Finally is seems to dawn on people in what was formerly called the ‘3rd World’: Earning a living isn’t easy, no matter where you are; that’s the basic message in DES ÉTOILES (a lengthy and poorly made but quite entertaining film by Dyane Gaye, award-winner at the Festival d’Angers in 2014 and winner at the IFFI) as well as in CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE (a documentary from the African point of view about white people who volunteer – at times by paying tremendous amounts of money – to ‘help’ there). The very concept of help from the outside is overrated anyhow, when internal structures counteract, as it was the case in Rwanda/Zaire. Hubert Sauper’s KISANGANI DIARY, the 1998 part of his tributes in many a festival this year, shows war’s ugliest face, but it does so in such a petulant manner that I felt sheer disgust, not only against the warmongers involved, but against the filmmaker, who quite literally shoots half-dead children again and again with his relentless camera. To me this is just another kind of porn. Yet, even porn is needed, somehow.
Thankfully such beautiful films as SHANA (about the First Nations girl with her white wolf), PELO MALO (about the Venezuelan boy with ‘bad hair’) or RANG RASIYA (about the 19th century Indian artist who dared to paint the gods, even nude ones) made me dream and smile; QUANDO IL GARDA ERA UN MARE showed me some film trivia I didn’t know (many a pirate film was shot on North Italy’s Garda lake); and OMEGA 3 managed to make fun of the messiases of veganism and other orthorexic beliefs in a tragicomic dystopia of a world at war about healthy lifestyles. All in all the 24th Alpine film festival IFFI was something very special. Small enough to be comfy and international enough to be very interesting. Kudos!