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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) 2010 Festival Releases (Read 24,206 times)
Zabladowski
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2010 Festival Releases
19. Dec 2009 at 22:01
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Another ongoing thread which will highlight films of possible interest I discover while browsing through the offerings at various film festivals.

January has a few well known film fests including Park City, Utah's Sundance film festival which will screen these films.

Boy (New Zealand)

It’s 1984, and Michael Jackson is king—even
in Waihau Bay, New Zealand. Here we meet
Boy, an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with
his gran, a goat, and his younger brother,
Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers).
Shortly after Gran leaves for a week, Boy’s
father, Alamein, appears out of the blue.
Having imagined a heroic version of his
father during his absence, Boy comes face
to face with the real version—an incompetent
hoodlum who has returned to find a bag of
money he buried years before. This is where
the goat enters.
Inspired by his Oscar-nominated short,
Two Cars, One Night, Taika Waititi offers a
charming, funny, and earnest coming-of-age
story where everybody has some coming
of age to do—particularly Alamein (affably
played by Waititi himself). Never short on
humor, Waititi’s story is ultimately about three
boys (one grown) reconciling fantasy with
reality.


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Son of Babylon (Iraq)

In 2003, three weeks after the fall of Saddam
Hussein, Ahmed, an energetic 12-year-old
Kurdish boy, travels with his grandmother
along the dustiest, most secluded roads in
northern Iraq. In search of their father/son,
a soldier missing since the Gulf War, they
head south to Babylon. Along their bumpy
way, they encounter the chaotic state of the
country but find unexpected allies on similar
quests, including one former member of the
Republican Guard. Though Ahmed may be too
young to fully understand the importance of
this journey, his life will be changed forever.
Beautifully directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji,
and featuring a magnificent performance
from young Yasser Talib as Ahmed, Son of
Babylon is both a fulfilling cinematic and
emotional experience. It is a story of hope
and forgiveness; one that palpably, and with
great humanity, illustrates reality for many
Iraqi and Kurdish people in the aftermath of
Hussein’s reign.


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Hesher (USA)

Hesher is the story of a family struggling to
deal with loss and the anarchist who helps
them do it—in a very unexpected way.
TJ is 13 years old. Two months ago, his mom
was killed in an accident, leaving TJ and his
grieving dad to move in with grandma to pick
up the pieces. Hesher is a loner. He hates the
world—and everyone in it. He has long, greasy
hair and homemade tattoos. He likes fire and
blowing things up. He lives in his van—until he
meets TJ.
Hesher is that rare film that manages to be
a completely original vision, a thoroughly
entertaining story, and a provocative
metaphor. Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings the
character of Hesher to life with anger and
angst, and Devin Brochu makes quite a
splash as the young boy dealing with both
the loss of his mother and an unwanted
houseguest. Cowriter/director Spencer Susser
crafts a multidimensional, darkly humorous
film that exhibits an immensely talented
storyteller at work.


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« Last Edit: 29. Aug 2010 at 19:58 by Zabladowski »  
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Zabladowski
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #1 - 19. Dec 2009 at 22:13
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Daddy Longlegs (USA)

With Daddy Longlegs (formerly known as
Go Get Some Rosemary), Josh and Benny
Safdie have crafted a realistic fairy tale that
captures the magic of parenthood, invoking
memories of their inventive dad from their
own childhood.
Divorced and alone, Lenny (the perfectly cast
Ronnie Bronstein) is the father of two young
boys he gets to see a couple of weeks a
year. He cherishes these days with the kids,
being both stern parent and lovable buddy,
inventing myths and somehow living them,
all while working overtime in the big city.
When the going gets tough, Lenny uses some
unusual, perhaps even hazardous, techniques
to keep the kids safe from the world.
Because of the film’s fluid style, we feel that
we are in the boxing ring alongside Lenny,
as flawed as he is charismatic, champion of
each day, yet totally black and blue. As the
storm of society continually rains on him,
Lenny laughs through it all. Isn’t life crazy?



