Chronic Youth 2021; FAMILY MATTER
You Will Die at Twenty, Sudan/France/Egypt/Germany 2019, Dir Amjad Abu Alala
1 April - 30 June
On Barbican Cinema On Demand and Cinema 1
For Chronic Youth 2021, the Barbican Young Programmers are showcasing films from emerging filmmakers from around the world that celebrate roots, rebirth and rebellion. In a time where being together seems harder than ever, the young group of 12 programmers have chosen to focus on films that explore the bonds that unite us, exploring themes of self-definition, community and chosen family.
Taking place between 1 April to 30 June, Chronic Youth 2021; Family Matter will screen throughout on Barbican Cinema On Demand and in June in Barbican
From the gripping story of a dislocated Roma family who are forced from their home in Bucharest in Acasa, My Home (2020, Dir Radu Ciorniciuc), to a young Black gay dance troupe in Rotterdam, shaking up the local scene in Father Figure (2019, Dir Bibi Fadlalla), to the musical journey through the suburbs of Portugal in Lisbon Beat (2019, Dir Rita Maia), the programme offers films that that explore themes of self-definition, community and chosen family.
This year’s Young Programmers: Musanna Ahmed, Nana Ama Owusu-Ansah, Joshua Castellano, Lydia Gordon, Elise Hassan, Case Howard, Harry Kalfayan, Koye Odejinmi, Corinna Osei, Beth Prior, Betel Tsehay and Olivia West Alvarez comment:
“We’ve picked a line-up of films that showcase a diverse look into family struggles. These films explore stories where people put into question their belonging, embarking on a course of self-discovery. For some this means the ties once held dear to us must be forgotten in order to realise the path we must forge for ourselves. For others, the answers we are in search of lie in the structure of family that began the basis of our questioning. Whether predetermined or people we choose, family at the worst of times can be destructive. However, at its best, family can be all the community we need to keep us going.”
In April, Chronic Youth 2021 opens on Cinema On Demand with Radu Ciorniciuc’s heartfelt debut documentary Acasa, My Home, which focusses on the Enache family who have lived in the marsh of the Bucharest Delta for 25 years, the consequences of gentrification, and the obstacles some Roma travellers face.
This screening is also accompanied by a recorded ScreenTalk with the director Radu Ciorniciuc to discuss the making of the film and more widely about the treatment of Roma people today.
Also during April, the short programme If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution includes three films that celebrate identity and community, through movement and dance. From Rotterdam, London and Paris, these films follow a bold, Black and queer dance collective in Father Figure (2019, Bibi Fadlalla), a Hackney based cathartic exploration of race and brotherhood in The Circle (2019, Lanre Malalou), and a club scene exploring the boundaries between ourselves and others in We Are Night, They Are Daylight (2018, Barbara Balestas Kazazian).
Continuing in May Chronic Youth 2021 includes a preview of You Will Die at Twenty (2019, Dir Amjad Abu Alala), the first ever Sudanese film to be entered into the Academy Awards, plus Anthony Nti’s acclaimed short film Da Yie, both screening on Cinema On Demand. A free Animation Short Film Programme will also stream throughout May, including a Live Animation Workshop.
You Will Die at Twenty follows the fate of Muzamil Muzamil, who has turned nineteen and – after a childhood curse – is about to face the pre-ordained future bestowed to him by his village: that he will die at the age of twenty. Muzamil's fate affects every aspect of his life and the relationships around him. Yearning for life, connection and a world beyond the village, Muzamil grapples with his destiny. Only the eighth Sudanese film to be made in the last two decades, this is a rare gem, littered with poetic visuals, and a moral at its heart.
Da Yie (Good Night) (2019, Dir Anthony Nti), explores peer pressure, the role of adults and the innocence of children, while its cinematography showcases Ghana's vibrant and alluring coast.
In June Chronic Youth 2021 closes with Lisbon Beat (2019, Dir Rita Maia + Vasco Viana), an exuberant documentary portrait of a city and its musicians, which highlights the Afro-Portuguese music scene thriving on the outskirts of Lisbon. The Cinema 1 screening on Thu 3 June will be introduced by the co-director, the London based, Lisbon born DJ Rita Maia; and the celebration of this music will continue via a live-stream online DJ session (led by Rita Maia), on Friday 4 June at 9pm.
In Lisbon Beat cinematographer Vasco Viana and Rita Maia depict a vibrant community of musicians and producers from diverse backgrounds each establishing their relationship to this complex city. Among many other notable figures, the film features DJ Nigga Fox.
