62. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 28 October – 3 November 2019
62nd International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
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Festival News


DOK Leipzig Opening Film 2018

DOK Leipzig Opening Film 2018 The 61st edition of DOK Leipzig will open on 29 October 2018 with a screening of the documentary film “Meeting Gorbachev” by Werner Herzog and André Singer. Werner Herzog will be present to answer audience questions in the scope of a special talk and the festival is also devoting an homage to the filmmaker.At the shooting of MEETING GORBACHEV. Photo: Lena Herzog

The 61st edition of DOK Leipzig will open on 29 October 2018 with a screening of Meeting Gorbachev by Werner Herzog and André Singer. The documentary film, a Spring Films and Werner Herzog Film Production presented by HISTORY Films in association with MDR and Arte, will be celebrating its European premiere at DOK Leipzig.


Werner Herzog will also be present to answer audience questions in the scope of an additional special talk, and DOK Leipzig is devoting an homage to the filmmaker, who has created pioneering work both in the realm of documentary filmmaking, with such films as Grizzly Man and Into the Abyss, as well as with fiction features such as Fitzcarraldo and Nosferatu.


“We are delighted to be able to welcome Werner Herzog to DOK Leipzig for the first time. Together with our long-time partner MDR, which is together with Arte one of the films co-producers, we have succeeded in bringing this filmmaking legend to Leipzig,” commented festival director Leena Pasanen. “He is an essential documentarian of our age – and with his new film he has dared to tackle a slice of recent history that is of enormous importance for Germany and Leipzig.”


With Meeting Gorbachev, Werner Herzog and André Singer have painted a human portrait of one of the most important politicians of the past century. Who is the man that brought the Cold War to an end? Through Mikhail Gorbachev, the world changed significantly and yet he remains a great enigma as a human being. In the film, Herzog and Gorbachev sit together in the former’s Moscow office, engaging in intense conversations about the past and the winding path of history. Time and again their attention returns to the reunification of Germany. The two men treat the difficulties and successes that the former President of the USSR was met with during his tenure. Gorbachev also speaks very openly about the mistakes that he made at the time, about decisions that he might approach differently from today’s perspective. However, the film also deals with the present and future as well, treating questions like: Why is the political situation in both the USA and Russia so difficult at the moment? Meeting Gorbachev aims to provide answers for the generations that witnessed and experienced Gorbachev’s policies and their effects first-hand, but also for young individuals who now find themselves living in another reality and are only familiar with the Cold War from history books and stories.


The opening of DOK Leipzig will take place on 29 October 2018 at CineStar Leipzig. In addition, a free public screening of Meeting Gorbachev will take place inside the East Hall of Leipzig’s central railway station, presented in co-operation with the Promenaden Hauptbahnhof shopping centre and is made possible with the generous support of Deutsche Bahn AG.

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