Ludmila Cvikova

Head of International Programming, Doha Film Institute


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for


Michael Haneke

Death of Mr Lazarescu, The


Cristi Puiu

In The Dark

Sergei Dvortsevoy



Lee Chang-dong



Béla Tarr

Silent Light


Carlos Reygadas

Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)


Jan Svankmajer

Tokyo Story


Ozu Yasujirô

Whispering Pages


Aleksandr Sokurov

Wind Will Carry Us, The


Abbas Kiarostami


Instead of picking many great masterpieces that I’ve seen during my studies and thereafter, I’ve decided to choose only one classic and concentrate on films that made great impact on my professional development in the last two decades. I’ve chosen Tokyo Story for its subtle study of a Japanese family that discloses the culture and yet is universal. It’s an irreplaceable masterpiece of world cinema heritage. Poetry is a film where sometimes-uncomfortable life translates into poetry – the poetry of cinema included. It also has an excellent leading performance from Yun Jung-hee. One of the strongest Romanian New Wave films, The Death of Mr.Lazarescu reveals the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of a simple man in a society in transition. Both the ordinary man as well as the society struggle with all those quick and unavoidable changes, and find it difficult to adapt to them. Satantango is an artistically unforgettable experience by the Hungarian master that deals with a part of his country’s history in a very unconventional way. For me, Whispering Pages is a superb work by a Russian master that I can only compare with those of great Russian writers. The harmony and poetry of picture and sound made my senses alert, and the film made a huge impact on development of my perception of film. Silent Light is a film that awakens all your senses and brings them in harmony, giving you a feeling of artistic fulfilment that stays with you forever. Surviving Life’s combination of art, philosophy, dream sequences and youth memories with poetry and ‘old-fashioned’ handmade film sees a grand master of animation displaying an artistic talent and vision with no borders. The Wind Will Carry Us is a complex look at life through the prism of poetry created by the highly sensitive and reflective soul of Abbas Kiarostami, the great Iranian artist. Known only to the few, In the Dark – a medium short documentary by Sergey Dvortsevoy about a blind man living in his Moscow flat together with his cat and trying to survive by making bags – is an unknown pearl of a great impact, with a lot of warmth and power. Amour is the ultimate study of a person’s most vulnerable period: old age and dying, during which they cope with it in an individual way. It provides an unusual insight into a taboo subject that we all prefer not to think of, but is also great cinema, with a script full of visible and invisible details. This is undoubtedly the greatest film of the master Hanneke thus far.

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top