Third chapter of 10th STIFF

We enter the third day of the festival with Beats, exploring the dynamics of the future, especially the fast pace and instability of it. How to address the unknown, what frightens us about it, what is it that makes us uncomfortable – these are some of the questions posed in this block. 

We open with the Czech fiction Waiting Room in which the protagonist is facing an uncertain future, as well as endometriosis. The Slovenian Joža takes us into the world of an acting student subsisting after an unexpected move by a fellow actor, and coping with unforeseen circumstances in life. Samira follows the life story of an Arabian lesbian artist that is researching identities and family relationships by inviting her family to her concert for the first time. Finally, animated The Cat drags us into the world of a petty criminal coming to accept the lack of options in his life, posing the questions of transformation and of leaving one’s past behind. This block takes us closer to that feeling of unknown that makes us queasy and frightened, and makes us think about insecurities and managing unexplored circumstances.

After Beats, we move In Between, to a block that brings deep introspection into those moments in life when it seems like time itself has stopped. Those moments when the routine halts, when passengers are waiting for something that will change their faith, when all the connections are broken, when people are cut off from the world. In the Croatian documentary Knin – Zadar a railroad operator keeps open a line that hasn’t been in use for a decade, the time just stands still, while life happens in between. Next, we travel in between Belarus and Poland, where thousands of migrants flee in search of safety. The German documentary Border Conversations follows two humanitarians at work, exploring challenges and fates that humans have to cope with. The last film in this block, Fragmentations, follows two girls left in limbo, while their parents work abroad to earn enough money to build a family home. This film explores obstacles within families, and how they deal with all the in-between situations that life throws at them. In Between invites reflection of those moments in life when we are confronted by uncertainties and delays, and how they form our fates.

Breaking points block explores those moments in life when we face decisions or situations that irretrievably take us towards uncharted waters. These changes are sometimes expected, sometimes surprising, infallibly inevitable and always present in our lives. First up, the Dutch documentary How shall we comfort ourselves takes us to a journey through churches that have found new purposes. It explores perennial social transformation and unstoppable search for meaning, showcasing how places and their purpose can change over time. Montenegrin road movie Boiling follows a young pair going through difficulties due to corrosive influences from their surroundings. How do external factors form us and influence our personalities? The current situation in Middle East is the focal point of the Israeli animated Friendly Fire, when an innocuous game of a Palestinian boy and an Israeli soldier unexpectedly transforms into an uneven high-stakes battle. This film researches deep and complex dynamics of the Middle East conflict. Finally, the American drama Men in Blue is a tale of Indian immigrants stripped of their dignity in a Texas shipyard, following their struggle for change all the way to the boiling point. This programme block brings stories about key moments and how people deal with them, exploring various aspects of change and their consequences on the lives of individuals and of the society as a whole.

After the screenings, take a moment and relax in SKC Gallery and in Palach. See you!

The entrance to all STIFF programmes is free!