Bagpipes ("dudy" in Czech) are generally associated with the Celtic fringe of Europe, but one of the richest and most ethnically diverse bagpipe traditions can also be found in Central Europe. In the Czech lands and in neighboring Bavaria, this tradition once became marginalized and almost disregarded. Yet this historic musical form has survived and even managed to renew itself; to develop further on a regional scale - crossing national and linguistic borders. Call of Dudy captures the people and places that are keeping this centuries-old tradition alive today for future generations.
A documentary satire. In 1990 Alan Levy, editor-in-chief of The Prague Post, dubbed Prague the left bank of the nineties, a new European refuge for American artists, just as Paris had been in the twenties for émigrés such as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein or Henry Miller. Levy's announcement sounded like a battle cry summoning emigrants from all over North America. The documentary looks at the lives of four Americans who came to Prague seeking adventure after the fall of Communism. Enchanted by the beauty of the city, cheap beer, and the relaxed lifestyle, they set out to recreate an artistic renaissance. But was Prague fertile enough for their artistic genius?
The Stable Theatre was the first independent black theatre in South Africa, founded in the racially and culturally mixed city of Durban. Its most famous product is Broadway playwright and pop star Mbongeni Ngema, a controversial figure tainted by scandal and accusations of racism. In an attempt to return to his roots, Ngema begins work on an ambitious new musical designed to tell the Stable's history. Unseen fault lines are crossed, and corruption, fraud and politics threaten to engulf the project. At the same time, the film's producer Deon Maas unexpectedly becomes a reality TV celebrity and decides to use his new public notoriety to investigate the situation. As the musical collapses and the theatre itself slides into failure, the film becomes a road movie through the minefield of contemporary South African politics and a search for the deeper problems at the heart of the Stable Theatre's collapse.
Punk in Africa
Three chords, three countries, one revolution… Punk in Africa is the story of the multi-racial punk movement within the recent political and social upheavals experienced in three Southern African countries: South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In these societies, the punk subculture represented a genuinely radical political impulse, playing out against a backdrop of intense political struggle, economic hardship and even civil war.
The Somali Sea, once among the richest fisheries in the world, has been turning into a ”dead” sea in the last 15 years, due to a rampant, massive fishing by multinational fishing cartels. The film reveals the difficult plight of Somali pirates, mostly former fishermen, for whom the sea is no longer the source of livelihood. Escape from Somalia follows Ali, a young fisherman who became a pirate for some time. After an unsuccessful hijacking attempt, he had to swim in the sea for hours until he came upon another pirate boat. His older brothers, who were on the boat with him, perished. He was left alone and has been on the run ever since. The perspective of this bright young guy gives us a better idea about piracy. The film does not defend any form of violence, it tries to ponder the reasons that result in modern-day piracy.
The producers of the film 'Listopad' are telling this story of dissent through the use of reenactments, vox populi interviews and interviews with key student leaders, political activists, dissident artists and members of the police force. The primary storytelling device for the film has been a series of reenactments staged during the twentieth anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, on November 13-18, 2009, and continuing throughout 2010, on the main sites of the events of 1989. Three main individuals, who participated in the events of November 17th, 1989, emerged and are featured in this documentary film. By putting these three characters together in the documentary film and in confrontation with the reenactments, the filmmakers have brought back to life the emotions and individual memories of 1989 and believe that the characters have reached a catharsis on their part in the sense of what the meaning and relevance of the Velvet Revolution is 20 years on.
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