14. September 2013 - 1:36
Posted By: Pauline.Schre
Let's CEE Film festival- Opening Featurefilm Eastalgia
review by Pauline Schreuder
On the 13th of September the UTV team had the opportunity to film the opening of this year's Let's CEE Film festival at the Urania Kino in Vienna.
The program includes a range of very inspiring, high quality film productions from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including the Caucasus region and Turkey by some prominent Directors. The films screened at the festival embody the main values of Let's CEE Film Festival. A quote from their main website summarizes their canon of values in a concise manner. The festival’s philosophy focuses on "a clear commitment to an open, pluralistic, democratic society free of prejudice and based on the fundamental principle of the rule of law, a common European identity, respecting values such as tolerance, solidarity, equal opportunities and justice as well as unconditional protection of human dignity and human rights."
This year the opening piece was titled "Eastalgia". It's a Featurefilm by a talented Ukrainian film director Daria Onyshchenko. Eastalgia portrays the still existent deep cracks between Western and Eastern Europe and depicts how they interfere with the achievement of personal happiness.
The plot revolves around four main characters: Ruslana a middle-aged Ukrainian woman who lives a lonely life in Munich. Her Son Bogdan, who has been working as a driver for spoiled Ukrainian pop-singer Maria in Kiev. Ruslana's Serbian neighbor Vladan who moved to Germany to pursue his boxing career, which left him with nothing but a painful divorce and his son Zoran who returned to Belgrade, and together with his girlfriend Aida, lives a simple but satisfying life.
Despite some moving moments the film stays a Potpourri of four separate stories, which unfortunately do not form a harmonic whole. Moreover, the quite unsteady camera work brings in more chaos into the story rather than allowing the audience to emphasize with the difficult life situations of the characters.
Despite those criticisms, the film portrays a clear message of the constant struggle for the search of happiness in life and benefits from the exhilarating cast, which makes you cry and laugh at the same time. Nina Nizheradze who acts as Ruslana has portrayed her character probably in the most impressive manner. It is worth mentioning that Nina had no previous knowledge of German language and learned all her lines and their meaning just for the movie.
Last but not least, a very comical moment that stayed in the mind of the audience, which shows the contrast between the sadness of the struggle and the occasional fun the characters had, was when Ruslana, the middle-aged Ukrainian woman said the following words in broken German to her Serbian neighbor Vladan during the discussion of finding a girl for her son:
"aber die Deutsche Mädchen nicht so feminin"
her neighbor answered:
"das nennt man Unisex"
Watch the trailer for Eastalgia on:
and further program of this year's Let's CEE Film Festival is available at: