In Kineski zid (Great Wall of China) Aleksandra Odić tells the story of a little girl who lives with her family in Bosnia. The whole story is told from the girl’s point of view, showing her singing together with her favourite aunt Ljilja or romping around outside in the yard. She is the only one in this family unit that understands that her aunt wants to go away, to Germany. And that she is just about to do it, on the very day in question. The girl senses what’s up, while everybody else is oblivious.
The third film, Antje Beine’s Kein sicherer Ort (No Safe Place), deals with a ten-year-old girl named Marie, who lives with her parents but is effectively in charge of the household and family life for all intents and purposes, due to her mother’s severe depression. The mother confronts Marie with many of her fears. This situation inevitably forces Marie to grow up very fast. She can’t find any space at home to really be a kid, no place to be on her own in peace and quiet. A sad plot, it’s true, but also a story where the viewer admires the girl’s strength.
At the moment, the subject of women in the film industry is very present. How well are female directors represented in your programme?
Very, very well. Of the 14 films in our programme, eight were realised by women. We’ve never had issues with presenting interesting work by women in the emerging directors series though. Still, we’d never hit 60% before this year.
All four documentary films that you are showing this year were made by women...
What is striking is that the men tend more to dominate the fiction feature area and the women often devote themselves to documentary cinema, especially to emotional and family themes. This year two of the pieces in our programme have even been nominated for the Glashütte Original – Documentary Award.