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Cyprus Film Days 2023 – Mini Reviews

Cyprus Film Days has been my favourite festival for the past 6 years, since I first discovered it! Getting to watch some of the most acclaimed films of each year from around the world and also watch some of the amazing production happening on the island has been such a privilege.


Going into this year’s line-up, in an attempt to be unbiased, I avoided reading information about how each of the movies were received in other festivals around the world.

Overall, I was proud that this year I managed to watch as many films as I did! Even the ones that didn’t make the best impression on me, where still very valuable in the sense that they still had a unique perspective and a notable presence.


IMAN

IMAN is very ambitious in its intermingled storylines and how they are connected. Its ambiguous character representation takes a controversial stance on matters like religion and gender relations. Some storylines were perhaps given more attention than others.


Jane Campion - La femme cinema


An incredible study of Jane Campion's life and work through archival footage, beautifully and carefully put together, creating a complete image of one of the greatest!


Julie Bertuccelli not only amplifies the feminine sublime of Jane Campion, but she also elegantly multiplies it!


Silence 6-9


I don't have a lot to say about Silence 6-9.

It is an absolutely incredible piece of work with such a unique approach to the idea of finding love and companionship in a hopeless (/hopeful) place!!


I truly fell in love with how this film looks, with how it sounds, and the overall dreamy yet grounded atmosphere of this world that Christos Passalis so ingeniously created!!


A solid gem of the Greek Weird Wave movement!


Ma'Ayan Rypp, the director of The Other Widow said that other people begin to create their film with an idea, but she began with just a feeling.


While watching the film one can quickly understand what the director meant by this. The audience follows the story through the main character's point of view, allowing us to feel the delicate emotions that occur when a woman is faced with the loss of her secret married lover.


A very real depiction of a devastating period in a person's life, handled in a feminine and gentle way.


Mediterranean Fever is clever with its juxtaposition of the characters' mental health struggles and the political issues of their country. It is refreshing in its depiction of sensitive masculine characters and their position in family and friendship dynamics.


Despite the serious undertone in the script, Maha Haj expertly manages to keep the mood of the film light and humorous at times. An original idea beautifully executed.


Love Dog is one of those films that hits you harder than you would think! After contemplating leaving the screening a couple of times due to how sad it made me feel, I managed to stay until the end, and I was not disappointed!!


A simple story of a man's grief told in such a personal and honest way. Even though the overall atmosphere feels devastating with sombre cinematography, suffocating close ups and gloomy American rural landscapes, Bianca Lucas manages to slip a ray of hope in this otherwise heart-breaking piece.


The idea of following a character whose entire trajectory involves around destroying themselves for any tiny amount of recognition and support, without any background or an explanation on what let them be this way, feels like the perfect example of an exaggerated allegory.


Sick of Myself spends no time filling the gaps of the protagonist and frankly, we almost don't want to learn more about her. It's difficult to understand and empathise with Signe, a beautiful young woman living a middle-class lifestyle in Norway, who physically tears herself down in order to satisfy her insatiable need for attention.


It's not so difficult though to recognize the metaphors and parallels drawn by Kristoffer Borgil between the hyperbolic world of the film, and our contemporary individualised and superficial modes of living.


Watching The Eight Mountains was such a wholesome and heartfelt experience!!


The heartbreakingly beautiful Italian landscapes and the restless childhood summers make us feel nostalgia for places we've never been! So, when we see how the life of the characters and them growing up gets in the way, we feel it equally as devastating.


This film may look like a fairy tale or a story straight out of a novel, but it never lets us doubt its authenticity and its honesty of emotions.


These were all the films I was lucky enough to watch at this year’s Cyprus Films Days Festival at Rialto Theatre. Every single one of them was special in their own way and left a lasting impression on me! I just can’t wait for our favourite week in April next year!!



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