FEEL THE POWER OF CINEMA at VIII Side by Side LGBT, Saint Petersburg
For the eighth time, Side by Side LGBT Film Festival will be celebrating once again this autumn from 19 – 28 November, 2015.
The theme is the power of cinema and this year the audience through the programming selection will be reminded of cinema’s incredibly transformative power and how it can impress upon us particular emotions, introduce new ideas or concepts that may challenge our perception, encourage us to formulate a more critical stance or even more dramatically be a call to action.
Side by Side will be offering some of the most talked about and highly acclaimed LGBT films produced over the last 12 months.
VOICES FROM THE PAST
To open the festival is Peter Greenaway’s latest semi-experimental and visually rich film Eisenstein in Guanajuato. A biopic on one of Russia’s greatest directors, Sergei Eisenstein, the film openly explores his affair with Mexican guide Palomino Cañedo, during his stay in Mexico in the 1930s. Just as then, still now, to speak openly of Eisenstein’s homosexuality, courts controversy and resulted (ashamedly) in the Russian State Film Fund refusing Greenaway’s request for funds to make the film. Despite this obstacle the film was made and the truth has been told!
A major focus of the festival is one of the darkest periods of twentieth century history and the heinous crimes and despicable acts of brutality, torture, murder and inhumanity, which took place in the Nazi Concentration Camps across Germany and Europe and the GULAG in Soviet Russia. Although the experiences of the majority are well documented the stories of women, children, Romany, gay men, lesbian women, the poor and homeless, the physically and mentally disadvantaged are often ignored and forgotten. Unfortunately, history too discriminates and it is through the presentation of two films The Pink Triangle and the Nazi Cure for Homosexuality and Sounds from the Fog along with guests from Perm 36, Memorial (Russia) and the Buchenwald Memorial (Germany) we seek to explore the experiences of the thousands of gay men and lesbian women who endured terrible atrocities during this time.
The road to becoming who we are is not always easy. In Ingo Haeb's stunningly shot film The Chambermaid Lynn the central character, Lynn, only begins to learn how to get close to people and be emotionally expressive when she falls for dominatrix Chiara. Join award winning Director of Photography Sophie Maintigneux and actress Lena Lauzemis for a Q & A.
Are we born gay? Or do we become gay? Is there really a gay cure? And what are the implications for the LGBT community when individuals claim to be cured of their homosexuality? These are just a few of the controversial and difficult questions raised by the film I am Michael staring James Franco which depicts Michael Glatze, a high profile gay-rights advocate who publicly renounced his homosexuality in 2007.
Through the presentation of the new feature, Girls Lost by Alekandre-Therese Keining, documentary Gardenia: Before the Last Curtain Falls and the collection of shorts Trans*tastic we see a rich presentation of portraits, young and old, coming to terms with a full range of questions relating to gender identity and questioning persons.
How many women super heroes can you mention? How many strong female characters can you think of from cinema, literature and television? If you find it difficult to answer these questions the film Wonder Woman: The Untold Story of American Superheroines is for you, an upbeat film which takes a look at gender stereotypes and the representation of women in pop culture from 1960s to the present day. In discussion are Andi Zeisler – cofounder of Bitch Media, Sophie Matinigneux – eminent filmmaker with Russian feminists and researchers.
The short collection Dyke Me Up promises a rollercoaster ride of emotions and feelings and a must, not to miss!
To close the festival is Catherine Corsini’s Summertime which tells of a life-changing affair between a young woman from rural France and a vibrant Paris feminist activist. Set in the tumultuous 1970s the relationship is reflective of the times as they try to negotiate feelings, inhibitions and expectations. An unabashedly sexy, utterly realistic and compelling love story to end on!
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