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Day #3 at Black Nights. From a traumatized war-photographer to three Canadian hermits. Everybody just wants some peace of mind.

It’s an eternal question that busies ancient philosopher, a romantic lover and modern work-life balance guru alike: how do I combine belonging with individual freedom?

In the films we have selected for you today, we see characters tipping this scale towards total freedom, living as hermits in the woods, we satirically question today’s Europe as a union and discover how shared suffering can ease one’s individual pain.

18:00 Hearts and Bones, Artis Cinema 1

For how long are we able to hide our trauma and suffering from others, but even more important: from ourselves?
Sydney-based photojournalist Dan Fisher (Hugo Weaving) has spent decades documenting war zones — and ignoring the effect his work has had on his psyche. But when he becomes close to a South Sudanese refugee, who wants to hide his past as well, he is forced to reconcile with his own demons.


18:15 The Barefoot Emperor, Apollo Solaris Cinema 2

An unexpected sequel to the mockumentary “King of the Belgians” (2016) by the same filmmakers, this political satire shows Nicolas III, King of the Belgians, suffering a gunshot wound to the ear during an unfortunate incident in Sarajevo. He wakes up in a sanatorium on a Croatian island that once was Tito’s renowned summer residence. 

When the King’s entourage tries in vain to protect him from the news that the recent implosion of their kingdom has sparked the collapse of the European Union, a surrealistic comment on the current state of Europe follows.


20:15 Bombay Rose, Coca-Cola Plaza Cinema 8

Love and faith in Bombay are like a rose, which aspires towards an ideal and has only its thorns to protect itself. In this animated film, we are witness to the blossoming love between two youngsters selling flowers, across the street from each other in Bombay.
In between beautiful, romantic fantasies, the film deals with problems of migration, child labor, and morals.  

20:15 And the Birds Rained Down, Artis Cinema 1

In the wild nature of Canada, nestled between forests and lakes, we find three hermits. Tom, Charlie, and Ted have fled society years ago, to live a simple life.

Louise Archambault’s film is a tribute to those courageous enough to choose an independent life, on their own terms. But not without engaging actual societal themes, embodied by the arrival of two women: an octogenarian, unjustly institutionalized her whole life, and a young photographer charged with interviewing survivors of the region’s deadliest forest fire.



21:30 White Lie, Apollo Solaris Cinema 4

Katie, a dancer, has set up a successful fundraiser to ask support for her battle with cancer. There’s only one little remark here: Katie doesn’t actually have cancer. As it becomes increasingly hard to keep her father from publicly outing her, Katie also finds it increasingly hard to give up her newly created persona.

A fearless film, in which we witness the unraveling of a double identity.  

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