Films 2012


Solidarity (Solidarnost), Nika Autor, Slovenia, 2012, documentary, 5 min.

In the Land of the Bears (V deželi medvedov), Nika Autor, Slovenia, 2012, documentary, 72 min, Slovene subtitles.

»What is a working-day? What is the length of time during which capital may consume the labour-power whose daily value it buys? How far may the working-day be extended beyond the working-time necessary for the reproduction of labour-power itself? It has been seen that to these questions capital replies: the working-day contains the full 24 hours, with the deduction of the few hours of repose without which labour-power absolutely refuses its services again. Hence it is self-evident that the labourer is nothing else, his whole life through, than labour-power, that therefore all his disposable time is by nature and law labour-time, to be devoted to the self-expansion of capital. Time for education, for intellectual development, for the fulfilling of social functions and for social intercourse, for the free-play of his bodily and mental activity, even the rest time of Sunday (and that in a country of Sabbatarians!) – moonshine! But in its blind unrestrainable passion, its were-wolf hunger for surplus-labour, capital oversteps not only the moral, but even the merely physical maximum bounds of the working-day. It usurps the time for growth, development, and healthy maintenance of the body. It steals the time required for the consumption of fresh air and sunlight. « Karl Marx

Screening in the presence of the filmmaker and the film’s protagonists

Thursday, June 7th at 21.00 at Slovenian Cinematheque (Slovenska kinoteka)


Across Land, Across Sea – Into Freedom whatever the Tide, Harkjoon Lee & Dongkyun Ko & Hein S. Seok, 2011, documentary, 52 min, English dubbing.

Songgook and Sueryun are a newly-wed North Korean couple now living in the South. As is the case for an estimated 20,000 defectors who have built, or are trying to build a new life in South Korea, they are attempting to secure their entire family’s freedom by arranging their defection along with them to the South. This phenomenon has been coined, “chain of escapes”.

The couple’s family members have contacted them to seek assistance to escape the North. Songgook puts his life at risk, making a dangerous trek to the Tumen River, a border zone between China and North Korea. He makes plans to lead a daring escape: to smuggle his family into the South by boat. Because of the extreme dangers associated with this journey, this kind of attempt is very rare and it is the first ever attempt to be filmed.

Tuesday, June 19th at 22.00 at Škuc Gallery (Galerija Škuc)


Eyes and Ears of God – Video surveillance of Sudan (Oči in ušesa boga – videonadzor Sudana), Tomo Križnar & Maja Weiss, Slovenia, 2012, documentary, 95 min, Slovene subtitles.

“Eyes and Ears of God – Video surveillance of Sudan” is an eyewitness account by the publicist and activist Tomo Križnar from 1979 to 2012 of the secret exterminations of African natives from the areas of Sudan that are rich in natural resources: The Nuba Mountains, Darfur, Abyei and Blue Nile. The film is a personal account of what one man can do with the help of like-minded people and friends, who still believe in the power of active commitment and refuse to give in to conformism. The film bears witness to the power of cameras, showing that they can be more potent weapon than Kalashnikovs. The footage gives the International Criminal Court in The Hague proof of the genocide of the peoples of Sudan. This is a story of the suffering Sudanese people, defending their own lives with cameras, computers and satellite modems, and bearing witness to their plight. Forgotten by the world’s politics, media and humanitarian organisations, they are begging the “civilized” world to help them. The documentary “Eyes and Ears of God” also tells the story of the birth of independent South Sudan and how its secession from Sudan has brought about new wars between the strategic interests of the world’s powers and both Sudanese states. From 2009 to 2012, Tomo Križnar, Suleiman Jamous, the humanitarian co-ordinator of the Darfur rebels, and Klemen Mihelič, the founder of humanitarian organisation H.O.P.E., have distributed over 400 cameras to volunteers across the war zones in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Darfur. “Eyes and Ears of God” documents the effects of this initiative.

Wednesday, June 20th at 18.10 at City Museum of Ljubljana (Mestni muzej)


Jack, the Balkans and I, Sergej Kreso, Netherlands, 2008, documentary, 68 min, English subtitles.

Jack Roskam, the Congolese Belgian pop star, moved to Yugoslavia in the beginning of the seventies where he joined the local rock group called ‘Galija’. He stood out as different because of his appearance. At the outbreak of war in Yugoslavia Jack’s pacifism was challenged and eventually cast aside, as he chose to fight with the Croatian side in the cruel war.

