Archive of films Horizons / Horizontes
2015, 70 min
Section: Documentary Films - Competition
A dance school in Havana. Ballet means everything to adolescent Amanda, experienced Viengsay, and renowned local legend Alicia Alonso. The contours of the characters intermingle as three portraits flow into one: a single female destiny presented in three forms. A documentary of commitment and passion for ballet that become a metaphor for the lack of freedom suffered by the inhabitants of the island nation.
A dance school in Havana. Three protagonists, three generations of Cuban ballet dancers, three lives mutually reflected in each other. Fourteen-year-old Amanda works diligently to refine the basic steps and pirouettes with a cautious eye on what the future may hold. Viengsay’s career is already in full swing and so it’s no easy task to refuse offers from abroad. Perhaps one day both of them will achieve the renown of Alicia Alonso, the 94-year-old legend of Cuban ballet. Dance means everything to all three, and they are willing to sacrifice themselves in its pursuit. Image, music, and movement are forged into a lyrical unity. The contours of the characters intermingle, three portraits flow into one, a single female destiny bearing three forms. The documentary conveys the passion and enthusiasm a woman requires to succeed in a profession revered by Cubans. At the same time, as if unintentionally, it materializes the shadows cast on the impoverished country by the long-running dictatorship. The absolute devotion to dance in Horizons thus becomes an elegant metaphor for the lack of freedom suffered by the inhabitants of the island nation.
About the director
Eileen Hofer (b. 1976, Zurich) has worked as a journalist for various periodicals, as editor-in-chief of a magazine, and also as press attaché for a film festival. She is a self-taught filmmaker; her first short, Roots (Racines, 2008), appeared at more than 80 fests (including the Prague Short Film Festival), earning numerous prizes. Two more short films followed: The Mourning of the Merry Stork (2009 – Prague Short Film Festival) and Soap Opera in Wonderland (2010). Her feature documentary debut He Was a Giant with Brown Eyes (C’était un géant aux yeux bruns, 2012) screened at Rotterdam and also enjoyed a nimble festival career. Hofer was three years making ready her latest documentary, Horizons (2015). She also used footage obtained on Cuba in the short doc Our Sea (Nuestro mar), now in post-production. Omara Portuondo appears in the work, singer at the beloved Buena Vista Social Club.
About the film
|Section:||Documentary Films - Competition|
|Dir. of Photography:||Grégory Bindschedler|
|Music:||Julien Painot, Ladislav Agabekov, Heidi Happy|
|Editor:||Damian Plandolit, Valentin Rotelli|
|Producer:||Aline Schmid, Eileen Hofer|
|Sales:||Taskovski Films Ltd.|
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