Noticias Feature Films
Family tensions and sexual violence fill the second day of Cinema Jove
  • Family Members’, ‘Light as Feathers’ and ‘The Dive’ are the three premieres of the Feature Film Official Section

Cinema Jove presents three of the competing productions of the Feature Film Official Section tomorrow, and they all share a common element: family relations and how these influences the evolution of their main characters.

The first film, ‘Family Members’, by Argentinian Mateo Bendesky, portrays adolescent mourning after the loss of a parent. In the film, two siblings, obsessed respectively with the bodily and the mystical become trapped in an almost deserted coastal town to try to fulfil their mother’s passing wishes. Off-season summer holiday locations are a common backdrop that young Argentinian and Uruguayan filmmakers are keen on. Bendesky justifies this coincidence by the “strong melancholic component [they offer], something abundant in these coastal sceneries.”

It is not the first time the director focuses on sibling relationships. His two previous short films, ‘El ser magnético’ and the coming-of-age ‘Nosotros solos’, also star siblings: “Siblings are the people you are normally closest to in your life, and at the same time, they are relationships that are, to a certain extent, imposed upon you. The dichotomy this presents, as well as the tensions they can generate and the possibility of preserving or undoing these “given” bonds (as they depend on the will of both sides to be sustained) is something that I have always found intriguing and that I’ve wanted to explore through my films.”

The Argentinian director was able to develop the script thanks to a MacDowell grant he was awarded in 2016 at the Toronto Festival. ‘Family Members’ will be screened at 11.30am at La Filmoteca.

At 8.15pm, Dutch director Rosanne Pel will present her film debut ‘Light as Feathers,’ set in a small Polish town. The film looks into the origins of sexual violence through the story of a 15-year-old boy who has a codependent relationship with his manipulative and dominant mother, where an Oedipus complex is insinuated. The young boy transfers his emotional confusion to the bond he has with his 13-year-old neighbor whom he abuses physically and emotionally.

The director was inspired by the work of philosopher Hannah Arendt to explore the pairing of guilt and punishment. Pel opts to focus on the point of view of the abuser, creating a deep reflection in the audience.: “Sexual violence is a delicate topic and this is represented in the way it appears in films. Many films are told from the point of view of the victim. This is understandable, as we feel sympathy for them. However, it results in lacking information on the origin of the violence,” states the director.

The third competing feature film of the day is ‘The Dive’, by Yona Rozenkier, which will be presented at 10.30pm by its main character, Yoel Rozenkier.

The director stars, together with his siblings, in this family drama, where dark humor is used to highlight the absurdity of the backing war scenario. The bombs serve as a soundtrack for the reunion of three brothers at the kibbutz where they grew up, to fulfil their father’s last wishes.

This semi-biographical film is set in 2006, during the Second Lebanon War, and displays how a person, and by extension, the person’s close group, are marked by growing up in a country in constant conflict: “In 2006, before joining the Lebanese Front, my brother came to visit for 24 hours. It was clear at that point that the reserves would be called to ranks, and that meant my two brothers and I had a memorable night before we all went to war,” tells the director.

A graduate from the Steve Tisch School at the University of Tel Aviv, Rozenkier has directed short films Bugs on a Helmet (2011) and Raz and Radja (2012), part of an Israeli-Palestinian Project.