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

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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

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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 2018
And Arnaud Thomas Damas

What’s wrong with Arnaud, Thomas Damas wonders, as he is making a film with and about his alcoholic brother. The camera is meant to help him point out things. But what if it suddenly points back?

And Arnaud

Documentary Film
Belgium
2018
25 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Sébastien Andres
Thomas Damas
Caroline Marin
Léo Nguyen
Jérôme Swales
Thomas Damas
Louis Martin
A film as an occasion to get closer to someone. In this case, that someone is the director’s brother, Arnaud, who seems to have gotten on the wrong track quite a while ago and has developed an alcohol problem. It affects everything from gay parties with friends to getting pissed on his own in public, on the riverbank, through to lonely sessions in the flat. “We do a thing about me, but what about you?” Arnaud once asks in a drunken stupor.

Carolin Weidner

Appunti del passaggio

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Italy,
Switzerland
2016
44 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Maria Iorio, Le Souvenir du Présent
Maria Iorio, Raphaël Cuomo
Alessandra Eramo
Gilles Aubry
“I have no visual memory. I remember emotions.” In their remarkably artistically dense documentary Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo combine various statements of contemporary witnesses into the personal report of an Italian who entered Switzerland in 1965 as a migrant labourer. At the core of this representative of many economic refugees from Southern Europe of the time lies the feeling that she is an “outlaw working body”. She feels humiliated and controlled by procedures at the “border health check”, by massive underpay, dangerous working conditions, psychological pressure in the factory and openly expressed, wounding resentment against the foreigners.

The film is a collage of memories given a voice by a female narrator and kept deliberately vague on the visual level. Vague, but extremely effective and openly sceptical about the reality promised by visual evidence. Besides distorted details and negatives of a few surviving photos it’s the restful contemporary video recordings, for example of an abandoned building with all the traces of use, which offer a suitable poetic space to the narrator’s audio report and a voice performance.

André Eckardt
International Programme 2016
Belle de nuit – Grisélidis Réal, Self Portraits Marie-Eve de Grave

Multifaceted reflections of Grisélidis Réal, prostitute, artist, writer and feminist pioneer, in personal writings and encounters. A revolutionary whore and a great work.

Belle de nuit – Grisélidis Réal, Self Portraits

Documentary Film
Belgium
2016
74 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Françoise Hoste
Marie-Eve de Grave
Pierre Avia
Jorge Piquer Rodríguez, Sébastien Koeppel
Simon Arazi
Ludovic Van Paschterbeke
Revolution, mind, body, dream. These are the dimensions between which the prostitute and artist Grisélidis Réal moved all her life. Radical in her desires and debased by the wounds of the night she started to write about herself and her experiences in the 1960s, creating a body of work that speaks from the perspective and understanding of a woman who knows no fear and is ready to take any risk.

Grisélidis Réal transformed prostitution into art; director Marie-Eve de Grave transformed her life into a documentary of narrative grandeur. Diary entries, literary sketches, drawings, an address book, archive material, photos, interviews with important companions like the French writer Jean-Luc Hennig form the structure of a dramaturgy in which the different facets of her life are observed as if through a prism and summed up in one word: indomitable. At the same time the film is a journey into a past in which the social debate of sexuality had only just started and anything seemed possible. In 2009, four years after she died, Grisélidis was granted an honorary grave in Geneva, approved by the municipality – right next to the god-fearing reformer Johannes Calvin. Belated satisfaction for a revolutionary whore.

Matthias Heeder
International Programme 2018
Chez Jolie Coiffure Rosine Mbakam

The “Jolie” hairdresser’s shop in the Brussels Matonge quarter is a meeting place for African women. They come here to have their hair cut, but also to organise and discuss things and to flirt.

Chez Jolie Coiffure

Documentary Film
Belgium
2018
70 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Geoffroy Cernaix, Rosine Mbakam
Rosine Mbakam
Rosine Mbakam
Geoffroy Cernaix
Rosine Mbakam, Loïc Villiot
Have Rosine come in and don’t let her leave her stuff outside – people really behave like junkies. Rosine follows the invitation, enters and is now an official guest of the tiny “Jolie” hairdressing salon in the Matonge district of Brussels. The women who work and are served here come from Africa. They tell stories of fake passports and escape routes via Libya, Syria or Greece, of families left behind, Belgian men and complicated relationships. The place is like an aquarium. Coloured and dark strands of hair that resemble octopuses are brushed and braided. The shop has glass walls, the sounds of the shopping mall frequently drift in, the door opens and there’s a brief flirtation with a man. In between, the eyelash lengthening glue burns on the lid and a Tontine named “The Glowworms” is founded, a widespread financial tool of solidarity-based economy. The Salon serves as a real and metaphorical link between Africa and Europe. At the same time it is a protective space and a home. Rosine Mbakam, a native of Cameroon herself, came to Belgium in 2007 to study film. This is her second feature-length film as a director.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for the Healthy Workplaces Film Award

International Programme 2014
Diamond Kris Mergan, Geert Vandenbroele

As a child Ketje used to spend the holidays with his aunt. He returns to the place to reminisce about the pharmacist and his quest for the diamond of the birds.

Diamond

Animated Film
Belgium
2014
12 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Kris Mergan, Erik Schut
Kris Mergan, Geert Vandenbroele
Ceres Elliana
Kris Mergan
Geert Vandenbroele, Matthias Claeys, Beorn Leonard, Inne Haine
Kris Mergan, Geert Vandenbroele
Peter Schön, Rob Ten Bokum, Nicolas Dennefeld
As a child Ketje used to spend the holidays with his aunt. He returns to the place to reminisce about the pharmacist and his quest for the diamond of the birds.

