2022 Borderlines Film Festival: The online line-up and how it works
James R | On 06, Mar 2022
The Borderlines Film Festival is returning this year for a hybrid edition.
Now in its 20th year, the event has always committed to making the best indie cinema from around the world accessible to people in places that are hard to reach across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Malvern and the Welsh borders. 2022 will continue that mission, but also borrow from last year’s online edition to present films both in cinemas and online.
Running from 4th March until 20th March, 10 of the 78 features at the festival will be streaming for audiences across the UK. Each film has a set start time on a given date, and will be available for 72 hours from that start time. Once you start watching, you’ll have 24 hours to complete your viewing. The festival is powered by Eventive, which supports Roku, Apple TV, Airplay and Chromecast.
Tickets cost £8 per film, with passes available for £35 (5 films) and concessions available for 16-30 years, those who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, who are unemployed, who live on their own, who are living solely on the state pension and also single parents. You can book tickets at the official website here.
Here’s the full rundown of what films are streaming and when:
Available to stream: 6th to 9th March
A grief-stricken young woman sets off on a perilous journey to try and free her stillborn baby’s soul. It’s the winter of early 1900 on a small island in northeastern Italy. Agata has heard about a place in the mountains up north where infants can be brought back to life for just that one breath necessary to baptize them. Leaving her husband and family behind, she sets off into the unknown with her daughter’s small body hidden in a box. On the way, she meets Lynx, a wild, solitary boy who offers to help her, at a price. Laura Samani’s atmospheric first feature has all the twists and turns of a Gothic fairy tale.
The Velvet Queen
Available to stream: 7th to 10th March
Penetrate the unexplored valleys of the Tibetan plateau in quest of the rare snow leopard in this magnificent documentary. Filmmaker Marie Amiguet and one of the world’s most renowned wildlife photographers, Vincent Munier, take the adventurer and novelist Sylvain Tesson (In the Forest of Siberia) with them into one of the last sanctuaries of the wild world, populated by undiscovered fauna. For weeks, they explore this inhospitable terrain, encountering animals in their own habitat, and trying to spot the snow leopard, one of the rarest and most difficult big cats to approach. The spectacular visuals achieve a kind of serenity that is more than matched by a score from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
How I Became a Partisan
Available to stream: 8th to 11th March
Investigating the history of her great-grandfather, a Roma partisan in the former Czechoslovakia during World War II, documentary filmmaker Lacková uncovers complex truths. Vera Lacková learned about her great-grandfather Ján’s deeds as a small child through her grandmother’s tales. His story, and those of three other Roma partisans – involving concentration camps, murder of family members, bloody battles during the liberation of Slovakia, co-operation with the American secret service – are documented here through interviews and corroborating archival evidence. Lacková repeatedly comes up against deep-rooted prejudice, indifference, and hatred towards the Roma community. Her motivation is to demolish the long-held stereotype of Roma as a minority ethnic group victimised by Nazism and to reinstate them where they belong in European history.
Available to stream: 9th to 12th March
In this frank and warm-hearted documentary six trans women go on a road trip and share very different life experiences. Magdalena’s birthday destination is her hometown of León, and some members of the Barcelona collective I-Vaginarium are invited to join her. As they travel through the Spanish landscape, they open up to one another, and their stories, from sex worker Yolanda to quiet, more strait-laced Cristina, vary radically. There’s more to celebrate here than simply a birthday; through the round of feasts, dance parties, arguments, it’s invigorating to see such authentic and unmediated portrayals of trans women, as individuals and interacting as a group, onscreen.
Queen of Glory
Available to stream: 10th to 13th March
Ghanaian American student Sarah is thrown back into the Bronx neighbourhood of her childhood in this charming indie comedy. Sarah Obeng, played by director Nana Mensah herself, is studying for a PHD at Columbia. Her boyfriend is about to leave his wife to be with her. Then her mother suddenly dies, and Sarah inherits her rather unconventional Christian bookshop in the Bronx. Struggling with complex funeral arrangements (a ‘white people funeral’ and a traditional Ghanaian ceremony), dealing with the shop and the arrival of her demanding father from Ghana, she begins to re-evaluate her life and connect with her culture.
Moon, 66 Questions
Available to stream: 13th to 16th March
Set in Athens, this father/daughter drama is a refreshing and inventive first feature that avoids easy emotional closure. After many years’ absence, Artemis returns home to Greece to try and renegotiate a relationship with her father Paris who has fallen suddenly and seriously ill. Occupying his space and thrown among his things, she begins to take stock of their strained relationship over the years. Taking its title and chapter headings from a deck of Tarot cards, the story kicks off with an image of a blindfolded woman, and, for Artemis, there are secrets to be revealed that will make a difference.
I Was a Simple Man
Available to stream: 14th to 17th March
Set in the pastoral countryside of the north shore of O‘ahu, Hawai‘I, an old man facing the end of his life is visited by ghosts. An elderly Japanese American man, Masao Matsuyoshi, is terminally ill. Lonely and isolated, having pushed away family and friends, he’s visited both in the physical present and the metaphysical past by those he has loved. Divided into four chapters that shift in time and place, fusing ghost story and reminiscence, and juxtaposing mundane details with surrealist imagery – a woman tumbling back into a memory sparked by an old dress, a ghost walking through a circle of salt –this is wonderfully inventive, a lyrical meditation on mortality.
Available to stream: 15th to 18th March
A tense, darkly humorous and unpredictable drama set in a strict boarding school in the wintry Anatolian mountains. When his best friend Memo falls suddenly ill with a mysterious ailment, 12-year-old Yusuf does his best to find help. The school where they board is a bureaucratic nightmare, and nobody wants to listen. Cut off from the outside by an ongoing blizzard, and with Memo’s condition worsening, the uncaring staff realise too late how serious the situation is. With a riveting performance from Samet Yildiz as Yusuf, tenaciously loyal in the face of adversity, the film offers a rich mix of social critique, barely veiled with satire, a depiction of childhood friendship and a wholly unexpected turn of events.
Available to stream: 16th to 19th March
Estranged from her Roma family, single mother and junior boxer Ali attempts a comeback in the ring. Ali does odd jobs and works as a cleaner in Hamburg’s famous Ritze nightclub to provide an income for herself and her two children. Proud and self-confident, Ali was previously the pride and joy of her Roma family in Eastern Europe as a champion junior boxer, the ‘Gipsy Queen’. Disowned by her adoring father back in Romania after becoming pregnant outside marriage, an encounter with washed out ex-boxer and coach Tanne gives her the chance to start over.
Wood and Water
Available to stream: 17th to 20th March
A retired woman, played by director Jonas Bak’s own mother, leaves her solitary life in the Black Forest, in rural Germany to travel to protest-ridden Hong Kong. When her son Max is unable to make a family reunion, Anke decides to reconnect with him and travels to his workplace, Hong Kong. On her own for a few days, she gingerly explores a city brought almost to standstill by unrest, picking up conversations with strangers. Her encounter with this new enigmatic world helps her break down inner constraints to enter a new stage in life. With a hypnotic soundtrack by Brian Eno, the generously slow pace of the film gives time to contemplate.