Through sharing these stories, the film opens up an important discussion on Afro-Portuguese cultural contributions, and how music can help shape a community. Lisbon Beat will also stream on Cinema On Demand from 4- 30 June.
Barbican Cinema has been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in England which is administered by the BFI, as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund supporting arts and cultural organisations in England affected by the impact of COVID-19. #HereForCulture.
Chronic Youth 2021 screenings:
Acasa, My Home (15*)
Romania 2020, Dir Radu Ciorniciuc, 86 min
Available on Barbican Cinema On Demand: 1 Apr – 30 Apr 2021
After 25 years of living in the marsh of the Bucharest Delta, one family is forced to move to the city in Bucharest, where a whole new world awaits.
Radu Ciorniciuc’s heartfelt debut documentary follows the drastic changes one family is met with when they are chased from their home, a wetland on the outskirts of Bucharest. On the delta, the Enache children live at one with nature, they fish for their food and they even have their own free-roaming pig. However, soon they are forcefully ejected and confronted with a new life in the big city.
+ Recorded Screentalk with the director to discuss the making of the film and more widely about the treatment of Roma people today.
In partnership with the Romanian Culture Institute.
Short Film Programme: If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution (15*)
Available on Barbican Cinema On Demand: 1 Apr – 30 Apr 2021 for free
We dance for joy, in protest, to express ourselves. These stories celebrate identity and community through movement and dance. They explore the value of building our own spaces and the power of physical expression as the language of self-identity. Dance becomes an act of rebellion.
Netherlands, 2019, Bibi Fadlalla, 25 mins
"Being Black and gay means being two steps behind in life." A dance group comprising of young, gay, Black men, their expressionistic collective utilises vogue dance sequences to create their own platform for liberty.
UK, 2019, Lanre Malalou, 15 mins
Two brothers share their experiences of racism, family dynamics and growing up on a Hackney Estate.
We Are Night, They Are Daylight
France, 2018, Barbara Balestas Kazazian, 24 mins
Wondrous movements to the beat of a pulsing club after dark, two figures connect amongst a sea of blank faces, swaying under the flashing lights.
Preview: You Will Die at Twenty (cert tbc)
Sudan/France/Egypt/Germany 2019, Dir Amjad Abu Alala
Available on Barbican Cinema On Demand: 6-10 May 2021
Chronic Youth 2021 is delighted to present a preview of the first ever Sudanese film to be entered into the Academy Awards, following the story of Muzamil who is about to turn 20 and face his preordained destiny bestowed upon him by his village.
You Will Die At Twenty is only the eighth ever Sudanese film to be made in the last 20 years which makes this film a rare gem, littered with poetic visuals and a moral at its heart.
+ Da Yie (Good Night)
Ghana, 2019, Anthony Nti, 21 mins
Da Yie follows the story of two children, Matilda and Prince, who embark on a life-changing day trip with a stranger. Da Yie explores themes of peer pressure, the innocence of children and the role adults play in protecting them.
Through stunning cinematography and visual composition, this short film captures the vibrant coast of Ghana in a way that has never been seen before.
Animation Short Film Programme (15*)
Available for free on Barbican Cinema On Demand: 1-31 May
+ Live Animation Workshop, online, Sun 16 May 3pm
A selection of captivating and stylistically diverse animations, available for a limited time on the Barbican’s platform. Adekemi Roluga, the director of Fragments will also deliver a complementary workshop in which participants will learn about his personal creative process and using animation to bring imaginations and personal stories to life. This workshop is free, and will be open to people of all levels of expertise.
Lisbon Beat (15*) + introduction from co-director, Rita Maia
Portugal 2019, Dir Rita Maia + Vasco Viana, 75 min
Thu 3 Jun 8.45pm, Barbican Cinema 1
Then available on Barbican Cinema On Demand: 4-30 Jun
Lisbon Beat an exuberant documentary portrait of a city and its musicians which highlights the Afro-Portuguese music scene thriving on the outskirts of Lisbon. The in-cinema screening on Thu 3 June will be introduced by the co-director, the London based Lisbon born DJ Rita Maia, and the music journey will continue through a live-stream online DJ session on Fri 4 Jun.
Though sharing these stories, the film opens up an important discussion on Afro-Portuguese cultural contributions, and how music can shape a community to understand who they are and who they want to be.
Live DJ set with Rita Maia, online, Fri 4 June, 9pm
The celebration of Afro-Portuguese music continues via a live-stream DJ session led by the film’s co-director, DJ Rita Maia. An opportunity to personally enjoy the vibrant music scenes captured in Lisbon Beat.