Phil Jandaly

Sweden

Phil Jandaly

editor

Valentin, Son of Europe

Valentin is 25 and currently lives in Paris. He grew up in Bucharest before moving to Belgium as a teenager. He is one of the protagonists of the documentary Gara de Nord: copii per strada shot by Antonio Martino in 2005. At the time, Romania was in a state of chaos, Ceausescu's long dictatorship had just come to a violent end. Bucharest was full of abandoned kids. To escape the cold, many would hide in the tunnels of the sewers near the main railway station, the Gara de Nord. All of them forgot their troubles by inhaling Aurolac, a noxious paint, from a plastic bag they always carried with them. Valentin was one of them back then.
His life changed when, at the age of fourteen, he was adopted by a Belgian couple of Algerian origin, who, after some initial documents, managed to gain his affection and give him a normal life. Later, Valentin saw the documentary by chance on YouTube, and saw himself as a street kid. He contacted Antonio via Facebook and then he decided to go back to Romania. In the past, he had already gone back to look for his two brothers which he helped move to France. But he still needs to find his mother whom he hasn't seen since he was little and his little sister. Then there are his friends from the sewers and in particular, Marcel, who was a bit older, with whom he spent so much time. Above all, his daughter Eliza, whom he had with a Romanian woman, an ex-street kid. They met on Facebook, she lives in Italy with their daughter, accusing Valentin of not supporting them.
During the trip, the search, we see footage of the 2005 documentary and archival footage of Romania, like flashbacks from Valentin's memory. Valentin is accompanied by Antonio's gaze and by the silent presence of his younger brother Constantin, who is also anxious to find the bits of his life he lost along the road, to put together the pieces of an old family photo, torn up a long time ago.

Forbidden Tango

The film documents three years of a Russian gay couple Misha and Otar organizing events of the Queer Tango in St. Petersburg. They are giving tango classes and introducing an alternative way of dancing to the traditional tango community in Russia. Through the winter Otar and Misha are preparing an international festival of Queer Tango, which is expected to happen in the end of the spring. A recent high level of the homophobia in Russia forces many Russian gays and lesbians to leave their families to find a refuge abroad. But when narrow-minded traditionalism and xenophobia are rife in the world, it is important to continue to dance tango no matter what gender, sexual orientation or country you are from.

Shut the Fuck Up!

Hatne, a village near Kyiv, is slowly being eaten by the capital's extension. Serhiy, a shy teenager aged 16 feels injustice and corruption everywhere. He investigates, engages with the community, and exposes the officials' dirty schemes on Facebook. He becomes a whistleblower. The local political elite can't stand this. One day, the local political boss attacks Serhiy physically at a city council session and tells him to ″shut the fuck up″. Amidst increasing violence against civic activists in Ukraine, Serhiy begins to study law. He gets a job as an assistant of Yevgeniya Zakrevska, a famous lawyer who has been defending the Maidan victims' families for years. Eventually, he decides to run for office against the politician who tried to silence him. Serhiy is under pressure, starts smoking, feels consumed, as if an overdose of activism would hide a deeper void, a great secret... He questions the meaning of his fight for the public interest, and the sacrifices that this implies. The film follows 5 years of Serhiy's life, from the time when he started to be an activist, through his political battle and finding himself ending when he is finding the balance between personal needs and willing to provide changes.

The Boundaries of Fidelity

Diana grew up in communist Czechoslovakia, where a culture of oppression and secrecy was also present in partner relationships. Love affairs and whispers about children whose fathers are different from the official ones remained engraved on her subconscious mind. Skepticism about marriage led her to look for forms of relationships other than the generally accepted monogamous model. One day, however, Tomáš showed up and the hormones undermined her resolutions. Out of blue, they had a child, then another, and ultimately got married, too. The wedding was peculiar and without a white dress, though. Over some time, old doubts began to rear their ugly head and awakened behaviour patterns that are not in line with the family life we imagine.
Diana and Tomáš are from families, in which infidelity played its essential role. Subconsciously they accepted it and regarded it as normal. But how to abandon behaviour encoded in genes? In their desire to protect their family, Dia and Tom experiment, trying to figure out how to have a functional, fulfilling relationship in dangers of the 21st century. What is fidelity and what is already beyond its limits? How to prevent the urge to have more, just because we can, despite we have more than enough? Diana is looking for answers from her friends, who decided to choose their own path, from experts, as well as people who have experienced infidelity and share their experience with her. While looking into the world's realities about infidelity and own relationship, the inner side of the family, Diana reveals a long-hidden family secret. Infidelity with its consequences takes on a new dimension. It shakes the foundations of the main character's identity and makes viewers think about what makes us who we are. The Boundaries of Fidelity is an intimate documentary about fragility of a happy partner life. It is about finding oneself in relation to others, and about our society, changing from generation to generation at the speed of light.
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