Film Archive

Charleroi, the Land of 60 Mountains

Documentary Film
Belgium
2018
126 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Cyril Bibas
Guy-Marc Hianant
Vincent Pinckaers
Simon Arazi
Dominique Goblet
Laszlo Umbreit
Charleroi, former centre of the Western European coal and steel industry. Once also a stronghold of plate glass production. For a long time this was a city on the sidelines, but now it has arrived in the middle of structural change, which, however, as the term suggests, is only provisional again. How is the spirit of community expressed today? Is it articulated on a temporal or spatial level? Horizontal or vertical? Is it athletic or rather artistic? Does it live in the built environment or in the faces and bodies of its inhabitants? Perhaps it’s just a complicated mixture? Or a complicated simplicity?

The Belgian writer, publisher, music producer and filmmaker Guy-Marc Hinant is a professed native “Carolorégien.” And he has set out to compose a complex portrait of his city. Poetic local knowledge with an enormous wingspan. Great events and tiny blind spots, and sometimes one in the other. All in all, an itinerary in the form of an essay along the director’s personal mythology.

Ralph Eue

Letter to Theo

Documentary Film
Belgium
2018
63 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Isabelle Truc
Élodie Lélu
Tristan Galand
Philippe Boucq
Élodie Lélu
Félix Brume, Bruno Schweiguth
The Greek director Theodoros Angelopoulos died in January 2012 while shooting his last film. In “Letter to Theo”, Élodie Lélu, a close collaborator and friend of Angelopoulos, remembers his work, interweaving the Greece that the 76-year-old man knew at the time of his death with present-day Greece. Lélu’s film tells of both crises, the “Greek crisis” and the “refugee crisis”, interlacing them and letting Angelopoulos, that “filmmaker of migration”, speak, without abusing his words for her own visual piece.

Her thoughts rise and fall like waves, excerpts from the Greek director’s films are mixed with documentary footage by the Frenchwoman Lélu, who recognises strong reflections of Angelopoulos’s visions in the here and now. She says the director was a victim of the crisis – a melancholiac disappointed by the world. But in this renewed world of all things, where a multinational football team practices right next to the headquarters of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, Lélu believes she recognises elements that might have made the much-admired artist believe in politics again.

Carolin Weidner

Ojo Guareña

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Spain
2018
55 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Andrea Cinel
Edurne Rubio
Charo Calvo
Edurne Rubio, Sergi Gras, Alvaro Alonso de Armiño
Jan De Coster
Edurne Rubio
Hugo Fernandez, David Elchardus
There is a giant cave system with impressive subterranean rock galleries, lakes and crawls in Cantabria in northern Spain. Edurne Rubio responds to this place in truly cinematographic, sensual dimensions. She relies on the voices of the speleologists she accompanies and the light of their headlamps as she advances curiously into the unknown. In the great and impenetrable darkness she relies on distant dancing dots of light, light cones sliding tentatively over rock formations and the sounds of dripping that give the caves acoustic contours. Delicate, restless threads and pearls of water shine like silver on the walls and form an incredible starry sky deep underground. While Neil Armstrong saw only his own footprints on the moon in 1969, the young speleologists in Ojo Guareña come across 17,000 year old footprints – speleology is a journey through space and time after all. And the branching subterranean spaces also play an important role in their own biographies, the voices of the explorers of the deep report. If eyes (“ojos”) are the windows to the soul, this place revealed the human abyss of Spain’s recent history to them and at the same time offered them a refuge from a repressive life and a place to dream of the future.

André Eckardt

The Event

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Netherlands
2015
74 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sergei Loznitsa, Maria Choustova, Nicola Mazzanti
Sergei Loznitsa
Sergei Loznitsa, Danielius Kokanauskis
Sergei Loznitsa
Vladimir Golovnitski
As in earlier films, Sergei Loznitsa uses black and white archive material to reconstruct, if not construct, history. In this case images of the historic event that inaugurated the final collapse of the Soviet Union: the failed coup of 19 August 1991. People are standing in the streets of St. Petersburg, which was still called Leningrad then. The camera moves through the crowds, capturing faces whose expression is one of ignorance. They are all waiting, listening to the endless announcements.

Loznitsa’s ingenious artistic intervention happens on the soundtrack. During the three-day coup d’état, the national television of the USSR continuously broadcast – as usual in crisis situations – recordings of Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Swan Lake”. The director takes up the musical motif and uses it to divide his film into chapters. Radio reports are another narrative element which Loznitsa turns into a quasi comment that underlines the state of insecurity, not knowing and non-information. This is not a re-interpretation of history, though, but rather an attempt to pierce the surface of reality and look for possible interpretations – in the hope of gaining insights into how insurgencies and changes of power work in general.

Zaza Rusadze



Award winner of the Film Prize "Leipziger Ring"

When the Bull Cried

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Bolivia
2017
66 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Tomas Leyers
Karen Vázquez Guadarrama, Bart Goossens
Bram Bosteels
Karen Vázquez Guadarrama
Tom Denoyette
Karen Vázquez Guadarrama, Bart Goossens
Bart Goossens
Giant fourthousanders rise majestically to the skies in the Bolivian Andes. Grey-blue craggy steep faces and white mountain clouds flow into each other. Mining is the sole industry here. People climb down into the stony bowels of the mountains and risk their lives to mine silver and other minerals. The freezing cold, dark mineshafts regularly collapse and bury the workers, many of them still children, alive. They say that the souls of those who die in the shaft must wander for three days, all the time pursued by “el tío”, the evil mountain god. They fight their fear with alcohol and coca; superstitions abound. The men especially live in a loop of work, alcohol and aggression, hoping every day for the big find and trying to propitiate the spirits with sacrifices. Archaic rituals are meant to appease Mother Earth, but a look into the people’s exhausted faces makes one suspect that their faith is shaken with every death.

A visually stunning film that manages to transport the viewer into the breathtaking Andean landscape without turning into a geography lesson. Haunting, alarming and moving – great cinema above the clouds.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for Healthy Workplaces Film Award