Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

Arid Zone

Documentary Film
Brazil
2019
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Antônio Junior, Fernanda Pessoa
Fernanda Pessoa
Pedro Santiago
Rodrigo Levy
Germano de Oliveira, Mari Moraga
Fernanda Pessoa
Daniel Turini
Mesa, Arizona, east of Phoenix and about 200 kilometres from the Mexican border, is said to be the most conservative city in the U.S. In 2001, Fernanda Pessoa was an exchange student in Mesa. She was 15 years old at the time. 15 years later she returned, in the weeks before the presidential election won by Donald Trump. Starting with numerous photos of that earlier time, Pessoa searches out people she met as a teenager. She finds a new approach to the United States, is more aware of everything she experiences; after all, she has grown up in the meantime. She conducts an inner dialogue with her former self as she rediscovers this country whose inhabitants are so proud of the fact that it’s theirs: America. The land of firearms and peculiar sports, the land that invented the shopping mall and the Western movie.

Pessoa quotes the philosopher Baudrillard, to whom America seemed like a fiction. With her film, she turns it into an experience of reality that ultimately makes her understand more about her own country: “Our cultural colonialism came to collect the bill.” “Arid Zone” (Arizona) opposes that colonialism with the gentle resistance of precise observation.

Bert Rebhandl



Honorable Mention in the Next Masters Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film.

Body of Crime

Documentary Film
Brazil
2017
73 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Pedro Rocha, Diego Hoefel
Pedro Rocha
Juliane Peixoto
Frederico Benevides
Diego Hoefel
Paulo Ribeiro
One manifestation of Ivan’s burden is strapped around his leg: an electronic anklet that monitors his location. The critical moments come at night when he ought to be with his family, is under a curfew, but hears voices whispering ideas that seem realisable only outside the house – and therefore outside the law. Ivan is a tiger behind bars whose stride becomes more restless every day. He’s also plagued by an imaginary scenario: he knows men who got rid of the beeping devices and are now free. And he knows others whose attempts to free themselves failed. The consequence: back to prison. Ivan balances between Scylla and Charybdis – an excitement that has long become resentment and calls for a solution.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award

C(us)todians

Documentary Film
Brazil
2013
89 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Antônio Jr.
Aly Muritiba
Elisandro Dalcin
João Menna Barreto, Aly Muritiba
Aly Muritiba
Alexandre Rogoski, João Menna Barreto
Jefferson Walkiu is the new chief superintendent of the “Alpha Team” of a Brazilian prison housing more than 900 inmates. Quite a dangerous job, for criminal organisations are active outside and inside the prison walls and the guards are badly equipped. Walkiu sets out with a lot of resolutions to professionalise his department. But the prison dynamics work against him.
The fact that there is only one nurse and three working handcuffs for all prisoners is only one of many challenges. Every day Walkiu has discussions with prisoners, employees and superiors who don’t feel bound by any rules. But even his permanent crisis management cannot avoid mishaps. All the more surprising is his apparently fulfilling double life as the minister of a small community. This is where the man who strives for constant control lets off emotional steam.
Daily life in prison from the guards’ perspective and the portrait of a man who wants to do it right and comes up against walls. Director Aly Muritiba worked in the Alpha Team for a long time and visibly knows his way around the high, narrow prison corridors. The long shots and systematic changes of perspective in his film create the impression of an increasing loss of control.

Lars Meyer



Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2013

Castillo y el Armado

Animated Film
Brazil
2014
13 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Pedro Harres, Otto Guerra, Marta Machado
Pedro Harres
Felipe Puperi
Marco Arruda
Pedro Harres
Hermes de Lima, Fabiano Pandolfi, Josemi Bezerra, Ruben Castillo
Pedro Harres
Thiago Bello
A young dock worker on the border between Brazil and Uruguay does everything to keep on top of his family, his job and fishing.
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2018
Cinema Morocco Ricardo Calil

Homeless persons occupy the formerly glamorous cinema palace in São Paulo. A theatre workshop recalls the building’s past – and creates projection surfaces for broken biographies.

