Illustration for the program "Radical Love". Digital colorful drawing. Different protagonists of the festival movies calmly lean their heads towards each other with their eyes closed.

Radical Love

Curators: Filma collective; text: geo
Illustration: Double Cherry

Films are be available online, for free, during the period of September 23 — October 7. You can watch each film at its individual page on this website.
All films are screened in the original language with Ukrainian subtitles (SDH) and English subtitles. Audio description in Ukrainian is available for the film “Decision”.

This program is composed of films that we chose out of 60 submissions from nearly 20 countries. Originally we thought of it as an opportunity to show how diverse feminist movies can be, but then we understood that our selections have a common theme: radical love.

It is hard to give a simple, unified definition of radical love. Clearly, the concept is not about the individualized heteronormative environment produced by capitalism. It is a system of beliefs, a theoretical framework, and a set of practices that center love as the core value of all interactions between people or communities and between them and nature, unlike the capitalist patriarchal colonial system that structures those interactions through violence, control and exploitation. Black feminists from the USA have made great contributions to conceptualizing radical love. Theorist and black feminist bell hooks in her essay “Love as the Practice of Freedom” summed up what it means to choose love as a core value: “The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love, we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom”. Also, radical love is about healing yourself from traumas inflicted by oppressive systems through self-love, reflection on privilege and unlearning patterns of toxic behavior. Radical love is about solidarity between oppressed groups and solidarity with oppressors who are willing to dismantle dominant systems or undo the damage they have caused. Radical love is about caring for yourself, your communities and the planet.

Each of the selected movies in the “Radical Love” program displays various aspects of radical love using its own cinematic language. Zara Zandieh’s “Octavia’s Visions” takes us to a the dawn of a queer utopia where everyone canrediscover themselves beyond coloniality, capitalism and compulsory cisheteronormativity. In the movie “A Quiet Resistance” Therese Koppe shows through the story of Erika and Christine how kinships and communities built around love and care can resist patriarchy, authoritarianism, and capitalism. Pushpa Rawat and Anupama’s Srinivasan’s “Decision” unfolds the potential power of empathy, love and care as a strategic stand against conservative social norms. In her “Little Red Riding Hood” Tatiana Mazú González demonstrates that relationships between generations are not always antagonistic and that love and care in this area can potentially resolve into new solidarities. Experimental work “postDIY” by lucine talalyan and Shushan Avagyan reveals how non-heterosexual corporality and intimacy can be politically charged in post-Soviet space.

We hope that the films in this program inspire you to move towards freedom with radical love.

Still from the film "A Quiet Resistance". Two-shot. Calm colors. Cozy breakfast. Two elderly ladies wearing sweaters, sitting at home, sandwiches with jam on the table. Chatting, looking at each other.
A Quiet Resistance
Director: Therese Koppe
Germany, 2019, 74 minutes, documentary
“The main question is: Why do I want to be free? What needs to be different?”. Erika and Christine have been a couple for more than 40 years. Today, at the age of 81, they look back on living through a turbulent time in history. A Quiet Resistance is a film about love and aging, autonomy, art and collectivity in freely created art spaces within the GDR.
Still from the film "Decision". Medium long shot. Colorful Indian wedding clothes. Two women in the foreground carefully decorate the bride’s hands with jewelry, her facial expression is tense. There are people sitting in the background.
Directors: Pushpa Rawat, Anupama Srinivasan
India, 2012, 56 minutes, documentary
The film is Pushpa’s personal journey as she tries to make sense of her own life, and that of her women friends. Set in the outskirts of the metropolis, Delhi, it explores the lives of women, who are young, educated and bright, but who feel bound and helpless when it comes to taking any major decision regarding their life, be it career or marriage.
Still from the film "Little Red Riding Hood". Landscape. Blue-gray color scheme. Dusk. Puffy clouds, in the center of the image a shiny road cuts its way into a mountain range. The lights of small villages are visible.
Little Red Riding Hood
Director: Tatiana Mazú González
Argentina, 2019, 93 minutes, experimental
As my grandmother and I make a red hooded coat, we, two women separated by more than sixty years, discuss the stories and contradictions of our gender and class within four walls. Outside, a new feminist generation takes to the streets.
Still from the film "Octavia's Visions". Medium long shot. Blue-gray interior, warm light of a table lamp. A person wearing a jacket, scarf and glasses in the center of the image intently works on a typewriter.
Octavia's Visions
Director: Zara Zandieh
Germany, 2021, 18 minutes, experimenta
Octavia’s Visions is inspired by the Parables of the African-American futurist author Octavia E. Butler, who died in 2006. Using poetic visual language, Octavia’s Visions interweaves Butler’s worlds with contemporary issues of environmental degradation, far right extremism, and social liberation.
Still from the film "postDIY". Camera viewfinder view. Black and white image of a panel house wall with rows of different balconies. Two circles of the camera viewfinder distort the image.
Directors: lucine talalyan, Shushan Avagyan
Armenia, 2014, 8 minutes, experimental
postDIY is directed at the circumstances of the bombing of DIY and worldwide ignorance that is often expressed through homophobia. It questions the desire to establish uniformity and totalitarianism in the post-independent phase of the Armenian Republic and seeks out the beauty in a dissident relationship between two women.
Made with love: What can feminist cinema be like?

The Radical Love programme was created as the Filma collective were looking for films that balance their artistic statements with their political stances. We have put a special focus on the cinema that is sensitive to the filmed subjects, where the directors reflect on their experiences and/or prefer the slow filmmaking defying the notions of commercial and symbolic success within the film industry. The concept of radical love has helped us combine such different films into a single programme without assigning a particular positionality to the directors and their films.

Date and time: 26 September, 17:00 (GMT+3)