Inside Encounters- Int 1: Burning Bridges

Lisa Go Home (Liza, namo!) by Oksana Buraja

Burning Bridges focuses on the deepest desire of humankind – to feel loved and needed. All five films circle around the same topic: the craving for something new or something else, and wanting to be elsewhere. It’s the most human feeling of longing for a home, for a family, that has the potential to be touching; and the general dissatisfaction with one’s life, because happiness always seems to be somewhere else.

To a certain extent the reactions and deeds of the characters remain fathomless due to different cultural backgrounds, but thanks to that unique, yet universal drive for the unknown, each film is compelling in its own way. The films don’t show and tell us everything, there is no one and accurate conclusion you can draw based on the stories, but they offer a kind of clement understanding of how we all at times yearn for a better life – how we move through life not always seeing what we have and desiring things we don’t and often can’t have.

Adrift (Belgium) is an interesting mix, swaying from documentary to fiction. It stands out from the other films, being northerly, static and slow, yet  beautiful – its visuals are gorgeous. Director Frederik Jan Depickere uses effective frames and narration to create a credible and intimate story, leaving us wondering what is fact and what is fiction.

Although Lisa, go home! (Lithuania / Estonia) is a documentary, director Oksana Buraja also skilfully liberates the rules and boundaries of the genre. It shows us the coming (and not coming) to terms with our surroundings through the eyes of a child and is therefore even more delicate and interesting for it.

Just Before Losing Everything (France) is at some points the most confusing and seemingly unfinished, yet offers the most suspense. We kind of understand  the main character Miriam (Léa Drucker) and at the same time we kind of don’t, and that uncertainty is played masterfully, creating a gripping story. Actor Xavier Legrand shows his talent in screenwriting and directing superbly.

Burning Bridges gathers a variety of different stories and cultural backgrounds. Directors play brilliantly with different genres and setups, all exploring the same subject from varying angles, but linked by their ability to leave thinking and analysing space for the viewer. Whilst the stories have different characters and motifs, they’re all connected and tied by the same emotion – yearning for something new. Hope and hopelessness go hand in hand.

By Maarja Hindoalla