12 Aug «Three and a half» – Daria Gaikalova, India, 2017, 120′
“The story of one house in three different eras. Where 50 years ago it was divided between a school and an apartment, in which a young boy struggles with the pressures of pre-pubescent school life, coupled with being compelled to share a tiny room with his paralysed, disconsolate grandfather. Who in turn has devious plans for the child’s 12th birthday which happens to fall on a leap year. The same building 20 years later becomes home to a brothel, where a young unexploited concubine is dealing with her self-proclaimed “first” client who has a strange inability to fulfil his physical desire unless obligated to the duress of a transaction to do so. Now, 30 years later these same walls surround a sublime home which belongs to a soul-stirring 75 year old couple who love, laugh and dance together. They whisper the secrets of time forgone and seemed to have overcome the undying need for love and escape which seems to have plagued the inhabitants of this house in the past. The film has been shot in three long takes and a ‘half-take’ at the end, which exhibits the house under renovation, symbolizing the emergence of new stories and the inevitable nature of change in time. The story is narrated from the perspective of the walls of the house, which are witness to all the struggles and success which encompass human life. The walls do not blink, they are not stirred, and their omnipresence is one of the defining reasons for the treatment of the long take.