// Your online documentary cinema //

10 Years of Discovering the Best Documentaries for You



- 19.3.2012 8:00 -

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Belarus

Asliuk is an enthusiastic chronicler of life in the Belarusian countryside. Respecting its atmosphere and slow rhythm which naturally penetrate his films, he takes notice of various rituals while honouring the greatness of “little” stories. He keeps returning to the theme of the Belarusian countryside over and over again. As he is a very patient observer, his camera becomes a natural part of the events; it seems to have become a common stage property of country life. Far from pursuing his protagonists, he rather allows them absolute freedom. Unlike the camera of a journalist, his camera does not seek drama, rather representing the tool of a village scholar; a chronicler carefully composing the image of the country world out of simple gestures, unforced movements, sporadic words and frowning looks of wrinkled faces affected not only by age and harsh nature but also hard work and alcohol. His films The Wheel, Maria and We Are Living on the Edge (the latter being considered Asliuk’s master work by renowned Canadian filmmaker Mike Hoolboom) were made in the time span of a few years, however, all of them take place in the 21st century. A spectator from the West might feel as if on a journey against time though, going back to the second half of the 20th century. The reality of Belarusian countryside is harsh and unsentimental and Victor Asliuk does present it as such. At the same time, however, he does not approach the landscape and people in it with exaggerated criticism or sensation. On the contrary, his films show kindness and sympathies for the vulnerable way of life at the bottom of the abyss of poverty.
An informed visitor of the DAFilms portal might find Asliuk’s filmmaking style reminiscent of works by other outstanding portrait painters of rural life in Eastern Europe; e.g. awarded Russian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa (Artel, Landscape, Portrait) or Lithuanian director Arunas Matelis (From Unfinished Tales of Jerusalem). Asliuk shares their original filmmaking approach, the ability to see important values behind the curtain of oppressive everydayness as well as the nearly existential interest in the depiction of human life. The Belarusian director does not construct his films in such a sophisticated way as “obstinate” Loznitsa; his portraits are not penetrated by Loznitsa’s disquieting urgency; neither are they as enigmatic as the works by Matelis. Hopefully it is not too simplifying to say that out of the three filmmakers of the generation, Victor Asliuk is the greatest realist. His films mostly have the pure form of an observational documentary, concentrating on “here and now” without searching for metaphysical phenomena beyond the horizon of everyday events; without renouncing psychology, they do not substitute it by symbolism either. Unlike his above mentioned colleagues, Asliuk “tames” both his creative style and authorial subject. His perspective of the countryside is that of a patient observer; a chronicler of a place where time has stopped.

Recommend this news item



News

A world in a box - Interview with Słavomir Batyra

A world in a box - Interview with Słavomir Batyra

Read an exclusive interview with Polish filmmaker Słavomir Batyra, director of THE GREAT THEATRE. He will guide you through the recesses of his short film just like his film guides the viewers through the recesses of the largest opera house in the world. Would you like some opera tickets or rather cinema ones? What about taking both?

Read more…

- 20.4.2016 -

International My Street Films project launches its third edition

International My Street Films project launches its third edition

The My Street Films competition, which invites the public to make their own short films from their surroundings, launches its third edition in the streets of Central Europe. The project originally comes from London where it mapped the city on the Thames through film stories about the streets and their inhabitants. In collaboration with DAFilms.com, the film map has expanded to the Czech Republic and from there to Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

Read more…

- 13.4.2016 -

"To Present a Plurality of Visions of Reality": Interview with Luciano Barisone

"To Present a Plurality of Visions of Reality": Interview with Luciano Barisone

The 47th edition of the film festival Visions du Réel is just about to start in three weeks. The festival is also the first member of the Doc Alliance film festival platform that is going to present its film programme and thus set a high standard in terms of seeking for original artistic expressions and strong social issues. In the following two weeks, from March 21 to April 4, DAFilms.com is hosting an online film event which presents the most interesting and successful documentaries of the last festival edition.

Read more…

- 18.3.2016 -

More news…