Kirstin Innes

  • Greece: Days of Change – now in the MOVING DOCS Home Cinema

    Kirstin Innes finds hope and solidarity in a film born of desperation, now available to watch online.

    Given how quickly the political landscape has shifted and shifted again in recession-hit Greece in the last decade, it’s tempting to view the aptly-titled Greece: Days of Change, which premiered in 2014, as an historical document. Against the backdrop of the 2010-2012 anti-austerity movement, Elena Zervopoulou’s documentary follows three men trying to regain control of their lives from within the recession, and the different ways they channel their anger and frustration positively.

    Grigoris picking tomatoes on his farm after leaving the city with his children

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  • The extraordinary release of Raving Iran

    How did a niche documentary by a first-time director, about two unknown Iranian DJs, become one of Germany’s cinematic events of the year? Over 60,000 people in Germany have now seen Raving Iran, the debut feature by Susanne Regina Meures, and a year after its release the film continues to draw interest. On the occasion of the film's online launch in our MOVING DOCS Home Cinema, Kirstin Innes talked to Weronika Adamowska of Raving Iran’s distributors and Moving Docs partners, Rise and Shine Cinema, about how they did it.

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    Weronika Adamowska at the Moving Docs Outreach Workshop in Athens

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  • Now in your MOVING DOCS Home Cinema: Raving Iran

    Kirstin Innes finds hope and black comedy in Raving Iran, a story of two young DJs following the beat and defying the authorities.

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    Midway through Raving Iran, our protagonists,  two young Iranian house DJs, Anoosh & Arash, are trying to get a CD of their latest album printed and distributed. They go through the official channels for permission and are turned away; Iran’s strict laws prohibit the distribution of any music that is not traditional, and various aspects of their packaging – Latin typeface, a picture of a man with his back exposed, any depiction at all of their female singer – are turned down. They try an endless succession of printers and then shopkeepers, and time and again they hear the question “is it political?”. No, they say, genuinely baffled each time. It’s just music.

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  • The personal is political - Thank You For The Rain now online!

    As world leaders gather in Bonn for the 23rd annual “conference of the parties” (COP) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kirstin Innes watches Thank You For The Rain, which is now availble to watch online - for the immediate, personal impact of climate change.

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    “Last season, we were saying, there is no rain. No rain no rain no rain. Now we are flooded. Everything is being contradicted. Planning, failures. Planning, failures.” 
    – Kisilu Musya, in Thank You For The Rain

    Climate change is an abstract idea to most of us in the West. We might note it’s getting wetter, or that summers are less sunny than they were when we were kids, but safe inside our houses, with everything we need more or less at the touch of a button, we can shut it out at the end of a day.  It’s something Norwegian filmmaker Julia Dahr, director of Thank You For The Rain, was aware of in 2010 when, aged 23, she decided to make a film showing the effects of climate change on humans.

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  • It's the way they move... Watch MARTHA & NIKI at MOVING DOCS Home Cinema

    We are launching the MOVING DOCS Home Cinema, featuring one doc every month for you to watch online, wherever you like, whenever you like!

    Kirstin Innes looks at our first one, Martha & Niki, to discover a dance film that moulds its form around its subjects. 

    What’s most striking, of course, is the way they move.

    We watch them counting time on the stage, these two young-looking girls, swamped in huge sweatshirts and baggy trousers, as a parade of male dancers enact those same spindly, robotic flicks and jerks that hip hop crowds have come to expect. Three, two, one – and Martha and Niki bound into the space, their bodies synced perfectly, each beat and roll mirrored. They seem to fly; a two-part being, separate but one. Their astonishing energy and commitment to the moment vastly outshine the lanky, bored-looking b-boy crew they’re facing off against; their interpretation of what’s possible within the arena uses far more imagination, creativity and skill, and – let’s be honest – they’re having far more fun together.

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  • The old man and the sea – Dolphin Man now online!

    Kirstin Innes about the documentary Dolphin Man, now available to watch online.

