Movies

Afterwar: Dane Birgitte Stærmose’s Berlin Panorama Trailer

Key Points:

  • Birgitte Stærmose’s new film “Afterwar” will be screened at the Berlin Film Festival’s Dokument program.
  • The film is a hybrid production, blending documentary and fiction, and explores the long-term effects of war.
  • The film follows the lives of a group of street kids in Pristina, Kosovo, as they navigate the aftermath of the Kosovo war.
  • The project was 15 years in the making and was co-created with four of the original child actors from “Out of Love.”
  • “Afterwar” delves into themes of dignity, shame, and dreams, reflecting the protagonists’ current lives as young adults.

Introduction

Renowned Danish writer-director Birgitte Stærmose is set to premiere her latest film, “Afterwar,” at the Berlin Film Festival’s Dokument program. Stærmose, known for her work on popular shows like Netflix’s “In From the Cold” and Starz’s “The Spanish Princess,” as well as her closing film at Göteborg 2023, “Camino,” is receiving critical acclaim for her new project.

Main Content

Exploring the Long-Term Effects of War

“Afterwar” is a hybrid production, blending elements of documentary and fiction, to provide a closer look at the lives of a group of street kids in Pristina, Kosovo, as they try to survive in the aftermath of the Kosovo war. The film is a feature-length spinoff of Stærmose’s award-winning short film “Out of Love,” which received multiple accolades, including a Berlinale Generation 14Plus Special Mention in 2010.

15 Years in the Making

“Afterwar” has been in the making for 15 years and was co-created with four of the amateur actors from “Out of Love” who have grown up alongside the project. Stærmose maintained contact with some of the actors over the years, while others she followed through social media. The film explores how their experiences as children affected them as young adults and delves into the long-term consequences of war on individuals and communities.

A Fusion of Documentary and Fiction

Stærmose’s unique cinematic style combines documentary and fiction, utilizing staged performances and raw realism. She intentionally elevates reality by using staged material rather than filming actual events. The film combines interviews with the cast about abstract and realistic topics, which are then staged as written scenes and monologues. Stærmose seamlessly integrates actors with the real cast, blurring the lines between fiction and reality.

Themes of Dignity, Shame, and Dreams

“Afterwar” explores themes of dignity, shame, and dreams as the young adults in the film struggle for their identity and hope for a better future. Stærmose draws inspiration from the interviews with the cast and incorporates their words and experiences into the fictional storylines for each character. The film aims to shed light on the lasting impact of war on individuals and the importance of acknowledging and addressing these consequences.

Conclusion

Birgitte Stærmose’s upcoming film “Afterwar” is set to make a powerful impact at the Berlin Film Festival. The hybrid production, blending documentary and fiction, provides a unique and thought-provoking exploration of the long-term effects of war. By delving into the lives of the young adults who grew up in the aftermath of the Kosovo war, Stærmose challenges audiences to confront the human consequences of war and the need for empathy and understanding. “Afterwar” is a testament to Stærmose’s talent as a filmmaker and her dedication to telling stories that resonate with audiences on a deep and emotional level.

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