 6 PM, and from Saturday, November 14th, from 11 AM till Sunday, November 15th, 11 PM.