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international film Festival Rotterdam


For a species with a limited shelf life, we spend a bizarre amount of time thinking about death. Since early man we’ve surrounded our exit from the mortal coil with rituals and rites. Indeed, the ancient Egyptians seem to have built many of their pyramids with the intention of using them to fire the dead …

The second decade of the Twentieth Century was a turbulent, exciting period and a time of huge scientific, social, political and economic change. On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir apparent to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was assassinated Sarajevo. This would provide the catalyst for the culmination of decades of militarism, sparking the outbreak of …

Since the rise of ancient civilisations, humans have sought solace and instruction through religion. The concept of a God or gods seems to have sprung-up independently at all points of the compass. Whether these are supernatural, preternatural or merely other, they are a reflection of the people who offer them up for worship. There’s usually …

Hong Kong has long been an anomaly in Asia, largely owing to the hundred-year lease Britain obtained on the colony following the Opium Wars. After the Second World War the population rapidly increased. Given both the Eastern and Western influences and different political tensions and ideologies, it became the economic hub of the region. However, …

Storytelling has played a vital role within communities and societies since humans first invented spoken languages. Predating writing, it’s the way that we’ve been able to pass on our histories, myths, legends and religions from generation to generation.  These oral traditions have been vital for the evolution of our species. It still plays a huge …

Whilst the Black Lives Matter protests rapidly spread across the whole of America in early 2020, they weren’t just limited to one country. The situation within the US is undeniably unique, but in many ways it’s also a reflection of race relations in many places around the world. Much of Europe, with a history of …

Dating back to Greek antiquity, the myth of Orpheus has captivated generations of writers and creatives. As one of the only heroes to visit the underworld and return to tell his tale, he’s part of a small and distinguished group. His stories have inspired filmmakers, most notably Marcel Camus for Black Orpheus and Jean Cocteau’s …

If you’re born in the UK, it’s easy to have the mistaken belief that class plays a much greater part in our society than anywhere else. Whilst this might once have been the case, it’s a huge factor in determining socio-economic success in most places around the world, one way or another. Japan, like many …

“If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…the A-Team”. Or at least ‘a team’. This ‘gang’ formula is an almost sure-fire cinematic gold in many ways. Take the Mission Impossible franchise, for example. If Ethan Hunt was all alone, it simply wouldn’t …

Whilst today’s Hollywood spies may skydive onto buildings, drive sportscars at precarious speeds and use a myriad of imaginative gadgets, the stories themselves are often just variations on well-worn themes. There are always the good guys, the bad guys and the unknowable players, rearranged in infinite ways. Today’s covert operators owe a debt of gratitude …