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Abel  (Mexico)

Adorable little Abel has problems in the head.
His mother collects him from the psychiatric
ward hoping not to upset him. She carefully
discusses with his teacher how to deal with
the absence of Abel’s father. The entire family
is on pins and needles, worrying about Abel
breaking down. But things take an interesting
turn when the little boy emphatically carves
out a new role for himself in the family—he
decides to become the father of the house.
Abel transforms the fear his family has about
his episodes into the respect due to the head
of the household. Oddly enough, it works!
That is, until a stranger shows up at the
breakfast table, claiming to be Abel’s father.
Diego Luna, in his debut effort, crafts a
heartwarming tale of the way one family’s
dynamic works through peculiar means. Abel
is an entertaining and endearing family drama
that manages to infuse its foreboding tone
with a delightful sense of humor.


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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #2 - 19. Dec 2009 at 22:36
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Thank you! You definitely got my interest right away.
  
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #3 - 20. Dec 2009 at 10:29
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Out of all of those Abel sounds the most interesting, Mexico seem to be making some really good movies lately.
  
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Zabladowski
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #4 - 24. Dec 2009 at 04:12
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In this batch, I'm feeling nationalistic and looking forward to the American releases (though it has been a good long while since there has been a good USA boy led film at Sundance). I feel confident that the Mexican film will get some buzz too as it is the directorial debut of Diego Luna, whose work in films like Y tu mamá también and Milk, have received International acclaim.
  
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Zabladowski
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #5 - 09. Feb 2010 at 04:33
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Berlin is the premier festival in the month of February.
Didn't find that much new.

Bal [Honey]  (Turkey)

Six-year-old Yusuf has just begun attending primary school where he is learning how to read and write. His father, Yakup, is a beekeeper. He goes about his trade deep inside the woods where he hangs up his bee hives in the treetops of the highest trees. The mountain forest is a place of deep mystery to Yusuf and he derives great pleasure from accompanying his father there.
One morning Yusuf tells his father about a dream he had the night before. Zakup turns on him curtly telling him never to share his dreams with others. The same day, Yusuf is asked to read out a text in front of the class. He suddenly begins to stutter and he is laughed at by the rest of the class.
One day the bees suddenly disappear, throwing into question the family’s means of earning a living. Yakup decides to set off for the remote mountains. But no sooner has he left, than Yusuf stops speaking. His mother Zehra, who works on a tea plantation, suffers a great deal on account of her son’s sudden loss of speech, but is unable to persuade him to speak.
The days pass – and still Yakup does not return. Mother and son begin to worry. Yusuf goes to his grandmother’s place in a neighbouring village where he spends the magical night during which the prophet’s arrival is celebrated. When he hears the story of the prophet he is convinced that his father, with whom he identifies the holy man, will come home again.
Yusuf and his mother set off on a fruitless search for signs of his father’s whereabouts after which Yusuf decides to continue the search for his father on his own. His is a journey into the unknown. Will the dream he had become reality?




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Franswa Sharl (Australia)

Twelve-year-old Greg is just as ambitious as his father. During a family holiday on the Fijian Islands the two have different ideas about which one of his many talents Greg should concentrate on. When Greg’s creative pursuits fail to amuse his father, Greg sets out to win him back. Greg’s story is based on real events.

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Por tu culpa [It's Your Fault] (Argentina)

