The year 2020 ends and says goodbye to us after many shocks and difficult periods, and despite the harm of global cinema during it in various ways, from stopping filming for long periods, ending existing film projects, or canceling international festivals, cinema has managed to survive with a number of films worth watching.
In this article, we include films in languages other than English, to move away from the usual American films and Hollywood cinema, and watch the best foreign films shown during 2020.
My favorite war
The movie “My Favorite War” is a documentary from Latvia, combining still images and animation, directed and written by Ilse Burkowska Jacobsen. It tells the story of the director’s personal experience who grew up in Soviet Latvia from 1970 to 1990 and lived her childhood under the communist government and the dominant party everybody.
The idea of making the film was inspired by Marjane Satrapi’s film “Persepolis”, and given the tight budget, the director decided to combine animation with live footage and archive photos. The film’s development began in 2014 and production began in late 2016. It was released in Latvia on September 25, 2020.
“Apples” is a drama directed by Christos Nico and produced in his first work as a director, written by Nico and Stavros Raptis. It also stars Ares Servitales, Sophia Georgovasili, Anna Kalazidou, Argyris Bakertsis.
It premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2020. It was selected as the Greek film in the Best International Feature Film competition at the 93rd Academy Awards.
The events take place in a world in which many of its members lose their memory, and the protagonist of the film is one of them, and tries to regain his life again with the help of a treatment program with others who fight with him the same sad battle in rehabilitating again to enter society.
“Servants”, from Slovakia, directed by Ivan Ostruchovsky, starring Samuel Skiva and Samuel Polakovic. It was shown at the Berlin Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Encounters Award.
The events take place in a theological school in Czechoslovakia, where two students must decide whether to cooperate with the secret police, or to resist, under a dictatorial and violent regime and a future that is not guaranteed in both options. The film was shown at the Cairo International Film Festival, and was distinguished by its wonderful black and white photography, which suited the darkness of the subject and put the heroes in front of a difficult choice.
There is no demon
The film “There Is No Evil” by Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, produced by German-Iranian, won the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, and is considered one of the undisputed best films of the year.
It consists of 4 clips or short films, each with a different set of actors and a special plot, but one theme combines them, which is the death penalty in Iran, where the execution process is addressed, but this time not from the point of view of the state or the convicted, but ordinary individuals from the people who They carry out the killing.
The film moves from one chapter to another, introducing the different views on the issue, without condemning any of its heroes, but rather gives them the rare opportunity to express themselves.
“Undine”, a French film directed by Christian Petzold, has been selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the official competition section of the 70th Berlin International Film Festival. His hero, Paula Bear, won the Silver Bear for Best Actress.
The events of the film revolve around the young woman Ondina who works in a museum in Berlin, her lover suddenly leaves her, and when she begins to plan for revenge, a new love appears in her life, and while she is plunged into this new relationship, a big surprise comes her way, her fate and all the characters of the film change.
The film offers a story that seems very romantic, but rather carries another layer of interpretations of the stories it provided and came directly from old German myths, as Ondina is a kind of maiden.
A French film directed by Fanny Liatard and Jeremy Troyel, and starring Sini Patheli, Lina Khoudri It was shown in many international festivals, the last of which is the Cairo International Film Festival, and its events take place in a residential complex in France bearing this name because astronaut Yuri Gagarin opened it in the second half of the twentieth century.
But the enormous building – which housed a large number of families – is currently threatened with demolition, and young Yuri tries to save the building in which he lived his childhood, and he lives alone now in his mother’s apartment, who abandoned him to raise a new family.
Soon, Yuri discovers that he is fighting a losing battle, and enters into a coma between consciousness and the unconscious, in which he fulfills his earthly dreams, but this imagination is about to end his life with the life of his favorite building.