Fourth report from the 73:e Venice Film Festival

By Moira Sullivan
Ronny Trocker's The Eremites (Ingrid Burkhard)
The massacres in Paris, Nice and Brussels by young alienated outsiders is perhaps the most urgent problem today that finds expression in cinema. “Our War”, an Italian US and Kurdish co-production by Bruno Chiaravalloti, Claudio Jampaglia, Benedetta Argentieri , had its world premiere in Venice, a unique out of competition documentary about three young volunteers from Sweden, the US and Italy who travel to northern Syria to fight against ISIS with the predominantly Kurdish YPG - Popular Protection Command in Rojava.

Over 30,000 voluntary recruits to ISIS in Syria have occurred before the making of the film, some of them westerners, and it was important to learn of westerners who choose to participate with the Kurds to fight ISIS. One of these recruits, a former US Marine, points out that the most effective way in this struggle is to arm the Kurds who have led the most successful campaigns to push back ISIS.

The Eremites” is a Orizzonti film and Ronny Trocker’s first feature, a German/Austrian co – production, and a sober portrait of Marianne, who lives on a farm in the Alps with her husband under rustic conditions. Their son Albert (Andreas Lust) who work in a stone quarry visits them often from the village. A cable that pulls a metal carriage connects the primitive farmhouse to the village below. Marianne played by Austrian actress Ingrid Burkhard (featured in “Toni Erdman” from Cannes in May) Ronny Trocker has done a beautiful job on this film with long takes of the Alps, the farmland, animals and the quarry. These are “characters” to reckon with that have almost a spiritual presence.

Last week I reported on Ears from the Biennale College and the film won three awards with work by young and emerging directors, Aessandro Aronadio’s “Ears” won three awards at Venice, including the “FEDIC” award for proposing the most significant scene in relation with food and alimentation. A youth jury liked it too and awarded it the “Arci Cinema Giovani Award” (Young Cinema award).

Shubhashish Bhutiani first feature was also financed by Biennale College. The Indian director is already esteemed for “Kush “(2013) which won the Orizzonti short film award in on anti-Sikh riots after the assassination Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. This year Bhutiani made “Hotel Salvation”, 77-year-old Dayanand Kumar (Lalit Behl) decides his time is near and wishes to travel to Varanasi on the Ganges and complete his cycle of rebirth in one of the special hotels..

A mockumentary entitled “King of the Belgians” by Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth from Belgium, the Netherlands and Bulgaria is an Orizzonti film which takes the spectator on a voyage within politically volatile parts of Europe. King Nicolas III is on a mission to improve his image and to integrate Turkey into the EU. His majesty and his staff including a filmmaker engaged to document the event find themselves in exile in the Balkans with no airfare and only country roads with rustic travel modes. The saga takes the royalist and his personal staff into the heart of Eastern Europe where he experiences warmth and friendship for the first time.

Francesco Carrozzini’s provocative documentary “Franca: Chaos and Creation” is about his mother Franca Sozzanni who is going on 28 years as fashion editor of “Vogue Italia”. She was the first Vogue editor to photograph women of color when no one would, and who did a fashion shoot after an oil spill with models covered with oil in evening gowns or young women in school uniforms depicting sexualized violence sprawled over steps with their outstretched hair seeping with blood. Despite criticism, she is insistent that fashion be intertwined with the events of today, though not in a literary but visual sense. In the beginning of the film Indie actress Rosario Dawson turn around while exiting a convenience store to pick up the latest copy of “Vogue Italia” because of its daring bravado.

© 2016 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 09/14/16
Movie Magazine International