Visions du Réel Nyon 2021

Here Filmexplorer's selection of short and medium-length films discovered at the hybrid edition of the festival Visions du Réel Nyon 2021

HIGHLIGHTS - and podcast discussions

Other films discussed on Clubhouse (podcast)

During the hybrid edition of Visions du Réel we discussed other interesting films in the daily live appointment of Filmexplorer on Clubhouse. We mention here the exchange with Allison Chhorn on her Blind Body, a film that thematises memory through an empathetic camera that tries to share her grandmother’s almost blind perspective on the past; the discussion with Amélie Bargetzi on her Là où nous sommes, a film that shows how complex a long existence in a nice but polluted environment can be, between appropriation and refusal; and the meeting with Moona Pennanen on her Land That Rises and Descends, a film that is able to vividly express the intimate connection between traditional rituals and the geography of a special territory. Respectively, Australia/Cambodia, France and Finland reveal their stories through a cinematic gaze both empathetic and complex.

More suggestions: Concept films

Some films are mainly the coherent result of an initial concept, be it formal or relating to a particular situation to be documented. Here, more than the way the film is executed, it is the initial brilliant idea that sustains the entire film. This is why we want to mention the following five works:

Nikita Yefimov’s Strict Regime (Best medium-length film at Visions du Réel 2021), for its ability to unmask censorship through the explicit fictionalisation lead by its own character, a director of prison, and in doing so indirectly document the reality that we don’t (can’t) see;

Jessie Zin’s Wavelengths, for its choice to approach the theme of abortion from the perspective of the helping call workers, whose concrete work of hearing takes place in their private space, at night, somehow in continuity with our hearing of the film in the cinematic darkness;

Adrian Paci’s Vedo rosso, for its striking casting and editing of a woman that witnesses domestic violence, and moreover for its radical choice of an almost monochrome persistent image of red which, in contrast with Derek Jarman’s infamous Blue, is not abstract but represents the bloody image of the internal eyelid exposed to sun;

Teboho EdkinsThe Orphanage, for its keen selection of a China-supported Buddhist orphanage in Lesotho, that witnesses how pervasive Chinese neo-colonialism is in Africa, paradoxically using religion as leverage to brainwash new generations – or, at least, this seems to be the suggestion of this very simple film;

Andrea Schramm’s 27 Steps, for its accurate formal divide between voice over (for the storytelling of recent events) and images of a house (for telling the story of a life) in order to express with dignity and intelligence the immediate mourning process at the time of coronavirus.

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