Bellissima, a 1951 Italian film starring Anna Magnani.
(photo credit: screenshot)
Two festivals devoted to the films of countries that have shaped contemporary cinema – Italy and Romania – are opening throughout Israel and will feature their best recent films, as well as some classics.
The sixth Cinema Italia film festival has just opened at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, and will also be showing throughout the month and into May at the Jerusalem, Haifa, Herzliya, Sderot and Rosh Pina cinematheques.
The Italian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv is presenting this festival in collaboration with the Italian Embassy, Italian Cultural Institute of Haifa, ADAMAS Italia Israel and Istituto Luce Cinecitta.
Most of the films will have subtitles in both Hebrew and English.
There will be a number of distinguished guests at the festival. Among them will be Roberto Levi, the producer of Giorgio Treves’s 1938 – Diversi, a film that tells the story of the racial laws against Jews in Italy during the fascist era, partly through animated segments. Director Stefano Mordini will present his latest film, The Invisible Witness, a thriller about a successful businessman accused of murder. Actor Matteo Olivetti will attend screenings of Boys Cry, the story of two young friends who get into a car accident and are drawn into a partnership with Mafia. Director Margherita Ferri will be there with The Ice Rift, a drama about a tomboyish girl who plays ice hockey and explores her sexuality with another girl.
The festival will present the classic film The Conformist, by Bernardo Bertolucci, adapted from Alberto Moravia’s novel about a young man who becomes a fascist and is ordered to execute his former professor. It stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Stefania Sandrelli. Dan Angelo Muggia, one of the festival organizers, will speak at the screening.
There will also be a tribute to the great actress Anna Magnani, which will feature five rarely screened films. These include Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Mamma Roma, about a prostitute who tries to get her son back and turn over a new leaf, and Luchino Visconti’s Beautiful, the story of a working-class woman who tries to get her daughter into the movies.
Romania has become a world leader in quality cinema in the 21st century, and the Romanian Film Festival will open throughout Israel on April 11 at the cinematheques in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Herzliya, Holon, Sderot and Rosh Pina. It will feature the best of Romania cinema from the past two years.
The festival is sponsored by the Romanian Cultural Institute and run by Iris Lackner’s Moviemania. All the films will have both English and Hebrew subtitles.
Producer Tudor Giurgiu will present the opening-night movie, Stere Gulea’s Moromete Family: On the Edge of Time. The film is a sequel to a previous movie about a family and details how they cope when the Communists come to power in Romania.
Director Dan Chisu will attend screenings of his film The Anniversary, about a 94-year-old man who is urged to confess his sins to a priest at his birthday party.
Radu Jude’s I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians has won awards all over the world, including the top prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. It tells the story of an idealistic director who bases a history pageant on a notorious ethnic-cleansing massacre in World War II.
Adina Pintilie’s Touch Me Not won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2018 and is about a filmmaker making a movie about intimacy and boundaries. It’s a divisive film that features a great deal of graphic sex and definitely isn’t for everyone.
Paul Negoescu’s The Story of a Summer Lover is about a professor who leads a carefree life until his girlfriend gets pregnant.
For more information and to order tickets, visit the cinematheques’ websites.
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