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Difficult Places

Start: 18 May 2011 6:30 pm

Venue: The Horse Hospital

18 May 2011 6:30 pm
The Horse Hospital
30 Colonnade, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 1JD

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Really Hard be a Good Masai

UK Premiere
Gabriele Neudecker | , | 10 mins

This moving portrait grants an intriguing insight into the live of adolescent Masai-warriors. In its entire complexity and variety the daily routine as well as the cycle of its accompanying shows for the tourists are demonstrated with the stylistic means of Direct Cinema - for which the script of director Gabriele Neudecker has been awarded. “Really hard be good Masai” is a chronicle of young Morani-warriors and a panorama of role-aspects between being guardian of tradition, modern teenager and tourist attraction.

The viewer is placed in the middle of the action when young Morani-warriors put on quite a show for the tourists and try to energize their audience. Characteristic of the film´s complexity is the depiction of making fire: over five minutes in length, we can see the young Morani are not familiar with this old tradition of fire lighting. “Really hard be good Masai” is direct cinema in a literal sense: a direct film that carries the viewer along, and without a manipulative soundtrack or the filmmaker’s intervention.
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One Day in Smara

UK Premiere Watch trailer
Fany de la Chica | | 24 mins

This film tells the story of one day in Smara, a refugee camp in the south of Algeria. Six characters and the Sahara: The past, present and future of a population without land who are still waiting, still asking, that their plight be heard.
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Guañape Sur

UK Premiere
János Richter | , | 23 mins

A barren rock island off the coast of Peru. No soil, no water, but hundreds of thousands of birds. For ten years only two guards have been allowed to live on Guañape Sur. In the eleventh year though, hundreds of workers arrive for the harvest of the birds' excrement. An extraordinary sight. Reminiscent of the photography of Salgado.
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The Camp

+ None World Premiere Watch trailer
Mark Monti | , , | 10 mins

The Mae La refugee camp, established in the mid 1980’s, is situated in the Tak Province of Thailand, near the picturesque Burmese border. The camp is home to predominantly more than 50,000 Karen people who have fled persecution from the military regime of Burma

Although free from the clutches of a military dictatorship, the area surrounding the camp is heavily guarded by Thai authorities. The refugees are trapped within the confines of barbed wire fences and access to the outside world is strictly forbidden. As a result, the refugee camp has developed into an enclosed, self-sustaining community. Resources and food are scarce and wholly dependent on aid but the refugees somehow manage to live some semblance of a life: Women weave cloth whilst children go to a make shift school and play in the water.

This dialogue-free documentary is a visual portrait of the lives of people who are dislocated, without political status and without a voice. Set to a haunting soundtrack, this film presents the everyday realities of life in the camp, from the hardships to the joyous to the unremarkable. Some of the refugees hope to see life beyond their self-made community. Others simply embrace each day as it comes. Those who are young enough do not even know of a life beyond the camp. Despite the negative circumstances, there is a prevailing sense of optimism throughout the documentary, personified by the refugees who are determined to live their lives and to strive for a better future.
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