MAGNIFICIENT SEVEN 2005 - European feature documentary film festival - Belgrade

One should go for innovation but also honour roots and tradition - this is what we do in Belgrade year after year with a festival that carries the name of a mainstream American movie but has its focus on poetry and independent, personal storytelling.
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1.
Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A documentary which explores the connections among sound, rhythm, time, and the body by following percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who is nearly deaf. (99 mins.)
“ Acclaimed Scottish percussionist Glennie takes us on this free-flowing, contemplative journey with the goal of sensitizing viewers to sound. Nearly deaf as a result of a neurological disorder, Glennie claims her entire body can hear. Director Thomas Riedelsheimer states, “I have never met anyone before who has such a finely developed sense of the quality of sounds as Evelyn.” Glennie performs in cities from New York to Kyoto with a variety of classical, found and experimental instruments, from which she is able to coax a startling variety of sounds. Performance footage is blended with breathtaking impressionistic images of the world around us that implore spectators to be more attuned to their surroundings. Just as the film’s groundbreaking sound design focuses attention on the musical quality of every noise - including silence – Riedelsheimer’s remarkably rich cinematography invites viewers to see everything from busy streetscapes to the trembling grains of sand on a beach with new eyes. A constantly moving camera transforms the banal into the sublime and sweeps us into its transcendent vision with both intimate close-ups and epic landscapes.
Touch the Sound is a mesmerizing experience that demands to be seen on the big screen. ” - MagnificentSevenFestival
 
2.
Jerusalem My Love (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
One city, three religions. An outsider looking for his lost faith. (73 mins.)
Director: Jeppe Rønde
“ faith becomes the “little story” that mirrors Jerusalem ’s “big story” – a story about loss, repression and love. The film’s “outer” track follows the “prophets” in their daily work in the midst of Jerusalem ’s violence. Each represents the city’s three monotheistic religions. Three different and yet not so different men are thus presented to us: the Jewish charity worker, Israel ; the Muslim drug rehabilitator, Muhammad; and the American street-prophet, Ted. The “inner” track follows the director’s existential search to discover what faith consist of – and why he loses his lifelong faith, in Jerusalem of all places. Simultaneously, on the film’s inner track, we see the director undergoing hypnosis – in his persuit of an explanation to help him understand why his beloved Jerusalem and these men made him lose his faith. ” - MagnificentSevenFestival
 
3.
In the Dark (2004 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
This excellent low-key documentary records the daily life of an elderly blind man in Russia. He spends... (41 mins.)
“ He is an old man: 80 years old and he has lost his sight. He lives in a small flat with a white cat. The man wants to do something useful and he spends his days making woollen bags. The cat messes up his work and everyday is a continuous battle between the two of them. But the cat – besides being an enemy – is also his only friend. The blind man listens through the window to the sounds of the Moscow streets and explains to the cat what is going on. He also goes out on to the streets - trying first to sell the bags and then to give them away for free. Nobody wants them - because everyone is carrying plastic bags. The film is a symphony of an everyday in a Soviet style suburb of Moscow . It is slow like blind man’s days are. Symbolically the blind man represents something old and traditional in Russia , and the outside world represents something modern which doesn’t have any use for the old blind man. Thus the film is also a metaphor for Russia in change. ” - MagnificentSevenFestival
 
4.
The Master and His Pupil (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In September 2002 the famous Russian conductor Valery Gergiev gave some master classes in Rotterdam to three young... (85 mins.)
“ In September 2002 the great Russian conductor Valery Gergiev shared his knowledge, experience and vision with three especially selected international talents from the new generation of conductors during two Masterclass sessions in Rotterdam . The transmission from Valery Gergiev to his pupils, seen from within the orchestra, ‘captured’ by three camera’s, focuses in a precise manner on the drama developed between the ‘master’ and the ‘pupil’. “The Master and his Pupil” visualises the transmission of musical knowledge, the transmission of an art-form, of a ‘métier’, of power and of inspiration. ” - MagnificentSevenFestival
 
5.
The Day I Will Never Forget (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The practice of female genital mutilation is explored through personal stories of Kenyan women. (90 mins.)
Director: Kim Longinotto
“ After the eulogised documentary DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE, about the laborious divorce procedure for Iranian women, and RUNAWAY, about a shelter for runaway girls in Teheran, Kim Longinotto travelled to Nairobi , Kenya , where the circumcision of women is an everyday affair. She was even allowed into a messy room where an elderly woman circumcised two resisting, agonisingly groaning girls. The women who are introduced in this confronting, enlightening documentary do not mince their words and talk uneuphemistically about circumcision. The group discussions are very fierce: many women do not feel like having sex anymore, another one feels that you should liberate yourself from “that dirty thing”, so women will not sleep around anymore. The elderly woman that carries out the circumcisions explains in detail how it works (“you must leave the root, otherwise it will bleed too much”) and prides herself in being very happy after each operation. The men are very relaxed about it: it is a tradition that goes back to the idea that every human being is born with a female and a male sexual organ, and is only clean when one of the two has been removed. Longinotto also followed a nurse who opposes this belief. With sharp questions, she shatters the fallacies and proceeds to convince husbands, fathers and mothers of the right of self-determination. But for the time being, only a handful of brave boys and girls bring their parents to trial. ” - MagnificentSevenFestival
 
6.
The Prime Minister and the Press (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
(56 mins.)
“ Few politicians have managed to capture the public imagination quite so spectacularly as Silvio Berlusconi. He’s funny, charismatic and one of the most powerful men in Europe . A media mogul who just happens to run the country. Critics claim that his attempts to subvert the Italian judiciary and media censorship have severely damaged Italy ’s international reputation. They accuse him of re-writing the law to suit his personal and business interests. This investigative documentary, made as a major international co-production, offers the definitive insider’s guide to one of Europe ’s most convoluted political scandals. ” - MagnificentSevenFestival
 
7.
Screaming Men (2003 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A documentary film about the Finnish screaming male choir. (76 mins.)
Director: Mika Ronkainen
“ A documentary about the Finnish choir, Screaming Men, and their authoritarian conductor Petri Sirviö. A film about power, nationalism, intransigence, and firm belief in one’s own art. The conductor’s creative methods often provoke conflicts between the choir and others. They perform mainly national anthems and it´s on the edge between serious and funny. The authority of political and national symbols is at stage of creative and witty analysis. ” - MagnificentSevenFestival