Festival celebrates European writing, film

By Rory Mccarty

Senior Reporter

The “Absinthe Festival of New European Film and Writing” was held in the Oakland Center Friday and Saturday. Absinthe, a biannual magazine that publishes works by European authors, co-sponsored the event with Oakland University.

“The primary goal of the festival was to introduce students and the community at large to important European films and filmmakers and European writers that they might not have had exposure to previously,” managing editor of Absinthe, Dwayne Hayes.

The Friday night itinerary included poetry readings by the authors. Irish poet Eamonn Wall read a selection of poems from his books, topics ranging from his childhood in Ireland to his children’s love of fast food. Next, Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort read from her poetry collection, “Factory of Tears.” Speaking with great fervor and intensity, Mort read poems about the communist past of in Belarus. The readings were followed by a screening of a series of short films by OU students.

Saturday’s events included more book readings and feature films.  Among them were “Yella,” a film about an East German woman who tries to start a new life in West Germany after escaping her ex-husband’s attempts to kill her. Also being shown were “The Island,” about a WWII veteran who tries to atone for his war crimes, and “How I Spent The End Of The World,” the story of Romanian children during the rule of a dictator.

“The response we received from festival attendees was overwhelmingly positive and if Oakland University is interested in doing another festival in 2009 we would like to do one,” Hayes said.