15th Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival
Turkey, May 10 - May 17 2012
The Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival is the main art event of the Flying Broom organization, which has worked to improve women’s status, establish a network of women’s NGOs and function as an information and documentation center since 1996. The festival itself started in 1998 and FIPRESCI became a collaborator in 2003, when the international competition section ‘Each Has a Different Color’ was added to the programme. In 2012, the competition saw a selection of 14 films from around the world — all made by female directors in the last two years. America by Sonia Fritz is a straightforward drama about a woman’s struggle against domestic violence and problems that immigrant workers face. Directed by Angelina Nikonova, Twilight Portrait (Portret v Sumerkakh) is a hard-to-stomach piece with a pessimistic look at today’s Russia. The film portrays a society crushed by class differences, a lack of hope for justice, and violence that has become an ordinary part of daily life. But still, it is ‘twilight’ time; that means the characters are in a foggy transition area, and who knows? There might be a slight hope for them in the future. That would only be possible when a more feminine approach in the society could be valued, suggests Nikonova’s powerful film. Turkish director Çigdem Vitrinel’s What Remains (Geriye Kalan) examines the behavior of two women in a dangerous love triangle, in which one of them is the cheated housewife and the other the threat to the family — while trying to get by as a divorced, working mother. Although the film doesn’t have much cinematic appeal, the realistic — and shocking — elements in its story and the actresses’ performances managed to raise a lot to talk about for audiences. A love triangle is also the focus of One Love by Paula Hernandez, but here with more romantic results. Swirl (Girimunho) by Helvecio Marins Jr. and Clarissa Campolina is a pieceful portrait of rural life in a small town. Julia Murat’s Found Memories (Historias que so existem quando lembradas) takes place in a rather desolate small town, a place we get to know through the visit of a young photographer.
Ivan’s Woman (La Mujer De Ivan) by Francisca Silva was one of the most stylized works in the competition. Silva’s film — which got the FIPRESCI prize — is a claustrophobic tale about the complex relationship between an adolescent girl who leads an isolated prisoner life in a locked house and her kidnapper, an adult man. The script has very little dialogue, but the film has much to say. Another ‘not so talkative’ film was Valerie Massadian’s lyrical Nana, following a four-year-old girl’s daily life in the forest. In the heartbreaking Habibi (Habibi Rasak Khabran), an impossible love story that takes place in Gaza, director Susan Youssef depicts the ‘impossible life’ of Palestinians under siege. Expiration Date (Fecha De Caducidad), the first feature of Kenya Marquez (who has directed the Guadalajara Film Festival for years) is a black comedy with a detective movie flavour and colorful characters. Experienced Polish director Barbara Sass’ In the Name of the Devil (W Imieniu Diabla) is based on a controversial ‘true story’, whereby a group of Bethany nuns get into conflict with the Vatican. The story raises questions about faith and abuse. Directed by Elisabeth Rappeneau, I’m Scared I’ll Forget (J’Ai Peur D’Oublier) deals with memory, time and love, in a story following a middle-aged woman with Alzheimer’s disease. Land of Oblivion (La Terre Outragee) by Michale Boganim is on the other hand about remembering. Boganim takes us to a ‘designated area’ near the Chernobyl power plant, where the disaster that occurred in the past won’t let anyone move on. Other than the competition, documentaries, shorts and animations, Flying Broom has many different small selections based on filmic themes: love, generation issues, domestic violence, homophobia, migration… Feminist media arts organization Women Make Movies supports the festival with a selection as well. And sometimes a director or a country is under the spotlight: this year had a selection of Moroccan cinema. Saare Cantell and Trinh Minh-ha were the directors who had a section of their own in the programme.
Like most of the art events in Ankara, Flying Broom has a warm community feeling. In the city of bureaucrats, culture and arts enthusiasts are well-connected to each other. (Yesim Tabak)
Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival: www.ucansupurge.org