Award-winning Bulgarian feature The Lesson a contemporary take on Italian neorealism

THE LESSON - Still 6

In the first film history class that I took I learned the word “verisimilitude” and was introduced to, and fell in love with, Italian neorealism. Films like Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948) changed how I looked at cinema. Italian neorealist films are distinguished by being shot on location among the poor, often using non-actors in situations that reflected the desperate times that followed the end of World War Two. These films about survival are intensely moving, uncomfortable, disturbing and utterly captivating.

The Lesson (Urok, Bulgaria 2014) seems to me like a contemporary take on Italian neorealism substituting post-WWII Italy with Bulgaria in the more current European economic crisis. Continue reading

The odd realm of Frauke Finsterwalder’s Finsterworld

Finsterworld

Satire, surrealism, fairy tale, allegory, black comedy, and tragicomedy: many genres could describe Frauke Finsterwalder’s first film, Finsterworld. One genre can be ruled out for sure though: vérité.

When the Women in Film Festival committee decided to invite Finsterwalder’s film, our festival judges and volunteers struggled with how to summarize this incredibly complex debut film – you’ll have to see it for yourself to understand.  Continue reading