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May 4, 2017
Three Essential Films at Panorama Europe 2017

I, Olga Hepnarova

A young lesbian woman (Michalina Olszanska) in the midst of sexual discovery shrinks away from a society that is unkind to her. Full of hatred due to years of being bullied and physically abused, she reconciles with a plan for vengeance and strikes back at the world with a heartless atrocity. The camera left in place often for long periods of time, Olszanska's disturbed intense nature never falters as we’re drawn into the mind of her increasingly fractured psyche. Based on true events from 1970s Czechoslovakia, this black and white shot intricate character study offers a terrifying look into the birth and evolution of a killer. Deeply unnerving and uncomfortably real, I, Olga Hepnarova reveals the vicious consequences that can result from bullying, ostracizing and torment.

The Erlprince

As the clock ticks away until the end of the world, a young boy genius (Staszek Cywka) races to prove his theory that consciousness not only lives on past death but is a separate entity in of itself that can travel to parallel dimensions. The boy shares a volatile and almost romantic relationship with his demanding mother (Agnieszka Podsiadlik) which is then complicated further when his absentee father (Sebastian Lach) re-enters his life. Struggling with the desire for a normal kids life while balancing the responsibility that his advanced mind has placed upon him, he is forced to decide between accepting his gifts or shunning them and the world completely. Poetically told, the apocalyptic narrative rides on a rhythmic wave of glossy visuals and abstract dialogue. While some may be turned off by the films slow crawl and ambiguity, others will be entranced by its enigmatic presentation.

Do Re Mi Fa

Set in modern day Malta, Do Re Mi Fa follows the lives of four distinctly troubled characters: a children's party clown named Bozo (Paul Flanagan) who must constantly fight back his pedophile urges; an aging and dissatisfied actress (Irene Christ) contemplating an act of violence; a radio talk show host (Sean O'Neil) contending with racist, immigrant hating callers; and a father (Marc Cabourdin) on the brink of a career milestone. Weaving in and out of the four stories, the film achieves a part fantastical tone using dream-like sequences that explore the internal lives of the ensemble and a whimsical score. Sometimes meandering with a tendency towards melodrama, director Chris Zarb's feature debut draws its strength from finely sculpted characters and a bold script that's willing to play in multiple controversial sandboxes.

For more information on Panorama Europe 2017 click here.

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Written by: Joseph Hernandez
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