Cultural censorship is still a harsh reality for many countries. Yet people continue to make films nonetheless. With Leto by Kirill Serebrennikov and Three Faces by Jafar Panahi, the FILMFEST HAMBURG offers two works by filmmakers who were courageous enough to defy political repression and explore its impact on their lives and the act of creating art itself.
Due to his outspoken criticism of the Russian government, Kirill Serebrennikov constantly comes into conflict with the authorities. He has been under house arrest since 22 August 2017. But that hasn’t stopped him from making films: He directed Leto
over Skype. »Leto« means »summer«, and feels like the perfect holiday, with a wonderful soundtrack. In its captivating, charming and light-hearted way, the film takes the viewer into the underground music scene in Leningrad in the early 1980s – into a world where untrammelled passion for rock and pop is the most important thing in life, in which there’s a booming black market for David Bowie and T-Rex records, in which artists must still compromise with the authorities in order to continue to perform, while nevertheless changing the fate of Rock in the Soviet Union forever. Festival director, Albert Wiederspiel, has this to say: »It’s remarkable just how light-hearted and loving Kirill Serebrennikov’s film is despite the difficult situation.«
Serebrennikov will also perform in Hamburg in a musical capacity: his staging of Verdi’s Nabucco
will premiere at the Hamburg State Opera in March 2019.
Jafar Panahi is one of the most important independent filmmakers in Iran; with a critical eye, he consistently grapples with issues of politics and society in his homeland. In 2010, he was sentenced to a 20-year professional ban on; most of his films are also banned in Iran. However, this hasn’t stopped Panahi from making films: This Is Not A Film
, Closed Curtain
, Taxi Teheran
and now Three Faces
were all created after his sentencing. »For years, Panahi has proven that no power can prevent him from working – he approaches his situation in an exceptionally creative way and simply takes the ban on working as a challenge to make even better films,« Wiederspiel notes. In Three Faces
, he tells the stories of three Iranian actresses at different stages in their careers, and documents the obstacles they face. The result is an impressive feminist missive and loving homage to the actresses. Three Faces
won Best Screenplay at Cannes.
Both films will have their German premiere at the FILMFEST HAMBURG and will be screened in the Kaleidoscope
The full programme will be announced on 11 September 2018