Cinema Morocco

Documentary Film
Brazil
2018
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Eliane Ferreira, Pablo Iraola
Ricardo Calil
André Namur
Loiro Cunha, Carol Quintanilha
Jordana Berg
Ricardo Calil
Flávio Guedes, Ricardo Pinta
A strange newsreel report is all that recalls the glamorous past of the Cine Marrocos in São Paulo today. We see Irene Dunne, Erich von Stroheim and Abel Gance at the International Film Festival of Brazil 1954, walking up the red carpet to the opulent cinema palace, and Fubuki Koshiji stumbling and “revealing her delicate eastern foot” (original voiceover). Forty years later the twelve-floor building was suddenly empty, for two decades. When the announced renovation didn’t happen, a community of homeless people squatted there in 2013. At times more than 2,000 people from 17 countries lived in the gutted and graffiti covered ruin.

At the initiative of the eponymous film project, films from the first festival year were screened in the re-opened cinema and a theatre workshop was founded where the actor-squatters worked on iconic film scenes, for example from “Sunset Boulevard”, “La Grande Illusion”, “Julius Caesar” and “Sawdust and Tinsel.” On the backdrop of imminent eviction, the film documents the theatre work, “co-written” by broken biographies and resulting in cinematographic re-enactments. Norma Desmond, Marc Anthony, the circus rider Anne and the fighter pilot Maréchal literally become projection surfaces – for experiences as varied as war trauma, depression, disgust of affluence and post-colonial alienation.

Esther Buss



Golden Dove in the Next Masters Competition Long Film

Country Focus Brazil 2013
Diary, Letters, Revolutions Flávia Castro

A reconstruction of the filmmaker’s parents’ path through political struggle in Brazil and life in exile. A generation of leftist activists, their ideals, and the failure of a utopia.

Diary, Letters, Revolutions

Documentary Film
Brazil
2011
105 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Estelle Fialon, Flávio Tambellini, Flávia Castro
Flávia Castro
Paulo Castiglioni
Flávia Castro
Flávia Castro
Valéria Ferro
In the 1960s and 70s, Brazil was ruled by a dictatorship against which a new generation of left activists rose up. Among them was the filmmaker’s father, the journalist Celso Castro, who died under mysterious circumstances in the early 1980s. In an attempt to investigate her father’s death, Flavia de Castro follows her parents’ history, which took them to exile in Chile, Argentina and Panama and at last France. In the process, their marriage fell apart and her father returned to Brazil in 1979 when an amnesty law had been passed. Based on the testimony of her mother and other fellow travellers as well as her father’s diaries and letters, she creates a fascinating picture of a revolutionary life far from home. The hopes, ideals and successes in the political struggle emerge as clearly as the disappointments, resignation and ultimately failure of their revolutionary project. On a parallel level, the director talks about her own, un-housed childhood to show the price paid by the revolutionaries’ relatives. Flavia de Castro attempts to understand her father’s death without succumbing to the temptation of creating a paternal heroic figure. That takes courage.

---Paulo de Carvalho
International Programme 2014
Dominguinhos Joaquim Castro, Mariana Aydar, Eduardo Nazarian

José Domingos de Morais, one of Brazil’s great accordion players. A dreamy trip in time back to an unknown country and a quarry of memories. Bold and enchanting.

Dominguinhos

Documentary Film
Brazil
2014
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Deborah Osborn, Gilberto Topczewski, Felipe Briso
Joaquim Castro, Mariana Aydar, Eduardo Nazarian
Mariana Aydar, Eduardo Nazarian, Duani Martins
Pedro Urano, Tiago Tambelli
Joaquim Castro
Boreal Studio
Di Moretti
Edson Secco, Joaquim Castro
Songs that tell stories of love, the last draught or the lack of money. There can be no doubt that the music of José Domingos de Morais, one of the great Brazilian accordion players, is folk music in the best sense. This film constitutes the three directors’ respectful bow to the artist, who died in 2013. All through his life he retained a deep bond to the culture of his home, the Sertão in the northeast of Brazil. That’s where the film starts, too. Not so much the portrait of a musician as a dreamy trip in time through an unknown Brazil whose diversity was the soil from which something as wonderful as Dominguinhos’ music could grow. The filmmakers use a variety of sources: archive material from the 1940s about the Sertão of the farm labourers and have-nots, television shows from the 1950s and 60s, interviews with musicians from various phases of his life, great concerts in the 2000s. In fact they work in a quarry of visual memories – not just their protagonist’s, but also their own and those of their country. This work of remembrance, associative and erratic, dominates the film’s tone. An image sequence edited to a melody, a rhythm to a story, the lyrics of a song to a short biographical note. It’s a bold narrative design and the music is simply enchanting.
Matthias Heeder
International Programme 2018
Elections Alice Riff

So much for political apathy! The student council elections at a school in São Paulo demonstrate the strains of politics and the temptations of populism – and how to resist them.

