Photo © Budapest Architecture Film Days, 2015
In the first week of March, 2015, Bus No. 8 travelled to three European countries for screenings of Christiania – 40 Years of Occupation.
We began in Christiania itself for the European premiere. The screening was held in the beautiful Byens Lys (City Lights) cinema, situated in a former factory building in Christiania. The theater was filled to capacity and the response was fantastic, with laughter and even occasional shout-outs to the screen. We were initially a bit nervous about showing the film to an audience in Christiania, but by all accounts, we seem to have gotten their story right.
Next up we travelled to Tallinn, Estonia for a screening at the Kumu Art Mueum as part of their documentary film series. Once again the screening was sold out. This time, however, the audience was quite subdued, but attentive nonetheless. We later learned that, as a former soviet bloc country, Estonians were taught not to respond, or to question. Nevertheless, there was a great conversation with the audience following the screening, and several young students had great questions to ask.
Our final stop was the Budapest Architecture Film Days festival in Budapest, Hungary, where we had the unique opportunity of watching our film with Hungarian subtitles! The screening took place at the Toldi cinema and, in keeping with the precedent set earlier in our tour, the theater was full to capacity, with many people sitting in the aisles. After Christiania, this was one of our liveliest audiences, with laughter in all the right places, and even in many places of subtle humor that we thought only we found amusing. Once again there was a great conversation with the audience following the screening, and we could have gone on much longer, but the audience for the next film was anxious to take over the theater, so we moved to the lobby where we had the opportunity to speak with people one on one.
In May the film will screen in four major cities in New Zealand through the Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival, and there is talk of a screening in Barcelona. We won’t be able to attend all of these screenings, but we are happy that our film has a life of its own and is attracting enthusiastic audiences far and wide.