In order to mark the 20th anniversary of the tearing down of the Iron Curtain and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the European Economic and Social Committee in partnership with the Flagey Center, EUNIC Brussels and the European Commission, will hold a film festival with debates at Flagey square in Brussels from the 9th until the 15th of November.
Beginning on the same day the Berlin Wall crumbled 20 years ago, the FOCUS ’89 Festival is a week-long tribute to the making of a new Europe. Through a selection of films and accompanying debates, the festival will explore the build-up to 1989 and its consequences on contemporary European culture and society. Each film will be introduced by its director, scriptwriter or main actor.
The opening ceremony, to take place on 9 November, will be attended by Mario Sepi, President of the EESC. The start of the festival will begin with a screening of Andrzej Wajda’s Czlowiek z zelaza (Man of Iron), as chosen by the event’s surprise special guest. The movie is a depiction of the Solidarity labour movement and its impacts on the Polish communist government in the 80s.
President Sepi will also participate in the debate on the 10th of November, “Doors in Walls: how opposition opened possibilities of change,” with former dissidents of the communist system. They will discuss how artists and intellectuals acted as the most threatening opposition to the ideology.
Speakers from other debates throughout the festival will be a compilation of renowned personalities and commentators from across Europe who have made a significant contribution to our understanding of the events before and after 1989.
All of events for the FOCUS ’89 week will take place at the Flagey Center, a public venue open for all who wish to attend.