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5 Films you have to watch at the European Union Film Festival starting this Friday

By Say Peng  /  06 May 2019 (Monday)

One of the longest-running film festivals in Singapore, the annual European Union Film Festival is back once again for its 29th edition.

With 27 films on the menu, it can be hard to choose which ones to watch. So here are 5 films we recommend you check out.

1. Beside Me

Several passengers are stuck together on a subway train. They do not know each other. But as passengers interact, things change and at the end of the journey, each one comes out changed in his or her own way. 

Touted as the first inspirational Romanian film, director Tedy Necula's debut film 'Beside Me' sets up a compelling premise - strangers trapped on a subway train carriage - to not so much explore as to make a statement about the human condition.

Screening date: 12 May, 11am
2. Flemish Heaven

The sophomore feature of Belgium director Peter Monsaert, 'Flemish Heaven' examines the lives of three generations of women. Monique and her daughter Sylvie run a brothel on the border of West Flanders and France. Eline, Sylvie’s six-year-old daughter, is fascinated by the mysterious workplace of her mother and grandmother, but she is never allowed inside. A dramatic event turns their lives upside down and puts the family under pressure.

Variety praised the film as a "thoughtful, level-headed study of independent female prostitution."

The film was screened at San Sebastian Film Festival and also in Toronto Film Festival.

Screening date: 13 May, 7pm

3. Omnipresent

What begins as a hobby soon becomes an obsession. 'Omnipresent' centers upon Emil, a novelist and an owner of an advertising agency who gradually becomes obsessed with spying on his family, friends, and employees via hidden spy cameras.

But what starts as an innocent hobby morphs into an addiction resulting in deadly consequences. 

Exploring issues of technology and the right to surveillance, 'Omnipresent' is a thriller that asks if there are secrets that should remain just what it is - secrets.

The film was Bulgaria's submission to 2018's Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film.

Screening date: 12 May, 1.30pm

4. Eldorado

Drawing inspiration from a personal encounter with the Italian refugee child Giovanna who stayed with his family during World War II, director Imhoof draws on the personal to tell a compelling human story of refugees – their hopes, their dreams and often their dashed aspirations.

'Eldorado' won the Amnesty International Film Prize's Special Mention at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it was screened Out of Competition. It was also the Swiss entry for the Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Guardian called the film a "powerful look at the brutal lives of Europe's refugees."

Screening date: 17 May, 7pm

5. Power In Our Hands

'Power In Our Hands' tells the story of the deaf community in Britain and its long and arduous campaign for its right to be heard.

It's a topic that most people are unaware of, making this documentary a powerful revelation.

Screening date: 11 May, 4pm

The European Union Film Festival starts this Friday, 10 May, and will run to 19 May. You can buy tickets at Sistic.
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