fiveFilms4freedom - BFI Flare
Wednesday 18 March 2015, by
BFI Flare: fiveFilms4freedom
FiveFilms4freedom (say it ten times) is a showcase of short films selected from this year’s BFI Flare festival to be promoted by the British Council and hosted online via the BFI player. On Wednesday 25th March 2015 the two organisations are asking people from more than 50 countries and regions to participate in the simultaneous viewing of the programme.
This cinematic postcard hasn’t come solely from the UK – one film is Danish and two are American – and yet there is something about the gesture that seems exposing and undeniably representative of… something. A missive to the world from three of its more LGBT-liberal nations? It better be good, right?
The secret weapon here is True Wheel, directed by Nora Mandray, a Detroit-set doc about bicycle maintenance. Fender Bender is a collective quietly changing the world one jam nut at a time, bringing together a diverse cross-section of women in a city so mournfully depicted in Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive: a city that needs communities like this to rebuild itself. The message is strong and simple: attend to your spokes and the wheel is true. World saved.
If you have more than eight minutes free and you want to be transported back to the excruciatingly sublime feeling of first love, An Afternoon (En Eftermiddag) by director Søren Green gets it just right: light on plot but rich in detail, equally capturing the contemporary specific (emoji, YouTube) and eternal adolescent (inexpressiveness, wanting to swallow your own face). A pitch-perfect short.
The three remaining films in the showcase (Code Academy, Morning is Broken and Chance) deserve praise for defying convention in various ways: not one of them treads an easy path. It will be interesting to see what happens during the 24-hour campaign and how the British Council archive and curate the response.