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mardi 16 février 2016

FIFO 2016, episode one

Identity and miscegenation

FIFO 2016, providing exceptionally sunny days during our rainy season, the emotional heat goes increasing as the screens of the different movie theater of the House of Culture in Papeete start to palpitate.

It begins for the second consecutive year by an afternoon called "Carte Blanche". It is run by Anûû-rû âboro, from the International Film Festival of the Peoples of New Caledonia, with a quartet selected by René Boutin. It continues in the evening by the 7th   Short Film Night of the Pacific. But we're only at "Off".

A jury chairman, came from Mauritanian desert
This 13th edition of the Oceanian Documentary Film International Festival (FIFO) is not lacking to honor the production of the Jury foreman, as usual. One way to present us with Abderrahmane Sissako, for the first time, the projection of a film, only just nominated for seven César awards in 2015. Timbuktu (2014) is primarily a sensitive visual approach, a talent filmmaker, a very courageous determination too. The mythical world of the African desert dismantled by the aberration of religious extremism from outside: a real denunciation conducted point to point.

The "In" springs on the 3rd day of a plenty busy week. It is shared between 11 films "in competition", 23 films "out of competition" and a section of 8 films, which, sweeping over the Pacific Islands, is "open to a public vote."

The insularity, on the wave of FIFO
Now, if your thirst for active cinema wishes to materialize, workshops are open to you: with the "first writing marathon", script writing, Ipad-Iphone shooting and editing - fairly busy - , the video game design, the "Cinemagraph". Equally, professionals will find their share between studios and seminars.

Under the banyan tree
Who says banyan of FIFO evokes meetings with actors, directors or producers under the guardianship tree shading the forecourt or paepae, enthroned in the heart of FIFO-Village ... But you may prefer to react immediately with debates following the screenings at the Grand Théâtre. No translation problem: multilingualism is part of the ordinary.

Who says Tahiti, too, can't imagine it without its fragrant floral scents at every turn. And on the paepae, the appointments can be impromptu. Everyone can discuss off the cuff with the great figures of this festival ... Polynesians do it with so much kindness! But all coins have two sides: at the kickoff, the FIFO village hadn't yet taken its plant ceremonial costume. But quickly the lost ground is regained: the decorators at work feverishly give a big push with scissors and plants.

A big-eared banyan…
Despite a lapping which proves to be more effective, a less aggressive air-conditioning, a sound system a lot better at the Grand Theatre, although the bass swallowed the dialogues of "Resistance" ... two tiny technical problems marred the launch of the first days.

What makes the crowds run and come from all over the world, from the great Pacific, but also from any nearby islands? Polynesians, more and more numerous each year, wouldn't miss for anything the visual festivities where the image invades the bodies.

 Jaiyah's confidences from Samoa
Let's face it, the audience of this year is manifesting more than ever at each showing. Beating the raps of Hip-Hop-Eration, outgoing handkerchiefs, laughing uproariously, astounded by the cruelty of messages (Another Country), under the spell of the glaring dignity of the characters.

A selection in the wind of history  
To give a color to the FIFO 2016, let's say it's in the image of our planet. Even the Oceania is affected by this scourge, called communalism and apartheid. Microcosms tear each other apart, no longer recognize their own. Apart from some positive experiences in small groups (Une équipe de rêve, Raimana World, Te Mana o te Moana, Totem Liberté...), in the same country, the divisions continue to grow.

For a land of cultures
The concept of national identity continues to exclude minorities, miscegenation is felt as a handicap, a shame. Where are the universalistic utopias? Religious syncretism has not always right audience, in the field as in the screening rooms: "For us, Jesus is black" (in Another Country) unleashes controversy. The exercise of justice only reaches its culmination that if it's focused by the international scene (The road to home, Putuparri, The Rainmakers, etc.).

To point out that some directors have managed to clear the mechanics of their film to emphasize the creative aspect and produce small aesthetic objects through a choreographed and sung fiction (Prison Songs). It's a real feat, with the division between women's block and men's block! The image processing in silhouettes inhabited by forest, roots, by the wood whose we sculpt the dream (Totem Liberté). Inmates' anonymity requires.

