Film Archive

Jahr

Space Dogs

Documentary Film
Austria,
Germany
2019
91 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Elsa Kremser, Levin Peter
Elsa Kremser, Levin Peter
John Gürtler, Jan Miserre
Yunus Roy Imer
Jan Soldat, Stephan Bechinger
Elsa Kremser, Levin Peter
Jonathan Schorr, Simon Peter
Laika was actually an ordinary Moscow street dog. Until she became perhaps the most famous bitch in the world when she was catapulted into space in 1957. Since then, she has been regarded as the first living creature transported purposefully into an earth orbit by humans. The fact that Laika died a few hours after the rocket was launched only became known in 2002. The legend that Laika returned to earth as a ghost that has haunted the streets of Moscow ever since is still alive today. In their beautifully edited documentary, Levin Peter and Elsa Kremser go in search of this ghost, following two street dogs on their nocturnal rambles through the Russian capital.

The best animal friends stroll through alleys, hunt cats, observe quietly how people drink away their dreary reality in bars – all this shown from the unusual perspective of two four-legged creatures. Peter and Kremser deftly capture snapshots of today’s Russia, interweaving them with idiosyncratic – so far unpublished – recordings from the Soviet space age. The magical story of a friendship between intimacy and brutality, including small and great departures into unknown spheres.

Julia Weigl

The Royal Train

Documentary Film
Austria,
Romania
2019
92 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Johannes Rosenberger, Constantin Wulff, Johannes Holzhausen (Navigator Film), Ada Solomon, Diana Păroiu (HiFilm)
Johannes Holzhausen
Joerg Burger
Dieter Pichler
Johannes Holzhausen, Constantin Wulff
Andreas Hamza, Vlad Voinescu
A lost monarchy is represented by a princess whose steadfast mission is to restore to her dynasty real political and economic responsibility in contemporary Romania. With great energy, sometimes funny slips, too, but mostly with the appropriate royalist seriousness, Princess Margareta of Romania plays her role as the subject and object of her own campaign. The performance is of the tale of new wine in old wineskins. Surrounded by her courtly entourage, Margareta travels through “her” country in the same old royal train, on the same royal route, in which her father, King Michael the First already sought contact with his subjects. It goes without saying that the red carpet as the most obvious symbol of monarchist grandeur must be immaculate even at the tiniest stop – though this isn’t always achieved perfectly.

Director Johannes Holzhausen observes the bustle around this backwards journey with a distanced and wide-eyed curiosity. After all, it reveals a telling (a-)simultaneity of the ancient k.u.k. ceremonial and current marketing visions.

Ralph Eue