Elections

Documentary Film
Brazil
2018
101 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alice Riff, Heverton Lima
Alice Riff
Vinicius Berger
Yuri Amaral
Alice Riff, Vanessa Fort
Marina Bruno, Daniel Turini, Fernando Henna
It’s best to learn about the workings (and snags) of democracy by practicing it. At a public high school in São Paulo, the elections for the student council are coming up. Various teams compete for the best ideas, the coolest campaign poster and the most votes. It’s vital not to be carried away by populist actions and to put personal interest aside. Just like in “big” politics, the candidates walk the line between honest commitment and superficial show effects in election debates. But the sudden appearance of the police at the school gates instantly makes it clear how important it is that the students are able to speak with one voice.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for the Young Eyes Film Award

Flesh

Animated Film
Brazil,
Spain
2019
12 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Chelo Loureiro, Livia Perez
Camila Kater
Sofia Oriana Infante, Julia Teles
Samuel Mariani
Samuel Mariani
Camila Kater, Giovana Affonso, Flavia Godoy, Cassandra Reis, Leila Monsegur
Camila Kater, Ana Julia Carvalheiro
Xabier Ferreiro, Julia Teles, Luis Felipe Labaki
An animated documentary in five chapters by and about five female personalities. In the leading roles are their own physicality and a multi-perspective view of femininity. Because origin, environment and socialisation – with their occasionally perverted and compulsive side-effects – have a weight of their own. These autobiographical reflections gain depth of focus and impact through the choice of different haptic animation techniques. Vivid, haunting, beautiful.

Nadja Rademacher
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2019
Guaicurus Street João Borges

A red-light district in Belo Horizonte. The camera is admitted into a “running house”. Love for sale looks like a routine, dreary assembly line exercise here, sometimes almost like a comedy.

Guaicurus Street

Documentary Film
Brazil
2019
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

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João Borges, Thais Mol (Yara Filmes), Mariana Andrade
João Borges
Lucas Oscilloid, Pedro Durães
Lucas Barbi
Fabian Remy
João Borges
Lucas Oscilloid, Marcel Dadalto, Pedro Durães, Victor Brandão
A red light district in Belo Horizonte. The brothels are soliciting customers in all the colours of the night. The windows here are usually open, there is at most a guy in a plastic chair sitting in front of the door. The camera is admitted into one of the “running houses”. We see a long shot, almost like on a surveillance monitor, of men in a stark corridor scurrying from woman to woman. But suddenly we’re really close to some negotiations (“3 positions for 25 Real”) and at some point there’s an “impossible” cut: a reverse shot from the other side of the door, out of the woman’s room. We see sex workers tidying up, hanging around, and gossiping. They talk about violence, of pretend and real orgasms. But we also see sex scenes, played by actors, in which love for sale sometimes looks like a practiced, dreary assembly line exercise, sometimes almost like a comedy.

If this film systematically blurs the boundaries between the documentary and the fictional gaze, it has to do with the wish to leave the women their dignity and to avoid all-too-familiar images of misery. But it also has to do with the fact that sex can never be separated from fictions and projections.

Lukas Foerster

Hill of Pleasures

Documentary Film
Brazil,
Netherlands
2012
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Janneke Doolaard, Hanneke Niens, Hans de Wolf, Maria Ramos
Maria Ramos
Guy Gonçalves, Leo Bittencourt, Miguel Lindenberg
Karen Akerman
For decades, the state allowed the drug cartels to control the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro. This policy was changed in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup. After a massive military operation, the state is now installing special units of the “peace-keeping police” UPP in the slums. Director Maria Ramos follows their work in the Morro dos Prazeres Favela, where the still hated police are to advertise the presence of the state and restore the dialogue with the residents. They meet not only with suspicion but with persistent resistance. Ramos follows the policemen on their daily routines of inspection rounds, unannounced raids and negotiations with the residents. Parallel to this, she switches to the perspective of the people on the street, shows their life in the community and learns about their past. People dance and celebrate exuberantly at one of the “Baile Funk” parties, which have emerged as one of the cultural forms of expression of the Favelas. But the view of nocturnal Rio from the hill suggests that the peace may be deceptive …

---Paulo de Carvalho
Country Focus Brazil 2013
Housemaids Gabriel Mascaro

Housemaids in Brazil are part of the family. Adolescents talk to women who are like mothers to them but are not allowed to have private lives. The sociogram of a society.