    “We sea men are not normal. They call us 'sub' because we really are sub-normal. Because what Jacques Mayol did was not normal. If that had been normal we would have been really crazy.” – Giancarlo Formichi, underwater cinematographer and friend of Jacques Mayol

    A thoughtful, multi-layered look at the life of free-diver Jacques Mayol (perhaps best known to cineastes as the inspiration for Luc Besson’s divisive but world-famous 1988 film The Big Blue), Dolphin Man is a far more complex film than its title would have you believe. 

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  • Buy me? I'm for sale

    Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film Sonita is a both a study of a fearless refugee girl determined to change the world and an examination of the limits of objectivity, discovers Kirstin Innes.

    The teenager rapping into a spoon in the back yard is grinning wide, bursting with self-belief, clapped and cheered along by an audience of younger girls who clearly adore her.  Her lyrics are full of the kind of confidence that only comes with being sixteen (or thereabouts – she isn’t quite sure of her age). “My future is bright, don’t worry about me,” she yells, and her audience shout the chorus back at her and scream her name.

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    This is Sonita – a teenage Afghani immigrant who fled the Taliban as a child, living in Iran without  papers, and now the star of an award-winning documentary about her life.

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  • #ZlatanStyle – the Winners in Greece!

    Ask anyone about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and they’ll tell you that the Swedish striker is famous for scoring some of the most beautiful goals in contemporary football. To celebrate the Greek release of documentary Becoming Zlatan, which follows the star as a young player and discusses how he feels that youth football saved him, we thought we’d invite budding strikers aged 6–18 to share their gorgeous goals, #ZlatanStyle. The next generation of footballing superstars are looking pretty nifty if you ask us.

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    Gilberto Silva and Diamanti Chouchoumi meet the next generation of football stars, at a screening of Becoming Zlatan

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  • How two indie filmmakers got full access to Zlatan Ibrahimović

    He’s one of the biggest, best-known football stars in the world; he’s also famously very guarded with the media, often cutting short his interviews and never going into much personal detail. So how did two indie filmmakers on a small budget manage to get some of the most intimate conversations ever recorded with Zlatan Ibrahimović?

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  • “Football isn’t just playing solo”

    As I’m writing this, yet another story about Manchester United’s highest-profile new signing hits the UK press. Fenerbahçe centre back Simon Kjaer has described Zlatan Ibrahimović as “the kind of chest-puffing player, who is arrogant” following a mid-match clash where Zlatan grabbed the other player’s throat. While Kjaer seemed to be shrugging off the incident as just part of the game, a quote like this is catnip to sports journalists, who since his early days at Malmö FC have fed off Zlatan’s larger-than-life public persona and his on-pitch spats.

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  • “One of the most remarkable goals ever scored...”

    Every football player dreams of scoring the perfect goal. That one, tricky moment where skill, luck and beautiful footwork meet and become something celebrated, something legendary. And a good goal can be the making of a player.

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  • You can take a guy out of Rosengård...

    The gawky boy – he is still a boy, really; you can tell by the picked acne and over-crunchy hair gel – yawns, fidgets with a shirt clearly not his own choice and giggles at his own jokes. He’s delighted with himself, brimful of it, you can tell. The older man he’s travelling with counts twenty-four football players’ pictures in his newspaper, and the boy smirks. “I’m worth more than all twenty-four.”

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    He’s not, yet, the stone-faced star the world knows today, all sinew, slicked ponytail, and contained, channeled anger. He’s not yet famous for some of the most spectacular goals ever scored in football, for the star-spangled career at many of Europe’s biggest clubs, for his angry clashes with both opposing players and team mates or his outspoken, frequently controversial pronouncements. It seems almost impossible that this excitable puppy-dog of a player we first meet at nineteen could ever grow into that man.

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Kirstin Innes is an award-winning writer and journalist living in the West of Scotland. She writes the Becoming Zlatan blog posts for Film & Campaign.