Life is far from easy for Julieta. She lives alone with her children in a tiny apartment, has very little money and struggles to lead a normal life, which is virtually impossible given these conditions. But she’s always trying. Julieta does her best, but, in doing so often asks too much of herself and her two boys. During the week the children are with a babysitter who looks after them as best she can, because Julieta doesn’t have the money to pay for this. Sometimes, the children’s father comes over to take care of them, but this is rare and Julieta certainly can’t rely on his help.
It’s Sunday evening and the boys’ father hasn’t picked up his sons Valentín and Teo as agreed. Julieta has to work and is sitting in front of the computer. It’s way past bedtime and the arguments in the children’s room are getting more aggressive. Julieta can’t afford to listen and just doesn’t want to know what the boys are up to. She has to concentrate. But then she hears a loud bang. Teo begins to cry. What’s happened? Teo is unable to express himself and Valentín remains resolutely silent. The three of them go to hospital to have Teo examined. They have to wait for ages at the accident and emergency unit and are exhausted by the time it’s their turn. Teo’s brother is the only one who can explain what happened, but, dog-tired, angry with himself, irritated by the long wait and his mother, his answers are curt. A single mother of two boys, one of whom is badly hurt – to the doctor Teo’s injuries are more than just the result of an accident.


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Zabladowski
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #6 - 09. Feb 2010 at 05:00
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Jaccos film (Netherlands)

Jacco is a scientist, an explorer, a musician, a philosopher, an architect and a top athlete. At the moment he’s still living with his parents – after all, he is still only ten years old. While his mother and father argue, he shows us how much he knows about deep-sea fishing, how to spy on the neighbourhood with a telescope and the advantages of an underground hut. In Jacco’s world there are no problems that can’t be solved – unlike the small war his parents are engaged in every day.

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Drona & ik  (Netherlands)

Drona is nine years old and autistic. We get to know the boy from the point of view of his 12-year-old brother, Arjun, who comments on images of Drona’s daily life. Two years ago, Drona was diagnosed as having a particular form of autism. He is very fond of Amsterdam’s bus route number 192 and dreams of one day steering this bus himself. Arjun tells us that Drona has memorised the entire Amsterdam bus network. And this makes Arjun very proud of his little brother.

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Shui Yuet Sun Tau [Echoes of the Rainbow] (Hong Kong)

It’s the spring of 1969 and the historic events of the year have not yet taken place. The world will have to wait another six months before Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon. Our young hero is still running through the streets of Hong Kong with a goldfish bowl on his head for an astronaut’s helmet. He is the first astronaut in the British Crown Colony and his view of the world is not merely distorted by the glass in front of his eyes. As far as our hero’s perception of terrestrial reality is concerned – he follows a completely different set of rules.
The film’s story centres on the young astronaut’s cheerful family: his shoemaker father who walks around in a torn pair of sandals; his carefree mother, who is convinced that anything’s possible if you really want it, and his ambitious older brother. In this film we accompany these amiable people back to a time when everything was new, the girls were charming, the adults unfathomable and every story was simple and beautiful.
Alex Law: “My father was a shoe-maker. During his time, he must have made more shoes than he could ever remember. But what’s more gratifying, my father’s shoes helped him feed the family, and saw me through my childhood, a childhood full of laughter and tears. ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW is a chronicle of this bitter-sweet childhood, along with its dooms and surprises. And most of all, it is also my love letter to Hong Kong, which braved the rocky and easy sixties in beautiful style.”


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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #7 - 11. Feb 2010 at 22:05
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Thanks for all the write-ups of these films many of which sound interesting but I wonder just how many we will ever be able to see? They might cometo a local 'art' cinema or possibly available on DVD.
Who is the Australian stunner in 'Franswa Sharl'? Got to go and see what 12 year old Greg gets up to on that Fijian island! Wink
Talking about Mexican boy films there is one I have the DVD of that isn't listed on BA and neither is the actor. Oh dear! 'La Mugrosita' made in 1980 and starring a boy actor/singer called Pedrito Fernandez. He leads one gang of kids fighting another gang which ends up with a boxing match between the two leaders. Fernandez plays 12/13 year old Andres who lives with his grandfather in an old railway goods van. Unfortunately, the DVD I have is in Spanish with no subtitles so I'm not too sure of all the plot's ins and outs. Suffice to say it is an engaging film of a boy who is removed from his grandfather by the authorities and how Andres becomes reunited with the old man again. In between, Fernandez bursts into some fairly pleasant Mexican songs that he sings to his young girlfriend, Maria.
Anybody seen this film and, if so, how come BA has missed it entirely?
  
