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ASTRA 2019

The 26th edition of the Astra Film Festival digs deep into history

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- Films about Stalin, Gorbachev and the Romanian Revolution will be in the spotlight at the impending documentary festival

The 26th edition of the Astra Film Festival digs deep into history
State Funeral by Sergei Loznitsa

With 126 films in the selection this year (see the news), the Astra Film Festival (14-20 October, Sibiu) is ready for a deep reflection on the past: an important part of the selection focuses on relevant historical moments, including the Romanian Revolution of 1989, as well as present-day issues that make us look at the past in a different light.

Sergei Loznitsa, who received the festival’s top award in 2014 for Maidan [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, returns to Astra with his newest feature, State Funeral [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. The film will open the festival on 14 October and will also be competing in the Central and Eastern European competition, one of the four official competitions at this edition.

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The 30th anniversary of the fall of communism in Europe and the Romanian Revolution of 1989 will be acknowledged through two thematic sidebars at Astra. Europe 30: Inbetweening looks at these three decades as a period of time between two walls. One is the Berlin Wall and its fall in November 1989, while the other is represented by the walls built in Europe in order to stop the influx of migrants. Among the films being shown in this sidebar are Jürgen Böttcher's 1989 classic The Wall and Nikolaus Geyrhalter's The Border Fence [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Austria).

The festival will also turn its gaze closer to home with the Videograms-Romania 1989 strand. The star of the show is Andrei Ujică and Harun Farocki’s Videograms of a Revolution (1992), which uses footage from those days in order to show the chaos and the euphoria of the revolution. Dobrivoie Kerpenisan’s Rebels with a Cause starts from the pictures taken by the director during the revolution and revisits the protagonists of those images in the present day, an occasion to question both that period in December 1989 and the three decades that followed.

One further movie questioning the past at Astra is Werner Herzog and André Singer’s Meeting Gorbachev [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which is included in the Great Masters sidebar.

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