Cinema: TheCapeRobyn watch-list, European Film Festival 2021 – wrap weekend- ends Sunday October 24

TheCapeRobyn watch list for European Film Festival 2021 wrap weekend- finishes October 14, 2021

Where: Tickets: No charge – tickets are free Access: The online screening of films are geo-blocked for viewing in South Africa   

The European Film Festival 2021 – screening from South Africa- online- wraps up this weekend- Sunday October 14, 2021. Eighteen films are featured and they are free to “rent” – ie no charge to watch. I hear, you, gasping – “oh, is the festival finished. I meant to watch”. Well, you have until Sunday and my pick follows. I still have four films to watch, which means that I am unable to give pointers on those four titles.  I will be watching, on this cold Cape Town weekend. I have watched 14 of the 18 films. Two of the films After Love (UK) and Another Round (Denmark) have “sold out”. Yes, there is a concept of “sold out” for online film festivals, as distributors release a limited number of tickets for each film. However, when I saw that After Love had “expired”, I kept checking and ping, I was able to rent the film. This occurs when tickets are unused and the festival organisers may release those tickets again.  If you get a ticket it to After Love – nab it. It gets my best film of the year award. I happened to have watched the new James Bond film, last weekend (in a cinema) and let’s say, I did not like it all. It is big and brash and American. Almost everyone dies and what is the point. Each of the films on the European Film Festival 2021 has a point; multiple points of reference, context, imaging and engagement. I did not LIKE the Oscar winning film, Another Round (Denmark) as I feel that it extols and glorifies addiction and substance abuse. However, it is an engaging and compelling film with superb performances (wow ensemble cast) and script.

I have not watched yet:

Mr Bachmann and His Class

Never Gonna Snow Again

Run Uje Run


The CapeRobyn watch list for European Film Festival 2021Top ten (minus four – not watched – yet)

After Love (UK): Joanna Scanlan gives a knockout performance in Aleem Khan’s feature debut film. This film surprised me. The synopsis: “A white, English Muslim convert uncovering secrets after the death of her husband, while exploring complex themes of loss, cultural identity and reconciliation.” The Muslim convert issue is a side-bar to this extraordinary film. The protagonist could have been a convert to any other religion. It is not a “religious film”. ) Joanna Scanlan peels back layers – emotionally and physically – as she tries to collate what her past life and find a place of healing and acceptance in her present life – and future.

Robust [France]. Review:

Quo Vadis Aida? [Bosnia]. Review:

Risks and Side Events [Austria]. Review:

My Little Sister [The Netherlands] – This gripping film follows the end stage of a man who has battled cancer and – lost. More than that, it is a film about relationships and the toll that illness takes on people and people delude themselves because they must – that things will be okay. It is also a film which foregrounds the importance of art and creativity and purpose and how that fuels our existence.

The Bright Side [Ireland]. Review:

Rosa’s Wedding [Spain]. Review:

My Father is an Airplane [The Netherlands]   In Antoinette Beumer’s film, a woman who has it all and has the perfect life, unravels as she faces uncomfortable truths of her father and her childhood. There are aspects that she has buried and aspects that she discovers – in horror. The title of the film – My Father is an Airplane – is imaged in an extraordinary scene – which is terrifying and magical – will stay with me for a long time.

The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis [Portugal]. Stirring black and white cinematography in this extensile politick thriller based on José Saramago’s novel about Ricardo Reis – an antonym created by Fernando Pessoa –and Reis who connects with the ghost of Pessoa in Portugal. It sounds bizarre but it is a beautifully charged film, set very much in context of social and political upheavals – like evil people such as Hitler, Nowadays, people don’t even know that there is a local election and simply forward unverified WhatsApps or blithely use hashtags. Brilliant script. Recardo Reis: “I tried to go against destiny and to see what was happening on the world but I couldn’t read a thing… Hitler told the Brown Shirts: The World should know that Germany will be peaceful and love peace as no other people in the world has ever loved it…Poor unhappy world.’

Save Sandra [Austria] . Review:
Joanna Scanlan gives a knockout performance in Aleem Khan’s feature debut film, After Love (UK). Supplied.
  • Featured image: Joanna Scanlan in Aleem Khan’s After Love– supplied.