Birgitte Stærmose’s Berlin Panorama Title ‘Afterwar’ Launches Trailer of a Film Which Asks What It Means to Grow Up in a Post-War Society (EXCLUSIVE)
10.02.2024 - 15:17
Annika Pham Seasoned Danish writer-director Birgitte Stærmose, recently credited for the Netflix show “In From the Cold,” Starz’s “The Spanish Princess” and Göteborg 2023 closing pic “Camino,” is due to bow at the Berlin Film Festival’s Dokument program her hybrid pic “Afterwar”. Variety has secured in exclusivity the trailer for the helmer’s anti-war pamphlet produced by Magic Hour Films in Denmark (“Burma VJ”) in co-production with Sweden’s Vilda Bomben Film (“Excess Will Save Us”), Finland’s Bufo (“Fallen Leaves”) and Kosovo’s Kabineti.
A meditation on the long-term effects of war, “Afterwar” is the feature-length spinoff of Stærmose’s short film “Out of Love.” The story of a bunch of street kids in Pristina trying to survive in the aftermath of the Kosovo war, snagged multiple awards in 2010, including a Berlinale Generation 14Plus Special Mention. 15 years in the making, “Afterwar” was co-created with four of the amateur actors in “Out of Love”– Gëzim Kelmendi, Xhevahire Abdullahu, Shpresim Azemi and Besnik Hyseni.
Through a similar fusion of documentary and fiction, built on staged performance and raw realism, the helmer provides a closer look at the lives of the kids turned adults, as they still struggle to survive. Haunted by their past, they dream of a better future, for themselves, their families and humanity as a whole.
“Making the short film with them as children was an experience that changed me as a human, and as a filmmaker,” says Stærmose who kept contact with some of them over the years, and followed others on social media. “I was very curious to find out how their fate as children affected them as young adults,” she tells Variety, while expanding on the genesis of “Afterwar.” “What does it mean to grow
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