Contemporary Austrian film at the Milano Film Festival
by Camillo De Marco
- A German Youth by Jean-Gabriel Periot and James White by Josh Mond are the first two films in the International Feature Film competition
A German Youth [+see also:
film profile], the debut film of Jean-Gabriel Periot, and James White, the directorial debut of American indie producer Josh Mond, which was screened at Sundance and is now in the running at Locarno, are the first two films announced for the International Feature Film competition of the 20th Milano Film Festival, which will be held from 10 to 20 September.
A German Youth (which was screened at the Berlinale in the Panorama Dokumente section and received awards at Cinéma du Réel, Visions du Réel, and Docaviv) is the first feature film to be directed by Periot, a director with French roots who has been directing experimental and political short films for over 20 years. The film tries to shed light on the radical political inclinations of the youth of 1960s Germany, which gave rise to the Red Army Faction (RAF), the group of reactionary terrorists founded by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof. Constructed entirely using archive videos and material, it explores the dark years of the German armed struggle.
As well as hosting the Italian premiere of the film, the Milano Film Festival and the Civica Scuola di Cinema di Milano will be holding a one-day workshop with the director.
There will also be a day dedicated to new directions in contemporary Austrian cinema and a reflection on the social and environmental themes developed by the Austrian Pavilion, ‘Breathe Austria’, at Milan Expo 2015. Among others, the programme includes Dreams Rewired by Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode, an experimental film that uses archive material to reconstruct the history of the link between man and telecommunications, with narration by Tilda Swinton.
There will also be a special focus on the films of Nikolaus Geyrhalter, one of the biggest Austrian documentary makers (among others, his films include Our Daily Bread, 2005, and Abendland, 2011) with the Italian premiere of his film Over the Years [+see also:
film profile], which documents the lives of the workers of a textile factory for ten years after the factory goes bankrupt. Geyrhalter will be a guest of the Festival and will hold a masterclass, and two films from his rich filmography that have just been restored will be screened: Prypat, a multi-award-winning documentary from 1999 on the Chernobyl disaster, and Das Jahr nach Dayton, on the postwar period in the Balkans.
(Translated from Italian)