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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) 2009 Festival Releases (Read 57,203 times)
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #15 - 25. May 2009 at 19:31
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Kur pazudis Elvis (Latvia)

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The film is about five children from a fifth grade class. There are three boys and two girls: Nils, Roberts, Tomass, Beate and Elza. During a Friday morning assembly they learn from their homeroom teacher that their classmate Elvis has been absent without explanation for a long time. Nils overhears two teachers saying that they are unable to reach Elvis or his mother - no one answers the phone and no one knows where they are. Nils senses that the grownups don't seem interested in finding out what has happened to Elvis. Nils, however, is very curious and gets some of his classmates to help investigate. The children all come from different social backgrounds, but have on thing in common; adults and parents have little time for them.



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Six year old Max has an important mission: find some frogspawn for his older brother. Together with his girlfriend Jesse he makes an adventurous journey along fields, farms, animals and a forest that eventually lead to his grandma's home. On his overwhelming journey through nature he's accompanied by cheerful childrens songs.

Only (Canada)

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Daniel lives in a motel managed by his parents in northern Ontario. People come, people go. Daniel hardly notices. Until one day a girl arrives and changes his world. Only is a glimpse into the heightened impressions and dreams of two unlikely 12-year-olds. Over the course of a single day, they venture on a journey, exploring deep secrets, dark fears, and first love in a pure and powerful meeting of young hearts and minds.



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Adapted from the popular novel inspired by the life of Andrea Hirata, one of the biggest successes in Indonesia in the last decade. It is based on a famous literary work which narrates in autobiographical form the desire for emancipation through education of a large part of the Indonesian people who have lived under the poverty line; irresistible kids. The film is colourful, beautifully photographed and well acted by the young cast. Only the extremely hard of heart would not have to wipe tears from their eyes at the moving finale.

De scheepsjongens van Bontekoe  (Netherlands)

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All boys dream of adventure, but some get to live them as well. That's what happens to Hajo, a teenager from a port town in Holland. He's always wanted to be a sailor, just like his father, so at 14, he sets out to sea as a member of Captain Bontekoe's crew. His best friend, Padde, sneaks on board. Together, they meet another shipmate, Rolf, and the three boys become inseparable. The ship is bound for exotic lands, and every day brings new challenges to the boys, as they struggle with all the chores they've been given. Everyone seems to be picking on Padde, but Hajo tries his best to stick up for him. They soon find out that the life of a sailor is not an easy one.



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9-year-old Teo didn't know his father until he showed up in his kitchen one day and then tried to cross the US border with him. But like hundreds of others, Teo and his father end up with criminal traffickers who steal everything from them and leave them at the mercy US border guards. While trying to save his personal belongings, Teo is separated from the group and runs away. He suddenly finds himself alone somewhere in the middle of a semi-desert in the middle of the night. Though the film is suitable to even the littlest viewers, its topic is related to the injustice to which illegal Mexican immigrants are exposed. This mixture of road movie and social melodrama represents an interesting effort to provide a somehow different view of the problem



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A group of children, with the help of a homeless man, overcome all obstacles to save a tree from being razed by a money-minded construction giant and his contractor. Their quest mirrors the apathy of contemporary society to such types of environmental issues. Through nonstop action, comedy and adventure, the children finally realize what it takes to stand their ground in the battle against concrete.
« Last Edit: 21. Aug 2010 at 18:00 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #16 - 25. May 2009 at 19:55
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White Sneakers (Iran)

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Wearing white sneakers, Payam Amiri enters Bushehr as a new teacher at Sa´adat School. His arrival leads to different events in the school and in his resistant neighborhood. Some of the students are attracted to his new methods, while others are just watching what is going on. After meeting with a girl named Zivar, the young teacher gets involved in the problems of one of his students. Following a bitter incident, helpless and shocked, the teacher finds out that he is a stranger.