If the roots had a song...
Apart from rare documentary marked by didacticism and a worn classicism, without relief, the entire selection seems to move towards freedom of breath, tone and theme (L’Île Continent, Footprints). The Pacific Film lesson would it the clash of civilizations (such as the feeling of the Aborigines of Australia in Another Country): "You bring us the culture of the garbage ... We, our tools, our clothes, our homes... we borrow them to Nature and we bring back them to it."
Don't deprive us  salute the cinematic choices of Anûû-rû âboro with his world tour on the micro-societies, their relationship to the ancestral culture ... whether they are threatened or facing global societal drift.

An 'arioi (actor) out of oblivion with Lala Rolls
The four films show the harshness of globalization, the loosening of community ties, submission to international traffic and the law of money, the unequal struggle for survival. A gear that, unfortunately, is too well oiled by the politics and international economy mafia-style. There is another fact not insignificant: whatever the continent explored, the relation to divinity is significant. For example, spirits of the afterlife and reincarnation (Korea), protective spirit of the ocean (Borneo), guilt of the blind man towards the sublime perfection (in the paddies of Mazandaran), fetishism murderer in Tanzania. In all languages, among all the acts of oblation, it seems that the revival of religions is pervasive in most movies. Are the imminent dangers that used to resort to beliefs?

The dancing(s) in the rain seen by Nicole Ma  
Among these documentary-fictions, Korea of My love, don't cross that water exposes the gap between the delicacy of love games old-fashioned and the violence or indifference of young couples. Embroidered on silk of very poetic images, do the perennial values ​​of this near-centenarian couple pass into oblivion as feared the grieving widow? The life of these nomads of the sea in Borneo, forced to descend deeper and deeper, risking their health and safety, in these miserable pile-villages of Walking under water.

It's no more a rosy picture in the paddies of the Caspian Sea (Iran) where, to eke out a living it's to take risks between barter the harvesting or gathering. In Mashti Esmaeil, the eponymous hero, not sparing no effort, despite his blindness, daily, on its roof, up in trees, on the narrow dikes of cultivated terraces. Scarcity, poverty, ignorance leads some to use the color of the other. Albinos are hunted, mutilated, excluded in this film called In the shadow of the sun. Criminal organizations are indicted by the constant struggle of these "White Ghosts", to reclaim the right to live.

The Oceanian driving force of story

A panel, kind "the dead arisen" on four continents ... it moves us, don't it? It's instructive about the differences ... but above all, on number of similarities that dot the societal crisis on all fronts. Faced with the inevitable death, the refuge in the devotion intensifies, sometimes it gives way to the feat. And congratulations for this "carte blanche Anûû-rû âboro " which, by its commitment impressed the spectators ... eyes veiled of tears.

Eclectic moments
To end on a less serious just note, the "Oceanian short film Night" allowed everyone to give oneself a breath. For something quick, it's very "short-short" really! The French Polynesia beats the record with three one-minute video: Tahiti, Ma lettre de correspondance, and Avec le Temps, among the six that it's presenting ... You have, in all, half past two, to adjust your neurons to  fantasy worlds quite different. What a pleasant gymnastics, after all!

Give us back our lands...  
With 18 short films, including the Australian (6), New Caledonian (3) and New Zealand productions (3), you are guaranteed to juggle both writings as diverse as animation, still picture, graphism, dialogs and scenario, genres as large as possible such as: the comedy, fantasy, disaster movie, anticipation, slice of life, the doc in 8mn with Tohunga and the gag...

Discovery Evening... because we know that many of these small films will increase awareness of these Oceanian filmmakers, mostly young...

If history could talk...
Just to give you general impressions, we will not go further in this overview of FIFO's perfumes ... Further articles will follow with many and varied viewpoints. Because, no doubt, this session still hides other strokes of brilliance.

Fifotez, fifotez... something will always stick!

An article of Monak

Thanks to Vaihere and FIFO’s team
All references to the FIFO 2016, with this link: https://www.facebook.com/fifo.officiel/?fref=ts   
Favourite papers on the matter:

Copyright Monak. Ask for the author’s agreement before any reproduction of the text or the images on Internet or traditional press.

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