Viktor Kubal – 1966 – 8 min.
A blonde in love (Lásky jedné plavovlásky)
Miloš Forman (CZ/SK) – 1965 – 80 min.
Andula is a working-class woman living in a fading Czech factory town. After a party she sleeps with Milda, a pianist with the band who was visiting from Prague. A famous line is uttered as they are lying in bed afterward. Andula asks what Milda meant when he said she was “angular.” He goes on to explain that a woman is shaped like a guitar. “And you, you look like a guitar too,” he tells her, “but one painted by Picasso.” They part ways, and when she doesn’t hear from him again, she packs up and arrives on his doorstep in the big city. Milda is not home, and she meets his parents, who don’t know what they should do with her. Milda comes home early the next morning, and it becomes clear to Andula that she is not wanted, so she returns to her home.
Closely Watched Trains // Ostře sledované vlaky
Jiří Menzel, Czechoslovakia, 1966 -93 min
Czechoslovakia, 1944. The war is nearing its end. Young Miloš Hrma is hired as an intern in a small country train station. Here he apprehends professional relations but also discovers love experiences. In a particularly tense war situation, the young man must “solve” his problem with virginity and testify about the conflicts between resistants and Nazi forces. Adapted from the eponymous novel by Bohumil Hrabal, this tragicomedy transforms a rural train station in a laboratory for human behavior analysis, emerging desires and struggles for the independence of the country. Considered one of the masterpieces of the Czechoslovak New Wave, the film won the Oscar for Best For¬eign Language Film in 1966.
Last Stop Paradise // Terminus Paradis
Lucian Pintilie, RomaniaPremiera / 1998 /99
Romania, 1998. On the outskirts of Bucharest, Norica, young waitress and Mitou, swineherd, meet and provoke. Their adventure could take rapidly the consistency of a marital relationship. But there are two downsides: Norica must marry her old boss, and Mitou must leave for two years in the army. Punches and caresses compose the portrait of this unusual couple but also the social and political context that surrounds them.
Lucian Pinitile links to the railway world two of his favorite themes: the destruction and escape. Far away from the peaceful green countryside’s tracks, suburban railway is here the scene of a runaway of a young man ready to lose everything in the name of his feelings. The train becomes the sign of illusory freedom, a breakaway with tragic overtones.
Front colision:/ Zderzenie czołowe
Marcel Łoziński / Poland / 1975 / 11 min
A locomotive engineer close to retirement is chosen to be as an example to his younger colleagues and to will receive his farewell gift during a ceremony. However, the circumstances are not favorable: in a state of extreme fatigue, he causes a railway disaster, and the ceremony is canceled.
89mm from Europe
Marcel Łoziński / Poland / 1993 / 12 min
Brześć — a town on the border between Poland and the former Soviet Union. Due to a difference of 89 mm in track gauge in the Soviet Union and the rest of Europe, the Belarusian railwaymen must adapt the wagons every day so that international trains can enter the territory of the former Soviet Union. French, German, Dutch passengers watch them through the windows. Two different worlds?
Marcel Łoziński /Poland / 1990 / 53 min
In the spring of 1940, the NKVD executed some 15,000 Polish officers. 4,500 of them rest in the forest of Katyń. The silence, fear and deceit lasted fifty years. This film is not a historical film. It happens today, in a train. We discov¬er the faces of the concerned people, we observe their reactions, listen to their words. Who are they? The women and children of the victims. But not only…
Ivan Ladislav Galeta,
The movement of the train is decomposed up to create a pyramidal shape. Within this experimental combinatory the senses of viewer are tested.
Black Train // Fekete vonat
Pál Schiffer / Hungary / 1970 / 38 min
The documentary portrays the marginal living conditions, family problems and the long distance travels of the people who travel go to work in Budapest and live in Szabolcs, an area located a hundred kilometers from the Hun¬garian capital. What does “go to work” mean? What are the values of this “displacement”? What is the answer to this passage from the margin to the center?
