YIDFF 2005 Information

International Competition

Total: 950 Films out of 94 Countries and Areas

(Alphabetically shown)

Fifteen films have been chosen out of 950 entries from around the world. These films will be screened during the festival, and are eligible for The Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize and other awards determined by the International Competition jury.

Dominique Auvray (FRANCE, dir. Marguerite, As She Was)
Su Friedrich (USA, dir. Sink or Swim and The Odds of Recovery)
Jia Zhangke (CHINA, dir. The World)
Sai Yoichi (JAPAN, dir. All Under the Moon)
Wu Yii-feng (TAIWAN, dir. Gift of Life)

About a Farm
Hiljainen tila
FINLAND / 2005 / Finnish / Color / Video / 54 min
Director: Mervi Junkkonen

The director’s parents who run a farm in a small town in Finland decide to sell off all their cattle and shut it down. They go on to sell their remaining fields after the father suffers an injury. One daughter becomes sick just as she is on the verge of graduating from high school, and the mother can only watch over her worriedly. Both daughters including the director have chosen a life in the city over taking on management of the farm. Images depicting the surging waves of modernity and the everyday lives of one family are blended with 8mm footage taken by the father to form a single work telling the story of one family. This self-documentary is up-and-coming Finnish filmmaker Junkkonen's first feature length work.


Africa United
ICELAND / 2005 / English, Icelandic, others / Color / Video / 82 min
Director: Olaf de Fleur Johannesson

“Africa United” is an amateur football club in Iceland managed by Zico, a failed Moroccan businessman. This multinational team, made up of migrant workers and students from Africa, and Icelanders, is united by one considerable characteristic: they are all awful players. Overcoming their financial difficulties, they practice on snowbound pitches, repeatedly fight amongst themselves, and play as far afield as Morocco and Serbia, but will their love for soccer remain in inverse proportion to their victories? There is no secret or formula to their feebleness, but these men hold fast to their pride. A record of the glorious battles of these persevering characters.


Before the Flood
CHINA / 2004 / Mandarin / Color / Video / 143 min
Director: Li Yifan, Yan Yu

When the Three Gorges Dam is completed in 2009, it will be the world’s largest, but its reservoir will also submerge many villages and displace thousands of residents. Preserved in verse by the poet Li Bai, Fengjie in Chongqing is one of these unfortunate villages. Since the water began to rise in January 2002, the villagers’ lives have revolved around the issue of migration. The troubles and strengths of these villagers, gripped by anxiety toward the future, surface as the spectacle of migration begins. Poignantly capturing the transition of an era, the film leaves a beautiful echo that resonates with the flow of time yet to be sung.


Cinéma Invisible—The Book
Cinéma Invisible—Het Boek
THE NETHERLANDS / 2005 / Dutch / Color, B&W / Video / 73 min
Director: Kees Hin

Our navigator is a woman who visits a bookshop in search of a collection of unfilmed screenplays, “Anthologie du Cinema Invisible,” that was published to celebrate the first centenary of cinema. From these 100 unrealized works, the essence of ten projects are selected to be presented in this film. Excerpts from Chaplin and Clouzot, Zazie Dans Le Metro, Battleship Potemkin and more are combined to create this fantasy documentary film with an infectious playful spirit. A work that pays homage to all cinema.


Darwin’s Nightmare
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, FRANCE / 2004 / English, Russian, Swahili / Color / 35mm / 107 min
Director: Hubert Sauper

The Nile Perch, a freshwater fish experimentally introduced into Tanzania’s Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest) in the 1960s, has since devoured over 200 indigenous species to become the master of the lake. In today’s Tanzania, the ecosystem has been transformed and a huge fishing industry has emerged. The local people driving this one-sided prosperity barely eke out a living and lead desperate existences. AIDS is rife, many women become prostitutes, and street children wander the night. Are rickety Russian-made cargo planes that carried export whitefish mainly to the markets of Europe and Japan transporting arms back to Africa for use in civil wars? The camera addresses this hellish reality borne of an artificially created food chain.


