Silent Divas: Timeless and Rebellious

As in previous years, important films from the silent era again make up one of the special sections of the Festival on Wheels programme. This year, there are two films in the section, which has been put together with the help of Elif Rongen Kaynakçı, a silent film curator at the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam.

Of the two films billed, The Spanish Dancer is an American production which follows the adventures of Maritana, a gypsy dancer who falls in love with the impoverished nobleman, Don Cesar de Bazan. Directed by Herbert Brenon, the film was released in 1923 and restored by the EYE Film Museum in 2012, since when it has been much in demand from festivals around the world. The second title in this year’s silent line-up is the 1915 Italian production, Filibus: Mysterious Pirate of the Skies. In this adventure film by Mario Roncoroni, the eponymous sky pirate is none other than the Baroness Troixmonde, who masquerades as a man in order to pull off formidable thefts in an über-modern airship. When a seasoned detective sets out on the trail of Filibus, he finds himself outmanoeuvred by the machinations of the wily baroness. Both titles are notable firstly for the powerful and out-of-the-ordinary female characters at their core, and secondly as early examples of the kind of themes found frequently in films today. In this respect, they effectively form a bridge between cinema of the past and the present. At the same time, the two films are clear proof that silent cinema still has something to say.

The films will be presented with the contribution of the Embassies of USA and the Netherlands.

Both will be accompanied by live music from the Turkish band, Baba Zula.