Po projekcji odbędzie się otwarta dyskusja./ Une discussion ouverte sera lancée à l’issue de la projection./ An open discus¬sion will be launched at the end of the screening.
California dreamin’ (Endless) // California dreamin’ (Nesfârşit)
Cristian Nemescu / Romania / 2007 / 155 min
Romania, 1999. During the war of Kosovo. A train carrying military equipment sent by NATO received the verbal agreement of the Romanian Government to cross the country toward the border with Serbia. The convoy is placed under the protection of American soldiers and some Romanian soldiers. But when this small world gets to Căpâlniţa, a remote village in Romania, here’s the station chief, Doiaru, a kind of sad and disillusioned local Mafiosi, that refuses to let them continue their way.
Railways and wars have a relationship often disastrous, the firsts corroborating the deadly delusions of certain peo¬ples against others. In such a context. What does it mean to stop a train? Is it an act of malevolent or an act of resistance?
Hands up! / Ręce do góry
Jerzy Skolimowski / Poland / 1967 / 76 min
Five young people find themselves on a freight train ten years after the end of the medical school. They talk about their common past while ruthless Stalinism ruled Poland. They were instructed to attach paper billboards to build a huge portrait of the “father of the people” for the annual parade on 1st May, and to everyone’s surprise, the despot had been rigged with two pairs of eyes…
It is not in an usual train that the action takes place in the film. On the contrary, it is a metaphorical compartment, the original place for a work on the past, reunions of old friends, but also a reflection on the freedom of the individual in a context of repression.
Diary of my children // (Napló gyermekeimnek)
Márta Mészáros (HU) – 1984 – 102 min.
A woman who is my age goes to Kyrgyzstan and obtains the papers relating to the death of her father. The documents reveal that her father was executed. She has just learnt this now, and this, in fact, is really what has happened to me. I only learned the truth of my father’s execution in 1999.
Sunday’s musicians (Muzykanci)
Kazimierz Karabasz (PL) – 1960 – 9 min.
A film about a single rehearsal of an amateur brass band made up of Warsaw tram drivers. Awards: Leipzig IFDAF 1960 – Grand Prix, Syrenka Warszawska (Warsaw Mermaid) 1960 – award for best short film of the Film Critics Club of the Association of Polish Journalists, Tours ISFF 1960 – Special Prize, Venice IFSDF 1960 – St. Mark’s Gold Lion, Krakow ISFF 1961 – Golden Dragon, Mexico City ISFF 1961 – Special Prize, Oberhausen ISFF 1961 – Grand Prize, San Francisco IFF 1961 – Golden Gate Award in the category of documentary film.
Bread day (хлебный день)
Sergueï Dvortsevoy (RU) – 1998 – 54 min.
“Bread Day” unflinchingly depicts a community of pensioners living in near isolation outside of St. Petersberg as it enacts the weekly ritual of bringing a delivery of bread—left at a rail junction two hours away—into the village for distribution. Dvortsevoy documents the struggle as the elderly residents complete their arduous task and then gather in the store, where portions are unsatisfactory and interactions grow heated. Attentive as much to the people as to the landscape and the animals that share it, Dvortsevoy captures village goats and a litter of puppies along with the bleakness of rural poverty and old.
Black Train (Fekete vonat)
Pál Schiffer (HU, 1970, 38 min., documentary)
Black Train (Fekete Vonat) is a documentary of the train that brings in Romany labour to Budapest and returns them to their village Friday night, just as Black Africans were shipped in from Soweto & other townships & returned at the end of the week. I first learned about the Fekete Vonat while I was in Budapest in 1985. A handful of Magyars tried to warn me away from the train because the Gypsies would steal my stuff or worse, stab me. I was considerably naïve at the time (thankfully) and decided to take the Friday evening train. I had a back pack and a return ticket. The Romany labourers during the week were housed in barracks and bused to various work sites, mostly construction and line work. I could easily see that on the train coach I was on, I was the only foreigner. It wasn’t long before the coach, became filled with raucous song and behaviour. I was invited to join the drinking. (Yech, I don’t drink alcohol, but there are extreme exceptions). My backback was left on the seat while I roams the aisle a bit. When it was time for me to get off, my backpack was right where I left it. As far as I was concerned the coach was filled with working stiffs who simply wanted to party on their way back home to their women and children – a few got quite drunk, but most simply shared the booze as part of the communal thing.
