Cinephile! Another week, another episode of the BIG FRED TUESDAY – online radio’s only show on all-things cinema with a particular focus on the independent filmmaking scene and the international film festival scene. In honor of the upcoming International Women’s Day, I curated a show with stories of women from different parts of the globe.
The first is Felia Allum, curator of the Donne di Mafia Film Festival, which is curated by CinemaitaliaUK and explores the role of Italian women in transnational organized crime via a program of films, Q&A sessions and panel discussions. The general perception is that women play a marginal role within the world of organized crime. However, Felia’s research has led her to conclude that this is nothing short of a misconception.
I also speak with Norika Sefa, whose feature debut, Looking for Venera, is a coming of age drama about a young girl and her growing desire for freedom and independence is set in a god-forsaken village in Kosovo. The film also came to light thanks to the support of FirstCutPlus, an initiative that I have talked about on previous episodes of the BIG FRED TUESDAY.
This is also the week that kicks off my long-distance coverage of the 2021 Berlinale. Just how much coverage I will be able to do of this annual film event this year, given the circumstances, remains to be seen. But on this episode, I bring you a conversation with Samaher Alqadi, whose feature debut is a powerful documentary on the explosion of politically charged sexual assaults on women in Cairo, around the time of Arab Spring. The film is called As I Want.
Among other things, this week I also highlight the works of the great Russian filmmaker Kira Muratova, one of the most censored filmmakers in the years of the Perestroika – the most liberal in the history of the Soviet Union. Muratova remains largely ignored by the non Russian-speaking world, which is unfair. A good place to start for you, if you are unfamiliar with her works, is 1989’s The Asthenic Syndrome, which is my pick for this week’s “Popcorn Classics” segment.