Telling stories about the human condition is a delicate art.
Those who do it well find intricacies in the way we exist, whilst capturing it from an unexpected perspective. In a mad world where political upheaval, legal weed, social injustice, war and cryptocurrency dominate our daily lives, our emotions are running into overdrive. But every once in a while we’re given the opportunity to take a step back and marvel at the ways people connect with one another and exist in a world outside of our own.
The following directors have done just that in extraordinary style. A few days ago we headed along to the 27th Annual FlickerFest Short Film Festival in Sydney, to check out the screening of some of the best documentary films from 2017.
It was one of the most thoughtfully-curated selections I’ve seen in a while: impeccable storytelling fused with touching subject matters that created an air of unease in the room. Pure happiness became heart-wrenching sorrow, social awkwardness was followed by the brutal simplicity of death—every pair of eyes in the cinema stayed glued to the screen throughout.
Though we struggled to pin it down, we finally managed to select our six stand-out films from the night. Without further ado, here’s our favourite documentaries from FlickerFest 2018.
Edith + Eddie
Edith and Eddie are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. What starts as a 96-year-old love story, with all the expected comedy, takes a turn as family greed threatens to tear them apart.
Director: Laura Checkoway
Kayayo, the Living Shopping Baskets
Every year, thousands of young girls migrate from Northern Ghana. They work as porters in city markets, carrying heavy loads for about $2 a day, which they then save to support their families back in their villages. This film follows Bamunu, an eight year old girl who hasn’t seen her family since she was sent away from home two years ago.
Director: Mari Bakke Riise Producer: Jørgen Lorentzen
All the awkwardness and butterflies that go with a first date, but for a couple of 80-year-olds. Phil’s wife recently passed away but wants to get back in the game. With the help of his family, he gets into the online dating world in the hopes of meeting someone new.
Director: Mason Fleming Writer: Pascal Mercay Producer: Jessica Lytton
The Driver is Red
The true story of Mossad agent Zvi Aharoni and the Israeli secret service team that tracked and captured Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann who was on the run in Argentina.
Director: Randall Christopher Producer: Jared Callahan, Randall Christopher
Two Dutch kids, Sil and Merlijn, spend time at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. They experience a contrasting reality while meeting the children who live there. First encounters handing out food and careful greetings soon become fun gatherings and good conversations in several languages. A film that gives perspective to the innocence that lies behind refugee camp fences.
Director: Kim Brand Producers: Renko Douze, Hasse van Nunen
The Disinherited (Los Desheredados)
This film is a portrait of the director’s father, Pere Ferrés, who is facing the end of the family bus business. The initial perception of his melancholic existence quickly changes as you realise that Pere takes the piss out of everything and is content with the momentum of his life. Lack of money forces him to take jobs like driving the bus for bachelor parties that treat him like shit, but he is not prepared to lose his dignity. My personal favourite from the films shown.
Director: Laura Ferrés Producer: Valérie Delpierre