Even stronger than usual, the Neisse Film Festival (NFF) this year was marked by European understanding. The central venue is Großhennersdorf. There are also venues in Zittau, Görlitz, Löbau, Liberec (Czech Republic) or Jelenia Gora (Poland). The NFF, named after the border river in the border triangle, was founded by enthusiasts of the small Großhennersdorfer Kunstbauerkinos in the sign of the eastward expansion of the EU. Significantly enlarged, it was now for the 16th time on the stage or screens.
In times of increasing nationalism, the NFF set clear political accents shortly before the European elections, for example in the side series »Homo politicus«. Oliver Haffner's documentary »Wackersdorf« from last year has lost none of its explosiveness. He tells of the district administrator Hans Schuierer in the Upper Palatinate, a lonely Social Democrat in the CSU country, who in the 80s from a supporter to the fierce opponent of the construction of a supposedly so clean nuclear power plant in Wackersdorf changed. Schuierer, now 88, came to Großhennersdorf himself to report on his battles with Franz Josef Strauss and his vassals. Since he refused to sign for the Akw as district administrator, a new law, internally called “Lex Schuierer”, was passed, which limits the decision-making powers of the Bavarian district councils – it is still in force today.
Another film in the series portrayed the Kaczynski twins, PiS boss Jaroslaw came – fortunately – not to the performance. It is thanks to his nationalist policy that the Polish venues of the NFF are less numerous than in previous years. It creates contact fears among the neighbors. In the French documentary film “Poland's Mighty Twins” (2007), numerous contemporary witnesses told of the development of Catholics to anti-communists, the horror story was lightened by excerpts from the children's film “The two moon thieves,” which also ran in GDR cinemas. With him, Jaroslaw and his brother Lech, who died in 2010, had become a crowd pleaser as a twelve-year-old.
In the commotion almost disappeared would be a revealing result of a workshop of young people from the three neighboring countries. They had interviewed passers-by on the streets of the region under the motto “We must talk”; older Germans about their relationship with the neighbors (result: ambivalent) and young Czechs on their interest in politics (result: politics is not as interesting as rap).
In the series “Regionalia”, not only the Agnes Kraus film “Sister Agnes”, shot in the Zittau Mountains in 1974, was part of the system of community sisters in the GDR; it was also about regions of neighboring countries. Director Rena Dumont received a special prize from the festival for her German-Bohemian road movie »Hans im Pech«, which is suitable for reducing prejudice.
The main prize at the NFF graduation in Zgorzelec, Poland, the neighboring town of Görlitz, was given to Susanne Heinrich's film »The melancholy girl«. A dialogue from this:
“What are you waiting for?”
“I'm waiting for the end of capitalism.”
“I'm waiting there!”
The style-conscious, partly grotesque work had already been awarded three times at the Max Ophüls Prize in January. »Humorous, the director of this enchanting and intelligent film aims at the paradoxes of our modern world. It shows us in a relaxed and easy tone and using all feminist theories, how conservative and unfree we are in our cages of convention, “said actor, writer and director Thomas Wendrich on behalf of the international jury.
The awards for the best screenplay and the best production scene went to the Polish-Czech-Swedish film »Flucht«, an ambitiously staged psychogram of a wife and mother who returns to the family two years after a mysterious memory loss. Jacek Braciak was honored for his differentiated father role in the Polish film “The daughter of the coach” as the best performer.
The honorary prize of the NFF went to an actor for the first time. The Pole Jan Nowicki, star in films by Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi and Marta Meszaros, had at the DEFA “I love you – April! April! “, And director Iris Gusner emphasized in his laudatory speech for the unfortunately absent one his kindness and kindness – as the» sounding board of his work «.
In view of the state of Saxony plastered with AfD posters, the hope remained that the well-attended festival had promoted philanthropy. At least the films on the river Neisse may have sparked a thought process on one or the other.
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