Posted: November 7, 2012 

By André Crous - Staff Writer | Comments (1) | Post comment

Cloudburst. Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker star in this heartwarming tale of a lifetime of love against the odds and the prejudice.

The Mezipatra Queer Film Festival is celebrating its 13th time showcasing LGBTQ shorts and features from around the world. The organizers expect the growing interest and attendance - last year, it was close to 10,000 viewers - to continue at this year's festival.

Starting Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Lucerna and Světozor cinemas, Mezipatra will run in Prague until Wednesday, Nov. 14, when the winners will be crowned, before moving on to Brno for a full program running Nov. 15-22 at Kino Art and the Stadec Multicultural Center.

Under the umbrella theme of "power, manipulation and madness," this year's Mezipatra (literally meaning mezzanine, a space between floors) will include 10 feature films from lands west and east, Chile and Canada to Turkey and Indonesia. The program schedule also comprises many screenings of shorts as well as documentaries, and in total there are close to 100 films to be seen over the course of this weeklong festival, all with different perspectives on the life of gays, lesbian, bisexuals and transsexuals around the world.

The opening film, Cloudburst (see below), looks at the relationship of two women in their 70s; the Chilean Mapa para conversar (A Map for a Talk) delves into the family bonds of a conservative mother, her daughter and her daughter's girlfriend, who all spend time on a boat together; and Ira Sachs traces the nine-year downward spiral of an idealistic Dane because of his relationship with a high-powered but closeted boyfriend in New York City.

Mezipatra Queer Film Festival
Where: Kino Lucerna and Kino Světozor
When: Nov. 8-14
Tickets: 100 Kč per film, or 490 Kč for seven films; available at the venue
Web: Mezipatra.cz/en

Mezipatra will also include numerous discussions and supplementary screenings taking place at Galerie Langhans and Q Café, where issues such as manipulation and sexuality in comic books, being queer under communism, and Israel's use of gay rights to blind the world to its occupation of Palestine will be tackled.

The screening of the 1976 Czechoslovak underground film I Sing the Body Electric, about relationships with androids in the future, will provide a particularly interesting take on the themes of manipulation and madness. It is important to remember, however, that not only in Czechoslovakia, but around the world, homosexuality was often considered a madness in years past. This screening takes place at Galerie Langhans Nov. 11 at 6, will be accompanied by a live improvised score (the film otherwise being mute and dialogue rendered as subtitles), and tickets will cost 50 Kč.

All films will be screened in the original language(s), with both Czech and English subtitles where required.

Recommendations

Cloudburst (Canada; director Thom Fitzgerald) The veteran actresses Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker play women of a certain age who have been together more than 30 years and decide to finally get hitched, so they head to the Great White North, where it is legal. A lot has changed since they first met - one of them has gone blind, for example - but their love is unshakeable, and few would argue that they do not belong together, as the bond is visible to anyone with half a mind. This road-trip movie will ensure many laughs and tears along the way. Thursday, Nov. 8, at 8 at Lucerna; Monday, Nov. 12, at 6 at Světozor

Laurence Anyways (Canada, France; director Xavier Dolan) Anyone following gay cinema around the world knows the name Xavier Dolan. A veritable prodigy, he burst onto the scene in 2009 at the age of 20 when J'ai tué ma mere (I Killed My Mother) was screened at Cannes, a feat he has repeated with his two subsequent films. Laurence Anyways is set over a period of a decade, and the film itself runs more than two and a half hours to enable Dolan to tell the story of a character who slowly comes to grips with the gradual transformation from being a man to being a woman. Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8:30 at Lucerna

This is What Love in Action Looks Like (USA; director Morgan Jon Fox) When Zach Stark, a 16-year-old from Tennessee, wrote on his blog about coming out to his parents and how they told him that he would be going to a camp for confused teens that would "de-gay" him, the world took notice. This camp, called "Love in Action," is a form of fundamentalist re-education that teaches children who have been rejected by their parents that they can and must become straight because that is how God intended them to be. The documentary looks at the furor this teenager's plight spurred in the media and the general population who saw the lunacy of such so-called reparative tactics. Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8 at Světozor

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