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The man is the universe

Three films and three worlds in ON AIR - main competition. We give you first films which will compete on 8th IFF Tofifest. "Women without Men" (awarded at Venice FF) takes us on a trip to Iran, "Street Days" to the Caucasus  in Georgia, "Altiplano" to the Peruvian Andes. These different stories link main idea of Tofifest. Their authors speak in the debate about modern man, about his world and his future. Best film will leave Toruń with Golden Angel Award.

ON AIR is the most important competition of IFF Tofifest. It brings together films of the most interesting directors, debuting in world cinema. However, debut does not mean here, being a novice artist. Authors such as Shirin Neshat or Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworths duo are known in the world for their achievements in other fields of art. Movies ON AIR combines one thing – this is cinema worth seeing. We present the first three films of the competition.

Powerful, sublime, visually beautiful film – wrote about the first of the films – Altiplano a critic of the French Le Soir. And he added: This film is the brother of the Presentation of Andrei Tarkovsky. Title Altiplano is desert plateau located in the middle of the Andes, stretching from Bolivia to Peru. Media calls this movie breathtaking and a hypnotic masterpiece of a poem. This is the second common film of Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworths duo [Tofifest contest allows debuts and second films], realized as a co-production between Belgium, Germany and Denmark.  

He have the stories colliding, stories of two very different women – European war reporter Grace and Saturnina, Peruvian Indian from the Quechua people. After the tragedy experienced during the war in Iraq, Grace decides to quit her profession. Her husband, Max, an ophthalmologist working in the villages of the Altiplano dies in riots after the death of Saturnina’s fiancé. Boy was killed by mercury coming out of the mine, which contaminate the environment. Grace sets off on a journey to the place of her husband's death. Roads of these two women intersect on the Altiplano.  

It is a film difficult to describe. In fact, it goes beyond all species, patterns and labels. Photos, music, soundscape, dialogues and acting fuse in monumental oratorio. The words stuck in my throat because they are unable to give a beautiful of Altiplano delighted the Dutch "Critikat". Altiplano was awarded the Golden Kinnaree Award at the Bangkok International Film Festival.

The second ON AIR film Woman without men [Zanan-e-bedun-e Mardan, France, Germany] is also a journey into the wonderful world of imagination, vision, mysticism and poetry. This is a directorial debut of contemporary art star Shirin Neshat. Iranian artist, who works in New York and is also known as the voice of Islam women, will come to Toruń on the Polish premiere of her film. Picture is the story of four Iranian women, whose lives are portrayed on the background of the British and American coup d'etat, which took place in 1953 in Iran. Historic theater staffage serves here to show the truth about the trampling of the rights of women in Islamic countries. Against the background of grandly showed revolution, we see biographies of several women laced up together. The first of them, who is a prostitute, escapes from the brothel; the second who is married - from her husband; another one dreams about marriage, indifferent to what happens on the streets of Tehran. Script was based on the Shahrnush Parsipur’s novel, titled Women without Men. This well-known and controversial book is banned in Iran since 1990.  

The film, which is a voice in discussion about Islamic women's rights, ends with a dedication to the memory of those who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom and democracy in Iran — from the Constitutional Revolution of 1906 to the Green Movement of 2009.

Georgia has a new movie star. It is Levan Koguashvili – wrote about the director of the third film Street Days [Quchis dgeebi] critic of the prestigious magazine Variety. And he added: His wonderful neorealist drama becomes a showcase of possibilities of that country. The film is an emotional portrait of a corrupt and dark side of the Georgian capital – Tbilisi. On this background, we are witnesses of Checki’s, an unemployed 45-year old man addicted to heroin, drama. He is representative of the title lost generation of the street, how in Georgia called persons like him. When the Soviet Union collapsed, they were their twenties and passed their all lives in the Soviet reality. After changes in 1991, most of them failed to find in the new world.  

Checki is the same. He has no work, he is without a penny, but for drugs will do anything. He is in debt to everyone: friends, relatives or neighbors. His drama deepens the financial problems of his family. In this situation, corrupt policemen become the only rescue. In return, they will use Checki for their dirty game.  

Levan Koguashvili draws a gloomy portrait of the generation of the street. According to the main axis of ON AIR competition, this film – narrated in documentary style, with hand-held shots – is a voice in a very important discussion about the present: how to live honestly in a world dominated by corruption and violence?  

It is worth to notice that, according to Variety, the Koguashvilie’s film is a prelude to renaissance of Georgian cinema and a chance to success in the world. This year Tofifest also presents the first retrospective of the New Cinema of Georgia in Poland. It is created in cooperation with the Georgian National Film Center, film festival in Batumi and the Embassy of Georgia in Poland.

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