Nun-drama and parkour on the Gaza strip
Among guests at Stockfish this year are the Portuguese director David Bonneville and the Italian director Emanuele Gerosa. They will, for example, partake in a Q&A about their latest films, The Last Bath and No More Jump, that have received awards at festivals all over the world and will be screened at Stockfish.
„My films reflect my personality and this is why the themes are recurrent – they reflect my worries, my fears and desires“, David Bonneville says in a conversation in regards to the Berlinale festival. His films are often a study on complex communication and non-normative desires and longings. With the exception of The Last Bath he is best known for his short films Gypsy and Heiko but he has also made video art and very short films that have been well received and won awards.
Complex communication and non-normative desires
The Last Bath is Bonneville’s first feature film. It’s about Josefine, a forty year old nun that is about to take her perpetual vows. She is called back to her childhood village to attend her father’s funeral when she meets her 15-year old nephew who has been abandoned by his mother. Isolated, back at the old family house, the nun and her nephew feel disconcerted as undefined feelings emerge. „It’s a strong festival title which should generate debate and opposing moral stances with regards to the central relationship“ says in a review on screendaily.com. Among numeral other awards and nominations the film was the winner for Best Feature Film and Best Actress at Luso-Brazilian festival of Santa Maria da Feira. It was also nominated for the Ingmar Bergman prize in Gothenburg as well as being a nominee for the Oscars best foreign film. The film stars the twins Anabela and Margarida Moreira as well as the 18 year old Martim Canvarro.
One More Jump is Manu Gerosa’s second feature-length documentary. It has been screened at festivals all over the world and won, for example, the PRIX EUROPA award for Best european TV documentary in 2020 in Germany. His first documentary, Between Sisters, also received several rewards and was screened at numerous festivals. One More Jump is about Jehad and Abdallah, founders of the Gaza Parkour Team that were brought up together in the Gaza Strip. They founded the group to give the younger generation an alternative to the war but because of different choices they made in life they parted. Despite not having had contact in several years, their destinies are mirroring each other so now, more than ever, they need to find out if there is a way that can lead to freedom for someone who, like them, was born in prison.
„strangers“ in their own land
„There is a close symbolic connection between parkour and the reality that people face every day in the Gaza Strip“, Gerosa says. In the film he uses parkour as a visual metaphor for the situation in Gaza. To overcome obstacles is a daily occurrence in the life of the people in Gaza, he says. „Everyday these guys engage themselves in dangerous stunts, challenging in a symbolic way, the barriers of the reality they were born in. They can insist, fail, try again or achieve the perfect jump, yet the wall that separates them from the world, will always be there, insurmountable.“ Gerosa says that Palestinians are forced to live as „strangers“ in their own land that condemns them to remain strangers everywhere they go. Through Jehad and Abdallah’s story he says he wants to raise questions about the meaning of „freedom“ for people who were born and have grown up in the prison that is the Gaza strip.
Despite a difference in form and themes The Last Bath and One More Jump are both exciting and challenging award-winning films by directors that do not shy away from complex topics and reflect the diverse group of filmmakers participating in this year’s Stockfish festival.