Sunday, July 13, 2008

Octavia and the Letters

Monday 14 July 8.00pm
Octavia and the Letters
Marcelo Masagao; Brazil, 2007, 83 min

Octavia, a solitary and eccentric 30-something, lives in Sao Paulo and spends his time collecting newspapers and books which he cuts up to make collages of slogans and words. He deposits these rolled-up pamphlets secretly around the city. During these wanderings he meets bizzarre, almost caricatured people. One day Clara shows up at his door, a young woman in 'flesh and blood.' She is drawn to images and spends her time surrounded by books with reproductions of famous paintings. Their meeting sets off a stream of comings and goings, places and encounters, which in an original and creative way represents people's loneliness and their alienation and obsessions.

Brazilian filmmaker Marcelo Masagao was coordinator of Radio Xilik and worked for various radio and TV stations. He later directed several short films. In 1998 he made his first documentary Nos que aqui estamos por vos esperamos. Octavia and the Letters is his first feature.

Monday 21 July 8.00pm
Anna, Seven Years on the Frontline
Masha Novikova; The Netherlands, 2008, 78 min
Anna Politkovskaya was killed in front of her apartment on 7 October 2006. She was a lone voice of dissent in Russia, criticising Vladimir Putin's actions and meticulously following the Chechen war. Whoever killed her thought they could shut her up forever, yet Politkovskaya's words have survived her tragic death and are paradoxically more powerful than ever. This portrait of contemporary Russia reveals its contradictions and the problems afflicting democracy in the country.

Masha Novikova studied pedagogy at the University of Moscow and taught Russian language and literature. She moved to Holland shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall to work as an executive producer. In Holland she studied screenwriting and directing at the Kunstweb Art School. Since 2000, she has produced and worked as cinematographer on numerous documentaries. She has won the Amnesty International Prize twice at the Pesaro Film Festival: for Three Comrades in 2007 and Anna, Seven Years on the Frontline in 2008 .

Happy viewing.