ISLANDS will be the focus of one of the three cycles that the Punto de Vista Navarra International Documentary Film Festival will programme for its 9th edition, which will be held from 10th to 15th February 2015 at the Baluarte Auditorium in Pamplona. For the same reason, this year’s personal retrospective is devoted to the Scottish filmmaker, Margaret Tait, who masterfully portrayed her small world on her native island on the Orkney Islands.
The programme offers a journey around an archipelago of numerous islands which are difficult to count because they are made up of twenty-two and a half islands, as the latter is the former island of Urk, portrayed by Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan in their 2014 film Episode of the Sea, and which represents a piece of earth in the Netherlands which is now artificially connected to the continent but with an interesting battle to preserve its insularity. This debate of when an island begins and ends is found at the beginning and the end of the programme which will be kicked off with the opening film Description of an Island, the anthropological trip to an island in Vanuatu by Germans, Rudolf Thome and Cynthia Beatt, in the 1970’s.
The programmes are rounded off with the session called THE OTHER SIDE OF THE EARTH which includes the first portrayals of islands in the 1930’s with classics by Jean Epstein (Mor´Vran, 1930) and Robert Flaherty (Men of Aran, 1934), along with two great film portrayals of the same island of Spinalonga, in films by Jean Daniel Pollet (L´Ordre, 1973) and Werner Herzog (Last Words, 1968)
Different ways of approaching paradise, as well as a review of a shipwreck or prison islands are considered in other programmes and in other films, as well as the ISLAND-EARTH-WORLD, specifically devoted to the most populated island, Ellis Island, the immigration gateway to the American dream through which 16 million people passed. The special programme brings together an interesting tandem in that space in the 1980’s: on one hand, the artist Meredith Monk with a conceptual dance on identity and her disappearance on Ellis Island (1981) and the writer, George Perec, with a brilliant exercise that represents an attempt to trap a non-place, Recits d´Ellis Island (1978-1980).
With the ISLANDS programme, Punto de Vista aims to reflect on the “geographic insistence which consists of visiting the most far-off islands to bring the remote closer, regain the passion for the furthest corners; in short, portray man to the limit”, in the words of the festival’s new artistic director, Oskar Alegria. With this proposal, the 9th edition of this event will kick off with a key question: How to tell an island?
With the programming of these retrospectives, Punto de Vista aims, as a festival, to invite the public to reflect on the film industry and obtain a better understanding through a transversal look at the memory of film, beyond the present. For this reason, since its outset, the festival has opened spaces for names, currents, countries or tendencies to take a closer look at them: Raymond Depardon, Jem Cohen, James Benning, Eduardo Coutinho, a thousand years of Japanese films, arthouse cinema or footage found.