Final Solution
INDIA / 2004 / Hindi, Gujarati, English / Color / Video / 150 min
Director: Rakesh Sharma

A consideration of hostility between Hindus and Muslims in India, as seen through an investigation of a massacre of Muslims in the western state of Gujarat in 2002. The Hindu political party, which advocates an orthodox India, clashes with and oppresses the Muslim population. Through the testimonies of both Hindus and Muslims, the origins and amplification of the animosities are painstaking depicted. The director’s sincere approach, as he attempts to discover the beginnings of a solution amidst the mechanics of this seemingly insolvable conflict, is deeply moving.


THE NETHERLANDS / 2005 / Dutch / Color, B&W / 35mm / 70 min
Director: Albert Elings, Eugenie Jansen

A pastoral farming village in The Netherlands. This work completely forgoes commentary to etch into film seven years of scenes from this village, where people and animals, trees exist and rivers flow in abundance and in their own time. At times the river becomes engorged and threatens the livelihoods of the people. Even here, where nothing seems to change, signs of development and change emerge. The forest is harvested, the ruins of the brick factory that was once the center of local industry are knocked down, an underground railway tunnel is opened, and this quiet village becomes enveloped in activity and ceremonies.


In the Shadow of the Palms—Iraq
AUSTRALIA / 2005 / Arabic, English / Color, B&W / Video / 90 min
Director: Wayne Coles-Janess

Spring of 2003, four weeks prior to the assault on Iraq. The people of Baghdad go about their everyday realities, despite the knowledge that an American offensive is just around the corner. A former Olympic athlete who now manages a parking lot passionately teaches wrestling to children; elderly men engage in lively conversation at a cafe a shoe shop proprietor; a university professor; and a male Palestinian interpreter. . . . Their thinking and stances toward Iraq and the world may differ, but their otherwise cheerful demeanor changes drastically when the bombing begins. As the world is engluted in a storm of propaganda, the director shows us the Iraq he saw with his own eyes.


THE NETHERLANDS, BRAZIL / 2004 / Portuguese / Color / 35mm / 100 min
Director: Maria Augusta Ramos

A new work by Maria Ramos, director of YIDFF ’95 New Asian Currents I Think What I Want to Say Is . . . Turning our attention to the inner workings of Rio de Janeiro’s courts and prisons, it portrays the perimeter of “justice” while weaving through the lives of the people who choose to be part of it, and those who have no other choice. The undeniable gulf in economic circumstances and differences in home environment between the judges and the judged; the air at the core of the severely overcrowded prisons; and the pain of families bound to kin who have been labelled criminals. The unflinching gaze of the camera captures the state of affairs created when we ‘pass judgement’ in the name of justice.


Moving Adult Cats
Att Flytta vuxna Katter
SWEDEN / 2004 / Swedish / Color / Video / 58 min
Director: Johan Lundborg

A traveling salesvan makes a stop once a week in a small rural village in Sweden. The camera follows the daily lives of two of its solitary elderly inhabitants: Greta, 90 who has decided to take up residence in a rest home as her final abode, and Albert, 79 who lives with his three cats in a rundown house surrounded by weeds. Both of them, who strive to live true to themselves as they look back on their lives, deal with their own subtle anxieties before reaching natural decisions. Through the filmmaker's attentive observation, the issues of old age that we all must face are delicately delineated.


The People of Angkor
Le gens d’Angkor
FRANCE / 2003 / Cambodian / Color / Video / 90 min
Director: Rithy Panh

In Angkor Wat, we follow a boy and his relationships with the people who live there, the ruins, and the tourists. The legends and magical stories depicted on the stones of the temple remains overlap with the reality of modern Cambodia. The lingering pain left by years of civil war, the gap between conditions in the cities and the countryside, and the thoughts of the boy who has lost sight of the future are conveyed at a leisurely rhythm with beautiful imagery that gently evokes emotion in the viewer. Previously at the YIDFF we have witnessed the despair of The Land of the Wandering Souls, the horrors of S21, the Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, and now we learn of the hope of The People of Angkor. This director continues to portray Cambodia, face to face.


