Formorkelsen / Pomračenje
In 1961, a solar eclipse brought Yugoslavs out into the streets, peering through handmade visors and screens to wonder at this rare natural phenomenon. There wouldn’t be another one before the year 1999, they were told. Who could know that by then, there would no longer be a Yugoslavia? Nataša Urban (b. 1977) revisits the conflict that tore her country and her childhood apart through the prism of her immediate family and friends’ often reluctant recollections, and pierces their webs of self-protective amnesia and willful ignorance.
Artfully conjured through poetic Super 8 and Super 16mm footage, some of it quite abstract, some metaphorical, the film is a fascinating insight into a side of history that is rarely explored. With intertitles carefully mapping out the course of Serbia’s nationalist, xenophobic campaign, a spare but evocative score, and sometimes rendingly painful interviews, it’s easy to see why Urban’s film won the top prize at the prestigious Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) earlier this year.
DOX:Award (Best International Feature), CPH-DOX 2022
Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre
Palawan appears to be an idyllic tropical island. Its powder-white beaches and lush forests have made it one of Asia’s hottest new tourist destinations. But for a tiny network of environmental crusaders and vigilantes trying to protect its spectacular natural resources, it is more akin to a battlefield.
Black History Month: Short Film Showcase
The four short films in this program range from humorous dark comedy to sombre drama. These films explore existential crises, beauty standards and daring ambitions in the lives of the protagonists.
The Klabona Keepers + ReWilding the Classroom
The Klabona Keepers is fierce account of the Tahltan Nation’s struggle to protect the Klabona Sacred Headwaters, an important natural habitat in northwest British Columbia, from commercial mining. ReWilding the Classroom educates viewers about the Youth Leadership in Sustainability initiative (YLS), a one-semester program that integrates curricular activities with the environment.
Bill Gould, Jared Blum
Nataša Urban is a documentary film director and editor working professionally since 2005. Her films, such as Journey of a Red Fridge (2007)—which won the First Appearance Competition Award and was named as one of the Top 25 Audience Favorites at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam—and Big Sister Punam (2009)—which won the UNICEF Award for Children’s Rights—have been screened at film festivals worldwide and have received 40 awards. She holds a Master’s degree in Photography from the University of Arts in Belgrade and lives and works in Oslo.