Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

Next Masters Wettbewerb 2019
Nothing to Be Afraid Of Silva Khnkanosian

Ever since the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, the still disputed territory is contaminated by landmines. This cautious documentary follows five female de-miners on their risky job.

Nothing to Be Afraid Of

Documentary Film
Armenia,
France
2019
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Stéphane Jourdain
Silva Khnkanosian
Vahagn Ter-Habobyan
Justine Hiriart
Paruyr Baghyan
Five women plod their way through a steep forest: They are defusing landmines for an NGO. Ever since the war in Nagorno-Karabakh at the beginning of the 1990s, the still disputed region is contaminated. Care and patience are imperative in this work, the effects of habituation their enemy. Speed would be a category with fatal consequences here: Every booby trap they overlook can cost a human life.

This observational documentary adapts its narrative rhythm to the slowness and meticulousness of the risky job. The women’s eyes are directed to the ground where they patiently search every square inch and dig up suspicious spots. The camera observes their activities with the same attention, frequently focusing on details. Gradually, the systematics of the processes are revealed. Only the beeping of the metal detectors and an occasional whistle disturb the silence. The forest seems silent after the long years of war. But then we are startled by the controlled detonation of a detected mine. What a relief for everyone to spend the evening in their shared accommodation in a relaxed atmosphere! Cooking and eating together brings some ease. The ever-present fear is left behind in the forest for a moment.

Annina Wettstein
Kids DOK 2013
Quantum Jump Hayk Sahakyants

The little monk is not allowed to attend instructions in the monastery yet. Instead he has to wash the floors. While he does this, he gets a little carried away by his imagination ...

Quantum Jump

Animated Film
Armenia
2013
7 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

David Sahakyants
Hayk Sahakyants
Vasili Filatov
Hayk Sahakyants
Hayk Sahakyants
Hayk Sahakyants
Vardan Zadoyan
Vasili Filatov
The little monk is not allowed to attend instructions in the monastery yet. Instead he has to wash the floors. While he does this, he gets a little carried away by his imagination and gets himself into trouble. But when he watches the old master and his students meditate, he eventually resolves to try it on his own.

The Moon the Sun and the Musketeers

Documentary Film
Armenia,
Portugal
2017
20 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Erika Winkler (Doc Nomads, Golden Apricot)
Vahagn Khachatryan
Vahagn Khachatryan, Rajan Kathet
Tigran Baghinyan, Vahagn Khachatryan
Vahagn Khachatryan
Vasco Pimentel, Katherina Harnack
The planted stone tub under the arcade looks beautiful; out in the street someone is trying to start his vehicle. And what’s this, behind that column? The tail of a dog? We see unobtrusive but well-composed images with the people (mostly elderly) blending in – quietly and idiosyncratically. Scratching lottery tickets and chopping wood, drinking coffee and sitting on benches. Until at night the village becomes haunted …

Carolin Weidner

Village of Women

Documentary Film
Armenia,
France
2019
92 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Stéphane Jourdain (La Huit), Tsovinar Soghomonyan (Hayk Studio), Thierry Barbedette (TV 78)
Tamara Stepanyan
Nils Økland, Sigbjørn Apeland, Narine Harutyunyan, Grigor Narekatsi, Cynthia Zaven, Edouard Mirzoyan
Robin Fresson, Tamara Stepanyan
Olivier Ferrari, William Wojda
Harutyun Mangasaryan, Tamara Stepanyan, Jean-Marc Schick
It’s the women who rule this Armenian village. They plough, harvest, and drive the tractors. They cook, eat together, laugh and sing. Life runs in a smooth rhythm, although melancholy seems to overshadow many conversations. The absence of men in the village is borne like a phenomenon of nature. The women have learned to adapt, solving problems together. All male villagers, except for a few old men, spend nine months of every year in Russia to work there. There are no jobs in Armenia. The families are complete only in winter. As soon as autumn begins to fade, the mood in the village begins to change. The return of the men brings excitement and joy, but also insecurity and changes. After the exuberant welcome celebrations, a new daily routine begins where couples are suddenly together again, children play with their fathers and the women finally know that a part of their workload is in other hands. But responsibilities must be redistributed every year.

Director Tamara Stepanyan has achieved a warm-hearted, stylistically assured portrait of a female community of fate who bear their difficult circumstances with lots of humour, warmth and a generous measure of lived feminism.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann