BATTLES

2015, 88 min, 2K, 16:9, color, 5.1, BE/NL, Russian, Latvian, English, Dutch 

directed by Isabelle Tollenaere

cinematography Frédéric Noirhomme

sound Kwinten Van Laethem

editing Nico Leunen

sound design and Mix Michel Schöpping

produced by Michigan Films (BE)

co-produced by Witfilm (NL), Tax Shelter Ethique (BE), Beursschouwburg (BE)

with the support of The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), The Netherlands Film Fund, Belgian Tax Shelter

Is a war ever truly over? BATTLES reveals a past that has not passed, by patiently observing the traces left behind by recent conflicts in the landscapes and communities at four different sites across Europe.

A bomb, a bunker, a tank, a soldier – four archetypes of warfare lead us chapter by chapter to places in Europe where conflicts have occurred in the recent past. We discover the transformation of people, objects and landscapes after demilitarization. An old man in a land swamped with bunkers, scenes of a bizarre prison camp at night, the last moments of antique explosives, an army of women working on inflatable artillery. Traces of militarization that find a place in everyday life, while also revealing the absurd relationship between the two.

The film’s meticulous cinematography and sound design work together to build a haunting atmosphere, taking us to a twilight world where past and present, war and play, threat and innocence intersect. BATTLES is a compelling exploration of the ways in which the effects of war continue to echo long after the battle has ended.

You can watch BATTLES on DocAlliance

SCREENINGS

2015 International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL) – Fipresci Award

2015 Beursschouwburg Brussels (BE)

2015 Visions du Réel, Nyon (CH)

2015 Docville, Leuven (BE)

2015 Cinema Zuid (BE)

2015 Krakow Film Festival (PL)

2015 Olhar De Cinema (BR)

2015 Open City Documentary Film Festival, London (UK)

2015 Lima Independiente International Film Festival (PE)

2015 Singapore International Festival Of Arts, O.P.E.N series (SG)

2015 Film Festival Oostende (BE) – Belgian Press Prize & Special Jury Mention

2015 Pacific Meridian International Film Festival Vladivostok (RU)

2015 DMZ Docs International Documentary Film Festival (KR)

2015 Fidocs (CL)

2015 Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (UK)

2015 Bergen International Film Festival (NO)

2015 Netherlands Film Festival (NL)

2015 Film Festival Hamburg (DE)

2015 Rio de Janeiro Int'l Film Festival (BR)

2015 Festifreak (AR)

2015 Underdox München (DE)

2015 Inconvenient Films Festival (LT) – Special Jury Mention

2015 Viennale (AT)

2015 Filmer à tout prix (BE)

2015 Kasseler Dokfest (DE) – Nomination Golden Key award

2015 Pravo Ljudski Film Festival Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

2015 IDFA (NL)

2015 WatchDocs, Warsaw (PL)

2015 ArtDocFest (RU)

2016 Trieste Film Festival (IT)

2016 Ficunam (MX) + Cinema Tour in Mexican cities + VOD CinemaUno

2016 Tartu World Film Festival (EE)

2016 Docu Days Ukraine (UA)

2016 Full Frame Festival (USA)

2016 FICIC Festival, Cosquin (AR)

2016 La Case Encendida, Madrid (ES)

2016 MIBDO, Muestra Internacional Documental de Bogota (CO)

2016 Les Ecrans Documentaires, Paris (FR)

2016 November Film Festival, London (UK)

2017 Cinema Ritcs (BE)

2018 The Left Bank Cine-Club, Tel Aviv (IL)

PUBLICATIONS

Review in Photogénie

Review in Cinergie

Review in Fipresci

Review in Vedomosti

Review in Filmmagie

Review in Quinlan

Interview with Roger Koza for Con los ojos abiertos

Isabelle Tollenaere introduces her film BATTLES on  Mubi Notebook Column

 