Wednesday, 20th June at 22.00 on the Summer stage of Gala hala (AKC Metelkova mesto)


Compositions in Departure, Vincent Goudreau & Javier Martinez, USA, 2010, experimental documentary, 34 min, English subtitles.

“Compositions in Departure” weaves together three individuals from three different continents: one individual who has willingly departed their home (China), one who is unable to leave (Ghana), and another who never wanted to leave but was left virtually alone (Mexico). It explores displacement, architecture and the idea of home as a metaphor for finding one’s place in this world, while using textiles, migration and imperialism as an analogy for patterns of human behaviour. The film offers a common ground among all people through shared human experiences.

Thursday, June 21st at 21.30 at Škuc Gallery (Galerija Škuc)


The invisibles, Pieter De Vos & Svetozar Petrović & Vuk Sadić, Slovenia, 2011, documentary, 10 min, English subtitles.

Slovenia is the most prosperous of all the countries of the former Yugoslavia. After the break-up of the old country, thousands of workers from other ex-Yugoslavian republics rushed to Slovenia with hopes of better life. However, many have been exploited and are living in terrible conditions. Can they become united and fight for their rights?

Thursday, June 21st at 21.30 at Škuc Gallery (Galerija Škuc)


Dublin’s Trap, Bryan Carter, Belgium, 2011, documentary, 51 min, English subtitles.

Through the story of an Afghan asylum seeker who won a historic victory at the European Court of Human Rights, this film shines a new light on the consequences of migration policies in the crisis-affected country of Greece.

“Dublin’s Trap” gives an equal voice to politicians, intellectuals, activists, immigrants, and extremists. This approach highlights how austerity measures, combined with an unprecedented influx of immigrants, foster racial tensions, increased nationalism, and a humanitarian crisis at Europe’s external borders.

Further aggravating the situation is an uneven EU repatriation mechanism as Dublin II.

Thursday, June 21st at 21.30 at Škuc Gallery (Galerija Škuc)


After Life – 4 Stories of Torture (Jälki elämässä – 4 tarinaa kidutuksesta), Mervi Junkkonen, Finland, 2011, documentary, 58 min, English subtitles.

The film’s narrative about four men that we meet in Finland reveals four stories of constant suffering. Serge, Musa, Kebi and Hector come from different parts of the world that have one dark thing in common – war violence in one of its most brutal forms: torture.

The four men, victims of physical and mental violence in their former homelands, are still struggling with traumas of the past and of an uncertain future even though their new home should provide a safe refuge. Will they be able to heal their wounds and escape the demons of the past? Will they at last be able to live a new, free, decent life? Will their former torturers be held responsible for their crimes? And, finally, are they even welcome in their new homeland? Through visually strong, restless, fleeing shots, the film exposes the pain, vulnerability and uncertainty of the protagonists, who nevertheless share more than just the consequences of criminal violence, namely hope for a better future.

The stories of these individuals unveil a picture of the world we live in. The film “After Life – 4 Stories of Torture” reminds us that our world is not immune to violence and the trampling of people’s basic rights and dignity. This is a world in which we have to firmly stand up for the protection of those that were less fortunate than us. Even though we are, all too often, blinded by the feeling that they come from a world that is not ours.

Friday, June 22nd at 17.00 in Kinodvor Cinema


I am Not Here, Paulo Couto, France & Portugal, 2011, documentary, 7 min, English subtitles.

“What defines me is the fact that I was born in two countries, two or three languages, and several cultural traditions. Would I be more authentic if I cut off a part of myself?” Amin Maalouf

Friday, June 22nd at 21.00 in front of  Škuc Gallery (in case of rain inside the Škuc Gallery – Galerija Škuc)


Welcome Peter Bossman (Peter Bossman, dobrodošel), Simon Intihar, Slovenia, 2011, documentary, 15 min, Slovene subtitles.

The film tells the story of Eastern Europe’s first black mayor, Peter Bossman.

Friday, June 22nd at 21.00 in front of  Škuc Gallery (in case of rain inside the Škuc Gallery – Galerija Škuc)


Mouss and Hakim, checked origins (Mouss et Hakim, Origines Contrôlées), Samia Chala, France, 2011, documentary, 52 min, Slovene subtitles.

