A special program by Stefano Locati
This year’s selection is filled with the need to deal with loss, pain and memory. The short films come from different countries of South-East and East Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan) and address the theme from different perspectives, from the supernatural to the allegorical, passing through lyricism, but they are united by a sense of urgency in staging the ineffable, what transcends the threshold of the known and the everyday to disintegrate into the arcane, the inexplicable. The four short films are crossed by ghosts, apparitions, traces of what no longer is, border figures that interact and intertwine with the world of the living, of those who remain, of those who remember. We are talking about personal searches, from a family member who has disappeared to the most daring symbolism, but which together tell of a common desire of cinema to question ourselves about our relationship with finitude and the way that each of us has to come to terms with it. A research that the short format manages to return in its most immediate, cutting, raw form.
Director: Audrie Yeo
A little girl comes across the lifeless remains of a dove. She decides to prepare a funeral ritual to facilitate his passing away, but her action has a decidedly unexpected outcome. Audrie Yeo intertwines the theme of death with that of the relationship between generations. Her light gaze manages to stage with irony a delicate moment of growth and awareness.
The Scent of Rat Carcasses
Director: Dharma Putra Purna Nugraha
An elderly mother and an adult daughter are respectively mourning the death of a husband and of a father. The house where the man had lived seems to preserve traces of his presence. Dharma Putra works by subtraction, concentrating the staging in narrow places of the kitchen and living room, in which the possible presence of the departed takes on a symbolic meaning that is mixed with the growing sense of claustrophobia of the daughter.
The New Faces
Director: Mark Raymund Garcia
By mixing narrative techniques and theatrical performance, Mark Raymund Garcia creates a disturbing and cathartic reflection on the social changes brought about by the pandemic. His entities masked by hypnotic and convulsive movements, shot in a dreamlike black and white, act as a counterpoint to a prophetic voice-over. An esoteric-hallucinatory journey that offers a glimpse into the new faces of humanity.
Director: Matsumoto Yusaku
A Japanese woman is in Nepal, at the foot of Mount Everest, on the trail of her brother who has long since disappeared. A journey of obstinacy and hope that must collide with the scarcity of oxygen and the flow of time. Matsumoto Yusaku, former director of the urban feature film Noise (2017), returns with a poignant and controlled story, in which the vastness of the landscapes dominates emotions.