Powerful drama about Chechen refugees wows Berlin fest

On Filmoriginally by: GlobalPost
published: 14 February 2014

A powerful debut feature about Chechen asylum-seekers in Europe, “Macondo”, by a female director who had to leave Iran as a child drew cheers Friday at the Berlin film festival.

As the competition for the Golden Bear top prize wrapped up a day ahead of a gala awards ceremony, Austrian-Iranian filmmaker Sudabeh Mortezai premiered the picture made with lay actors.

The film, which emerged as a strong contender among 20 international entries to the competition by the likes of Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater, is set at an actual refugee settlement on the tough industrial outskirts of Vienna.

The community has existed since the 1950s and now houses some 5,000 people from around 20 countries. It was nicknamed “Macondo” by Chilean asylum seekers in the 1970s, after a town in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.

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