Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

A Folk Troupe

Documentary Film
China
2013
62 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Gang Zhao, Cherelle Zheng
Gang Zhao
Qian Ge, Deng Gang
Luo Quan
Lin Yan
Liu Jian
It’s not exactly a life of ease for the travelling showmen. A theatre company of eleven move into a provisional domicile in a garage-like hall right next to a large construction site on the outskirts of Chengdu, a business centre in the southwest of China. Here a special tradition of the Beijing Opera, the Sichuan Opera, has developed over the years. The actors perform a different play every day. From childhood on, they have learned the secrets of the artfully stilted songs and the sophisticated choreographies of changing the elaborate masks for the three- to four-hour performances. Century-old tales are repeated again and again. But life on the road is far from romantic. They are stuck in Chengdu because they have no money for travelling on; bureaucrats are unwilling to issue permissions, the company is caught in internal disputes, and the mood is tense. The audience on their simple wooden chairs are worn-down figures whose furrowed faces indicate a life of deprivation. The contrast to the colourful productions on stage, whose titles, like “In the Land of Plenty”, hold magnificent promises, couldn’t be bigger. The audience may just about be able to afford this kind of travelling opera, but it’s an unmistakeable swan song. Another piece of cultural history about to get lost …

Cornelia Klauß



Prize of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique 2013

Accordion Class

Documentary Film
China
2016
20 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Zuqiang Peng
Zuqiang Peng
Zuqiang Peng
Zuqiang Peng
Zuqiang Peng
The image of China as a music nation is dominated by drilled masses and exceptional instrumentalists. This accordion class, however, presents a different image: wrapped in down anoraks, children practice “Hänschen klein”. During the Cultural Revolution, the piano and violin were frowned upon as “bourgeois”, unlike the accordion – its performative qualities were well suited to propaganda. Today the heart-warming squeezing looks almost like a gesture of resistance against the state-promoted virtuoso culture.

Esther Buss

Animal Year

Animated Film
China
2017
9 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Zhong Su
Zhong Su
Zhong Su
Zhong Su
Animal-human hybrids drag wheelbarrows filled with collected finds through post-apocalyptic urban ruins, while giggling children in lightning-fast airships dart through the steel-blue, flower-encrusted sky, dropping rockets … This young Chinese director draws an idiosyncratic, haunting and disturbing portrait of a dystopian future of humanity.

Duscha Kistler

Big Hands Oh Big Hands, Let It Be Bigger and Bigger

Animated Film
China
2012
6 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Lei Lei
Lei Lei
Li Xingyu
Lei Lei
Lei Lei
Kweichee Lam
Li Xingyu
What looks like a music video at first glance turns out at a closer look to be a political film. In a society geared towards productivity and efficiency a thinking person will soon become an outsider. In beautiful retro aesthetics the films narrates an attempt to change a system with words.

Cells’ Amusement Park

Animated Film
China
2016
4 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Li Ang
Li Ang, Cai Caibei
Luo Keju
Li Ang, Cai Caibei
Luo Keju
An imaginary football match played by blue and red ink figures: attack – defence – goal. And one injured player. Caibei Cai and Ang Li draw us into their graphically fascinating sci-fi cosmos of the cellular tissue which serves as a football pitch for blood corpuscles and defence cells, visualised by microscopic negative shots of cells, insects and plant particles.

André Eckardt


Nominated for mephisto 97.6 Audience Award

Cloudy Mountains

Documentary Film
China
2012
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Han Lei, Documentary Channel, Shanghai Media Group (SMG)
Zhu Yu
Liu Zhifeng
Han Lei
Shen Hancun
When they sit together slurping noodles after work they like to joke around. They perform imaginary dances and take heart-warming care of an injured bird. The Chinese miners at Lop Nut get fairly good wages by local standards, but they pay a high price. Dust swirls up, turns into clouds that float over the landscape and at last settle on everything like an inch-thick woollen carpet. This asbestos mining region was largely depopulated. It looks like a smoking apocalyptic volcanic landscape. For years the material that is now banned in Europe but supplies an immense demand for housing space in in China has been mined here. While more and more people in China profit from the construction boom, the asbestos workers live in tents right on the grounds. In his debut film, director Zuh Yu precisely exposes the unspeakable conditions in which the workers earn their pay – cut off from the outside world to which they are connected only by mobile phones. The youngest among them has just turned 17. But his focus gradually shifts to the people themselves, their bawdy humour and tough, cool phrases. Their tenacity and determination to keep going turn “Cloudy Mountain” into a great statement, one that addresses the human condition.

