Some rap, some rock, some techno. This is what the music-oriented tasty treats of this year’s program are made of. As the city of Berlin is the partner of the 21st Motovun Film Festival, part of the films and concerts will present its culture.
The most exciting among them is Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., a fascinating documentary about one of the most controversial musicians of the world. With her political lyrics and activism, she fights against conventions and adverse developments in the world. Originally from Sri Lanka, M.I.A. lives in London but is actively involved in the fight for the rights of the Tamils in her country. Her father is the leader of the Tamil movement and M.I.A. shares with us her dilemmas about the movement’s methods. Although she did not like it, the film is more focused on the life story of the person Time included among 100 most influential persons in the world than on her music. As she studied documentary filmmaking and recorded her whole life, the film largely consists of her own footage that she gave to the film’s director Steve Loveridge to use.
Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov’s film The Summer deals with the life of the rock musician Viktor Tsoi. He was the singer and founder of Kino, one of the most influential bands in the history of Russian music. Tsoi, played by Korean actor Teo Yoo, is considered a pioneer of Russian rock music who helped promote it throughout the country. The film that stirred profound interest in Cannes is focused on the beginnings of the Leningrad rock scene in the early 1980s (the Brezhnev era), Tsoi’s youth and the eternal triangle in which he ended up. Russian rockers of the day faced censorship and limitations; they were not even allowed to dance at concerts. While Western records were commonplace in Yugoslavia in the ‘80s, in the USSR they were a precious commodity that could only be smuggled in. Being a strong critic of Vladimir Putin, Serebrennikov was in house arrest during the Cannes premiere of his film, accused for alleged embezzlement of funds allocated to his troupe.
The atmosphere of art and chaos in Western Berlin of the 1980s is depicted in the documentary film B-movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979 – 1989. The city divided by a wall became the center of alternative and pop culture where days are short and nights never end. Its authors Jörg A. Hoppe, Heiko Lange and Klaus Maeck have included in their film some never seen footage of that lively and creative decade, beginning with punk rock and ending with techno craze and Love Parade.
The second film from the Berlin program, Sub Berlin – The Story of Tresor by Tilmann Künzel, is focused on techno music and the legendary club Tresor, one of the most important clubs in the history of the techno scene. When it was opened, way back in 1991, no one expected it would last to the present day. It only got a short-term permit as an art gallery and it was just the matter of days when the authorities would close it down. Instead, Tresor became the starting point of the rave movement and a symbol of the unification of the young people of both Germanies. The film contains interviews with many techno artists who performed in the club, including Jeff Mills, Juan Atkins, Sven Väth and Monika Kruse.
In addition to a wide variety of films, Motovun Film Festival will once again offer a varied program of concerts and DJ performances. All the details will be announced soon.