Isabela Tent: Alice

This debut film premiered at the Krakow FF and has been awarded at the Romanian Transilvania festivals. No doubt for me that it will receive more recognition at festivals this autumn. Because it is excellent told as a film and because it touches what many will identify with from their own life – as pointed precisely in the film’s written logline with a sentence from the film: How to teach someone to love if no one has taught you?

Alice grew up with no love, with neglect and abuse in the family. At 16 she is pregnant, the father Dorian is 35 years older than her. He – and she in the beginning of the film – paints, he tries to sell his art but with no success. Their relationship starts well but falls apart; she is the one to provide for the family; the child Aristro lives with the father, sees his mother Alica once in a while, always with outburst of love, when she comes even if the relationship of the parents often turns into dramatic situations. Aristro says so to to Isabela, the director, in a scene, where the camera stays on him while the quarrel from upstairs is hearable and he holds his hands over the ears. On the other hand he is described as a child, who gets the love that his mother did not get, when a child.

The camera loves Alice. Obvious to say that the one behind the camera shares HER love to her friend and is able to catch the many faces of her protagonist, when she is on drugs, when she is not, when she is undressing and sex-acting for the clients on camera, never pointing fingers, no moralistic commentsm no classical social realism, “it’s the fault of the society”. It is an rollercoaster of emotions the audience is asked to join, you hope the best for the three, Alice with her background and charisma, Aristro the innocent boy and exploiting Dorian with his good heart towards the boy – an old hippie with artistic aspirations too old for a young woman like Alice.

I saw the film on a link that had the password “flowerpower” and the glimpses of the paintings displayed reminded me of psychedelia – and of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”… One pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small but the one your mother gives you don´t do anything at all, go ask Alice… in her wonderland…

Romania, 2024, produced by Irina Malcea-Cândea (who was behind “Teach” as well), 86 mins.

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3876