SWEDEN / 2004 / Swedish / Color / 35mm / 101 min
Director: Michal Leszczylowski

Three prisoners serving their sentences appear in a public theatrical project known as “7:3.” A single story emerges from three alternating streams of footage: the process of the project's director who visits the prison to continue rehearsals; the testimonies of the prisoners, some of whom are Neo-Nazis; and the performance itself. What is real, and what is scripted? The borders between reality and fiction are traversed freely, repeatedly deceiving the viewer. This project, which prompted fierce debate in the Swedish media, heads toward an unexpected destination.


Route 181—Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel
BELGIUM, FRANCE, UK, GERMANY / 2003 / Arabic, Hebrew / Color, B&W / Video / 270 min
Director: Michel Khleifi, Eyal Sivan

In summer of 2002, Israeli Eyal Sivan and Palestinian Michel Khleifi spent two months traveling their homeland together from north to south along what they called “Route 181.” Wandering the border defined by United Nations Resolution 181, implemented on November 29th 1947 to create the partition of Palestine, they met Israelis and Palestinians of diverse backgrounds residing in the regions it touches. While capturing the everyday lives of these people on film, the directors skillfully elicit from their tales of the past and present that have amassed on “Route 181.” Pulsing with a comprehensive concern for the future, this work illuminates issues facing not only Israel and Palestine, but also the world at large: nationhood, ethnicity, discrimination and immigration.


The 3 Rooms of Melancholia
Melancholian 3 huonetta
FINLAND, GERMANY, DENMARK, SWEDEN / 2004 / Russian, Chechen, Arabic, Finnish / Color, B&W / 35mm / 106 min
Director: Pirjo Honkasalo

An examination of children’s lives amidst the war in Chechnya from three different perspectives. At an armed forces academy in St. Petersburg in the Russian Federation’s northwest, young children devote themselves to military training. In Grozny, the ruin-strewn capital of the Chechen Republic, the lives of parents and children have been torn asunder; and refugee camps in the neighboring Ingush Republic are home to young boys and girls who have come to dread the sound of air raids. The camera’s tender and watchful gaze captures the faces of these children living under tragic circumstances who have lost sight of a future to which they are entitled.


The Virgin of Palermo
Die Jungfrau Van Palermo
GERMANY, ITALY / 2005 / Italian / B&W / 35mm / 82 min
Director: Antonio Guidi

Palermo, a city located in northwestern Sicily in Italy, is home to people of various cultures and religions. July’s Santa Rosalia fiesta is a popular celebration of the town’s patron saint, who is said to have saved Palermo from plague during the 17th century. Faith and tradition run deep throughout the city, and are passed on to this day. Filmed in black and white, the cityscape is refine, the citizens jolly, and music gentle to the ear. Be fascinated by the richness and openness of the local culture at the heart of this vibrant festival.

Juror’s Film

The director Dominique Auvray (France), who was involved in editing Pedro Costa’s work In Vanda’s Room, describes Marguerite Duras in Marguerite As She Was, the outstanding work of director Su Friedrich (USA) Sink or Swim and her new work The Odds of Recovery, the new ultra-realistic fantasy work of director Jia Zhangke (China) The World, director Sai Yoichi’s outstanding work All Under the Moon overturns the image of ethnic Koreans in Japan (zainichi), the 2003 competitive award winning documentary film Gift of Life by the director representing Taiwan, Wu Yii-feng.

YIDFF 2005 InformationJury CommentsInternational Competition | New Asian Currents | BORDERS WITHIN | all about me? | Yunnan Visual Forum | FullShot | New Docs Japan | Other ScreeningsScheduleMap of Venues | Tickets | AccommodationFAQ