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.

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

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

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

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
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2017
Paulistas Daniel Nolasco

Somewhere in the Brazilian savannah Paulistas is struggling to survive. The rural region has lost its youth and the abuse of nature has left it cracked, but its soul still colours everything.

Paulistas

Documentary Film
Brazil
2017
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Matheus Peçanha, Lidiana Reis, Daniel Nolasco, Thiago Yamachita, Aline Mazzarella
Daniel Nolasco
Larry Sullivan
Will Domingos
Daniel Nolasco
Jesse Marmo
Somewhere in the Central Brazilian savannah Paulistas is scraping by. The rural region has lost its youth, the houses are cracked, but it has preserved its dignity. Meadow, river, sparsely furnished interiors – like the landscape and the environments the sounds and images of this film expand gently, but with impressive power. Quiet, superbly framed shots and perfectly timed sounds portraying farm work and daily routines say what they have to say without becoming garrulous. In the midst of desertion they reveal a warmth kept alive by the inhabitants.

“Paulistas” may sing their praise but it doesn’t glorify anything. The televised philanthropic assurances of the operators of the nearby dam crumble like the damaged houses made uninhabitable because people meddled with nature. And then it’s July and the young people return briefly for the holidays. The mobile phone into which love messages are typed shines like a star in the nocturnal cornfield, the motorcycle leaves a curved line of dust running along the whole width of the summer meadows. A motif of hard to describe sounds somewhere between machine metal and brass instruments is heard. Paulistas is marked by circumstances, but its soul still colours everything.

André Eckardt
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2016
The Third Shore Fabian Remy

The Brazilian João was kidnapped by the Kayapó as a child, grew up among them, later returned to civilisation and still feels homeless. Searching for traces on the Amazon and between two worlds.

The Third Shore

Documentary Film
Brazil,
France
2016
57 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

André Hallak
Fabian Remy
Rafael Martini
Lucas Barbi
Fabian Remy, Bruno Carboni
Fabian Remy
Osvaldo Ferreira
In 1953 the Villas-Bôas brothers, pioneers of indigenism in Brazil, made first contact with the Kayapó and recorded the amicable meeting in grainy black and white. They anticipated the conflicts between the tribe and the nation state and saw themselves as mediators. To their surprise they discovered a young white man among the Indians: João was the child of Brazilian settlers who had been kidnapped and raised by the Kayapó during the long-running struggle. As he retraces his path, a life between two worlds, without a fixed home, begins for him.

To Fabian Remy this story is a model to describe a society divided even today, though he doesn’t find João among the living. In his stead Thini-á accompanies the director on a biographical search for clues and lives through a mirrored identity conflict. He left his tribe to move to the megacity of Rio de Janeiro after he witnessed how indigenous culture was corroded by modern civilisation. But more and more often nostalgia draws him back to his roots. As he swings pendulum-like between the places, the film takes up his movements on the formal level and follows Thini-á on his rides across dusty plains and the Amazonas region – as a continuing documentary journey. Which would have suited João, too, who spent his later life as a ferryman between the riverbanks.

Lars Meyer