Colours of the world

 

Dusty
villages, hopeless teenagers, old dancing wizards, corrupted school
principals…a tough reality. From eight different countries of Sub-Saharan
Africa, 22 contemporary short films and documentaries will arrive in Tampere
for the annual film festival. The majority originate from Zimbabwe and Uganda
where a growing film industry is organizing an impressive amount of new
international festivals.

As one
might expect, this “black cinema” is still rudimentary in structure and in
style. It’s a developing cinema. Nevertheless, it tells strong and intense
stories that will help European audiences understand the African reality. The
variety of themes is outstanding too. Tawanda Gunda’s Peretera Maneta (Spell my
Name
, Zimbabwe, 2005) is a tough tale about child abuse, while Caroline
Kamya’s Rockmilley (2006) portrays
Uganda’s only Elvis Presley impersonator.

During the
festival, the warm colours of Africa will fade into the white and grays of the
North. Those colours will be the background for the traditional clothes of the
Sami people. There will be a retrospective of the films made by the Sami, with
special focus on the works of Paul-Anders Simma. Those screenings will be
celebrated with concerts, including a performance of Amoc, the first rapper in
Sami language.

Not only
exotic cultures will be represented, since well-known directorial names like
Aki Kaurismäki and Krzystof Kieslowski will also have some screen time too.
Kieslowski’s documentaries from the ‘60s and the documentary work of fellow
Polish filmmaker Kazimierz Karabasz will also be shown in Tampere. Kaurismäki’s
fans will also be able to enjoy the early works and short movies of the Finnish
master.

 

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Avant-garde from France

Last year’s
winner of the Grand Prix of the Tampere Film Festival, the young French
filmmaker, Jean-Gabriel Périot will return to Tampere for a retrospective of
his work. Périot represents an avant-garde form of documentaries and short
films. He creates hypnotic series of images of roads and paths (Dies Irae) or
digs in the archives to document shameful historical moments with sharp editing
and a full load of political commentary.

How would
you describe your filming technique?

I use
different kinds of techniques. For example, for a movie like Even If She Had Been a Criminal…, I
used classical techniques of editing created by Russian avant-garde, especially
by Dziga Vertov. For movies like Dies
Irae
, it's very specific because it's something like animation that creates
movements by accumulation of images. However, I didn't create the images, I
used archives. The rendering of a movie like this is made by the very fast
editing of the pictures, but like there is always the same element in the
picture, such as a road, something happened between the animation of the road
and the flow of the entire pictures.

Does it
take very long to find the appropriate materials (film and photos) in the
archives?

Yes, very
long, because I use a lot of archives – something like 10,000 pictures for Dies Irae, for example. However, I know
where find them and which picture or movie I could use regarding author's
rights and copyright laws.

What are
your motivations to create those political films?

I don't
find our world particularly peaceful and I'm afraid whether soon it will be
worthwhile. As we are too few to start the revolution, making movies is my way
to do something!