After 14 years, the selections for the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) is constantly changing to showcase the best Europe have to offer to broaden our horizons of what's out there in the cinema world. This year, the EUFF boast a total of 23 films from 20 countries, so you are either spoiled for choice or daunted by which ones to watch.
| "Made In Hungaria" is one of the films screening in EUFF 2013.
If you are the latter, this guide is here to point out the ones that you should catch if you only have a limited time to enjoy the festival, though no one is stopping you from seeing all 23 of them. Here's our five recommended movies that you shouldn't miss from EUFF 2013!
Barbara is a doctor exiled to a rural hospital in East Germany after failing to secure an exit visa to the West. While waiting for her lover there to plot for her escape, she avoids friendship with her new colleagues except for the hospital's head physician. When she falls for him, Barbara finds that her plans for the future may have changed.
Why you should watch it: Directed by Christian Petzold, who won the Silver Bear for Best Direction at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival, we are expecting a very gripping tale of a woman with secrets to hide in the troublesome times after World War II and Nina Hoss to give a remarkable performance as someone who has to come to grips with her desire and needs. "Barbara" also won the Silver Award for Outstanding Feature Film at the 2012 German Film Awards, which just adds to its value of being a must watch from German cinema.
Niko is a carefree 20 something adult who lives for the present. One day, he loses all his dependents in his life, such as his girlfriend breaking up with him, his father cutting off his allowance, he is confirmed to be 'emotionally unbalanced' by a psychiatrist, and a beauty from his past comes back into his life.
Why you should watch it: Don't be fooled by the black and white imagery. "Oh Boy!" was a major winner in the 2013 Berlin Film Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Leading Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Score. Tom Schilling's performance as a wandering youth trying to make sense of his life should be one that anyone in their prime can relate to, which makes "Oh Boy!" suited for any working adult.
3. "The Day Of The Crows"
Courge is the son of a giant who yearns to find discover life outside the boundaries of their forest home. When his curiosity gets the better of him, he ends up in a village where he meets the daughter of the village doctor, Manon. In order for them to be together, Courge must first convince his father that the humans outside their home are not a threat and bring back the one thing that has left his heart; love.
Why you should watch it: Though this 2012 animation from France is not an award winner, it is the only animation that would be showing in this year's festival so it should be one that the whole family can enjoy. Besides, who doesn't want to hear Jean Reno's voice as a loveless ogre?
2. "London: The Modern Babylon"
A retrospective of London from its past to its present just right before the 2012 Olympics, "London: The Modern Babylon" is an ode by documentary filmmaker Julien Temple to his hometown. We follow him on a time-travelling journey through the eyes of the people who lived in the city from all walks of life; from the popular musicians, defining politicians, radical thinkers, down to the oppressed every day men and women. This is the story of London's immigrants and bohemians and how together they changed the city forever.
Why you should watch it: Nominated for Best Documentary in several film festivals such as the British Independent Award, the European Film Awards and the London Critics Circle Film Awards, this painstakingly assembled film of archive footage and modern records is the only documentary that has been selected for EUFF 2013 and should bring back good memories for anyone who had lived in the capital of England at any point in their life. In addition, the screening of this film is free!
Georges and Anne are an old French couple into their 80s, living together in their quiet little flat. When Anne shows signs of dementia and suffers from a stroke, Georges attempts to care for her alone. Eventually, Georges is forced to confront the realities of his wife's physical deterioration and her crumbling state of mind, which drives him to make some critical decisions for them both.
Why you should watch it: If you haven't heard about Michael Heneke's tremendous award winner, then consider this your eye opener. Aside from winning the Palm d'Or in the Cannes Film Festival in 2012 and Best Foreign Language Film at the 2013 Oscars, which are reasons enough for you to go and see this, the performance of the oldest Oscar nominee for Best Actress, Emmanuelle Riva, is heartrending and emotionally devastating. Screened only briefly and for limited audiences in Malaysia, if there is only one film you could afford to see then it should be this one.
Cinema Online, 04 November 2013