III. Regained Freedom International film festival

Date: 15 November - 27 November
Time: 18:00
Venue:  Liszt Institute Brussels
Treurenberg 10, 1000 Brussels

All movies are with original audio with English subtitles.
Register here for the screenings. 

III. Regained Freedom International film festival – final edition

A film festival that marks 30 years of freedom in Eastern Europe, the Baltics and the Balkans. The programme proposes a deep reflection on the past: the selection focuses on the historical moment of 89, presenting the circumstances that led to, the way of life during and the events that triggered the changes from the totalitarian regimes. All this from distinct perspectives, with movies from nine different countries partnering in the project: Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

Look into the history of the region and discover through nine cinematic masterpieces how the former regime shaped the life of the people. The festival will show the past in a different light.


15 November, 7PM - The Exam / A vizsga, thriller, drama, HU, Péter Bergendy, 1h29, 2011, OVstEN

The 1956 Revolution has fallen. Terror reigns. Appointed by the Soviets, the new prime minister – a very paranoid János Kádár – orders that each and every National Security officer’s loyalty be tested according to new and rigorous directives. JUNG (30) is a super-ambitious cultural NS officer living undercover as a private teacher. MARKÓ (50) is Jung’s immediate superior, and also his only friend. Now, Markó, a war hero and a legend among the officers, is ordered to monitor Jung’s apartment and activities for a day to test his friend’s loyalty to the new regime. A highly deceptive spy game, where no one knows who can be trusted. Who is spying on who actually?!

17 November, 7PM - Cold War / Zimna wojna, drama, PL, Pawel Pawlikowski, 1h29, 2018) OVstEN

A passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. “Cold War” was inspired by Pawlikowski’s parents’ exceptional love story; the film’s main characters, who are named after his parents, Zula and Wiktor, are caught in a tortuous romance. What we see on the canvas is actually 40 years reality of this love, coincided with the Cold War. Basically, their whole lives were overshadowed by that, so we don’t know where one ends and the other starts. Set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, the film depicts an impossible love story in impossible times.

19 November, 7PM - Pupendo / Pupendo, comedy, CZ, Jan Hřebejk, 1h54, 2003, OVstEN

Pupendo shows the difficulty of life in Czechoslovakia during the 1980s, a bittersweet comedy set just prior to 1984, during the era of 'practical socialism'. The main character of the film Pupendo is the academic sculptor Bedřich Mára, who lives with his family, his wife and two sons in a small apartment on the Prague waterfront. Years ago, for political reasons, he had to leave his position as head of the studio at the Prague Academy. He is not allowed to exhibit and has been pushed to the sidelines of interest and lucrative commissions. Míla Brecka the school principal, and his family stand in stark contrast to the Máras, and have gone with the socialist flow for years. They find justification for their behavior in the usual words: 'Someone has to swim with "them" to soften the situation, someone has to sacrifice themselves!' or 'Why should I stand and tread water when others are swimming along?' Alongside the generation of parents there is also the generation of their growing children. They don't believe in change for the better. They don't expect much from their parents' efforts. They hang around aimlessly in the suburbs, skipping school and passing the time by dreaming of escaping the confines of everyday life together.

20 November, 7PM - The Concert / Le Concert, drama, comedy, RO, Radu Mihaileanu, 1h59, 2009, OVstEN

Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by accident that the Châtelet Theater in Paris invites the Bolshoi orchestra to play there. He decides to gather together his former musicians and to perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra. As a solo violin player to accompany his old Jewish or Gypsy musicians he wants Anne-Marie Jacquet, a young virtuoso. If they all overcome the hardships ahead this very special concert will be a triumph.

22 November, 7PM - Tenderness / Neha, drama, SK, Martin Sulík, 1h50, 1991, OVstEN

A wonderful dark tale of coming of age in a country in transformation - emerging from a long period of Communist rule in the aftermath of 1968's Soviet invasion - then Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) in 1990s. Against the backdrop of a regime change and general crisis of basic values, a young man is finding his way into adult life. Playing a part in a love (hate?) triangle he does not fully understand until the conclusion, he desperately tries to make sense of the unpredictable behavior of the other two main characters which is linked to the secrets lurking in their past. All this while he is not sure about his own role in a world where yesterday's truths mean nothing today.

23 November, 7 PM - Is it easy to be young? / Vai viegli būt jaunam?, drama, documentary, LV, Juris Podnieks, 1h23, 1986, OVstEN

“Is It Easy To Be Young?” provoked interest in documentary film-making and made Juris Podnieks famous all over the world. The film is a portrayal of rebellious teenagers growing up under Communist rule in Latvia, it describes the lives and problems they faced during Perestroika. Covering more than just anti-government sentiment, the documentary goes deep to show what their desires, dreams, and source of meaning were. There are story lines about punk rockers who demolished a train after a particularly good concert, about drugs and substance abuse, suicide attempts, and about young people joining the army and being sent to Afghanistan.
Q&A with Mrs Antra CILINSKA, Director-producer, Head of the Juris Podnieks Film studio.

25 November, 7 PM - Three Houses / Sami Sakhli, drama, GO, Zaza Urushadze, 1h36, 2009, OVstEN

Three stories happening in three different centuries, revolve around a mysterious painting entitled "Two Owls". The first one depicts a man in the 19th century, who lost his wife but can not deal with the grief. The doctor gives him his wife’s last painting, the “Two Owls”. During the World War II a woman finds this painting in the apartment of her husband’s lover. Then the last story happens in present time, when the granddaughter of the woman painter tries to obtain the last piece that was left from her grandmother’s work.

26 November, 7 PM - Goodbye, Soviet Union / Hüvasti, NSVL, comedy, EE, Lauri Randla, 1h31, 2020, OVstEN

Johannes is born into an Ingrian-Finnish family in the Estonian Soviet Republic. When his mother leaves for Finland, and he's left to be raised by his grandparents, Johannes is forced to face life on his own. He falls deeply in love with his classmate, Vera, takes risks, gets into fights, and gets punished - all the while, in the background, the Evil Empire collapses. As the Lenins fall and the Barbie dolls take over, the crocodile Genas and the Moskvitches are forced to step aside, leaving the road to the West wide open. Lauri Randla's Goodbye, Soviet Union is a comedy about the adventures of the eccentric Tarkkinen family in the last days of the Soviet Union.

27 November, 7PM - The Way / Partizanas, documentary, LT, Agnė Zalanskaitė, 1h05, 2020, OVstEN

The documentary explores the Lithuanian struggle for freedom through the personal story of the freedom fighter Juozas Paliūnas, who was known under the codename Rytas. Exhausted by the occupation, Paliūnas-Rytas sacrifices his personal life, leaves his family behind and departs to the forests for the decisive battle for Lithuania’s freedom. As his best friend, he chooses a gun he affectionately calls “mašinka.” Unconditional obedience to the commander, a will to learn, courage, and patience turn a common rural farmer into one of the most active leaders of the resistance struggle, who believed to his last breath in a free Lithuania and, as if a testament, wrote on his diary “Give to your Homeland what you must.” The documentary was inspired by the authentic and original diary of Juozas Paliūnas-Rytas.

Brought to you by: Liszt Institute Brussels, Czech Centre Brussels, Embassy of Estonia in Brussels, Georgian National Film Center, Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU, Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to Belgium, Jura Podnieka Studija, Polish Institute Brussels, ICR Bruxelles, Embassy of Slovakia in Brussels, Slovak Film Institute and EUNIC Brussels.