CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival 2023 / various locations, Linz

Wie die Jugend in radikalisierten Blasen landen kann:
Wie die Jugend in radikalisierten Blasen landen kann: "Polish Prayers" von Hanka Nobis© First Hand Films

26.4.- 1.5.2023

Look and listen instead of shouting down: The programme of this year’s CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival sharpens our senses.

How can it happen that young people drift into extremist groups? For her documentary film Polish Prayers, which will be screened at this year’s CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival, the up-and-coming young Polish director Hanka Nobis followed the path of Antek, the main character of her film, over several years. Antek, now 22, grows up in a strict Catholic family in Poland and gets in contact with a Catholic “brotherhood” as a teenager. A small, self-contained group of like-minded young men who become increasingly radicalised. Hanka Nobis experiences how Antek enjoys gaining power and importance in the „brotherhood“. He becomes the spokesman at counter-demonstrations against the Polish rainbow community or at anti-abortion demonstrations. But when Antek meets a girl, he begins to have doubts. With this coming-of-age story, Hanka Nobis makes it clear that it is usually harmless, imperceptible small steps that cause young people to slide into radicalism and society to disintegrate into isolated bubbles incapable of dialogue.

The CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival punctures these bubbles in many places with its programme this year. The programme track Architecture and Society, curated by Lotte Schreiber, deals with the question of how it could happen that we could become largely aesthetically insensitive to the profit-maximising urban sprawl with its ugly tin-can architecture. The film Tara, by Volker Sattel and Francesca Bertin, documents the architectural and aesthetic transformation of the southern Italian city of Taranto, once a “pearl of the Mediterranean” as a result of decades of unscrupulous economic and ecological exploitation. Veronika Lišková’s NÁVŠTĚVNÍCI / The Visitors traces how the ecological balance in a small town in the spectacular landscape of Spitsbergen could become unbalanced.

Within the framework of YAAAS!, the youth section of CROSSING EUROPE, young people interested in film are offered the opportunity to explore the world of film in practical modules and to gain initial experience in filmmaking in various fields such as camera, lighting, animation, sound or directing. 

The Tribute programme of the CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival is dedicated to the Greek actress Angeliki Papoulia this year. For festival director Sabine Gebetsroither, Papoulia is “one of the most uncompromising and forceful actresses of contemporary European auteur cinema”. One of the films presented in this series is Isihia 6-9 / Silence 6-9 by Christos Passalis: in a peculiarly isolated place, antennas are used to pick up the voices of disappeared people. A film that eludes rational narrative logics but instead draws on the wealth of the dreamlike potential of cinema.

Antennas to hear the voices of fellow human beings who have become strangers to us: The CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival has set up a receiving station for this purpose.

CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival 2023
26.4. – 1.5.2023
various locations, Linz