Program section: Europe

The 8th of May 2020 sees the 75th anniversary of Victory Day Europe and during this year’s festival, we’ll screen three films that shed light on the situation in Europe then versus now. In 1945, the countries of Europe strived to find common ground and a path to peace and harmony. However, contemporary Europe is nevertheless marked by democratic decline, rise of right-wing populism, refugee crisis, Brexit and economic setbacks. 

It’s no coincidence that we’ve chosen to open the series with Theo Angelopoulos’ film The Traveling Players, which was completed in 1975. Few other film epics give us a better insight into the turbulence in Europe from 1939 to 1952 and the ripple effects that still remain today. Angelopoulos himself has said that even though the film looks backwards, it’s just as much about the future. It’s no coincidence either that we’re looking towards Europe’s democratic cradle Greece and the Europe of the present with the Costa-Gavras’ Adults in the Room, which portrays what happened when Greece in 2015 stood up against the EU.

The final film of the series is the Slovakian film Let There Be Light. This is the story of the guest worker Milan who returns to his family for the first time in a year, and in his absence, both his family and the village have changed. The film is a thought-provoking commentary on the growing tension in Slovakia and Europe at large, indicating that there’s no end to the unrest in Europe in the foreseeable future.

Adults in the Room

Adults in the Room (2019) allows us to understand more of what happened in 2015 when Greece defied the EU. After some years of economic pressure, the country refused to pay its debts unless the terms were renegotiated. In the middle of this political storm stood the charismatic Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis. In director and scriptwriter Costa-Gavras’ film, the story is centred around Varoufakis – portrayed like a David against Goliath, or a Greek hero in the battle against chaos.

According to Costa-Gavras, «you never forget the country of your birth, especially when it is a country like Greece.» As a young man, he emigrated to France and made, among others, the film Z as a critique against the military regime in Greece at the time. In Adults in the Room, he sheds light on the fact that it’s not the banks, but the people of Greece who’s suffered the most because of the harsh economic climate. The film is inspired by Yanis Varoufakis’ book with the same name, which was published in 2017. The Guardian considered it «one of the greatest political memoirs ever.» Despite the dark theme, Costa-Gavras’ film is theatrical and playful, considered by many as one of the best infotainment films to watch now.

Director Costa-Gavras and producer Michele Ray-Gavras will be present to introduce the premiere screening of the film on Tuesday the 3rd of March at 6 pm in Prinsen Cinema Auditorium 2. After the film, there’ll be a discussion between Costa-Gavras, Michele Ray-Gavras and film consultant Kalle Løchen.

Find your tickets here.

Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light (2019) is a thought-provoking commentary on the growing unrest in Slovakia and in Europe at large. The guest worker Milan returns to his family for the first time in a year. In his absence, something has changed: the village is marked by an appalling event, and Milan’s son has joined a paramilitary group suspected of being involved. We follow Milan as he gradually uncovers the truth about his community.

In his debut film, director Mario Skop gives us a troubling insight into a society permeated with religion, xenophobia and toxic masculinity.

Igor Devold, Assistant Professor at the Department of Art and Media Studies at NTNU, will be present to introduce the screening on Tuesday the 3rd of March at 9 pm in Prinsen Cinema Auditorium 2. 

Find your tickets here.

The Travelling Players

The Travelling Players (1975) is one of the greatest film epics of all time. It portrays a group of actors touring Greece in the period from 1939 to 1952, a turbulent time in Europe: We witness the war against Italy, the Nazi occupation, and the British and American intervention in Greek affairs. The theatre troupe is rehearsing a nineteenth-century pastorale, which they never perform. Instead, the history of Greece and Europe is commented on through inexplicable events, slogans, songs and monologues. The film was shot in 1974, during the Greek colonels’ junta, and military police were present during the making of the film. Why they allowed its completion remains a mystery to this day. At the time of its release, director Theo Angelopoulos said that even though the film looks backwards, it’s just as much about the future.

In a survey carried out by the British Film Institute in 2012, 16 critics and five directors, including the renowned Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, voted for The Travelling Players as one of the ten greatest films of all time.

Find your tickets and view screening times here.

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