The 4th international documentary film festival "Artdocfest/Riga", which will take place from March 1 to 8, starts ticket sales for the film screenings of the competition program "Artdocfest Open", introducing the first eleven works.
A total of twenty documentaries selected for this year's competition program "Artdocfest Open" cover a wide range of nuanced topics, attracting with their bright creative style and artistic solutions. The audience is invited to look into the pages of history, personal reflections and current transformations of the world in order to understand the connections, look for the keys to the present, expose the misleading in past and now, and see the timeless.
One of the themes directors worldwide currently pay special attention to is Ukraine. "The Mist" (Ukraine) tells about the morning when the country was woken up by the wailing of sirens and explosions of missiles fired by Russia. "In the Rearview" (Poland, France, Ukraine) makes the viewer a companion of people who are being saved from the horrors of war. "Position" (Ukraine) follows a group of soldiers of the Territorial Self-Defense Battalion when they have to go to a combat position in the "grey zone", while "A Picture to Remember" (Ukraine) is an essay-style personal message about the war from the perspective of three generations of women.
The other country that is currently in the focus of documentary filmmakers is Belarus. "The Accidental President" (UK) follows Sviatlana Tsyhanouska's courageous journey from housewife to life after winning the Belarusian presidential election. "Motherland" (Sweden, Ukraine, Norway) talks about popular indignation in 2020, standing up against the unacceptable treatment in the Belarusian army. "Pussy Boys" (Belarus) exposes the life and revelry of gays in a country where their existence is denied.
As an eternal reminder, the directors document how the features of the aggressor state were formed, from which the civilized world is currently turning away in disgust. "The Last Relic" (Estonia) portrays a harshly absurd environment. A left-wing activist tries in vain to bring about positive change in a society where most people dream of restoring imperial glory and only a handful of people desperately resist the prevailing insanity.
Switching to intimate and poetic cinema – in "Magic Mountain" (Georgia), a woman, who has recovered from tuberculosis, ceases to be frightened by the dream that has been haunting her for years, in which she was imprisoned high in the mountains in a majestic castle together with the outcasts, but the ghosts of the past of the town of Abastumani reveal something even more sinister.
Finally, two films that will make the audience both smile and wonder. "Arsenie. An Amazing Afterlife" (Romania) follows in the footsteps of a long-dead but mesmerizing monk on an imaginary pilgrimage that breaks through the current confusion and global fear with humor and fantasy, while "Alaman" (Kyrgyzstan) introduces an ancient national Kyrgyz game. Just like in international politics – to get a prize, you have to bring slaughtered livestock to someone's feet.
"Artdocfest/Riga" film screenings will take place in the traditional venues of the festival – in the "Splendid Palace" cinema and in the "Zuzeum" art center.