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Zabladowski
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #8 - 15. Feb 2010 at 03:57
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You're welcome Cinefan.  I think how many of these kinds of films a person gets to see depends on whether they live in a large city and how hard they are willing to look for them (a speedy internet connection might also help in that regard...).

The star of Franswa Sharl is Callan McAuliffe.
You might enjoy his website at (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links).

I've never heard of La mugrosita, much less seen it. Despite the fact that Mexico is right next to my country, very little of its film product is available here.
I've added it to my wish list, maybe I'll come across it some day.

I intend to get back to this thread soon. There were a couple more films in Berlin worth pointing out (although joseph has found the biggest of those in Siemiany).
  
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #9 - 22. May 2010 at 06:39
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This thread needs some updating.

The following are films of possible interest I have stumbled across recently.

Dear Lemon Lima (USA)

As sweet and colorful as a snow cone, this delightful happy-sad confection follows an awkward Alaskan teen as she discovers her Eskimo heritage while rallying her fellow misfits to compete in her school's Snowstorm Survivor competition.

I've seen this one already and although it is primarily a girl movie, Zane Huett's performance was very good and well worth seeing. The film itself is very quirky. I suspect opinions on it will be rather polarizing.

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Love Does Grow on Trees (UK)

At the end of the 1980s, every healthy teenage boy was only interested in girls and porn magazines. But together, these two form a dangerous cocktail, so it's a mixed pleasure when the adolescent Danny literally gets bombarded with the colourful magazines.

Stars Quantum favorite Luke Ward-Wilkinson!

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Päev, Mil Ma Kasvasin [The Day I Grew Up] (Estonia)

In 'The Day I Grew Up', a boy struggles with grief after losing his mother, but finds comfort in a magical book given to him by an old bookseller.

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Sangen [The Song] (Denmark)

There is nothing worse than when ones parents argue, and in 'The Song', 9-year-old Sebastian takes matters into his own hands to create a family idyl.

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Huset overfor (Denmark)

In 'Huset Overfor', two boys challenge each other to going on an exploration of the eerie house on the other side of the road, where they are met with a series of chilling surprises.

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #10 - 22. May 2010 at 17:24
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I really would like to see dear lemon Lima. it has one of my faves Zane huett in it. hope it comes on dvd or to the theatres.
  
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #11 - 23. May 2010 at 03:15
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Thanks for the update, Zab. Of course, anyone who knows my tastes will know that this one is the movie I would check out first:
Päev, Mil Ma Kasvasin [The Day I Grew Up] (Estonia)
  
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #12 - 25. May 2010 at 03:25
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I'm confident that you will eventually be able to check out Lima, gee. It doesn't seem that it will ever get a proper theatrical release, so it is taking forever to finish its theatrical run through various film festivals. No screenings in the Windy City either so far as I've seen, but I'm sure it will eventually come to DVD.

YA, I'm not as optimistic about your choice, but the blogosphere has helped get many small foreign shorts to the masses, maybe this will be one of them some day.

Today we continue with the Zlin film festival opening soon in the Czech Republic, a consistently reliable source for films worth scouting for.
  
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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #13 - 25. May 2010 at 03:56
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Smrt krásných srnců [Death of the Beautiful Deer] (Czechoslovakia 1986)

Ota Pavel's world is made up of the simple truths of life, real people, and a nature that man must understand in order to understand their depth and vastness. It was this particular atmosphere that the director Kachyňa was mainly trying to depict. He had to presume a lot when telling the life of the Popper family before the war. The film captures the escapades of the father, Leo, who works as an Electrolux salesman, and also spends wonderful moments on the banks of the Berounka River at the cottage of Prošek the ferryman. The father's swaggering changes under the pressure of the times. But his vitality completely returns during the occupation when he, nearly right in front of Germans, removes all the fish from his former pond and risks his life to procure some venison so that his two children have a chance to survive the concentration camp.
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It's already profiled here, but I had to include it so I could share this publicity still of Tomás Holý!
Some day I hope that his work will be subbed in English so that I can watch his films.

