The ten films in competition reflect how conflicts are portrayed in the cinema today. The sixth War on Screen festival highlights the diversity of these perspectives and their evolution. That conflicts increasingly pervade productions and that films on this subject are ever more numerous is clearly a sign of the times.
Some wars necessitate interpretation and re-interpretation, others are largely ignored and forgotten. Nevertheless, today’s conflicts do not escape the attention of filmmakers. In parallel with instant channels of communication (television, social media…), witnesses to an immediate reality documenting an individual and collective memory, the cinema offers a delayed perspective, taking the time (even if sometimes very short) for writing, for artistic creation. This process plunges us into the most intimate twists and turns of the human experience of conflict, extracting its very essence at an individual or collective level.
More than any other subject, conflict and its representation generate a multiplicity of formal approaches while resulting in the increasing absence of the lines that distinguish them. And thus flourish fiction that is documented or on the contrary is characterised by a type of abstraction; documentaries flirting with fiction; or numerous animation techniques with an incredibly creative, free and refreshing aesthetic. Finally, the fusion of the documentary and animated film (clearly this year’s major novelty) is also part of this evolution. New forms of writing are emerging.
The international competition is the showcase for these developments and this current state of affairs, demonstrating more than ever that the cinema is never as creative and varied as when tackling the subject of war.
WoS 2018 invites us to share in the experiences of men who in 1916 await a hypothetical attack in the trenches of the Somme (Journey’s End); of a couple caught in the vice of the Cold War (Cold War); of Mussolini who reappears mysteriously in the Italy of today (I'm Back); of a Columbian woman fleeing the conflict of the Farc (Los Silencios); of a mother plunged into the Khmer terror (Funan); of a young father caught in the net of fundamentalism (The Faithful Son); of young Canadian army soldiers (First Stripes); of an illicit couple trapped in a conflict they don’t understand (The Reports on Sarah and Saleem); of a reporter mysteriously missing in Yugoslavia (Chris the Swiss); of a Street Art star whose work is stolen in Bethlehem (The Man Who Stole Bansky).
Crime investigation films, comedies, period sagas, intimist behind the scenes and immersive documentaries - the competition is richer and more varied than ever. Here’s wishing you all a great festival!
CHRIS THE SWISS, by Anja KOFMEL (2018) - Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, Finland
THE FAITHFUL SON, by Guérin VAN DE VORST (2017) - Belgium
FIRST STRIPES, by Jean-François CAISSY (2018) - Canada
I'M BACK, by Luca MINIERO (2018) - Italie
FUNAN, by Denis DO (2017) - France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Cambodia
COLD WAR, by Paweł PAWLIKOWSKI (2018) - Poland, Britain, France
THE MAN WHO STOLE BANKSY, by Marco PROSERPIO (2017) - Great Britain, France
LOS SILENCIOS, by Beatriz SEIGNER (2018) - Brazil, France, Columbia
THE REPORTS ON SARAH AND SALEEM, by Muayad ALAYAN (2018) - Palestine, Netherlands, Germany
MEN OF HONOR, by Saul DIBB (2017) - United Kingdom