Gyumri (Czech Republic - Documentary)

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On December 7, 1988, the Armenian town of Gyumri was struck by a devastating earthquake in which officials say 25,000 people lost their lives; unofficial figures claim 70,000 dead. More than one third of the victims were children. In reaction to their painful losses, many mourning parents reacted by naming newly-born children after their dead brothers and sisters. With many of the children, this fact has caused problems with self-identification and many of them today believe that the soul of their deceased siblings lives with them or directly in them… The renowned director Jana Ševčíková (Old Believers, Rites of Spring) spent three years making this documentary about life after the catastrophe.

La tercera guerra de los ninos (Spain - 1982)

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The third part of a series about kids from the Don Matías private school was one of the most successful live-action films for children in the history of Spanish cinema. The film starts with the return of small heroes from the American Disneyland. Happy and full of impressions they must get used to the idea that school has to start again. But there's more bad news. Vicky, the daughter of the hated Don Atilio, owner of the school, will study in their class. They start a series of events aimed at hurting the girl, but in the end they realize that the girl suffers from her father's authoritarian behaviour just as much as they do. In the end all turns out well but the little rascals must overcome a number of traps.

Tic Tac (Spain - 1997)

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The main hero Héctor asks the three kings to show him what eternity means. But you should be very careful about what you wish for. One day, when the boy travels by train with his parents, he suddenly finds himself in a railway station where clocks are losing time and he suddenly can't find his parents. He's entered a dreamy fairy-tale world. The stationmaster and his two children take him in and try to help him to get back to his parents, but it won't be easy. It's necessary to turn the natural flow of events backwards. Because of this, the boy gets into unbelievable situations which combine live acting with musical, magic with irony: a Frog Prince who wishes to remaine enchanted, dwarf dancers, the Sun talking to the Moon, an evil witch and her soup…

Tak to vidím já - Jája (Czech Republic - Documentary Short)

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A film taken from the life of eight-year-old Jája; skateboarder, sprayer and rapper living in Český Krumlov. Or "Český Krumlov is the best? UH-HUH, UH-HUH, UH-HUUUHHUUUHHUH!?" Set in this town full of cultural, heritage and national monuments (some even listed on the UNESCO list), we meet the eight-year-old Jan Pingitzer. He was born here, this is where he lives and is growing up. But is mind is not currently filled with admiration for the sights around him. On the contrary, he does not notice them at all. He rides his skateboard through the streets of the historical town, rapping his songs. He talks about his first loves and sprays pictures of all the members of his family. He does not want to admire somebody else's past, he wants to create his own past in the present!

Tak to vidím já - Filip (Czech Republic - Documentary Short)

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A series of documentaries for children in which the main hero introduces his or her story without any corrections by screenplay or directorial plan. The documentaries offer an egoistical view of the world, handled from the current perspective of a child or a young person. The world as seen with the eyes of the 8-year-old Romany boy Filip is divided in two - the world outside and the world at home. Filip lives in a balcony house, is a member of a socially excluded community, is not part of society, and lives in a ghetto. Though only eight he is aware of the power of education and would like to break free from the bonds of the community into which he was born, despite the complicated social environment he is living in. He is pursuing his goal - a better life.
  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #17 - 25. May 2009 at 20:11
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The five-year-old Honzík travels on his own by train to visit his grandfather, who lives in the country. He is looking forward to seeing his grandparents, but since this will be the first time he will be without his mother, he is also a little scared. He will experience a number of events quite common for children living in the country, but for which a town boy are unusual adventures. He will get to know new animals: the dog Punťa, the tomcat, the horned goat, pigs and hens at the farm. The book by Bohumil Říha, on which the film is based, was very popular until the 1990s and was even compulsory school reading. Together with Říha's Honzík, the reader discovers through short episodic stories the basic facts about the life in a recently collectivized country. Confronted with period agitprops, Honzík's Journey represented a quite refreshing perspective of life in a Socialist village; however, even this film for children did not lack a certain schematisation and political commitment.

