The Luxembourg Film Festival aims to showcase the best of international cinema. It features a wide panorama of contemporary fiction and documentary films, special screenings, Luxembourgish productions and a young audiences programme.
The festival is a great way to discover international films that aren’t usually featured in the local cinema. We’ve rounded up some of the best films from the festival.
A sweet and sentimental film about present and absent familial ties, Luxembourg, Luxembourg is the second feature from writer/director Antonio Lukich. It stars real-life rap duo Ramil and Amil Nasirov as twin brothers who grow up in the shadow of their missing father, a petty criminal.
When they find out their father is dying in Luxembourg, they travel to see him one last time. Will he be the bad-ass father they remember?
The Luxembourg City Film Festival is the country’s official film festival. It is committed to presenting high-quality, exclusive content of undeniable artistic value, featuring a vast panorama of international contemporary fiction and documentary films, special screenings, Luxembourgish productions and a young audiences programme.
2. The Other Side of the Wall
In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Locarno Film Festival (LFF) was a key showcase for Eastern European films. This reputation was largely a result of its non-governmental nature and its absence of official state support.
Despite this, depictions of the LFF as a’red’ festival – a doctrine that shared by political and military authorities, parties and associations – grew in prominence during the Cold War. This led to the establishment of a ‘national’ selection committee in 1962, aimed at limiting the presence of films from socialist regimes.
The 1962 LFF saw the emergence of a number of films from East Germany. One of them, Starker als die Nacht (The Man in the High Castle), was awarded a prize by the jury. This was the first time that an East German film was awarded in an official festival programme. In addition, two Czechoslovak films, The Devil’s Trap (Dablova past) and The High Wall (Vysoka zed), were awarded prizes.
3. The Man in the High Castle
Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle is one of the streaming era’s also-rans. This dystopian World War II-alternate history series imagines what happened if the Axis powers won World War II, and the Japanese and Nazis occupied the United States.
In this alternate reality, the East Coast is under Nazi control, and the Pacific Northwest is under Japanese control. Between them is a neutral buffer zone.
When Juliana Crane (Alexa Davalos) is given a film that seems to depict a world where the Allied forces won WWII, she decides to learn more about it. She soon encounters Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank), a resistance fighter with his own secrets.
The Man in the High Castle is a dark thriller about the impact of alternative history on humanity. Characters operate under constant threat of detection, arrest, torture, and death. Sudden deaths occur on-screen, with bludgeoning and gunfire used in some scenes; settings are dark and shadowy; and characters frequently use racial slurs.
4. The Nightingale
The Nightingale is a gothic thriller starring Sam Claflin, directed by Jennifer Kent. Featuring an exceptional-unto-iconic performance from Aisling Franciosi as Clare, the film follows the journey of a woman who seeks redress in the face of a vicious cycle of vengeance.
It’s a great film, with admirable qualities and shortcomings. The narrative structure is similar to that of Kent’s previous work, The Babadook, and the film is replete with unavoidable cliches and predictable moments.
However, the film does a lot to make us think. Its portrayal of a rarely-told chapter in colonial ugliness is done with appropriate outrage and bluntness, the violence is eloquent and horrifying, and the sexual violence is relentless yet non-exploitative.