San Sebastian Turns Eastern Europe

Spanish fest slate contempo panorama of movies from region

PANAMA CITY –“No Man’s Land,” the break-through film of Danis Tanovic (“Tr¡age”), figures along with Cristi Puiu’s “The Death of Mr. Lazarezcu” and “12:08 East of Bucharest,” from Corneliu Porumbiou, – among a 50-title-strong provisional line-up at “Eastern Promises,” a new retrospective being planned for September’s San Sebastian Festival.

The prospect is mouth-watering. Since 2000, the start-date for the films, Eastern Europe has generated at least one “new” wave – the New Romanian Cinema, though Georgia is now attracting critical heat.

The last decade-and-a-half has also seen a group of highly educated, highly intelligent directors, liberated by digital filmmaking (and sometimes observing its limits, as in Porumbiou’s “When Evening Falls On Bucharest or Metabolism”) and released from the tyranny of having to move towards the mainstream because of the need to clinch TV sales, taking on some of the biggest issues out: the legacy of a totalitarian system; war, sometimes civil, so not civil at all; milestone historical events, seen as a mixture of theater, chance, and the absurd.

Not all titles are confirmed. Some, announced by san Sebastian Friday, include “The Blacks” (2009), by Goran Devic and Zvonimir Juric, Aida Begic’s second feature “Children of Sarajevo” (2012), “The Parade” (2011) by Srđan Dragojevic, a portrasit of homophobia in Belgrade, Teona Strugar Mitevska’s 2004 “How I Killed a Saint (2004), “The Temptation of St. Tony” (2009) by Estonia’s Veiko Ounpuu, Peter Kerekes’ docu “Cooking History (2009), Bohdan Slama’s “The Wild Bees (2001) and Hungarian Gyorgy Palfi’s “Hukkle” (2002).

The panorama will be accompanied by a series of essays, coordinated by Mathieu Darras.

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