Dzikie róze [Wild Roses] (2017)

Dzikie róze
Director: Anna Jadowska
Writer: Anna Jadowska
Cast: Marta Nieradkiewicz, Michal Zurawski, Konrad Skolimowski, Natalia Bartnik, Dominika Biernat, Bartlomiej Firlet, Halina Rasiakówna
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 7.3.2018
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Content note: questionable consent (adult woman/teenaged boy)

Plot:
Ewa (Anna Jadowska) returns home from the hospital. Her mother (Halina Rasiakówna) has been taking care of her children and Ewa quickly settles back into her routine, working in the Wild Roses fields. Shortly after, her husband Andrzej (Michal Zurawski) returns from many months working in Norway. Things are tense between them, especially because Andrzej heard rumors that Ewa had been having an affair with a local teenager, Marcel (Konrad Skolimowski).

Dzikie róze is a well-acted, beautiful film with some problems in the plot department that kept it from being really great. But it’s still worth seeing.

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Princesita (2017)

Princesita (literally: Little Princess)
Director: Marialy Rivas
Writer: Camila Gutiérrez, Manuela Infante, Marialy Rivas
Cast: Sara Caballero, Marcelo Alonso, María Gracia Omegna, Emiliano Jofre
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 7.3.2018
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Content note: rape

Plot:
Tamara (Sara Caballero) lives in a cult led by Miguel (Marcelo Alonso) and Miguel has big plans for her: she is supposed to be the mother of the next generation. First though, she is allowed to go to school outside of the compound she’s been living so far, now that she has turned 12 years old. But that glimpse of life outside is bound to change Tamara – and Miguel certainly can’t have her disobeying his plans.

Princesita is a heavy film – not surprising, given the subject matter. Unfortunately the film doesn’t handle the subject as well as it would have deserved.

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La Holandesa [Messi and Maud] (2017)

La Holandesa
Director: Marleen Jonkman
Writer: Daan Gielis
Cast: Rifka Lodeizen, Guido Pollemans, Cristóbal Farias, Daniel Candia, Yasna Vasquez
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 6.3.2018
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Plot:
Maud (Rifka Lodeizen) and Frank (Guido Pollemans) are traveling in Chile. It is supposed to be a bit of a reset for the two of them, as their relationship has been strained: they have been trying to have a child together, but they have to face the fact that they may not be able to at all. But when Frank confronts Maud head-on with that, they have a fight and Maud just leaves. Going on a road trip, she meets Messi (Cristóbal Farias), a young boy who has nobody to take care of him. Messi starts to accompany Maud on her trip.

I have very mixed feelings about La Holandesa. It’s well made, if a little long, but it’s also very white for a film set in Chile and that left me with a weird taste in my mouth.

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Meditation Park (2017)

Meditation Park
Director: Mina Shum
Writer: Mina Shum
Cast: Pei-Pei Cheng, Tzi Ma, Sandra Oh, Don McKellar, Zak Santiago, Jemmy Chen, Lillian Lim, Alannah Ong, Sharmaine Yeoh
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 6.3.2018
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Plot:
Maria (Pei-Pei Cheng) and Bing (Tzi Ma) have been married for many years and things are fine. That is, until Maria suspects that Bing has been having an affair. As Maria questions her marriage, she starts to question her entire life – and decides to make some changes. She takes up a job, makes friends and goes for a fresh start.

Meditation Park is a Coming of Age story, with the twist that the person coming of age is definitely not a teenager, but a middle-aged to older woman. It’s a spin on the story I very much loved, as I loved the entire film.

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Kosmonautensehnsucht (2016)

Kosmonautensehnsucht [literally: Cosmonaut Longing]
Director: Catharina Göldner
Writer: Catharina Göldner
Cast: Katharina Behrens, Jan Jaroszek, Nadja Stübinger, Moritz Vierboom, Ina Tempel, Alexander Höchst, Ruth Bickelhaupt, Annekatrin Grimm
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 3.3.2018
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Plot:
Miriam (Katharina Behrens) works as a stage manager in the theater. When it closes over the summer, Miriam has nothing to do but wait that her big love, a cosmonaut, returns to earth. But she’s keeping her waiting and summer becomes really long. And when an astrologist tells her that the cosmonaut isn’t the person for, instead she has to find somebody who was born January 19, 1985 at 3.30am. So Miriam starts looking.

Kosmonautensehnsucht is only 60 minutes long and has absolutely no budget to speak of and yet it manages to be one of the most charming, strong films I’ve seen in a long time. A wonderful little film.

