To see the invisible

Film is the art of moving pictures, its power lies in visibility. But the most important thing is not what is presented on the screen, but what happens inside each and every individual viewer: learning about the world and being able to understand it better, evoking emotions and empathy. In the film section of Brave Festival we will show pictures which – relating to the title of this year’s edition: “Visible/Invisible” – investigate the tension between the themes we are bombarded with in the media, which appear in the press, television, the internet in the form of simplified news, and their true meaning reflected in real people`s experiences.

And so, for example, the impersonal “large migrations” are given the faces of poor Burmese fighting for a better future in Thailand (The Road to Mandalay) or brave Guatemalan children setting off on a dream journey to the USA (The Golden Dream). The consequences of a war which never dies, but only changes locations, can also be seen in Birds are singing in Kigali about the conflict in Rwanda or in Theatre of War about the fate of Falklands (Malvinas) War veterans.  
The programme abounds in forbidden titles which arouse opposition and controversy – for example, the reception of The Wound – banned in the Republic of South Africa or Sexy Durga in India. Other titles – such as The Reports on Sarah and Saleem or Tehran taboo – by showing the prohibited practices, rituals and feelings, rebel to defend freedom. Six of the films presented this year will compete for a prize of 2,500 euros in the competition section Forbidden Cinema, the winner of which will be chosen by the audience voting after the screenings. Each of the competition titles, facing problems in their home countries or fighting cultural taboos, will have two screenings – don’t miss.

In five films shown in the section Brave People, which will comprise both feature films and documentaries, we will see brave people who are courageous enough to change the world, or at least live their own lives when the world isn’t in their favour. In this section we will watch great heroes, such as Akong Rinpoche, the founder of the ROKPA foundation, which helps children in Tibet, and which we support each year with the money we collect from Brave Festival tickets. We will also meet everyday heroes, such as the title Alanis from the film by Argentinian director Anahí Berneri. The despised yet wonderful prostitute from Buenos Aires fighting for survival and a better future for her baby son. We will watch Alanis at the opening gala of the Brave`s film section on 14th July.

We will also have a closer look at the phenomenon of interrupted productions in the Film, interrupted section. Here we present five titles whose creation could be material for a film in its own right. Numerous production problems, changes in script and cast, but also the deaths of their creators heavily influenced the outcome. However, it was possible to finish them, often – as was the case with the outstanding Aleksei German’s Hard to be God – with electrifying effect.

The fourth festival section is Kids in Danger, focusing on the struggle of older and younger children from all over the world with their problems, which are often too heavy for their child or teenager shoulders. In this part of the review we will find both family films, like the Philippine Blanka, as well as more difficult titles for more mature viewers, like White Shadow or The Wound.

There will also be opportunities to talk to the artists during meetings and debates. Expressed in different languages, also the languages of film expression, all the films – which is most important for us – are not only beautiful, but also in some way noble. They want to fix the world which places obstacles in our way. But noticing an obstacle is the first step to overcoming it, just as recognizing beauty gives us a chance to capture it. So let's go!

Adam Kruk and Lech Moliński
BRAVE Curators: forbidden CINEMA