We all have to gain from lifting our heads, everyone, all the oppressed people of the Earth.
Here, no score written beforehand, rather an improvisation, a continuous variation, that of the living. Life is an artist, so truths only make sense if restored to this perpetual movement of creation. This is why Édouard Glissant, the great bard from Martinique, who sang the archipelago’s landscapes, declares that “nothing is True, everything is alive” ...
Dénètem Touam Bona
In view of the radical impossibility of meeting face-to-face, which consists in the very heart, the very sense, of a film festival – of the world, actually, of which cinema is one of the expressions – the question that immediately imposed itself was: How to bring people together with technologies that are made, above all and paradoxically, for distancing? How to create spaces for convergence, sheltering experiences, discussion, dissent? The answer hasn’t yet been given nor can we intend to definitively establish it, even after months of cinema events across the planet proposing varied configurations to enable the persistence of encounters from afar, with and through images and sounds. If spaces which have their warmth as a possible confluence in these times are being created – and something can be learned and bequeathed from this remote experience – it is necessary to remain alert and stand firm in the defense of physical venues that assert face-to-face encounters, that reiterate the collective experience of film forms, places for conversations and exchanges, in an increasingly broad and accessible way. May the legacy of this situation of exception (so we want to believe) and the continuity of some virtual activities always be in the sense of raising the range and inclusion of those who have historically had limited access to spaces and to speech. May there be more listening, particularly for those who have predominantly occupied the instances of enunciation.
Amid a context that deeply challenges us, the 22nd FestCurtasBH insists on celebrating the power of cinema as a place to affirm life through films, performances, essays and graphic creations. As well as the multiple encounters that are forged with them, that mutually feed from one another, in a particularly powerful and necessary way at a time when lives (human and more than human ones) are exposed in all their vulnerability, some tragically more than others. A festival waged by many hands, from a wonderfully committed and inspired small team, that skillfully dodged the obstacles amplified by the health emergency scenario. From curators who acknowledge that the hard and magical work of programming only actually happens through a generous dedication to lively exchanges with the films, thus crafting the curatorship as a place for proposition, intervention in history, education, invention, offering. From artists who entrusted us with their films or who conceived new works especially for the 22nd FestCurtasBH, such as Bixarte, Fabiana Brasil and Felipe Oládélè. From critic, curator and researcher Kênia Freitas, who has made fundamental contributions in the Festival’s previous years (and beyond it) and who, for the second consecutive year, offers the critique workshop Corpo Crítico. This time under the title "Critique Experimentations for a Committed Cinema", it’s a work of criticism training that strongly considers the context of exhibition and exchanges with and about films, amid our current pandemic political context. And from many invited guests who contributed brilliantly with essays and participating in debates.
The 22nd FestCurtasBH also presents a retrospective in honor of Carole Roussopoulos, the French-Swiss militant filmmaker who dedicated her life to various struggles, mainly feminist ones, but also workers’, homosexuals’, anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist ones. A giant director whose counter-hegemonic and irreverent cinema teaches us, through its practice, the solidarity of and within the struggles, in which she was engaged throughout 40 years, in a very effective way (in political, institutional, legislative terms). All that with great modesty, consistent with a path that has always claimed its collective nature, in contrast to the primacy of auteurism.
Despite being showcased in an exclusively online format in 2020, FestCurtasBH does not lose the strong bond with its home ground, launching the screening platform CineHumbertoMauro/Mais. The virtual home of Cine Humberto Mauro, a public theater that for over four decades has housed a pulsating cinephilia, the platform will continue as a branch of the physical venue, even when it can finally welcome back its colorful audience.