June 20 - 26, 2011
Silver Spring / MD / USA
Each year, Silverdocs screens some of the best documentaries in the world. Out of 2200 submissions, the organizers narrowed the final slate down to 108 films from nearly 60 countries.
Section: Sterling World Competition
Koniec Rosji , Poland, 2010, 72 min, Digi Beta, Society
Alexei is a nineteen year old recruit being flown in to perform his military service on the frontier of northern Russia. The base is one of few such remaining outposts on the Arctic Ocean. There are five other seasoned and long serving soldiers stationed here, each with their own personal story or secret that has caused them to retreat from the real world. Their training and breaking in of the new arrival is sometimes humorous, at times harsh. Gradually, they each reveal something of themselves in their daily interactions and private moments as they continue their absurd duty in this snow covered no man's land, hundreds of miles from the nearest human settlement.
Bakhmaro , Georgia, Germany, 2011, 58 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Current Affairs, Human Rights, Social Issues, Society
A three-story brick building in the provincial Georgian town of Chokhatauri. A Chinese man comes out to hang red lanterns in front of his shop. A refugee couple stares out of a window. Their next-door neighbor, a woman in a nightgown, tries to kick a dog out of a corridor where laundry is hung to dry. A boy’s chorus starts singing a patriotic song. Opposition activists try to persuade others that there needs to be a change in the government. At the center of the building is a restaurant whose walls are covered with bright green and orange plastic foam and where tables are set, waiting for customers – who rarely come.
Ģimenes lietas , Latvia, 2010, 58 min, HD, Drama doc, Portrait, Social Issues
"Family Instinct" is a film about incest - an illegal act, social taboo and a violation of religious norms. Zanda is a 28-year-old woman, worn out by hard work. Surrounded by poverty and despair, she is trying to survive with her two children in a god-forsaken Latvian village. Her hardships can be traced back to living in a relationship with her brother Valdis. When Valdis is put in jail, the local community forces her to make a difficult choice: to stay with him or with her children. Despite her ill fortune, she manages to express her love for the children, still hoping to save her family. The film offers a tragicomic but highly authentic insight into the bleak reality of Latvian countryside today.
Oj Boże, drogi Boże , Poland, 2010, 12 min, Digi Beta, Social Issues, Society
Julia Popławska’s film is a picture of a quiet, charming and almost idyllic Polish village. The Możejkos spend time on the porch of their wooden house, slowly conversing on what surrounds them and directly affects their lives – the weather, flowers and vegetables growing in their backyard garden. The view from the porch is their only outlook onto the world – this is where they observe the changing nature or any special events in the neighbourhood. One day their peace is shattered by the arrival of some very noisy visitors.
Section: Sterling US Competition
Şcoala Noastră , Romania, Switzerland, USA, 2011, 93 min, 35 mm, Beta, DVD, HD, Creative, Human Rights, Social Issues
The film follows three children - Alin, Beniamin, and Dana - fighting to overcome racism as they are moved from a dead-end Roma school into a mainstream Romanian school. As teachers reject the new Roma students, Alin falters in isolation, while Beniamin finds the strength to stay on in the friendship of Romanian classmates. However, Dana, an intelligent young woman, abandons school for early marriage and motherhood. Shot over four years, this verite documentary follows the workings of race relations from close up. The hand-held camera allows for the complex construction of scenes, lingering on whispered exchanges between children during class and using the evocative settings of the small Transylvanian town to convey the subtle shifts in atmosphere that come with fear of change and unresolved, long-standing racial tension.