Páni Edisoni (Czechoslovakia - 1987)

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In as early as the 1980s, the makers of this film imagined that technically gifted children, who loved electronics and the first computers, would contribute to the development of modern computing machines. The screenplay represented an opportunity for Jiří Strach and Jakub Wehrenberger, both big child stars of that time and who have both remained in the film industry - especially Jiří Strach, who has managed to make it as a successful dubbing and film director. While exploring of the possibilities offered by mysterious new devices, the film gang of children experiences many amusing and dramatic events; however, with the hindsight of twenty years, their familiarization with the world of electronics looks more funny than scientific. This fact even more brings out the elements of an adventurous journey towards understanding their world and drives the children's desire for knowledge.

Městem chodí Mikuláš (Czech Republic - 1993)


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The intimate story, situated in a small-town hospital, builds on the sad atmosphere of the place, which becomes even sadder in time of Advent. It tells the story of the sorrows of a small mischief maker nicknamed "Lies-and-Steals". The boy promises to a girl staying at the hospital with him that he will bring St. Nicolas to the hospital room - a traditional character of Czech Advent, bringing presents to good children. However, he soon finds out that this will not be an easy task. His efforts are thwarted several times by the pedantic head nurse nicknamed "Old Goat". As the story unfolds, tense relations between three adults come to the surface - the physician Koníček, an alcoholic, the head nurse and a young nurse nicknamed "Pipka" - marked by various animosities, idle illusions, unfulfilled hopes. In spite of all the conflicts and in an almost miraculous way, the film ends with a kind moment of exceptional emotional understanding and St. Nicolas eventually appears in the hospital.
« Last Edit: 30. Mar 2013 at 22:02 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #18 - 26. May 2009 at 02:40
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Thanks for all the films and reviews (and great pics) from the movies, old and new.

An argument could be made that Czech cinema has produced more kids films (and enticing ones at that) than any country in the world..... in a ratio of kids films to total films produced within the country.

More and more of these old movies are finding their way to the public, but there are no less than 30 or 40 that are still way up on the next-to-impossible-to-see wish list.
  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #19 - 26. May 2009 at 04:57
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great work!  Much appreciated!
  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #20 - 27. May 2009 at 17:20
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I'm dying here..... sooo many films....

How to see them? How to see them?
  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #21 - 23. Aug 2009 at 05:03
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2009 Karlovy Vary offerings...

40-ci qapi (The 40th Door) Azerbaijan

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Fourteen-year-old Rustam lives with his mother in a village; his father was killed by the Russian mafia. After his father’s death, Rustam tries to provide for himself and his mother without resorting to illegal money-making schemes. But his dream is to join a music band. The title of the film refers to an Azerbaijani fairy tale about saving a princess from a house with 40 doors; no one has succeeded in opening the last door, and thus its secret remains hidden. The villagers have named their village the 40th door as well. The movie is striking and faithful in its attempt to tell the dramatic story of a young protagonist and his initiation into adulthood.



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Twelve-year-old Louis lives with his parents and older brother in a small town in southern Morocco. Louis is a happy boy who loves the sea, his father, to play soccer with the local kids, and to laugh. One day his father tells him a secret that only they will share. The secret immediately changes the lives of young Louis and his family – enough to cause the boy to lose his innocence forever. This outstanding feature debut relies heavily on excellent performances by Olivier Gourmet, Anne Consigny, and especially the highly convincing Martin Nissen as Louis. The movie is gorgeous to look at, with a gripping story whose ambiguities evoke multiple questions but few answers.