Cornelia Klauß



Honorary Mention in the International Competition Documentary Film 2012

Kids DOK
Daughter of Guang Nan Michael Mellemløkken

Ten-year-old Yanxuan lives in the South Chinese Mountains and loves what every girl loves: singing and dancing like the stars on television. Her greatest wish, though, is to celebrate her birthday with the whole family.

Daughter of Guang Nan

Documentary Film
China,
Norway
2016
14 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Binbin Cai
Michael Mellemløkken
Michael Mellemløkken
Rune van Deurs
Ten-year-old Yanxuan lives in the South Chinese Mountains and loves what every girl loves: singing and dancing like the stars on television. Her greatest wish, though, is to celebrate her birthday with the whole family. But her parents work far away.

Double Fikret

Animadoc
China
2012
3 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Haiyang Wang
Haiyang Wang
Haiyang Wang
Haiyang Wang
Rendered with pastel and eraser on two pieces of sandpaper each merely 90 centimeters long and 110 centimeters wide, Double Fikret evokes a unique surreal continuum full of iconographic references.



Silver Dove in the International Competition Animated Film 2012

Fidaï

Documentary Film
Algeria,
China,
France
2012
83 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Mathieu Mullier, Kafard Films
Damien Ounouri
Matthieu Laclau
Mary Stephen
Damien Ounouri, Linda Amiri
Li Dan-Feng
When the Algerian War for Independence broke out in 1954, El Hadi, the protagonist of this cleverly constructed film about killing in times of war, had just turned 14. Six years later he was a Fidai, a fighter for the Algerian National Liberation Front FLN by whose orders he assassinated two people in Paris. El Hadi was a volunteer, his motive was simple: colonialism is intolerable. 50 years later director Damien Ounouri takes up his uncle El Hadi’s story again and together they embark on a journey into his past. Much has been buried, but the memories begin to return when they visit the sites of the Paris assassinations, where the director presses a gun into his uncle’s hand: I am your target. Show me how you shot him. El Hadi takes the pistol, which at first feels as alien as his memories, loads it and once more lives through the pivotal moments. Follow the victim, hold the pistol to his head, pull the trigger, run away. In this moment he is not aiming at his nephew but at the traitor who was sentenced to death by his superior officers. The situation may be contrived, El Hadi’s feelings aren’t. This filmic method works like a time machine which prepares the ground for the essential question: did you do the right thing then? Damien Ounouri respectfully follows up on this question posed to his uncle, embedded in the historic context of the anti-colonial movement of the 1960s and its countless victims. There is not even a hint of accusation or justification. Only the serious work of remembrance.

Matthias Heeder
Animadoc
Food Siqi Song

This film brings attention to food, the way we see it, the way we eat it and the way we think about it.

2014

Food

Animadoc
China
2014
3 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Siqi Song
Siqi Song
Siqi Song
Siqi Song
Siqi Song
Siqi Song
Siqi Song
This film brings attention to food, the way we see it, the way we eat it and the way we think about it. Ranging from vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians to some seriously dedicated carnivores, the conversation offers the perspectives of a wide variety of eaters from around the world.

Happy Life

Animated Film
China,
Germany
2012
6 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Xin Sun
Xin Sun, Yun Li
Xingyu Li
Yun Li
Xin Sun, Yun Li
Tobias Böhm
One stormy night a boy named “EGG” lays an egg from which a cute monster is born. The boy, terrified, brings it into the forest, but this bizarre incident recurs every night. Will he ever love his little monsters?
Strictly Animated
Hu Lulu Hong Longlong Hua Lala Lei Lei

The little boy Hong Longlong saves a city from flooding by jumping through a toilet bowl into space and putting on the rain cloud like a hat.