Mouss and Hakim, singers from the French band Zebda, launched an experiment: a new band and a festival, called “Protected Designation of Origin”, whose aim is to take the songs of their Algerian parents’ generation and bring them up to date. The musicians pass-on their cultural heritage to a broad public, sharing the songs’ universal values.

The two natives of Toulouse have succeeded where many politicians, intellectuals or artists have failed: thanks to their music, they manage to make people discover and enjoy their parents’ culture, that of the first generation of immigrants. With Mouss and Hakim, immigration is no longer seen as ‘a problem’.

Friday, June 22nd at 22.00 on the Summer stage of Gala hala (AKC Metelkova mesto)



Feature films

It’s a Free World …, Ken Loach, Great Britain, 2007, drama, 96 min.

It’s a Free World is a flawed, yet brilliant and highly relevant film. Flawed, because its topic – the exploitation of illegal eastern European by profiteers in a western country, in this case the UK – is too big to be dealt with in just 90 minutes, and also because coming from Loach, one would have expected It’s A Free World to be told in a less conventional, less genre-conform, fashion. And yet, even though Loach packed rather a lot into his film, taken as a social drama cum crime story It’s a Free World nevertheless works, because Loach’s film is an exercise in taut, dense storytelling. What also works in the film’s favour are the strong performances by the two leading actresses, Juliet Ellis, playing Rose, and Kierston Wareing, playing Angie. Although in business together with an employment agency at the film’s beginning, they gradually drift apart over the course of the film as Rose is more and more put off by Angie’s increasingly ruthless methods when it comes to taking advantage of the desperate situation of immigrants trying to survive. Loach’s intention is to give a stark, realistic portrayal of an every-day European reality which, more often than not, is swept under the carpet. His films are usually set in a working class background, and Loach is known to always takes the side of the underdog. Dito in It’s A Free World: while Rose and Angie are both personifying two sides of the same coin, Loach leaves no doubt about whose side he’s on. And in one of the film’s key scenes, Loach brings his message across in the guise of Anglie’s father – a what you might call old-fashioned, old school member of the working class with a conscience – who gives his daughter a piece of his mind, mincing no words about today’s society which, completely corrupted by greed, stops at nothing.

Monday, June 18th at 19.10 in Kinodvor Cinema


Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf), R.W. Fassbinder, West Germany, 1973, drama, 93 min.

A grey metropolis at the beginning of the seventies, the “golden years” of economic migration to West Germany. One rainy evening, Emmi (Brigitte Mira), a widowed cleaning lady in her sixties, strays into a bar frequented by guest workers and embarks on a passionate romance with the Moroccan Ali (El Hedi Ben Salem). Ali is not in fact his real name, but a name that all workers from his country are given in Germany. Their idyllic love is soon met with brutal and seemingly unconquerable disapproval of the surroundings. Emmi has to put up with distressing harassment from her co-workers, neighbours and other fellow citizens; even more outraged are the (grown and moved-away) children of the lovestruck widow. What bothers them more than the fact that Ali is much younger than Emmi is his origin and social position of a guest worker. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is Fassbinder’s most obvious homage to his great cinematic idol Douglas Sirk, the film is almost a word-for-word remake of Sirk’s classic All That Heaven Allows. Fassbinder transcends it by mixing traditional conventions of Hollywood melodrama with modernist aesthetics and by setting the story on the very fringes of society, where solidarity among the humiliated and outcast is no self-evident romantic myth, but a hard-earned value and practice. Perhaps Fassbinder’s most famous and popular film of all times.

Monday, June 18th at 21.45 at Slovenian Cinematheque (Slovenska kinoteka)


Import-ExportUlrich Seidl, Austria/France/Germany, 2007, drama, 135 min, Slovene subtitles.

Two stories set in a cold grey winter. The first is about a Ukrainian nurse, Olga, who wants more from her life and decides to leave her family and country. She journeys to Austria, where she works as a cleaner at a geriatric hospital. The second story follows a young Austrian named Paul, an unemployed and indebted security guard, who is taken by his stepfather to Ukraine to install gambling machines. Olga and Paul have different backgrounds but face similar problems: they are struggling to believe in themselves and to give their life a meaning. In this film ethnic barriers are blurred, it is mainly the social and existential ones that are important.