Housemaids

Documentary Film
Brazil
2012
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Rachel Ellies
Gabriel Mascaro
Alana Santos Fahel, Ana Beatriz de Oliveira, Jenifer Rodrigues Régis, Juana Souza de Castro, Luiz Felipe Godinho, Perla Sachs Kindi, Claudomiro Canaleo Neto
Eduardo Serrano
Gabriel Mascaro
Eduardo Serrano
Seven adolescents, seven cameras, seven days of shooting – this is the framework defined by Gabriel Mascaro for his film experiment. The protagonists have already been chosen, too: they are the “Domésticas”, the housemaids in the young people’s homes who do all the work, from taking care of the children to cooking to ironing to chauffeuring. The doméstica is a fixture in many Brazilian homes. She is almost regarded as a member of the family, but lives in extreme dependence on her employers – often far away from her husband and her own children. The film follows not only the housemaids’ daily routines but gives us some insights into their circumscribed private lives. Mascaro edits the young people’s observations and conversations with the domésticas, who are often like second mothers to them, into an exciting sociogram of Brazilian society. While he avoids direct statements on class differences or the working conditions of the persons portrayed, his film reveals the balance of power quite clearly. The director has achieved a subtle and nuanced depiction of the invisible lines between personal and work relationships in these family microcosms.

---Paulo de Carvalho

Linear

Animated Film
Brazil
2012
6 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

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Rogério Nunes, Karmatique Imagens
Amir Admoni
Amir Admoni
Newton Leitão
Amir Admoni
Thiago Martins, Fabio Yamaji, Amir Admoni
Amir Admoni, Fabito Rychter
Nick Graham Smith
A line is a dot that went for a walk. This kind of walk can become quite rough, especially if it’s taken on an urban highway. Amir Admoni shows us a São Paulo we have never seen.
International Programme 2017
Luiza Caio Baú

“Live the Old Times”, Luiza’s T-shirt reads in big letters. At first the sheltered 24-year-old girl with the blue-green strands of hair leafs through an album of photos from her childhood.

Luiza

Documentary Film
Brazil
2017
15 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Caio Baú, Amanda Soprani, Isabele Orengo
Caio Baú
Murilo Lazarin
Fábio Allon
Caio Baú
Bruno Ito
“Live the Old Times”, Luiza’s T-shirt reads in big letters. At first the sheltered 24-year-old girl with the blue-green strands of hair leafs through an album of photos from her childhood. But soon only the presence with her boy-friend counts, and when it’s the right time for the first sex. The family’s fears, the desire for autonomy, a budding sexuality and otherworldliness are packed into an ambivalent scenario.

Esther Buss
Country Focus Brazil 2013
Mauro in Cayenne Leonardo Mouramateus

A fictitious letter to an uncle who moved far away. Memories of a childhood and descriptions of the present life of a city in upheaval, full of imagination and metaphors.

Mauro in Cayenne

Documentary Film
Brazil
2012
18 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Leonardo Mouramateus
Leonardo Mouramateus
Leonardo Mouramateus, Salomão Santana
Leonardo Mouramateus, Salomão Santana
Lucas Coelho de Cravalho, Rodrigo Fernandes, Leonardo Mouramateus
The director writes a fictitious letter to his uncle Mauro, who left his family for a new start in Cayenne, French-Guyana. The present day is mirrored in stories and snapshots which capture the nephew Marquinho’s childish foolery or the grandmother’s childhood memories. The absent uncle inspires his imagination: of a heroic life of adventure in that faraway place, or what it would be like if Mauro were to re-appear and suddenly walk down the street. Stories from the past, descriptions of the present day, prospects of the future in Fortaleza, a city in transformation where trees must give way to new buildings. Godzilla rising from the sea as a metaphor for the real estate speculators who invade the city to give it a new look. Looking back on childhood. “And you always return home on Sunday morning.”

---Paulo de Carvalho