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Sztuka kochania. Historia Michaliny Wislockiej [The Art of Loving. Story of Michalina Wislocka] (2017)

Sztuka kochania
Director: Maria Sadowska
Writer: Krzysztof Rak, Blazej Dzikowski, Krzysztof Bernas, Dominika Hilszczanska
Based on: Violetta Ozminkowski’s novel Michalina Wislocka. Sztuka kochania gorszycielki
Cast: Magdalena Boczarska, Piotr Adamczyk, Eryk Lubos, Dorota Kolak, Justyna Wasilewska, Danuta Stenka, Jasmina Polak
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 3.3.2018
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Plot:
Michalina Wislocka (Magdalena Boczarska) is a gynaecologist and in her practice, she has seen a lot of problems, a lot of which stem from a lack of knowledge. So she decides to publish a sex education book. But that’s easier said than done in communist Poland, especially with a book that is both frank, includes graphics and focus on female lust and orgasms. But Michalina is a fighter and she won’t take no for an answer.

The Art of Loving is political, feminist and incredibly funny, staying emotionally with its characers while making its points in the most charming way.

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Chrieg [War] (2014)

Chrieg
Director: Simon Jaquemet
Writer: Simon Jaquemet
Cast: Benjamin Lutzke, Ella Rumpf, Sascha Gisler, Ste
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 3.3.2018
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Plot:
Matteo (Benjamin Lutzke) is not a bad kid, but he’s been getting into trouble and the relationship with his parents is not good. After another incident, Matteo finds himself practically kidnapped and carried off to a remote farm in the mountains where he is supposed to figure things and himself out by working hard and being removed from the troubles of the big city. But things don’t really turn out as expected.

Chrieg tells an extreme story in a realistic way. It’s engaging and very well made and especially for somebody like me who works with kids.

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Les innocentes [Agnus Dei] (2016)

Les innocentes
Director: Anne Fontaine
Writer: Sabrina B. KarineAlice Vial, Anne Fontaine, Pascal Bonitzer
Cast: Lou de LaâgeAgata BuzekAgata KuleszaVincent MacaigneJoanna KuligEliza RycembelKatarzyna DabrowskaAnna PróchniakHelena SujeckaMira MaluszinskaDorota KudukKlara Bielawka
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 7.3.2017

Plot:
Mathilde (Lou de Laâge) works at a doctor for the red cross just after World War 2. She finds herself dispatched to Poland to take care of the concentration camp survivors and the French soldiers stationed there. It is in the hospital there that a young nun, Maria (Agata Buzek) from a near-by convent finds Mathilde and begs her to help them at the convent as well: they were raped by Russian soldiers and many of them are pregnant as a result. And not only do these pregnancies come with the usual dangers, but should anybody find out about their state, they would risk losing the convent, their home, entirely.

Les innocentes tackels a hard topic and it does so with a lot of sensitivity, but also a couple of lenghts. But I did enjoy it and the push it makes for solidarity among women.

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Ya umeyu vyazat [I Know How to Knit] (2016)

Ya umeyu vyazat
Director: Nadezhda StepanovaSergey Ivanov
Writer: Tatyana Bogatyreva
Cast: Alina KhodzhevanovaVladimir SvirskiyIrina Gorbacheva
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 3.3.2017

Plot:
Tanya (Alina Khodhzevanova) realizes one day that nothing about her life really makes sense to her. Her father is an alcoholic, her boyfriend brings other women home – while she’s there -, her mother is distant. She really has no joy in her life. Her conclusion is to attempt suicide. But it doesn’t work out that way and she finds herself in a psychiatric hospital where she starts to knit – both literally and figuratively.

I Know How to Knit was described as a dark comedy, a heartwarming tale in dire circumstances. Unfortunately, all I found were dire circumstances and depression, and very little humor.

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The Eagle Huntress (2016)

The Eagle Huntress
Director: Otto Bell
“Cast”: Aisholpan NurgaivRys NurgaivDaisy Ridley (narrator)
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 3.3.2017

Plot:
Aisholpan dreams of one thing and one thing only: she wants to become an Eagle Huntress and prove her skills in the big annual competition where all of Mongolia flocks together. The only problem is: girls don’t become Eagle Hunters. But Aisholpan’s father Rys doesn’t care too much about these traditions and he wants to see his daughter succeed as well. So together they embark on the training mission.

The Eagle Huntress tells a good story that I enjoyed watching, even through its more manipulative moments.

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