A festival of European Films

15 October 2021

The 8th edition of the European Film Festival in South Africa kicked off on 14 October 2021. The festival features a range of critically acclaimed movies from around the European continent. The list of films range from light and heart-warming to devastating tragedy and I am excited to experience it all. First on my list was the Spanish selection, 'Rosa's Wedding'. Below is also my take on 'Mr Bachmann and his Class' and 'After Love'.

'Rosa's Wedding' - A Reinvention of Marriage

Rosa’s Wedding’ (2020)

Reviews by Dilon Bhana

Rosa is found amidst a mid-life crisis. She goes to work, comes home to look after her father and her brother's children and tries to maintain a relationship with her daughter in Manchester. Feeling overworked and used, Rosa makes an endearing decision which her family finds to be quite strange, but which may be the best solution to her situation.

The film sends a very important message of self-love and appreciation. We often get lost in work and the needs of others, but it shows how necessary it is to take a step back and take time for oneself.

This movie is a heartfelt film with a message for all ages of people. It's never too early to take time for yourself.

I found the movie to be quirky, a little strange at times and very alluring as I was taken into Rosa's life and found myself ralating to her, despite having a completely different lifestyle to mine.

All-in-all, the movie is light-hearted and well enjoyed with a bowl of popcorn and maybe a glass of wine.


'Mr Bachmann and his Class'(2021), Happy Teacher, Happy Students

Out of all your years at school, what can you remember? The equation of Pythagoras? The meaning of iambic pentameter? Maybe the name of your favourite teacher? 'Mr Bachmann and his Class', an intimate German documentary, perfectly portrays the beautiful and impactful relationship that Mr Bachmann has with his students.

You will find yourself relating to this film whether you see your peers, your teachers, your parents or your experiences from your school days in it.

I found this documentary to be nostalgic and heart-breaking, as well as incredibly joyous. My heart goes out to all teachers and the incredibly difficult task they have of imparting knowledge to their young, very diverse learners..

The documentary shows a group of students from very different backgrounds at an impressionable time in their childhood and the vital role that a teacher plays in their lives. Most media fail to show individuality in diversity and often end up lumping diverse people together, again under a single description. In Mr Bachmann's class, however, we see the students and their individuality. We see their similarities and differences in spite of having similar upbringings, many having moved with their parents to Germany for jobs and a better life. Even so, despite the many miles away from my home that Germany and Turkey and Bulgaria, and the rest are. I found many similarities between the children in the class and the classmates that I once had.

The film, expertly directed by Maria Speth, is long but enticing as you simply observe the children and their inspiring teacher. It does not tell you what or how to think of them and their situations, but it simply allows you to observe. For this reason, I would highly recommend a watch.

'After Love' (2020), A Devastatingly Heart-warming Tale of Love, Loss and Lies

Joanna Scanlan is brilliant in the film 'After Love', as Mary Hussain, the widow of Ahmed Hussain. The day after the burial of her husband Mary discovers that he has a secret. Leaving their home in Dover, Mary travels across the English Channel to Calais, where she meets a woman named Genevieve (Nathalie Richard) in pursuit of the secret.

The film is beautifully directed by Aleem Kahn and shows how harmful a secret can be. It leads us to question how well we actually know the people around us.

This poignant movie is devastating at times, while still managing to have humane and heart-warming moments.

I enjoyed the movie and found it to be a lot less cold than I expected of a movie of its kind. The acting was magnificent and the direction managed to beautifully convey the separateness of the lives of the characters.

I would recommend a box of tissues and some time to really take in the message of this film while watching. While slow moving, I often found the gaps in dialogue filled with my own thoughts and emotions.

View these and the other award-winning movies online and for free. Book now, join live discussions and more on https://www.eurofilmfest.co.za/.