Brussels, 9 November 2009 Press release

Focus 89 film festival in Brussels: “20 years of European (r)evolution”

Brussels, 9 November 2009 – This year’s “Focus 89” film festival, organised by the Austrian Cultural Forum in Brussels from 9 to 15 November 2009 in conjunction with its partners from EUNIC Brussels (the partnership of national institutions for culture within the European Union), is devoted to the theme “20 Years of European (R)Evolution”. The festival, which starts on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, is taking place at the Flagey Cultural Centre in Brussels.

“Man of Iron”, a film by Polish director Andrzej Wajda, will be presented at the beginning of the festival on 9 November. The guest of honour is Natalya Gorbanevskaya, who had her own painful experiences with Communist dictatorship: She was one of eight persons who demonstrated on 25 August 1968 on Red Square against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and was convicted and imprisoned for several years.

The following days are each devoted to a specific theme such as “Life before”, “Nostalgia” or “Migration”. The films selected for the festival are introduced by their directors, leading actors or renowned film critics, for instance Ulrich Seidl’s “Import/Export” and Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s “Beyond the Border”. The panel discussions will be attended by political activists, commentators and contemporary witnesses from all over Europe, including the historian Berthold Molden of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for European History and Public Spheres.

Monday, 9 November 2009 – Opening in the evening
Opening film: “Man of Iron” by Andrzej Wajda, discussion with Natalya Gorbanevskaya

 Tuesday, 10 November 2009 – Life before
The film evening will be rounded off by a discussion on Cities before and after ’89: “How political changes had an influence on urban change”.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009 – devoted to documentary films
Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s documentary “Across the Border” will be shown in the afternoon, among others.

Thursday, 12 November 2009 – “Nostalgia”, including Thomas Brussig’s “Sun Alley”

Friday, 13 November 2009 – “Migration”
This evening will focus on human aspects. People from various European countries who have been dealing with migration since 1989 will have the opportunity to tell their own personal stories and enter into a dialogue with the audience. This will be followed by Ulrich Seidl’s feature film “Import/Export”.

Saturday, 14 November 2009 – “Liberation / From Internationalism to Nationalisms”, including “Grbavica” by Jasmila Zbanic

Sunday, 15 November 2009 – “The New Life”
The film festival will be rounded off with a discussion on the topic “From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to the Fall of Wall Street: Looking back on 20 years of ideological, social and economic change in Europe”. The historian Berthold Molden will also participate in this discussion.

For more information on the festival and its detailed programme, please refer to:
Homepage Filmfestival "Focus 89"


Austrian Cultural Forum in Brussels
5, Place de Champ de Mars / Marsveldplein 5
1050 Brussels
Tel.: +32-(0)2-289 07 15
Fax: +32-(0)2-513 66 41
Homepage of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Brussels