Silence and cry (Csend és kiáltás)
Mikloś Jancsó (HU) – 1968 – 73 min.
Miklós Jancsó’s Silence and Cry is set during a turbulent era of disquiet, fear, persecution and terror, which permeates every corner of post-WWI Hungarian society. In 1919, after just a few months of communist rule the Hungarian Republic of Councils falls victim to a nationalist counter-revolution. Admiral Horthy, leader of the nationalist far right movement, becomes the self-proclaimed regent of Hungary, and assumes power as the legal Head of State. Soldiers of the short-lived Hungarian Red Army are now on the run from relentless secret policemen and patrol units of the nationalist Royal Gendarme. If caught, ex-Red Army soldiers are executed without mercy or proper trial. István Cserzi, a former soldier of the Red Army has fled to the Great Hungarian Plains and has taken refuge on a farm, which is run by two sympathetic women. Due to the generosity of these women and a former childhood pal, who is now a commandant of the local Royal Gendarme outfit, István is safely hidden from the ever-prying eyes of the secret policemen, who relentlessly roam the countryside searching for ex-Red Army men and their sympathisers. However, upon discovering that the women are secretly poisoning the mother-in-law and the husband, the legal owners of the farm, István must make the most difficult decision of his life. As a personal war is waging within his own consciousness over morality and self-preservation, István must decide whether to remain silent about the women’s devious secret and preserve his own life, or to report their heinous crime to the Royal Gendarme, which would also mean certain death for him.
Train station (Dworzec)
Krzysztof Kieslowski (PL) – 1980 – 12 min.
The daily life of the Warsaw station.
Gdansk station (Dworzec Gdański)
Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz (PL) – 2007 – 55 min.
Testimonials “Polish citizens of Jewish origin” forced to leave their country in 1968-1969 following the anti-Semitic campaign of communist power. They find themselves in a meeting in Israel. They remember the tear out and tell their routes. Friendships, pain, nostalgia, anger.
Jarosław Sztandera (PL) – 2009 – 39 min.
A 17 years young man, a story about child prostitution and pedophilia. The lives of two boys converge on the central train station in Warsaw, the day before Christmas. Senior – prostitute nicknamed “Luxury”, and junior – beginner, a beggar child with a dog. A local taxi driver, the pimp i n the sex business, with teenagers, offers Luxury job pimp. Will the boy to exploit his younger friend, or help him escape the clutches of child prostitution …?
Marian Crisan (RO) – 2010 – 100 min.
NELU, a man in his forties, works as a security guard at a supermarket in Salonta, a small town on the Romanian-Hungarian border. This is the place where many illegal emigrants try to cross, by any means possible, to Hungary and then further to Western Europe. For NELU, days go by the same. Fishing at dawn, then work, and finally home with his wife-FLORICA. They live alone at an isolated farmhouse on the fields outside Salonta. Their problem these days is repairing the old roof of the farmhouse. One morning, NELU will fish something different out of the river: a Turkish man trying to cross the border. Not able to communicate verbally, the two men will somehow understand each other. NELU takes the stranger to the farmhouse, gives him some dry clothes, food and shelter. He doesnt really know how to help this stranger. The Turkish man gives NELU all the money he has on him so he will help him cross the border. Eventually, NELU takes the money and promises he will help him cross the border tomorrow, MORGEN