December sees the launch of Landforms, a new series of world cinema screenings. Each season will premiere four contemporary films from countries through which a particular geographical feature extends.
The first run of events is focused on the Danube river region, showcasing new productions from Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Serbia.
AFERIM! (Romania, 2015). Saturday 3rd December 6pm
In 1830s Wallachia (part of modern day Romania) a constable and his teenage son track a runaway Roma slave. Along the way they meet a cast of characters who underscore the xenophobia of the ruling class, peasantry and Orthodox Christian priests of the day.
Like a classic American western set in Eastern Europe, this shaggy manhunt has foul behaviour, tenderness and gallows humour. With it’s central theme of injustice, it touches on the long history of anti-Roma prejudice in many parts of Europe.
KILLS ON WHEELS (Hungary, 2016). Tuesday 6th December . 8pm.
In this wildly original dark action-comedy, two teenage boys living in a facility for kids with disabilities are looking for a way out. When they make friends with a paralysed hitman, he enlists them as accomplice wheelchair assassins for his Balkan crime boss.
An uproariously violent urban fable, Kills On Wheels manages to cast aside the straitjacket of political correctness and treat disability issues with humour, understanding and inventiveness.
KOZA (Slovakia, 2015). Thursday 8th December . 8pm
Starring the eponymous real-life Roma boxer Peter ‘Koza’ Baláž , who competed for Slovakia in the 1996 Olympics, this raw but seductive film blurs the lines between biography and fiction.
Koza (which translates as Goat), is out of shape and lives in chronic poverty, but is forced to step back into the ring to earn enough money for his girlfriend’s abortion, or to change her mind. He and his crooked manager embark on an ill-advised tour through harsh winter landscapes, arranging fights where success seems impossible and yet is never forfeited.
PARADA (Serbia, 2011). Saturday 10th December. 6pm
A group of gay activists in Belgrade strikes a tense alliance with a Serbian crime boss who reluctantly agrees to provide security for the group’s Pride parade. His motley crew of Balkan war veterans are sent on an impossible mission to protect the event from attack by nationalists and neo-Nazi organisations.
A shrewd and humane take on a vital human rights issue, this turbulent comedy turned out to be an unexpected hit in Serbia and other former Yugoslavian countries.