International Independents

Do your thing!

The films in the International Independents section often occupy a space outside the mainstream — like the protagonists whose stories they tell. Clichés are rejected, stereotypes are called into question, and sometimes less convenient ways of reaching a goal are chosen. In the fictional as well as in the documentary realm, many of the characters don't act according to what others expect of them. These include the receptionist Mina, the funeral singer Vahid, and the ex-bodybuilder Hessam in TEHRAN: CITY OF LOVE. We shouldn't forget Ramin in FIREFLIES, who leaves his home country, Iran, for Mexico so that he no longer needs to hide his homosexuality. Several of the films in this year's selection deal with a desire for self-fulfillment. This applies, for example, to Benedetta Barzini, who is now 75. In the 1960s, she was a sought-after model and a coveted muse who was nevertheless a constant advocate for women's rights. In THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER, she further demonstrates that everything is inevitably changing and evolving. Cinema itself is the best proof of this.

Tatjana Michel

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