The film takes place between the east and west of New Europe (Ukraine and Austria) and deals with life and death, winners and losers, power and powerlessness; treating invention and reality as a human construct.

Tuesday, June 19th at 17.00 at  Slovenian Cinematheque (Slovenska kinoteka)


The Ball (Balonul), Sergiu Ciorescu, Moldova, 2011, drama, 17 min, English subtitles.

After her parents leave the country to look for work abroad, a young girl remains at home to take care of her sick and elderly  grandfather. Although she got many challenges to leave the country, she decided to stay home.

Tuesday, June 19th at 21.15 in Atrij ZRC


Drops (Stropi), Victor Răileanu, Romania, 2011, drama, 12 min, English subtitles.

A father meets his son for the last time before his son  emigrates to Europe  with his family. It’s all about DROPS of our lifetime.

Tuesday, June 19th at 22.00 at Škuc Gallery (Galerija Škuc)



Experimental films

Orfilia, Shut Up! (Orfilia – Cállate!), Guadalupe Arango Ramos, Spain, 2011, experimental, 6 min.

In certain circumstances and in certain contexts the outside world forces you to be silent, cancelling your social voice and role, because you are different, you are an immigrant and people have their prejudices. These prejudices are related to the way you speak, the way you dress, the way you live, the way you are… in other words: society cancels you because of your immigrant identity. With this burden on her shoulders, Orfilia develops dysphonia, a disorder of her voice that does not allow her to produce sounds. Without HER voice, she takes the opportunity to watch, observe and analyze the hostile world that has silenced her story, until finally she is able to overcome this barrier, escaping from her own loneliness, fear and frustration. Every situation has its limits, and when it finally comes for Orfilia, she decides to resort to her inner strength and speak again.

Tuesday, June 19th at 21.30 in Atrij ZRC


Leaving Home, Alessio Rutigliano, Italy, 2012, experimental, 3 min, English subtitles.

The film deals with migration. The act of migration escapes from representation: initiatic journey connecting African stowaways, their long odyssey at sea, and the Italian “diaspora”, the biggest mass migration of contemporary time. Because of its mythopoietic nature it can be only evoked by a series of ritualistic gestures, vanishing memories imprinted on film, where “moving images” stand for escape rather than representation.

Thursday, June 21st at 21.30 at Škuc Gallery (Galerija Škuc)


Compositions in Departure, Vincent Goudreau & Javier Martinez, USA, 2010, experimental documentary, 34 min, English subtitles.

“Compositions in Departure” weaves together three individuals from three different continents: one individual who has willingly departed their home (China), one who is unable to leave (Ghana), and another who never wanted to leave but was left virtually alone (Mexico). It explores displacement, architecture and the idea of home as a metaphor for finding one’s place in this world, while using textiles, migration and imperialism as an analogy for patterns of human behaviour. The film offers a common ground among all people through shared human experiences.

Thursday, June 21st at 21.30 at Škuc Gallery (Galerija Škuc)


Moored (Atracados), Filipe Afonso, Portugal, 2012, experimental drama, 10 min, English subtitles.

Two boys in a harbour talk about leaving their home and city.  They feel that they can’t live outside, but when one of them remembers a dream in which they were walking inside the sea, the other one reacts and takes the lead.

Friday, June 22nd at 21.00 in front of Galerija Škuc (in the case of rain inside Galerija Škuc)



Animated films

Mediterranean (Mediterraneo), Francesca Fini, Italy, 2011, animation, 8 min.

The video is inspired in part by the so-called tragedy of Portopalo, which occurred in 1996 off the coast of Sicily. A sea cart full of immigrants was swallowed by the waters along with 283 passengers. During the following days, those bodies ended up in the nets of the fishermen of Portopalo. Little by little they were hauled in like tuna and thrown back into the sea. The fishermen feared that the investigation by the police would lead to the seizure of their ships and the closing of the area to fishing, so the town continued to pull in bodies and throw them back into the water, concealing the horrible secret that was revealed through the inquiries of a few zealous journalists. In this video, the details of that terrible event are only the point of departure of a personal journey in which there are no accusations and there are no theories.

Wednesday, June 20th at 22.00 on the Summer stage at Gala hala (AKC Metelkova mesto)

Friday, June 22nd at 21.00 in front of Škuc Gallery (in the case of rain inside Škuc Gallery – Galerija Škuc)


When we all met, Ezra Wube, Ethiopia, 2009, experimental animation, 4 min.

