NEWS FLASH – Swedish documentary, I am Greta, is Cape Town Green Map’s TOP choice at the European Film Festival 2020 taking place from 12-22 November 2020.
After a sneak preview of I am Greta – be warned – this is a totally absorbing documentary that brilliantly finds its story both in the cause and in the person. Climate change is undoubtedly one of the greatest crises humanity has ever faced and a story that needs to be focused on. But it is the story of the remarkable Greta that is totally intriguing. The remarkable international public response is extraordinary to witness. World leaders taking every opportunity to grab photo opportunities rather than make specific commitments is highly discomforting.
Watch this space for more information about a live Zoom event Climate Justice South Africa: sharpening the spear scheduled for Friday.
I am Greta is a film which focuses our attention on one of the greatest crises humanity has ever faced, climate change. Nathan Grossman’s deeply personal Swedish documentary I am Greta follows the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg from her one-person school strike to her astonishing wind-powered voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City.
- The entry fee of R50 for I Am Greta serves as a fundraiser for a climate action group who will be awarded screening proceeds after the festival.
Emphasising her support for the festival’s continuity despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, EU Ambassador to South Africa, Dr Riina Kionka, said: “Twelve films in eleven days shows the determination of this European partnership to overcome difficult circumstances. Since my arrival in South Africa this is my second European Film Festival: I can tell you that it is a cultural highlight not to be missed. In addition, I invite you to participate in the various special events lined up during the Festival!”
European Film Festival – Old Worlds and New
Invoking a moment of reflection, and the opportunity to reset our attitude to the world and our 2020 circumstances, this year’s 7th edition of the European Film Festival, is about Then and Now, with the films inscribing an arc from Old Worlds to New.
Starting in the Middle Ages, this year’s Austrian film is based on the story of Narcissus and Goldmund, written by Nobel-prize winning author Hermann Hesse, and directed here by Oscar-winning Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters). It examines the powerful bond between two very different characters, amidst the dichotomy between religious monastic life and the passion and adventure of secular life.
Moving forward a few hundred years, there are two reflections on wars of the 20th century.
After World War 2, when most countries around the world were focused on recovery and rebuilding, the small country of Lithuania remained in a war situation as locals resisted Soviet occupation for about another 15 years. Sharanas Bartas’s film In The Dusk dramatically takes us into that desperate time and place. From the same era, but focused in a different part of Europe and Africa, Home Front is a Belgian film directed by Lucas Belvaux, where painful memories of the time of the French colonial war in Algeria explode into the present, opening up chapters of a toxic past which is still not fully spoken of today.
Marco Bellocchio’s award-winning film The Traitor takes us into the 1980s when a whistleblowing mafia boss-turned-informer triggers the largest prosecution of the Sicilian mafia in Italian history. A riveting insight into the operations of one of the world’s most notorious crime syndicates.
The German film Curveball, directed by Johannes Naber, is a thriller that catapults viewers into the 21st century. In a sober warning about how terribly easy it is to slip into war, this is a fact-based story about how a lie regarding chemical weapons, sets in motion a chain of events that results in the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, forever changing the global political landscape.
On a much lighter note, the Spanish film directed by Bernabe Rico, One Careful Owner, tells how a woman buys a new home with a certain ‘inconvenience’, namely that the 80-year old current owner will remain living in it until she dies. The two very different women in this story will form an unlikely friendship filled with tenderness, emotion and much laughter.
Another film focusing on female relationships, and in this case a mother-daughter relationship, is the French film Proxima, by director Alice Winocour, about a French woman astronaut who is forced to consider her priorities of family versus career.
There are two stories of unique emancipation and self-discovery – the first is the Dutch film, Becoming Mona, directed by Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koevorden, in which we follow, from childhood through to adulthood, Mona’s struggle to break free from the stifling constraints of a life lived in service of other people’s egos. The UK film this year is Bassam Tariq’s Mogul Mowgli, starring Riz Ahmed as a rapper on the verge of a big international tour when he gets cut down with a severe illness, causing him to confront his Pakistani/English culture, and himself.
The Polish film Sweat by director Magnus van Horn focuses on a fitness motivator who has become a social media celebrity and influencer – it’s about how she wrestles with the nature of her popularity and what loneliness and intimacy mean in her world, all highly pertinent issues in this modern digital era.
The festival also includes two powerful documentaries. The Irish representative, The 8th, is about the highly emotive and divisive topic of abortion and women’s reproductive rights. Here, three award-winning women directors, Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy, and Maeve O’Boyle, follow the grassroots activism of the campaign to repeal the 1983 8th amendment (which criminalised abortions) in a defining moment of Irish history. The other documentary is I Am Greta – see above.
WHAT: European Film Festival 2020
WHEN: 11- 22 November 2020
WHERE: In the comfort of your own home
HOW: full programme of screenings and special events HERE
The 2020 edition of the European Film Festival is virtual and accessible online across South Africa only. The film screenings are free, except for I am Greta, whose entry fee of R50 serves as a fundraiser for a climate action group who will be awarded screening proceeds after the festival.
European Film Festival 2020
Bringing the best of European film to South Africa’s home screens, the European Film Festival 2020 is a partnership project of the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa and 12 other European embassies and cultural agencies in South Africa: the Embassies of Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Wallonie-Bruxelles International, the French Institute in South Africa, the Goethe-Institut, the Italian Cultural Institute, and the British Council. The festival is organised in cooperation with CineEuropa and coordinated by Creative WorkZone.
Swedish documentary, I am Greta, is Cape Town Green Map’s TOP choice at the European Film Festival 2020 taking place from 12-22 November
European Film Festival 2020, Cape Town Green Map, MapMyWay, I am Greta, Greta Thunberg, climate action,