Battles is a unique visual essay that blends elements of fiction with a more traditionally structural documentary style. Each chapter builds upon the last without being prescriptive. The ambiguity, universality and performative elements lend the film a powerful, lasting affect. Tollenaere's original examination of the traces of war and persistence of the past create a striking imaginary landscape. With its piercing sound design and impressive cinematography, the film offers a fresh perspective on the naturalisation of the culture of war. A strong debut, Tollenaere's well-crafted mise-en-scene displays a clear talent for cinematic language and she definitely has a bright future.  (Fipresci Jury IFFR 2015)

BATTLES

Is a war ever truly over? BATTLES reveals a past that has not passed, by patiently observing the traces left behind by recent conflicts in the landscapes and communities at four different sites across Europe.

A bomb, a bunker, a tank, a soldier – four archetypes of warfare lead us chapter by chapter to places in Europe where conflicts have occurred in the recent past. We discover the transformation of people, objects and landscapes after demilitarization. An old man in a land swamped with bunkers, scenes of a bizarre prison camp at night, the last moments of antique explosives, an army of women working on inflatable artillery. Traces of militarization that find a place in everyday life, while also revealing the absurd relationship between the two.

The film’s meticulous cinematography and sound design work together to build a haunting atmosphere, taking us to a twilight world where past and present, war and play, threat and innocence intersect. BATTLES is a compelling exploration of the ways in which the effects of war continue to echo long after the battle has ended.

You can watch BATTLES on DocAlliance

SCREENINGS

2015 International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL) – Fipresci Award

2015 Beursschouwburg Brussels (BE)

2015 Visions du Réel, Nyon (CH)

2015 Docville, Leuven (BE)

2015 Cinema Zuid (BE)

2015 Krakow Film Festival (PL)

2015 Olhar De Cinema (BR)

2015 Open City Documentary Film Festival, London (UK)

2015 Lima Independiente International Film Festival (PE)

2015 Singapore International Festival Of Arts, O.P.E.N series (SG)

2015 Film Festival Oostende (BE) – Belgian Press Prize & Special Jury Mention

2015 Pacific Meridian International Film Festival Vladivostok (RU)

2015 DMZ Docs International Documentary Film Festival (KR)

2015 Fidocs (CL)

2015 Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (UK)

2015 Bergen International Film Festival (NO)

2015 Netherlands Film Festival (NL)

2015 Film Festival Hamburg (DE)

2015 Rio de Janeiro Int'l Film Festival (BR)

2015 Festifreak (AR)

2015 Underdox München (DE)

2015 Inconvenient Films Festival (LT) – Special Jury Mention

2015 Viennale (AT)

2015 Filmer à tout prix (BE)

2015 Kasseler Dokfest (DE) – Nomination Golden Key award

2015 Pravo Ljudski Film Festival Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

2015 IDFA (NL)

2015 WatchDocs, Warsaw (PL)

2015 ArtDocFest (RU)

2016 Trieste Film Festival (IT)

2016 Ficunam (MX) + Cinema Tour in Mexican cities + VOD CinemaUno

2016 Tartu World Film Festival (EE)

2016 Docu Days Ukraine (UA)

2016 Full Frame Festival (USA)

2016 FICIC Festival, Cosquin (AR)

2016 La Case Encendida, Madrid (ES)

2016 MIBDO, Muestra Internacional Documental de Bogota (CO)

2016 Les Ecrans Documentaires, Paris (FR)

2016 November Film Festival, London (UK)

2017 Cinema Ritcs (BE)

2018 The Left Bank Cine-Club, Tel Aviv (IL)

2015, 88 min, 2K, 16:9, color, 5.1, BE/NL, Russian, Latvian, English, Dutch 

directed by Isabelle Tollenaere

cinematography Frédéric Noirhomme

sound Kwinten Van Laethem

editing Nico Leunen

sound design and Mix Michel Schöpping

produced by Michigan Films (BE)

co-produced by Witfilm (NL), Tax Shelter Ethique (BE), Beursschouwburg (BE)

with the support of The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), The Netherlands Film Fund, Belgian Tax Shelter