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Our lives are a perpetual journey – we need to keep moving ahead all the time, finding new challenges and successfully achieving small goals. Depending on the moment of a specific departure, the destination will be a different one. Cinema, as life, is a movement – in the beginning, a train entering the station; later on, a travelling of the camera on those same tracks. Thus, the first scene of the first film of this year’s Pardi di domani selection shows a train passing along the tracks. Our journey begins in Burma with Cobalt Blue, directed by young Aung Phyoe, a participant of Locarno’s Open Doors in 2018. This first stop is a melodrama set in the 1990s – a mother and her child get close to a loving young man in absence of the busy husband/father. However, they are about to move to another city...
After leaving Myanmar our cinema-train will take us to Switzerland, Lebanon and the Netherlands. That’s this year’s novelty: international and national Swiss Pardi di domani selections are presented together. Mama Rosa, the first Swiss entry, is on the opposite side of movement: it observes what life looks like when it’s still and when different kinds of problems appear and depression arises. The films’ title character is a woman who’s migrated from former Yugoslavia to Switzerland, and her and her family’s life seem to be condemned to the closed universe of their home. A world of cigarettes and coffee, of couches and computers, of smartphones and window blinds that director Dejan Barać seems to know pretty well. On the other hand, after sitting still at a bus station for more than a while, the old lady that leads Kim Allamand’s Terminal takes the decision of embarking on a one-way journey. Beautifully and very precisely designed and shot, this film seems to be reminding us that there is no right or wrong moment for leaving. There is just present time, that shouldn’t be wasted by waiting.
From the destroyed landscape of the city of Douma, in Syria, there seems to be nowhere to go. In Tim Al Siofi’s debut documentary Douma Underground there is no horizon which could offer a possible escape – there is just a basement that trembles every time a bomb is dropped. We witness, however, a big solidarity among people which elevates this film way beyond its value as a document of history.
Stefanie Kolk’s new work Eyes on the Road closes this first program. Her films Clan and Harbour premiered in the Pardi di domani section in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Three teenage girls drive along a road in their car: bikinis under their clothes; McDonalds’ wrappings scattered around the car’s floor; music festival bracelets around their hands. But this isn’t the many times seen and expected coming-of-age story, because there’s no destination – it’s the journey that counts.