Reel European treats

2010-09-03 16:01

This weekend the 2010 European Union Film Festival makes its way to Durban. The festival includes films from every genre drawn from nine of the European Union’s member states.

Among the independent film delights on offer are a horror film from Spain, a quartet of fairytales from the Czech Republic and a Dutch film about football – which they know a bit about having just missed out on winning the World Cup here two months ago.

The idea of this festival is to offer South African audiences a taste of the diverse films being made in Europe.

Today, when the big distribution companies are increasingly dominated by mainsteam film fare, these festivals are a rare chance to see different ­cinematic world views rather than the one through the usual Hollywood prism.

The festival is on at Gateway Nouveau in Durban from ­September 10 to 13.

Tickets are free and can be collected from the box-office an hour before each showing.

To find out more visit

Here is a selection of the films that are showing:

REC (2007) Spain
This award-winning horror ­revolves around a television ­reporter, Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), and her cameraman, Pablo, who cover the night shift in one of Barcelona’s local fire stations for a documentary series.

When the firehouse receives a call about a trapped woman, they respond.

But when her ­rescuers break down her door the woman becomes aggressive and bites one of them.

While the camera rolls, the building’s residents gather and the military seal off the building.

Word is this is a nailbiter.
he Hollywood version is called Quarantine with Jay Hernandez.

THE WELTS (Pregi) (2004) ­Poland

This film is about a child who is abused by his sadistic father as a teenager.

As an adult he has severe anger issues to overcome.

Strange and anti­social he spends most of his spare time spelunking alone.

Fellow caver Tania feels attracted to him but will her love alone be enough to tame the beast ­within?

This drama was among the 2005 best foreign language Oscar entries.

TO VERDENER / Worlds Apart (2008) Denmark
This Danish film explores the universal dilemma of finding love outside your faith or social circle.

Sara is a Jehovah’s Witness and a happy one until she meets Teis.

She falls in love with him, but is conflicted because of her faith and must ultimately choose between passion and her religion.

Those who are fans of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Books will be interested in this film as it is directed by Neils Arden Oplev, who directed the trilogy – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – due for release later this year.

THE OTHER FINAL (2004) The Netherlands

Made by a group of non-filmmakers, this critically acclaimed documentary is about the 2002 Football Game between Bhutan and Montserrat.

These two ­nations were on the bottom of the Fifa ranking in 2002 and when the Dutch didn’t qualify, director Johan Kramer and his team decided to host a game ­between the two lowest-ranked teams.

But the actual game is only a small aspect in the ­movie.

It’s the cultural exploration and clash between the two nations that makes this film so interesting.

FIMFARUM 2 (2006) The Czech Republic
This interesting gem is a series of four segments, each a fairytale imagined by a team of different animators.
Tom Thumb is a hero who is the size of a thumb but his smartness beats brute force.
The Sea, Uncle, Why Is It Salty? is about two brothers and a magic grinder that one brother received from Lucifer.

The Hunchbacks from ­Damascus is a story about three hunchback brothers who look alike, fall out and then reunite.

Three Sisters and One Ring is a modern fairytale about three sisters who find a ring and then decide to give it to the one who ridicules her husband the most.

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