Keen on a dose of arts and culture next month? The Singapore European Union Film Festival (EUFF) is back, marking its 28th edition. Singapore’s longest running foreign film festival, it’ll be presenting over 20 contemporary films from across Europe with Austria as the featured country. You don’t even need to understand a lick of the languages because – well, subtitles. To save you the trouble, we’ve picked out five that have piqued our interest below.
1. Perfect Strangers (2016)
The Italian comedy-drama tells the story of seven long-time friends. The group, consisting of three married couples and a divorcee, is having dinner when they decide to play a game. The idea is to put their phones on the table so that every text message or phone call received that evening is revealed to the rest. It’s to prove that none of them have anything to hide. But of course, who doesn’t have his or her secrets? Hilarity and drama ensue and the seven friends find themselves to be perfect strangers. A dark ensemble comedy carried by plot twists, heightened emotions, and good acting, there’s no better time than the present to show how digital devices can influence our relationships.
Sunday 13 May, 9pm
Director: Paolo Genovese
2. Fukushima, Mon Amour (2016)
One of the recurring themes of the EUFF films this year is the exploration of women’s perspectives through the cinema lens. Black-and-white film “Fukushima, Mon Amour” from Germany is a quirky take on two women bonding in the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster. A geisha makes a valiant decision to retreat to her ruined house alone following a nuclear disaster, then meets a young German woman seeking changes to her life by bringing joy to others. The pair couldn‘t be more different, but are in their own ways, trapped in the past and must learn to liberate themselves from guilt and the burden of memory. You might recognise Kaori Momoi from 2005’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” and 2017’s “Ghost in the Shell”.
Saturday 19 May, 9pm
Director: Doris Dörrie
3. The Divine Order (2017)
A piece of trivia for you: women in Switzerland didn’t have the right to vote until 1971. In line with female empowerment is Swiss Film “The Divine Order”, which narrates the story of Nora, a headstrong young woman, housewife and mother living in a small village with her husband and two sons. She is a quiet woman liked by everybody until she fights for women’s suffrage amidst the deeply ingrained misogyny of Switzerland in the seventies. It stars Marie Leuenberger, who manages to bring to life the challenges faced by women in the past and the fight for the rights of her fellow women.
Friday 18 May, 9pm
Director: Petra Volpe
4. Fly Away Home (2016)
Based on the biographical novel by children’s book author Christine Nostlinger, opening drama film “Fly Away Home” is set in 1945 Vienna, back during the powder keg of war and the Russian occupation. The narrative unravels through the eyes of nine-year-old Christine. Bombed out and penniless, she and her family are put up in a fancy villa on the outskirts of Vienna. Peace is a foreign concept. They now have a roof over their heads, but nothing more. Class differences get amplified and everyone just wants to survive. After the German soldiers capitulate, the Russians take over the house. Everybody is scared of the Russians, who are believed to be a capricious lot. Everybody that is, except Christine.
Friday 18 May, 7pm
Director: Mirjam Unger
5. Insyriated (2017)
The Belgian melodrama revolves around a mother trying to keep her family and guests safe in a Damascus apartment. The plot unfolds in a claustrophobic few rooms over the course of a day as threatening outside forces continue raging with unleashed rockets and gunfire. There is hardly any water and snipers are lurking on the rooftops, making every trip outside the door riddled with danger. It provides a glimpse into the lives of a small group in war-torn Syria.
Thursday 17 May, 9pm
Director: Philippe van Leeuw
Tickets are available from $12. For more details, check out http://www.euff.sg/.
This story first appeared on www.herworld.com.
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