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Tony, tobě přeskočilo [A Child for Tony] (Czechoslovakia 1968)

A comedy about a simple person that takes in four abandoned siblings from an orphanage. Eight-year-old Prášílek is alone after a car accident. So that he doesn't have to return to the orphanage, he stays with his uncle Tony. A well-preserved widow seems a bit dangerous for them. Now and then she brings some cakes and irons the laundry. To face such pressure they need allies. Prášílek has three more siblings in various orphanages. Tony gets convinced to take in someone who can repair things. But along with nine-year-old Joska comes a social worker and deadline of 10 days to improve conditions. They need a woman's touch to take care of tidiness. Tony doesn't realize that Anička is only six until after her arrival. When thirteen-year-old Růžena eventually runs away to him, Tony is truly happy - after all, she knows how to clean and cook.

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Re: 2010 Festival Releases
Reply #14 - 25. May 2010 at 04:18
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Vlak do stanice Nebe [The Train to Heaven] (Czechoslovakia 1972)

An anxious mother takes her small daughter from air-raid-threatened Prague during the last winter of the Second World War to a mountain hamlet in the Beskydy mountains. The little girl is charmed by the local narrow-gauge forest railway that takes children to school, and which becomes the main axis of the film's story. One of the lyrical films by Karel Kachyňa that is devoted to its child heroes - their happy and sad incidents, games and fantasies - and which masterfully renders the inner world of their thoughts and feelings.

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Povídky o dětech [Tales About Children] (Czechoslovakia 1964)

Short stories: 1. "Magdalena" - Brave Magdalena is not surprised by anything her first day of school. She even manages look after her classmate, who needs some help. 2. "Trickster" - Little Jarmila eases her work with little tricks. She fakes a theft because she wants some new shoes. 3. "Carp" - Just before Christmas, the son of the caretaker of the sports complex releases their Christmas carp into the swimming pool.

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Outsider (Czechoslovakia 1986)

The film tells the story of a fourteen-year-old boy who would love to work with horses. However, he is not accepted to study at a special riding school and must study at a secondary farming school. His initial snubbing leaves traces on his relationship with teachers as well as with his upperclassmen. His only happy moments are those spent at the stud farm, training Palisander - a horse with an innate handicap. Jožka knows that if the horse does not succeed in his first race, he will be taken to an abattoir. In order to be able to train the horse, the boy, resolved to do everything to win, runs away from the boarding house. He is convinced that together they will win. Due to its setting in the world of horse racing, the film after twenty years represents an interesting documentary, featuring a number of authentic faces of horse breeders, coaches and jockeys.

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Lukas (Czechoslovakia 1982)

This simple children's film tells of an internally confused twelve-year-old boy, Lukáš, who finds it difficult to form an emotional bond with his father, who is a forest worker with whom he lives with in a village in the Beskydy Moutains. Lukáš admires his father's skill and diligence, but he's also troubled by his alcoholism that disrupts his confidence in their mutual relationship. Fortunately, to fix the troubled relationship between father and son comes the local well-educated teacher.


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Jakub (Czechoslovakia 1976)

Eleven-year-old Jakub Adam has lived most of his life in an orphanage. That's why he's looking forward to meeting and living with his father, who he hasn't seen for many years. Jakub's dreams, however, soon collide with a complex reality, because bonding between the two estranged people, though father and son, is harder and more painful than either expected. Though the protagonist of the story is a young boy longing for reciprocated love, the film is aimed more at an adult audience.

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Velké trápení [Huge Trouble] (Czechoslovakia 1974)

The film is set in an orphanage and depicts the fate of the teenaged girl Jana, who is getting ready to spend her summer vacation with her father. But Jana is looking for emotional security - she runs away from her father to her mother and younger sister, where it seems that the family could be together again. The film desperately deals with the unfortunate impact of a broken family on a child's psyche.

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