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Little Eamon still loves sleeping in bed with his mother Grace, something his father, Grace’s boyfriend Daniel, doesn’t much appreciate. He just feels left out and frustrated by Grace’s lack of interest. Eamon basks in his mother’s favor, which abruptly ends when the family is forced, during Eamon’s school vacation, to spend a week at the rugged Irish coast. There, Grace spends whole days on the beach basking in the sun, ogling a tanned and muscular surfer, and feeling that her boys are just in the way. This story of three disparate characters unfolds at an unhurried tempo with minimal essential dialogue; everything important happens under the surface or inside the protagonists. The director leaves room for the viewer to ponder their motivations and the reasons why they are unsatisfied. She gradually and very gently shifts interest from Grace to Daniel and finally to young Eamon, whose unexpected gesture ends the film. Unostentatious and impressionistic, the movie’s original outcome makes it worth it.

« Last Edit: 21. Aug 2010 at 17:58 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #22 - 23. Aug 2009 at 05:31
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El Paso (Czech Republic)

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After her husband’s death, Věra Horváthová discovers that she presents a problem for most of society. After years of not paying the rent, she is moved into a small welfare flat where, despite the rough conditions, she tries to give her seven children everything they need. She doesn’t understand why social workers are trying to take her kids away, legal jargon confuses her, and she refuses to feel guilty for being Romany. Fortunately, she isn’t alone, but in order for her new gadji friends to help her, they must first earn her trust and enter her world. Following the success of The Brats (2002), director Zdeněk Tyc once again returns to a Romany story inspired by true events in which people don’t speak of love, but live it. This subtly poetic story, combining experienced actors and Romany non-actors, stirs empathy within the mass of society for their “other” fellow citizens. “El paso is a slang expression for attack, and we’d like – in a good way – to attack our viewers,” says the director.



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Originally from Jamaica, Jude is a single mother of a 12-year-old boy named Ciel. She works as a nurse at a hospital. Jude and Ciel live for each other, and Ciel knows when his mother doesn’t feel well; he’s even found his own method of protecting his mom from bad things. A former boxer, Silence is past his prime and he now only competes in illegal matches in order to make ends meet. One evening he is injured and Jude treats him at the hospital. Although almost no words are spoken at their meeting, a bond is established between them, and a mere week at the end of summer is enough to change the lives of all three.



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Little Tedo and his mother were forced to flee their native Abkhazia during the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. His father was seriously ill and had to stay behind in Abkhazia. Several years later, 12-year-old Tedo is trying to scrape a living with his mother on the outskirts of the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Tedo helps out in a car repair shop, while his mother works as a shop assistant. Tedo finds it hard to come to terms with his difficult situation and with his life as a refugee. When he comes across his mother with a lover one day, he decides to go back to Abkhazia to seek out his father, whom he has not heard from since he arrived in Georgia. During his wretched journey to “the other bank”, Tedo faces vulnerability and encounters hostility, but he also finds compassion. The Other Bank is a universal story which speaks of the consequences of war, of nationalism and of children who were forced by circumstances to grow up before their time.
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #23 - 23. Aug 2009 at 06:04
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Only a river separates a small Polish border town from Germany. The local teenagers, are wide-eyed at their neighbours’ standard of living. Tomek is a good student, he’s interested in astronomy and plays football to please his father. Except that he lives in a little border town plagued by unemployment and poverty, whereas, on the other side of the river, lies Germany with all its relative affluence. When Tomek meets Marta at his first disco and falls in love with her, he starts to think up ways of earning money in order to keep her interested. After attempts to make some cash smuggling dogs, he approaches the pimp Borys who finds local boys for his German clients. Tomek has no idea of the brutal fate which awaits him.  The filmmaker regards the emotional cynicism and cruelty of teenagers as a phenomenon fuelled by the destructive force of desperate poverty. Not only does it destroy family relationships and Christian values, but criminal behaviour is also no longer perceived as a sin.

