Passepartout is all about documentaries and visual stuff I find worth seeing.

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Movies That Matter Festival: Chuck Norris vs Communism and What I Remembered

The first film I remember watching – ever – was one in which the main character is a guy dressed in white. Somehow I believe it was Alain Delon but I’m not sure what makes me believe that. And what happens is that he dies in some sort of corrida arena, not killed by a bull but by someone, someone evil. I don’t remember most of the concrete details, as you can see. What I remember is the strong impact the scene had on me, it felt like something I had to think about and I did think about it for a while. I was probably 4 or 5, film ratings were non-existent back then and and my parents, like many Romanian parents at that time, were watching films in secret, illegally smuggled into the country.

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Taxi

Taxi (2015, directed by Jafar Panahi)

Yesterday I ran through the cold rain and arrived soaking wet at the Movies That Matter Festival to see Jafar Panahi’s new film, Taxi. Panahi has a 20 year ban on making movies in his home country, Iran. But he doesn’t stop making films, filmmaking is his life and this is his third film since he got the ban. Taxi won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale this year and I was very curious about it. But… I was disappointed. Here’s why and also here’s what’s good about the film.

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I met someone very special.

Last night. I went with a friend to watch the documentary The Free Voice of Egypt (directed by Konstanze Burkard) at the Movies That Matter Festival. I knew she would be there for a debate, much later. But as we were waiting for the movie to begin, there she was coming, and she sat next to us. Nawal El Saadawi.

That’s very special at the Movies That Matter, people you see in the films become real walking people while you’re there. And she certainly is very special to me, for how witty and warm and coherent she is about big issues. She can talk about something enormous in a way that has meaning and makes great sense. She’s warm and powerful and often the two don’t come together in a person. And she is fearless, she doesn’t compromise her ideas, she speaks her mind. I doubt she was never afraid. I am sure she was. But it is people that can be greater than their fears the ones who make a change.

She is an inspiration to me, and even though the term has been used and abused so much that it lost a good part of its weight…well, she really is special to me, full weight.

Article about the films and all the good things I have seen and heard to follow soon.

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