Magnificent Seven Film Festival

Brothers, a film at the Magnificent Seven festival in Belgrade

Great news for film-lovers, the Magnificent Seven Film Festival starts tonight!

Magnificent Seven is a long-running (this is its twelfth year) Belgrade festival, celebrating seven of Europe’s best documentary feature films from the previous year.

This year’s selection was made by Danish documentary film specialist, Tue Steen Müller.

Müller has worked at the Danish Film Board for more than 20 years, focusing on short and documentary films in his roles as press secretary, head of distribution and information and commissioning editor. He was co-founder of the Balticum Film & TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord and Documentary, the EU Media Office for Creative Documentaries and was a co-initiator of the European Documentary Network in 1996 and was the network’s first director until 2005. In 2004 he was awarded the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture.

  • All films are screened with both Serbian and English sub-titles
  • Tickets are 400 dinars
  • Tickets are on sale at the Sava Center (tel. 011/220 60 60) and EVENTIM and should be purchased one hour before the start of the programme

Our Last Tango
Germany/Argentina, 2015
Written and directed by German Kral
Opening Ceremony, Sava Centar
Friday 29 January, 8pm
Our Last Tango, a film at the Magnificent Seven festival in BelgradeA story of love between the two most famous dancers in tango’s history and the story of their tremendous love of tango. María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes met when they were 14 and 17 and danced together for nearly fifty years. In all those years they loved and hated each other and went through several painful separations, but always got back together. Now, Juan and María are willing to open up about their love, their hatred, and their passion. In Our Last Tango Juan and María tell their story to a group of young tango dancers and choreographers from Buenos Aires, who transform the most beautiful, moving and dramatic moments of Juan and Maria’s lives into incredible tango-choreographies. These beautifully-shot choreographies compliment the soul-searching interviews and documentary moments of the film to make this an unforgettable journey into the heart of the tango.

Twilight of a Life
Belgium/Israel, 2015
Directed by Sylvain Biegeleisen
Sava Centar
Saturday 30 January, 8pm
A refined documentary pearl, woven out of the finest strands that connect our inner worlds with the hidden, deepest worlds of others. A testament to a warm and fascinating communication with another being within whom, thanks to the skill of the poet, we see a small but vigorous luminosity shinning in all its power inside the body weaker than the frailest of birds. The mother of Silvain Biegeleisen suddenly loses all physical strength at the age of 94, and he decides to film her final days. And then a miracle happens, despite all prognoses life refuses to bow to knowledge and begins to sing with a thin, but unstoppable voice. And an elegy, condemned to dark and narrow space suddenly, almost from the first, blossoms into a hymn to the fullness of life, the power of touch and pure emotion, an ode to joy and play, lengthening the days into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years.

Czech Republic, 2015
Directed by Helena Třeštíková
Sava Centar
Sunday 31 January, 8pm
The most recent documentary of one of Europe’s most significant documentary film-makers – awarded Grand Prix for Best Documentary at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival – made in the unique style of her most famous works. This time Helena Třeštíková spent 13 years following and recording everything important that happened to Mallory, a young, initially problematic girl, who goes on to become a mother before the camera, and struggles in clumsy and unusual ways to find her place under the sun. Despite temptations and weaknesses, she matures, stumbles and falls, but always finds the strength to pick herself back up again. Precisely in these moments of refusal to submit to despair, unusual twists occur, leading this film to gradually become a fascinating contemporary fairy tale told in the bitter tones of precisely documented reality.

Lampedusa in Winter
Austria/Italy/Switzerland, 2015
Directed by Jakob Brossman
Sava Centar
Monday 1 February, 8pm
Lampedusa in Winter, a film at the Magnificent Seven festival in BelgradeIs there anything emptier than an idyllic summer resort in wintertime? Jakob Brossman arrives with his crew, at such a moment of calm and low tide, when all small local problems become big events, and their main protagonists begin to resemble characters from Fellini’s films. On Lampedusa this is all tinged by the big, unwanted looming shadow, the drama and presence of the People from the Boats, rescued in dramatic operations from storms and high seas, sometimes successfully, often not, but always at great risk. And to top it all off – discussions recalling the spirited traditions of the debate forums of the ancient world – can the fisherman survive, will Lampedusa get a ferry, what are the Africans doing in front of the church? With humour and conviviality of the Mediterranean spirit, with a lot of sound and fury, but with empathy and true understanding for the human condition. A story told in rich layers, of the clash of worlds – of Africa vs. Europe, the island vs. the mainland, provincial outposts vs. the centre, and inescapably poor vs. the rich.

Don Juan
Sweden/Finland, 2015
Directed by Jerzy Śladkowski
Sava Centar
Tuesday 2 February, 8pm
This year’s winner of Europe’s largest documentary film festival in Amsterdam, IDFA, is without a doubt one of the best documentaries produced in recent years. The initial idea of the author was to make a film about psychiatric institutions and patients in Russia, and even during the first researches suddenly appeared Oleg, a young man trapped by autism, and his mother convinced that her son can and should do more to improve his life. Especially when it comes to women. And Oleg begins long battles to learn how to become Don Juan, to pierce even a little the armor that safely shields him from the world and girls. The camera begins to follow his therapies that slowly multiply and start turning into an interesting odyssey – from conventional conversation, to shocking, grotesque procedures, and finally to making the theatre.

Poland, 2015
Directed by Wojciech Staroń
Sava Centar
Wednesday 3 February, 8pm
From the very first moment of the film, from the first wonderful scene, an unusual and poetic story unfolds in front of us, a story about two brothers and their still unsettled life history that surrounds them. This documentary takes you on the small country roads lined with meadows, in beautiful, blossoming fields, in the dark forests where two old charismatic men are walking through – a painter, constantly in search of what excites his creative spirit, and the other one, who looks like his reflection in the mirror, and who managed, like in fairy tales, to get rid of the physical connection with the character and to become its opposite – a silent, reliable companion and protector. And whatever happens, from wandering through the landscapes full of colors and impressions, riding with no apparent purpose and reason, to everyday situations in which they are talking and being silent at the same time, between the two brothers runs continuous and exciting current which outlines some of the deep secrets of life and human communication. All this is linked by magical scenes of family films, which as a leitmotif of the film testify to the metaphysical sphere in the existences of our heroes.

United Kingdom, 2015
Directed by Cosima Spender
Sava Centar
Thursday 4 February, 8pm
Palio, a film at the Magnificent Seven festival in BelgradeFor centuries, one of the most beautiful old city-republics in Italy, Siena, two times a year becomes divided with conflicts, when all residents, from the youngest to the elderly live for Palio – one of the oldest horse races in the world. It is a specific time machine that magically revives Renaissance costumes, flags, coats of arms and trumpets, ceases everything with its primordial force and completely enchants both observers and participants. This is a real battle for prestige turned into a symbolic competition of horses and riders held in a surprising place – in the very centre of Siena, on the largest city square. Old ritual lives its intense life even today with never reduced passions without scruples – turbulent Mediterranean mentality and dark tradition of political intrigues of the past times haunt freely, like a ghost, all the citizens, and no one is spared, not even the players or horses.

For those of you who don’t know it, here’s a map to the Sava Centar:

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