Thirty competition films, including several LGBTQ-themed works, will be screened online at the 7th Budapest International Documentary Festival (BIDF) from March 1 to 10. This year’s online festival features a documentary, entitled Her Mothers, on the formation of a Hungarian rainbow family, directed by Sára Haragonics and Asia Dér.
One of the advantages of the online festival is that the latest festival-winning works are available from home for anybody, and the films can be viewed even after the premiere until the end of the festival. The competition program is so strong that it is almost impossible to pick out just one or two pieces from it. An award-winner of the Sundance Festival, Romanian director Radu Ciorniciuc’s film My Home (Acasa) features the Enache family who have been living in perfect harmony with nature for twenty years in a hut, but authorities decide to evict them. The parents and their nine children who have spent their days in nature until then have to get used to city life, and change their fishing rod to a mobile phone. The transformation of their personality also affects their sense of freedom and their strong family bonds.
The director of Little Girl (Petite fille), openly gay Sébastien Lifshitz has won several awards at Cannes and the Berlinale. His film is about Sasha, who has always known that she was actually a girl. Society treats her differently than other children of her age in every part of everyday life – at school, at dance classes and even at birthday parties. She is rarely seen smiling, since she is not allowed to live the life of a ‘normal’ child – treated as a small adult, she can rely almost exclusively on her supportive family, who are constantly struggling for others to understand and accept their child.
Gorbachev.heaven is about the last leader of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev lives the last days of his life in an empty house on the outskirts of Moscow as a lonely old man bearing the burdens of the past. The story of the stripper and the general depicts the everyday lives of a grandchild-grandfather duo who could not differ more from each other. Their worlds couldn’t be further away, yet they are interdependent and forced to maneuver gently between their differences.
Some kind of Heaven provides a surreal picture of the earthly paradise of elderly Americans, the Disneyland of retirees. The wide, safe streets, the perfectly trimmed lawn, and the myriad of exciting pursuits all serve the goal of enjoying their golden years as much as possible. Although the majority is captivated by the allure of the place, there are always elderly residents who are not satisfied with this utopian, detached world.
Directed by Sára Haragonics and Asia Dér, Her Mothers will premiere at the festival. As a Member of Parliament, Virág gets tired of the seemingly hopeless opposition and leaves her political career behind. With her musician girlfriend, Nóra, they decide to have a child, despite the fact that it is especially difficult for same-sex couples to start a family in Hungary. After two years of uncertain waiting, they receive news of a little girl of Roma origin awaiting adoption. The two-and-a-half-year-old girl is with foster parents and is significantly behind her peers. Nóra and Virág say yes without hesitation. While Virág instantly develops motherly instincts, Nóra has a hard time finding her place in the family. Her fear that the little girl doesn’t need two mothers is fundamentally questioning what she had thought of herself until then. In addition to the difficulties of becoming a parent, they also have to deal with the Hungarian government’s exclusionary family policy towards homosexual couples, which is increasingly influencing the course of their lives and future plans. The screening is also accompanied by a talk with the filmmakers and the film’s Civil Ambassador, Márton Pál (Foundation for Rainbow Families).
Each of the thirty competition films is represented by a Civil Ambassador who is familiar with and/or an expert in the given topic. During the festival, roundtable discussions will be held not only with documentary filmmakers but also with ambassadors, which will also be available on the festival’s YouTube channel.
More information and the competition program is available on the official website of BIDF.