International Competition Porto/Post/Doc 2023

by Porto/Post/Doc / 26 10 2023

In 2023, the main competition of the festival returns with ten feature films. Between documentary and fiction, this set of films enables an intercontinental journey through the contemporary diversity of social and political landscapes, allowing a panoramic look at our times.


Agnès Perrais, France, 2023, DOC, 83’

In 1378, in the city of Florence, poor workers in the woollen industry revolted against their employers. The so-called "Ciompi Revolt" was one of the first labour struggles in Europe and ended up changing the governance of the city. Director Agnès Perrais looks at this historical episode from the point of view of the militant historian who identified it (Alessandro Stella) and the current situation of textile workers who are once again fighting for better working conditions. Filmed on Super 8 and 16mm film, Ciompi is a trans-historical essay in which the past collides with the present, and from this clash the strength of the proletariat is born.
Ciompi premiered at Cinéma du Réel festival.

Bye Bye Tiberias
Lina Soualem, France, Belgium, Palestine, Qatar, DOC, 2023, 80’

Actress Hiam Abbass has spent her career between France and the United States. She worked with Spielberg on Munich and Denis Villeneuve on Blade Runner 2049, and is best known for her role as Marcia Roy in the acclaimed tv series Succession. For the sake of her work she left her family and her country at the age of 23, but years later, she began visiting her home village in Palestine with her daughter, Lina Soualem, who would go on to become a director. Lina constructed this work based on family films made during the summer holidays. Bye Bye Tibériade is an intimate documentary that describes the meeting of four generations of women and their stories of separation.
Bye Bye Tibériade premiered at the Venice Film Festival, in the parallel section Giornate degli Autori, and had its international premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

In the Rearview
Maciek Hamela, Poland, France, Ukraine, DOC, 2023, 84’

When the most recent phase of the Ukrainian War began, Polish director Maciek Hamela took a van and, with the help of other volunteers, began evacuating people fleeing the combat zones. In the Rearview translates this dual quality: he drives people (in successive journeys) through minefields and military checkpoints and films the various journeys from the rear-view mirror. His van is thus a hospital, a shelter, a place of sharing and gathering for a country in a state of siege. A film that understands that cinema can make a difference, even if it's only for five people at a time.
In the Rearview premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, in the ACID section.

The Echo
Tatiana Huezo, Mexico, Germany, 2023, DOC FIC, 102’

El Eco is the name of a small village in northern Mexico. Filmmaker Tatiana Huezo spent a year in this community and followed three families: young mothers, many children, a very frail grandmother and a series of absent fathers, almost all construction workers who leave for long periods of time. What the documentary maker finds and stages is a small matriarchal society built on an umbilical relationship with nature, and around the idea of transmission (of agricultural practices, gestures, language, the way of caring for the living and the dead) – all in a region known for the high number of kidnappings of women and children.
El eco premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Best Director award in the Encounters section and Best Documentary award.

Daniel Kötter, Germany, Armenia, 2023, DOC, 96’

Following the fall of the Soviet regime, a conflict over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region pitted Azerbaijan against Armenia, and in 2020 there was a war (the 44-Day War) in which Azerbaijan took over the disputed province. In Landshaft, director Daniel Kötter films a road movie that runs along the border of the dispute, from Lake Sevan to the gold mines of Sotk. Through an inhospitable landscape, between lakes and mountains, the director meets the inhabitants of the region who are anxiously awaiting the end of the conflict. In September 2023, the ceasefire was broken by Azerbaijan in a violent military offensive.
Landshaft premiered at Visions du Réel festival.

To Books And Women I Sing
María Elorza, Spain, 2022, DOC, 72’

In this film, "literature" rhymes with "woman". Director María Elorza's first feature film is an ode to four women who found in the pleasure of books and reading, a form of resistance to ignorance and fanaticism. One of them carried a library in the back of her car, another broke her finger when a bookcase fell on her and another read to tobacco workers. A collection of stories told through a plethora of materials (interviews, archive images, photographs, paintings, family films, intertitles, songs and film excerpts) with a simple aim: to reveal the civilising role of women in contemporary society.
A los libros y a las mujeres canto premiered at the San Sebastian festival and had its international premiere at the Rotterdam festival.

Up The River With Acid
Harald Hutter, France, 2023, DOC, 63’

Canadian director Harald Hutter, who has lived and worked in Paris for several years, has been developing work of enormous simplicity and tenderness, which finds in the ephemerality of the film medium the fleetingness of everyday gestures. In his feature film debut, the filmmaker chose to film those closest to him: his mother (Francine-Y Prévost) and especially his father (Horst Hutter). Filmed over just two days, we follow the steps of a retired teacher who is beginning to show the first signs of dementia and his wife, an informal carer and poet. Her words, together with the delicacy of her son's images, make up a touching portrait of a man who is disappearing.
Up The River With Acid premiered at the Cinéma du Réel festival, where it won the Grand Prize in the International Competition.

Between Revolutions
Vlad Petri, Romania, Croatia, Qatar, Iran, 2023, DOC, 68’

Zahra and Maria met at university when they were studying medicine in Bucharest at the end of the 1970s. Zahra returns to her country of origin, Iran, and Maria stays in Romania. From then on, an exchange of letters began, following the ousting of the Shah and the ensuing Islamic revolution and, in parallel, the progressive degradation of the Soviet empire and the opening to Western values. Two women and two countries heading in opposite directions. Director Vlad Petri tells us this story entirely from archive footage; a story of friendship, revolutionary verve, feminist insubmission, disillusionment and longing.
Between Revolutions premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, in the Forum section.

While the Green Grass Grows
Peter Mettler, Switzerland, Canada, 2023, DOC, 166’

In 2017 Porto/Post/Doc presented a Focus dedicated to the work of Peter Mettler. The following year the festival screened Becoming Animal. Since then the director has not made any more films, dedicating himself to the practices of expanded cinema, mixed media and photography. This is when he resurfaces with the monumental While the Green Grass Grows, based on a filmed diary that the director has been composing for almost a decade (and which corresponds to the first two volumes, of a total of seven, of what will be a film of more than 12 hours). An essayistic and intimate object that reinvents itself at every moment, changing tone, theme and approach like a free and loose conversation. An unclassifiable film by a filmmaker with no brakes.
While the Green Grass Grows premiered at the Visions du Réel festival, where it won the Grand Prize in the International Competition.

Helin Çelik, Austria, Spain, 2023, DOC, 91’

The Kurdish interdisciplinary artist Helin Çelik has made her second feature film, Anqa, in which three women find a place of refuge in the intimacy of a flat: they have all suffered the horrors of war in Jordan and it is in sharing that they find some form of therapy. It's not so much about denouncing the crimes and exposing the traumas as it is about feeling them impressively and lyrically, healing the wounds and proposing encounters. A film that stares pain in the face, but always with tenderness. As one of the protagonists says, "I am not what remains, I exist".
Anqa premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in the Forum section.

Partilhar: Facebook / Twitter
← Previous Next →