LIVING ON THE EDGE
It's only natural, in a way, for a human-rights film festival to ascribe particular importance to people and groups of people who are being held back by different societies in today’s world. Sometimes, they are being marginalised on account of their race and ethnicity, other times it’s because of their gender and sexual orientation, or, more often than not, their impoverished predicaments.
While taking different approaches, all films included in this section centre on such protagonists, in an attempt to draw attention to the injustices and the hardships they are faced with, but also to give them a distinct, powerful and nuanced voice, which mainstream media tends to deny them or distort.
In “Selfie,” two teenage friends from the suburbs of Naples are invited by filmmaker Agostine Ferrente to film their daily lives, capturing their fears, small joys and perils associated with a social environment impossible to transcend. Filmmaker Shengze Zhu’s “Present, Perfect” collates fragments of internet posts made by active Chinese vloggers, painting along the way a completely unexpected portrait of this culture and revealing, once again, the face of the online revolution engendered by modern communication channels, that enable the eccentric among us and those excluded from official representations to express themselves publicly and even to exert a tremendous influence on their viewers. “Quicksilver Chronicles” and “Pomelo” portray the life of communities living in poverty-stricken peripheries of large cities (Chicago and respectively Hanoi), rendering their members a face and a voice. “A Rifle and a Bag,” co-directed by Cristina Haneș, centres on a family of ex-Naxalites who are being persecuted in India on political grounds and whose marginalised status impinge not only on their daily livelihoods, but especially on their children’s prospects for a better future. Last but not least, “Hail Satan?”, directed by American filmmaker Penny Lane, will cause of stir among viewers used to linking Satanism with a bizarre and superficial occult movement, as it puts emphasis on a completely different aspect of the American organization – one that fights for everyone’s constitutional right to free speech.