CINEMA, SOUL IN THE EYES
organization Art Promotion

MACONDO

 

Austria – 2014 – DCP – color – 98’

 

Direction: Sudabeh Mortezai
Screenplay: Sudabeh Mortezai
Cinematography: Klemens Hufnagl
Editing: Oliver Neumann
Set design: Julia Libiseller
Sound: Atanas Tcholakov
Costumes: Carola Pizzini
Cast: Ramasan Minkailov, Aslan Elbiev, Kheda Gazieva, Rosa Minkailova, Iman Nasuhanowa, Askhab Umaev, Hamsat Nasuhanov, Champascha Sadulajev
Producer: Oliver Neumann, Sabine Moser
Production: FreibeuterFilm
World Sales: Films Boutique

 

SYNOPSIS

Ramasan has a lot of responsibility for an 11-year-old. In traditional Chechen society, he is now considered the man of the house in charge of his mother and two younger sisters. His world is now centered in Macondo, a tough ethnic neighborhood in the industrial suburbs of Vienna. Ramasan speaks German much better than his mother Aminat, and he often translates for her regarding school and government welfare matters. Aminat is still coping with having lost her husband, fleeing Chechnya and trying to make ends meet as a single mother and foreigner in a new society. Ramasan’s confined world is disrupted when Isa, his father’s war buddy, moves into the low-income housing complex. This encounter awakens Ramasan’s interest in his father. He seeks Isa’s company, but the outsider remains secretive about the past. Isa gradually opens up and a bond evolves between them that helps young Ramasan face and overcome his worst fear…

 

THE DIRECTOR: SUDABEH MORTEZAI

macondo_ICON

Born 1968 in Ludwigsburg, Germany, to Iranian parents, Sudabeh grew up in Tehran and Vienna. She received her MA in theater and film studies from the University of Vienna in 1994. After completing UCLA’s certificate program in Film, TV, and Digital Entertainment Media in 2003, Sudabeh worked as an assistant director and production manager and directed several short films before making her feature-length documentary Children of the Prophet. 2007 co-founder of FreibeuterFilm. Macondo is her fiction debut.

 

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

“(…) Childhood is such an essential moment in time where so many possibilities still lie ahead. I already knew German when I came to Austria, so I didn’t have a lot of the integration problems one typically has in a new country, but for many years I still had the feeling of not being accepted by the majority of the population. (…)
I was also interested in something that many children who have emigrated or fled from a country are confronted with: being forced to grow up too quickly. They learn the language of the host country faster than their often traumatized parents and assume the role
of a go-between. It’s an opportunity, but as a result they have to take on too much responsibility too soon. That is a heavy burden for a child. Psychologists call this phenomenon parentification.”

 

FILMOGRAPHY

2006 Children of the Prophet (doc)
2009 Im Bazar der Geschlechter (In the Bazaar of Sexes, doc)
2014  Macondo

 

AWARDS AND FESTIVALS

2014 Berlinale – Competition
2014 Hong Kong IFF