Dai wo qu yuan fang (Somewhere I Have Never Travelled) (Taiwan)

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A colorblind girl lives surrounded by lovable characters like her simpleminded father who makes a living sweeping streets, her eternally grumbling grandma, and her gay cousin. Nevertheless, although the world once appeared to her child’s eyes as a carefree and, paradoxically (given her eye impairment), picturesque and colorful place, it gradually pales during the girl’s adolescence. Only as a teenager does she begin to realize that she and those close to her are exceptional and yet outsiders. She becomes anxiously fixated on a story about an island for the colorblind that her cousin recounts to her. The film employs children’s movie forms in order to show the contrast between childhood, when we primarily perceive ourselves and our immediate surroundings, and adolescence, during which we recognize our place in society and the world. Starting with oft-used motifs, the filmmakers succeeded in creating an original work which speaks to multiple generations of viewers.



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Olga and Freddy are nine-year-olds from Honduras who have entered the US illegally to find the girl’s relatives in faraway Minnesota. Ten-year-old José from El Salvador ends up in a Mexican detention center after his smuggler turns him adrift. Juan Carlos was born in Guatemala; in New York he hopes to locate his father, who abandoned him and his mother. Kevin is 14 years old and he already knows the ropes. He finds jobs from time to time, and his mother Lupe, who remained in Honduras, expects him to send her a little money. These and other children from Mexico and Central America endeavor to make it on their own in the United States across the Mexican border, having undergone a dangerous and lengthy train journey – most often via an infamous long-distance freight train nicknamed The Beast. Even in the worst moments they don’t lose the hope that in the USA they will find a better life: a beautiful and just existence befitting a Walt Disney fairy tale. Their fates often provide stories of hope and courage – but also disappointment, loneliness, and desperation.

A hetedik kör (The Seventh Circle) (Hungary)

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Director Árpád Sopsits’s The Seventh Circle closes a trilogy which follows child and adolescent generations between the years 1957 and 2007 (the first two films in the trilogy are Shooting Gallery, 1989, and Abandoned, 2001). The film, whose title makes reference to the seventh circle of hell from Dante’s Divine Comedy, tells the story of a gang of rural teenagers who, after the arrival of the mysterious boy Sebestyén, start experimenting to see just how far they can go. The priest Gábor, who senses approaching danger, tries to set the children on the right track. In his film, Sopsits questions the presumed innocence of children and also reflects on the significance of faith in God in the modern world. The director himself characterised his work as “an incredibly sad prophecy and presentation of the state of the world.” His unsettling philosophical drama which steps over the boundary of reality, was based on the motifs of two tragic events which recently occurred in Hungary.
« Last Edit: 21. Aug 2010 at 18:01 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #24 - 23. Aug 2009 at 06:13
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Angel at Sea won the best film award at Karlovy Vary this year. Filip Garbacz won an acting award for his work in Swinki.

I hope this improves the chances that these films at least will see wider distribution.
  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #25 - 25. Aug 2009 at 14:31
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This list blows my mind.

Zab: Have you looked at the list of films playing at the Montreal World Film Festival this year? I've only glanced at it quickly, but hopefully will get a chance to do some more research at some point. I'll certainly be looking for any of these titles on the list.
  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #26 - 25. Aug 2009 at 18:52
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More movies to dream about. Wonderful, informative job as usual, Zab.
  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #27 - 26. Aug 2009 at 04:57
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Thanks YA. I do my best.  Smiley


Joseph, I am halfway through my WFF survey. The same conflicts that kept me at home last year, will do so again this year, but I am planning on posting the titles of interest once I finish my review.
  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #28 - 26. Aug 2009 at 05:29
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Wonderful films and reviews Zab. Thanks for all of your efforts.   Smiley 
  
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Re: Spring Festival Releases
Reply #29 - 26. Aug 2009 at 16:56
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Zabladowski wrote on 26. Aug 2009 at 04:57:
Joseph, I am halfway through my WFF survey. The same conflicts that kept me at home last year, will do so again this year, but I am planning on posting the titles of interest once I finish my review.


Too bad you can't make it. But if you post the films you're interested in, I'll do my best to check them out and report on them. (In other words, do all the research work for me, 'cause I'm lazy. Hehe.)
  
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