"To head for the place you’re most afraid of is the most efficient way to get rid of your fear.”
Swiss documentarian Jacqueline Zünd frequents the distant but intimate lives of people from around the world – the insomniacs, the aged and the children – embracing their delights and disappointments, regrets and hopes, and other contrasting sensations. As these people wander along their paths of ritual, befittingly or unfittingly, they understand life anew with wisdom, dignity and vitality.
Zünd has been a critically acclaimed multi-award winning filmmaker since her debut. Her works have participated in prominent festivals including the Berlin (Germany), Locarno (Switzerland), Moscow (Russia) International Film Festivals, Visions du Réel (Nyon, Switzerland) and DOK Leipzig (Germany) amongst others.
This programme is screening a selection of her three own directorial works and bring two films that have influenced her filmmaking. Audience members are also welcomed to join the virtual After-screening Masterclass in which Zünd will talk about the process of how she transforms intimate human subjects into film.
|17/11||(Thur)||7:45pm||Where We Belong|
^Megacities has been rated as a category III film and can only be viewed by persons over the age of 18.
*With after-screening masterclass
Where We Belong
Director: Jacqueline Zünd
Switzerland | 2019 | 78' | In French and German with English subtitles | DCP | Colour
17/11 (Thu) 7:45pm
Parents split up and children are left behind with their thoughts. Siblings confide in each other’s intimate company, and the only children process thoughts and feelings in soliloquy. The film asks what it means to live in constant transition between homes and approaches five children’s realities, focusing on how fragile they are - but also how brave, smart, considerate and humourous their responses are to painfully real and volatile situations. What is important to them? What hurts them? What can they manage effortlessly? And what seems insurmountable? When non-nuclear families are still being regarded with curiosity and even stigmas, this film is a work of love, labour and openness for the children who are often neglected, and whose feelings are difficult to define.
Director: Jacqueline Zünd
Switzerland, Burkina Faso, China, Ukraine, USA | 2010 | 75' | In Chinese, French, English and Ukrainian with English subtitles | DCP | Colour
18/11 (Fri) 7:45pm
They are awake while others are asleep - four insomniacs in Burkina Faso, Ukraine, America and China are forced to dream awake throughout long nights. "Once my work is finished, I sit down on the stage and look at the stars. Just me alone." Confronting their daytime realities by killing time in nocturnal solitary confinement, their minds dance to their own music unheard by others. Fragments of their souls float and sink in a vast sea of concentrated silence, embracing beauty, fears, fantasies and hopes. While sleeplessness is frustrating and debilitating, these insomniacs have also turned their sleeplessness into intimate enlightenments and delightful discoveries.
Sworn Virgin (Vergine Giurata)
Directed by: Laura Bispuri
Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Albania, Kosovo | 2015 | 87' | In Albanian and Italian with English subtitles | DCP | Colour
19/11 (Sat) 2:30pm
Hana was born in a remote Albanian village that is overshadowed by alpha males. To avoid the destiny of being a wife and a servant, she appeals to the 200-year-old Kanun law and takes an oath of eternal virginity to live as a man called Mark, but he is restricted from marriage, sex and parenthood. Years go by as Mark’s unrelenting woman stirs under men’s clothes, so he travels to Italy and visit his sister who has escaped from the village. As Mark comes across other bodies, he experiences the vertigo of profound femininity. Breaking the invisible prison, s/he is here and love is near.
Avoiding traps and clichés, subdued and intricate, Laura Bispuri’s debut feature has received praises from critics and audiences. The film is an exploration inside femininity told in its thousand folds and contradictory forms.
Director: Michael Glawogger
Austria, Switzerland | 1998 | 90' | In English, Russian, Spanish and Hindi with English subtitles | DCP | Colour
20/11 (Sun) 2:30pm
Bombay, Mexico City, Moscow, New York - seductive yet repellent monsters. The contradiction insinuates itself into the daily lives of those who populate theses megacities. The film tells the stories of Modesto the chicken feet seller, Babu Khan the colour sifter, Nestor the rubbish collector, Cassandra the actress, Tony the hustler and other tough lives. Day in, day out, they all set about their struggle for survival with ingenuity, intelligence and dignity. And they all share the dream of a better life. This is a film about work, poverty, violence, love, sex and beauty.
Filmed on the fly with a distinctly liberated and daring frame of mind, Megacities is an unpredictable work that challenges easy moralisation and sparked frantic controversies upon its release. In the words of its director Michael Glawogger, "[T]he ﬁlm shows things, but is not there to answer things." Love it or hate it, see it.
**Megacities has been rated as a category III film and can only be viewed by persons over the age of 18.
Director: Jacqueline Zünd
Switzerland, Japan, Spain, USA, UK | 2016 | 80' | In English and Japanese with English subtitles | DCP | Colour
20/11 (Sun) 4:45pm*
*Jacqueline Zünd will attend virtual after-screening masterclass. Conducted in English.
Unfettered in their autumn years, three men play out their heartfelt finales as the stage curtains of their lives close gradually and gracefully. They decide to embark on new journeys to discover the unknown sides of themselves, meandering through the subtle but curious wonders of life: Bob swaps his safe home for a campervan and tries to find the tough guy inside himself in the barren Californian desert. Drag queen and stand-up comedian Steve is fed up with England and makes amends with his past between the concrete towers of Benidorm, a Spanish city known for its beaches and nightlife. And Yamada rediscovers his smile by reading fairy tales to children in Tokyo. It is a stunning portrait of time, dignity and the transience of life, “If you start feeling sorry for yourself, you’ve lost the battle.”
Co-Presenters: Hong Kong Arts Centre, Consulate General of Switzerland in Hong Kong, Swiss Films
Partner: eslite bookstore
Ticket Price: $80 / $64*
All Access Pass (Includes 1 ticket of the 5 films) - 30% off discount: $305 (service charge included)
*20% off discount for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. Tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis. Concessionary ticket holders must produce evidence of their identity or age upon admission.
*20% discount to HKAC members. Ticket holders must present a valid membership card upon admission.
*20% discount for each purchase of 4 or more standard tickets.
*Group booking offer for each purchase of 20 or more tickets. For details, please refer to: https://bit.ly/3gDCnOZ*Only one discount offer could be applied to each ticket purchase.
Programmes are subject to change without prior notice.
The following measures will be implemented for screenings, to combat the prevailing threat of Novel Coronavirus:
- All audience must wear face masks and comply with the requirements and restrictions announced by the Government
- No smoking, eating and drinking. Unauthorised photo-taking, audio and/or video recording is strictly forbidden
- Staff have the right to deny the admission of any person with temperature higher than 37.5°C