Displaced

Documentary Film
Belgium
2017
71 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Daniel De Valck
Volkan Üce
David Boulter
Sander Vandenbroucke
Els Voorspoels
Volkan Üce
Gedeon Depauw
The title of this film is taken from Charles Bukowski’s eponymous poem. One of its lines is: “I am not like other people. Other people are like other people.” The young people in Volkan Üce’s “Displaced” know the experience of being different and without a home Bukowski talks about. Sinan, Şule, Orhan and Bahar spent their childhood and youth in Belgium and the Netherlands before they moved (back) to Istanbul, their grandparents’ home country. But even in the city they love so much they are strangers at first.

Over a period of four years – from 2011 to 2015 – Üce follows the Belgian-Turkish or Dutch-Turkish migrants on their quest for identity, jobs and personal happiness. In the face of the political upheavals in Turkey, their European socialisation takes on a different significance. While Orhan sides with Erdoğan, taking part in the Gezi protests becomes a meaningful experience and a way to find his place in society for Sinan: “Gezi is ours. Istanbul is ours. The lightbulb has bursted”, the writing on the wall reads.

Esther Buss

Doel

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Denmark
2018
67 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Mathilde Hvid Lippmann, Frederik Sølberg
Frederik Sølberg
Anders Rhedin, Anders Bertram Mannov, Lavvi Ebbel
Jonathan Wannyn
Mads Hedegaard
Frederik Sølberg
Andreas Sandborg, Neal Willaert
24 Cafés and three bakeries, a ferry, a butcher’s shop and a supermarket. That was Doel in its heyday. Today the city has a reputation as an adventure park for adults. Illegal car racing and techno raves fill the streets by night, during the day tourists in mini-buses debate whether graffiti are a form of art or just a sign of the decline (of manners). In his portrait of Doel, however, Frederik Sølberg doesn’t film the abandoned houses on the background of Antwerp’s expanding harbour but focuses on the people who have remained in their hometown. Some in defiance of the constraints of the situation, others because they see a chance to open up new spaces for themselves here.

Sølberg’s warm-hearted observations of the residents raise the question of the right to a home. Where is the people’s place when globalisation gobbles up their traditional spaces? The community of old and young people fight the dilapidation of the houses with gallows humour and an awareness of their curious situation. They aren’t ready yet to give up their home. Sølberg manages to capture the points of intersection between the residents, adventure tourists and the tuning scene, who share this place without really meeting.

Marie-Thérèse Antony

Duo de Volailles, Sauce Chasseur

Animated Film
Belgium,
France
2011
6 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

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Thrierry Zamparutti, Ambiances...asbl
Pascale Hecquet
Pierre Gillet
Pascale Hecquet
Pascale Hecquet
Valerie Capoen
A black chicken and a white chicken are sitting in their living room when the door bell rings. It’s the fox with a raised gun – and a black/white vision deficiency.
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

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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

Inkotanyi

Documentary Film
Belgium,
France
2017
125 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Benoît Roland, Jean-Marc Giri
Christophe Cotteret
Manuel Roland
Jean-François Metz
Florence Ricard
Christophe Cotteret
Eugène Safali
“Inkotana” is a verb in the Bantu language Kinyarwanda. It means to fight without delay, never to give up. The official name of the Inkotanyi is: Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Ever since they ended the historically unprecedented genocide in 1994 with a guerrilla war – within 100 days, 1 million Tutsi were killed by Hutu extremists assisted by the population – they have been ruling the country under their close-lipped president Paul Kagame. The film reviews the history of the Inkotanyi in six chapters: from the historic background of the pogroms against the Tutsi, the time of exile and the founding of the RPF in the 1980s to the invasion of Rwanda in 1990 and the four-year civil war through to Kagame’s rule which was attended by counter-violence and oppression throughout. Archive material and interviews with high-ranking military officers and soldiers of the RPF, with journalists, historians and president Kagame form an image of “the best trained and most disciplined rebellion of the African continent”, as director Christophe Cotteret calls it. Last but not least, the film takes a look at colonial continuities in post-colonialism, apparent, for example, in the French support for the dictatorial Habyarimana regime.

Esther Buss


Nominated for Filmprize "Leipziger Ring"

Insectopedia

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

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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
International Programme 2016
Life to Come Claudio Capanna

Eden and Léandro are fighting to survive, surrounded by glass boxes, tubes, monitors and bleeping machines. The fragile world of preemies and their parents.

Life to Come

Documentary Film
Belgium
2016
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Anton Iffland Stettner, Eva Kuperman
Claudio Capanna
Inne Eyesermans
Tristan Galand
Christophe Evrard
Claudio Capanna
Thibaut Darscotte, Thibaut Darscotte, Jonathan Vanneste
Eden and Léandro are preemies. The world of their first days and weeks consists of glass cubes, tubes, monitors, bleeping machines, and their mother. She tries to give the children as much human contact and intimacy as possible in the sterile and cold hospital environment, all the time worrying whether her babies will make it and when she can at last take them home. Every gram decides whether the twins are diagnosed as strong enough or not. The parents balance between worries, hope, fear and joy. At the same time they are busy taking care of their three-year-old son Gabriel, who must not be neglected during his mother’s and siblings’ extended stay at the hospital. In calm and atmospheric images the film follows the family very closely without being intrusive.

Kim Busch

Little Man, Time and the Troubadour

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Netherlands
2019
104 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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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