37th Kiev Molodist-International Film Festival
Ukraine, October 20 - October 28 2007
The 37th Molodist International Film Festival showed 400 films in 20 programs from all over the world. In the competition were 13 films, including Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian, Indian, French and Argentinean movies. Among the non-competition programs was an Ukrainian panorama 2006-2007, new films from Russia and France and the so-called “Festival of Festivals” in which the audience could see this year’s award-winning movies from Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Locarno such as 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days (4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile); The Rebirth (Ai no yokan), The Mourning Forest (Mogari no mori) or popular directors’ latest works such as David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park and Emir Kusturica’s Promise Me This (Zavet).
There were also great retrospective screenings: the early works of Isabelle Huppert and the works of the grand jury’s president, Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Special events concerned Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander), an Andrei Tarkovsky memorial evening with poems and music, and there were screenings of rare Soviet films from the fifties and sixties, unfortunately without English subtitles.
The screenings were mainly in the Kiev Festival Kino, which is of great advantage for those who can’t speak the Ukrainian language (no international signs on subways, and knowledge of the English language is minimal among the locals) and because of the fact that there are always huge traffic jams in Kiev, so transportation is almost impossible.
The festival screenings had a very special atmosphere with people coming in and out during the films, making loud phone calls and so on. But their positive reactions to the films were heartening. The local audience would clap and laugh loudly during the comedies which they seemed to prefer to dramas. The screenings were usually full, sometimes with people even sitting in the aisles.
The FIPRESCI Jury gave its award to the Romanian film California Dreamin’ (Endless) (California Dreamin’ — Nesfarsit), directed by Cristian Nemescu. The film, according to our jury, deals with a very important political event of the decade, but in a very humane manner. (György Kárpáti)