Film Archive

International Programme 2019
Absolute Beginners Fabrizio Terranova

A delicate and very touching film about the art of consciously feeling and enjoying life despite a fatal disease that changes everything. Carpe diem.

Absolute Beginners

Documentary Film
Belgium
2018
42 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Fabien Siouffi
Fabrizio Terranova
Lawrence Le Doux
Tristand Galand
Bruno Tracq
Fabrizio Terranova
Nicolas Lebecque
If you’re not affected you have probably never heard of Huntington’s disease. But the hereditary genetic defect changes absolutely everything: the ability to control one’s body, contact with one’s soul, moods and emotions, the level of available energy … and last but not least the relationships with loved ones. There is no cure to date, but a test to find out before the outbreak of the disease whether you carry this genetic mutation.

The six people who very emotionally and honestly talk about their lives here have all tested positive, though they are at different stages of the disease. For fear of social ostracism, some of them only speak anonymously in front of the camera. Not all of them are ready yet to “show face” and admit to having the disease, which to outsiders often looks like severe dementia or a mental handicap, although every one of the persons who offer insights here impressively disproves such popular misunderstandings. What emerges clearly is that, when faced with incurable disease, we are always also faced with the question of how we can integrate the risk of mortality into our concept of life. Upon closer examination, though, this philosophical problem concerns each of us. A cinematic carpe diem and an ode to life.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
International Programme 2019
After the Silence Sonam Larcin

How do coming out and applying for asylum fit together? Better than feared in this film by Sonam Larcin. The story of a slow arrival, in warm tones and tender gestures.

After the Silence

Documentary Film
Belgium
2018
23 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Véronique Duys (Médiadiffusion)
Sonam Larcin
Axel Meernout
Louis Rousseau
Sonam Larcin
Igor Van De Putte, Ferri Van Overstraeten
“Tell me your story” – a request that should please anyone. A difficult one, though, when it’s directed at a young man in a Brussels office who is looking for asylum and has never admitted his homosexuality to anyone in his entire life. But it may also be an opportunity. And a good premise for telling the story in front of a film camera. A film about a slow arrival, in warm tones and tender gestures.

Silvia Hallensleben
International Programme 2019
Erpe-Mere Noemi Osselaer

A village portrait that resembles a documentary nocturnal walk through the dreams of strangers. The joy of optical illusions is combined with humorous editing here.

Erpe-Mere

Documentary Film
Belgium
2019
21 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Noemi Osselaer
Noemi Osselaer
Yale Song, Jérémie De Witte
Noemi Osselaer
Noemi Osselaer, Elias Grootaers
Noemi Osselaer
Noemi Osselaer
A film portrait of the Flemish village of Erpe-Mere which – starting from the visible world – takes us to other layers of perception. Where tractors roar and whining engines race over the motocross track by day, at night a different world comes alive. We are drawn into a universe that doesn’t follow the laws of logic but those of dreams. A Méliès-like joy of optical illusions is coupled with humorous editing.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann

Insectopedia

Documentary Film
Belgium,
France,
Portugal
2018
23 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Victor Candeias (DocNomads), Lucie Rego (Hutong Productions)
Antoine Fontaine
Erwan Evin
Antoine Fontaine
Antoine Fontaine
Antoine Fontaine
Arnout Colaert
Over 36 years, an unmarried surgeon filmed and dissected insects in his Brussels apartment. 600 reels of wonderful, obsessively precise recordings and increasingly confused commentary paint a strange psychological profile. During his research on Dr. Veroft, Antoine Fontaine comes across a species of man whose social behaviour is conspicuously focused on six-legged creatures and who share their habitat with audibly scurrying chitin carapaces and Darth Vader figurines.

André Eckardt

Little Man, Time and the Troubadour

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Netherlands
2019
104 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jan van der Zanden, Ineke Kanters
Ineke Smits
Walter Hus
Piotr Rosolowski
Katarina Türler
Ineke Smits, Sipa Labakhua
Jeroen Stout
“We didn’t care about nationality,” says an elderly lady. She is showing the house where she lived with her children as a young woman to her friend and the camera crew. The school was right around the corner. Everyone lived harmoniously door to door here: Armenians, Georgians, Abkhazians, Mingrelians. Until the war came. Everyone who could afford it fled. To Russia, to Turkey, to Georgia. Abkhazia, which considers itself a state, lies in the south of the Caucasus and borders on the Black Sea. Under international law the country belongs to Georgia, but has the status of an autonomous region.

The Abkhazian artist Sipa Labakhua has returned home after many years and now tours the country with his autobiographical puppet show. He tells of his own experiences, his flight, his father’s dreams – and collects more stories on his journeys: of Georgian peasants, Orthodox priests, Abkhazian nationalists, Syrian refugees and Russian hippies. The result is the poetic image of a society that couldn’t be more diverse and that is asking itself an essential question that concerns us all: How do you define the national and cultural identity of a country? Sipa Labakhua has a very original answer: He sees himself as a troubadour, his art as his country and his talent as his home.

Julia Weigl
International Programme 2019
Machini Frank Mukunday, Trésor Tshibangu Tshamala

This homage to the Congolese city of Lubumbashi unfurls to become a critical journey, revealing fatal correlations of the global economy. We in the North play a certain role, too.