“When we all met” is based on my recent experience where all of the members of my family were reunited after years of separation. I use graphite pencil, acrylic paint and photo collage on Mylar. For each scene I use a single surface of Mylar. Mylar’s plastic surface allows graphite pencil marks to float over the ground, which facilitates erasure and allows the subsequent scene to develop. To make this animation I photographed a drawing then erased it and drew over the same surface for the next frame. In this animation, scenes are constructed, then deconstructed, collaged, then decollaged. This process allowed me to keep the past while moving forward.

Friday, June 22nd at 21.00 in front of Škuc Gallery (in the case of rain inside Škuc Gallery – Galerija Škuc))


The Invisibles, Nisha Duggal, Great Britain, 2012, animation/art, 4 min.

In a singular call to action The Invisibles employs and re-affirms the Socialist anthem ‘The Internationale’ for a contemporary audience.

The Invisibles is an animated self-portrait of the artist singing the folk/Socialist anthem ‘The Internationale” to camera. The Invisibles is about the contrasts between opposing ideas, highlighting the slippage between various themes including solitary versus many, fragile as opposed to slick, as well as contrasting the digital to the handmade.

Vive la Révolution!

Friday, June 22nd at 21.00 in front of Škuc Gallery (in the case of rain inside Škuc Gallery – Galerija Škuc)

Friday, June 22nd at 22.00 on the Summer stage at Gala hala (AKC Metelkova mesto)



Voyages through forgotten place

365, Ana Fratnik & Andrej Zavašnik, Slovenia, 2012, documentary, English subtitles.

The film 365 introduces us to Manja who is on the brink of the biggest adventure of her life. She is leaving Slovenia, home, the daily routine, friends and her boyfriend, with whom she has just moved in. She is heading off to an unknown country to gain work experience. We follow her in the last days before leaving.


From Worker to Activist – For a Better Life (Od radnika do aktivista – za bolji život), Anja Kuhar & Klemen Krek, Slovenia, 2012, documentary, English subtitles.

The collapse of Slovenia’s building industry has left foreign workers in even deeper distress. Outrageous injustices that did not receive widespread public attention led to the birth of the show Viza za budućnost (Visa for the Future), which has been given a slot on Ljubljana radio station Radio Študent. The show provides a marginalized group of people with a safe platform to voice their problems in the hope that they will reach as large an audience as possible and at least partially help to change the situation in the building sector. The film is a document of the time, giving insight into a show that serves as a means of empowerment and turns workers into activists.


Jin Hao for a Good Day (Jin Hao za dobar dan), Srđan Srđanov, Serbia, 2012, documentary, English subtitles.

The growing Chinese community in Novi Sad and Vojvodina still lives in a kind of voluntary isolation. Outside of their working environment, the picturesque shops popularly called “Chinese shops”, they remain practically invisible to their fellow citizens. The film explores the lives of the salesmen in one of these shopping centres and looks into their relationships with the locals.


Banat Triangle (Banatski trougao), Daniel Toader & Anica Stojanović, Serbia, 2012, documentary, English subtitles.

The increasing development of urban environments leads to mass migration of people from rural areas to the cities. Left behind in the countryside are big empty houses, forgotten things and forsaken people. Through the personal accounts of four women and footage of the deserted parts of Banat, the film depicts life in the countryside after its inhabitants have moved away.


Working Hours (Radno vrijeme), Veronika Bauer, Croatia, 2012, documentary, English subtitles.

In search of the concept of precarity, the film problematizes its invisibility. It creates a contrast between the verbal account of a precarious female worker and images of women in public, urban places. Real, uncertain working and living conditions are compared with pacified, empty images appearing in advertisements. The film attempts to project the fragmented nature of precarious everyday life into a seemingly depoliticised public space.


I’m Nobody, Barbara Matejčić & Nina Urumov, Croatia, 2012, documentary, English subtitles.

If you had to leave your home to save your life, what would you take with you? They know the answer. They have lost everything. They feel worthless while others decide about their future. They are asylum seekers in a country that does not like foreigners.

Thursday, June 21st at 18.15 in the Small hall at Kinodvor Cinema


The titles of the films were translated by the organizers of the festival exclusively for the needs of the Migrant Film Festival.

We reserve the right to change the programme.