DN films premiere at IDFA International Film Festival Amsterdam
The short documentaries Dusk, by Bálint Bíró, and I Don’t Feel at Home Anywhere Anymore, by Viv Li, will premiere in the Competition for Student Documentary at IDFA - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the largest documentary festival worldwide, held from 16 November to 6 December 2020.
By Bálint Bíró • 21' • Hungary
In a rural region of Hungary close to the Serbian border, an invisible danger looms—as any villager can tell you. Figures sneak across the fields, unknown cars are spotted, dogs in yards behave strangely, and children are scared when it gets dark.
Sandor, a father of eight, has taken up a job as a “landguard” to protect the small community in which they live. He patrols the border with his car and night vision goggles, assisted by his eldest son, on the lookout for anything suspicious. Although we don’t actually see any intruders and they are only spoken about in veiled terms, the threat always feels tangible, especially for the children.
News reports that the father and son see on their smartphones at night provide some background to all the suspense. Wide, static shots combined with ambient sound create an ominous atmosphere: cars in the distance, crickets chirping at dusk, frogs croaking, and dogs barking in the darkness.
In IDFA catalogue.
By Viv Li • 16' • Belgium, China
Thirty-year-old Viv Li is studying art in Belgium and hasn’t lived in her native China for ten years. During the Christmas holidays, she pays a nine-day visit to her family in Beijing, where it soon becomes clear that she feels like an outsider. Her grandmother thinks she’s too thin (“What kind of crap do you eat when you’re abroad?”), her uncle wants to know what she actually does for work, and a meeting with her ex-boyfriend causes grief. Political discussions reveal a deep information gap.
Losing your roots is a painful process, Li shows, though it has its humorous moments. In brief, unsubtitled scenes (the dialogue is summarized in titles above), this short film portrays the discomfort of the bird that has flown but temporarily returns to the nest. Li misses Beijing when she’s not there, but it drives her crazy if she stays there too long—the cruel fate of the migrant, subtly captured in modest but telling scenes. When Li returns to her home in Belgium, the alienation is complete.
In IDFA catalogue.