Machini

Animated Film
Belgium,
DR Congo
2019
10 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Rosa Spaliviero, Ellen Meiresonne
Frank Mukunday, Trésor Tshibangu Tshamala
Francesco Nchikala
Frank Mukunday, Trésor Tshibangu Tshamala
Caroline Nugues-Bourchat, Frank Mukunday
Frank Mukunday, Trésor Tshibangu Tshamala
Frank Mukunday, Trésor Tshibangu Tshamala
David Douglas Masamuna
Einst verzauberten afrikanische Klänge den Alltag am Flussufer. Die Hommage von Frank Mukunday und Trésor Tshibangu Tshamala an ihre Stadt Lubumbashi entfaltet sich zu einer kritischen Reise und offenbart die fatalen Zusammenhänge der Weltökonomie. Auch wir im Norden spielen eine gewisse Rolle, wie die Schlusspointe aufrüttelnd anprangert. Mit recycelten rostigen Materialien, Steinen und Kreide positioniert sich das kongeniale Duo und widersetzt sich dem „Schwarzmarkt der Geschichte“ inhaltlich wie formal.

Nadja Rademacher
International Programme 2019
My Name Is Clitoris Daphné Leblond, Lisa Billuart-Monet

Why is their own body terra incognita for so many women? A skilful cinematic expedition to social causes and erogenous hot spots.

My Name Is Clitoris

Documentary Film
Belgium
2019
78 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Isabelle Truc
Daphné Leblond, Lisa Billuart-Monet
Thibaud Lalanne
Lisa Billuart-Monet
Lydie Whisshaupt-Claudel, Daphné Leblond
Daphné Leblond, Lisa Billuart-Monet
Daphné Leblond, Pierre Dozin
Twelve young women explore an unknown continent: their body. More precisely, those parts of their body that are often shamefacedly referred to as “private parts. The protagonists speak quite naturally about the journey into their own sexuality, their emotions and (unexpected) discoveries, but also about fears and the feeling of moving into uncertain territory without assistance. Even though (or precisely because) they were all “sexually educated” at school or in the family, they had to laboriously acquire elementary knowledge about their own body themselves. Even today, the amount of available information about female anatomy and pleasure is in complete disproportion to that about male sexuality. The ignorance about the form, location and actual function of the clitoris which gives the film its title is only the tip of the iceberg that’s slowly being melted here.

The calm, trusting conversations open up a space for questions and reflections that we encounter far too rarely in our daily life, because talking about sexuality touches on taboos or because media stereotypes reinforce distorted images and wrong ideas. “My Name Is Clitoris” speaks a different language: It’s about the desire for (not just) sexual equality and the freedom to discover and satisfy one’s own pleasure.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann

Our Lucky Hours

Documentary Film
Belgium,
France,
Switzerland
2019
77 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alexandre Cornu
Martine Deyres
Olivier Brisson, Nicola Marinoni
Jean-Christophe Beauvallet, Dino Berguglia, Antoine-Marie Meert
Philippe Boucq, Catherine Catella, Martine Deyeres
Martine Deyeres, Anne Paschetta
Olivier Hespel, Marianne Roussy, Olivier Schwob
Between 1939 and 1945, 45,000 patients died in French mental institutions. There was only one place where the patients survived the euthanasia: the hospital in the remote village of Saint-Alban. In addition, the doctors, nursing staff and patients there worked with the residents of the village to hide a number of war refugees, resistance fighters and persecuted Jews and thus save them from certain death.

What made Saint-Alban so exceptional? During her research, director Martine Deyres found photos, home movies and sound recordings in the hospital archives. She uses this material to draw the portrait of an institution that was far ahead of its time. The patients were respected, integrated and individually supported. By working in the household or on the fields, they also contributed, especially during the war, to the fact that no one in Saint-Alban had to go hungry. There was a patient newspaper and various arts and crafts classes. Auguste Forestier’s wooden sculptures even became famous as “art brut”, when the painter Jean Dubuffet discovered the works of the Saint-Alban patient after the war. All this coalesces into a rousing plea for a respectful treatment of the mentally ill, which is more important than ever in an age of economic constrictions and strong normative tendencies.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
International Programme 2019
Our Territory Mathieu Volpe

A journey into the light of southern Italy. Migrants work for starvation wages while vacationers enjoy themselves on the beach next door. The hunger for leisure, for life, and the small-big world in between.

Our Territory

Documentary Film
Belgium
2019
21 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Serge Kestemont, Olivier Burlet, Mathieu Volpe
Mathieu Volpe
Vincent D’Hondt
Mathieu Volpe
Pauline Piris-Nury
Mathieu Volpe
Jean-Noël Boissé
In grainy images of the southern Italian landscape, the director’s childhood memories merge with the present. Today, the region is populated not only by vacation-hungry families, but also by migrants working under precarious conditions. A city within the city, only without street names. The black-and-white images are reminiscent of Joris Ivens and Walker Evans. They tell stories of a gruelling daily grind and tough hierarchies in Mafia-like structures, but also of solidarity and departures.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
International Programme 2019
To the Living Pauline Fonsny

What’s going on in the inner life of a young Nigerian woman who saw her future in Europe? The sensitive portrait of a helpless woman who fell victim to police arbitrariness.

To the Living

Documentary Film
Belgium
2019
27 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alice Lemaire
Pauline Fonsny
Alice Perret
Pauline Fonsny, Lou Vernin, Pierre de Wurstemberger
Pauline Fonsny, Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis, Rudi Maerten
Nathan Foucray, Michel Bystranowski, Alice Lemaire, Jean-Noël Boisse
In 1998, the refugee Semira Adamu reached Brussels, where she was detained in a reception centre and suffocated by policemen with a pillow. In her essay film, Pauline Fonsny follows the personal memories of the young woman, played on the screen by the Nigerian painter Obi Okigbo. Semira’s report is interlaced with a text by the Belgian singer and poet Maïa Chauvier. What emerges is the sensitive portrait of a helpless woman who fell victim to police arbitrariness.

Julia Weigl