Hu Lulu Hong Longlong Hua Lala

Animated Film
China
2010
6 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Lei Lei
Lei Lei
Xingyu Li
Lei Lei
Lei Lei
Lei Lei
Xingyu Li
The Chinese film artist Lei Lei’s graphic and colourful language is unmistakeable and he is a master of light, almost “naive” animation. Using these tools, he tackles even natural disasters with ease: the little boy Hong Longlong saves a city from flooding by jumping through a toilet bowl into space and putting on the rain cloud like a hat.

Duscha Kistler
International Programme
Lunar Dial Yuan Gao

Overgrown urban wasteland with forgotten objects, stairs, railways leading nowhere, a dripping moon – Yuan Gao’s paintings are straight objective representations of the unspeakable und uncertain.

Lunar Dial

Animated Film
China
2016
15 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Yuan Gao
Yuan Gao
Pan Li
Yuan Gao
Yuan Gao
Yuan Gao
Yuan Gao
Pan Li
Overgrown urban wasteland with forgotten objects, stairs, railways leading nowhere, a dripping moon – Yuan Gao’s paintings are straight objective representations of the unspeakable und uncertain. In “Lunar Dial” she arranges her paintings in time, animates important details and creates an associative and compelling bicycle ride. A trip under the influence of the moon, whose gravitational pull dictates the tides and keeps the mysteries together by magic.

André Eckardt


Nominated for mephisto 97.6 Audience Award

Missing One Player

Animated Film
China
2015
4 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Lei Lei
Lei Lei
Li Xingyu
Lei Lei
Lei Lei
Lei Lei
Lei Lei
Li Xingyu
Apathy has infected a world confronted with the apocalypse. Amid this planetary desolation a group of three players still want to play mah-jong. Their problem: they can´t because they are one player short. This cutout animation inventively uses vintage patterns, textures, colours and sounds to build an artificial universe mired in an avant-garde atmosphere of melancholy.

Victor Orozco



Silver Dove in the International Competition Short Film 2015

Monkey

Animated Film
China
2015
5 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jie Shen
Jie Shen
Keju Luo
Jie Shen
Jie Shen
Jie Shen
Keju Luo
A scene is dissected into its component parts, a plot dissolved into snapshots. A trap, a blow from behind. The crash, the fall … This succinct fragmentary film experiment achieves a high degree of emotional intensity, shocking in its archaic brutality and fascinating in its extraordinary aesthetics.

Duscha Kistler

Noodle Kid

Documentary Film
China
2019
107 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Han Lei
Huo Ning
Huo Ning, Zhang Jiahao
Huo Ning, Han Lei, Shih Gary
Shen Hancun
Ma Xiang is fourteen years old and lives with his family in Hualong in the Chinese province of Quinghai. They belong to the so-called Hui Chinese who, unlike the Han Chinese majority of the country, consider themselves Muslims. At school Ma Xiang recites the Koran and visits the mosque. But in order to work off his father’s debts, he is sent to a far away city he doesn’t know, where his uncle Ma Yusuf operates several noodle restaurants. He is to be trained as a noodle puller. Life and work in the strange city are hard, Ma Xiang is badly paid and Islam is frowned upon. He is forced not only to take off his takke, his traditional hat, but also his glasses, because Ma Yusuf thinks that wearing glasses and making noodles are incompatible.

Huo Ning follows Ma Xiang’s journey which is also a journey to adulthood. The important thing is to find one’s place within an extremely patriarchal system and at the same time preserve one’s independence. Because Ma Xiang, whom we already got to know as a sensitive boy at the beginning of “Noodle Kid”, isn’t easily dominated. Too unbroken is his self-awareness, which also includes the desire to make contact with his mother who left Ma Xiang’s family many years ago.

Carolin Weidner