Film Archive

Chris the Swiss

Documentary Film
Croatia,
Finland,
Germany,
Switzerland
2018
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Samir (Dschoint Ventschr), Siniša Juričić (Nukleus Film), Heino Deckert (Ma.ja.de.), Iikka Vehkalahti (IV Films Ltd / p.s.72 productions)
Anja Kofmel
Marcel Vaid
Simon Guy Fässler
Stefan Kälin
Simon Eltz
Anja Kofmel
Daniel Hobi, Marco Teufen, Hrvoje Petek
Christian Würtenberg died in Croatia in 1992. Even though the young Swiss had come as a journalist, he was wearing the uniform of an international militia that fought on the Croatian side in the civil war. Why he took up arms has long remained a mystery. His cousin, the filmmaker Anja Kofmel, has confronted the question.

She interviews companions, complementing the documentary footage with dark, pared-down animated sequences which form the film’s narrative structure. Diving deeply into the political turmoil, the film portrays Chris’s path towards joining a group of nationalist mercenaries supported by Opus Dei. A politically explosive film even today, a visually impressive thriller that shows how quickly a person’s attitude can be devastated by war.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize and the MDR Film Prize; Swiss Film Award 2019: Best Documentary, Best Score, Best Editing

International Programme 2018
Days of Madness Damian Nenadić

Maja and Mladen have lived and suffered through a long-term addiction to psychotropic drugs. In video diary format “Days of Madness” depicts their attempt to win back control of their lives.

Days of Madness

Documentary Film
Croatia,
Slovenia
2018
74 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Oliver Sertić
Damian Nenadić
Miro Manojlović, Filip Sertić
Maja Šćukanec, Mladen Bađun, Damian Nenadić, Srđan Kovačević
Sandra Bastašić
Martin Semenčić
Kventiax, Seroquel, Rivotril, Prazine, Normabel … When Mladen and Maja, in a mix of detachment and anger, list the psychoactive substances that determine their lives and ruin their bodies with toxic side effects, it’s as if they were talking about terribly annoying family members. On top of their long medical history full of spells in hospitals there’s the fact that the real family members, whether long buried at the local cemetery or in the shape of parents scolding them from the next room, won’t surcease them either. In close cooperation with Mladen and Maja, who portray themselves in diary-like video recordings, Damian Nenadić shows two people who were left alone by society in their distress – or whose distress was caused by the latter in the first place. Maja’s borderline personality disorder was diagnosed as a consequence of her transgender identity. Mladen, who returned from the Yugoslavian war with depression, was first sent to a priest by his parents. “Days of Madness” depicts their gradual attempts to win back a little control of a life stolen by psychiatry, family and church. “Why is BPD a disorder and nationalism is not?”

Esther Buss


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize

International Programme 2018
IKEA for YU Marija Ratković Vidaković, Dinka Radonić

The identity history of Yugoslavia and ex-Yugoslavia is rife with conflicts and contradictions. Marija travels through this history by researching the inner workings of her own family.

IKEA for YU

Documentary Film
Croatia,
Sweden
2018
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Vera Robić Škarica, Marija Ratković Vidaković
Marija Ratković Vidaković, Dinka Radonić
Siniša Krneta
Dinka Radonić
Damir Čučić
Marija Ratković Vidaković, Dinka Radonić
Johan Bodin, Siniša Krneta
A family selfie in front of the “Three Fists”, a monument to the victims of the Second World War in Niš, the third largest city in Serbia today. Three concrete fists from the era of Titoism, are raised to the sky: the father’s fist, the mother’s, a child’s. Marija takes position, her mother and father next to her, her brother presses the button. This photo records nothing less than the whole identity history of Yugoslavia and Ex-Yugoslavia, rich in conflicts and contradictions – a history that still resonates and that Marija Ratković Vidaković, supported by her co-writer Dinka Radonić, investigates in this intimate family film.

Marked by parents and grandparents who have internalised the real-socialist ideas and values of the Tito era on the Balkan, the thirty three-year-old filmmaker must cope with a paradoxical inherited identity that has very little to do with her private world and life in Croatia. Marija knows that she doesn’t want to pass this heritage on to her son and she knows that in order to achieve this, it must wither in herself. Filmed over years, “IKEA for YU” is the testimony of a trip into her own family history, deep into its most intimate nooks and crannies where a long history full of twists and turns is deeply entrenched. And a trip far away from Croatia.

Lukas Stern


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize

On the Water

Documentary Film
Croatia
2018
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hrvoje Osvadić
Goran Dević
Damian Nenadić
Jan Klemsche, Vanja Siruček
Goran Dević
Martin Semenčić
Rivers may be simple geographical entities. But beyond that they are eloquent micro-milieus where history and stories have accumulated. The rivers Save, Kupa and Odra flow through the centre of the Croatian industrial town of Sisak. They were and are the lifelines of the city and the region. The rivers may appear like pastoral havens today, but the countless narratives of the past emerge more openly there than anywhere else.

Most of the river dwellers’ and users’ lives around which Goran Dević structures his film are linked to the events of the Yugoslavian civil war and its ethnic and social conflicts. Even though it was more than two and a half decades ago, this historic period seems like a parallel reality which throws its shadows over the protagonists like a permanent trauma. “On the Water” is a poetic and political study about the changeability and constancy of people and spaces in which the dividing line between the two is permanently blurred.

Ralph Eue


Honorable Mention in the International Competition Long Film

Srbenka

Documentary Film
Croatia
2018
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Vanja Jambrović
Nebojša Slijepčević
Nebojša Slijepčević, Bojan Mrđenović, Iva Kraljević
Tomislav Stojanović
The Croatian War of Independence in the early 1990s casts long dark shadows even today. The population is still moved by anger, prejudice and trauma so that the conflict seems as new and smouldering as ever. “Srbenka” opens with a protagonist who talks about what it was like to grow up as a Serb in Croatia. She was excluded, insulted and threatened even at school. Her deep-seated pain underpins the whole film and is shared by other protagonists, both Serbian and Croatian.

Slijepčević follows the rehearsals for a play, directed by Oliver Frljić, about the murder of a twelve-year-old Serbian girl and her family in Zagreb in 1991. Opinions on this horrible act are still divided and the stage play puts its finger in the wound: why were the murderers never condemned? How can the murder of a child become a political tool? And what about the many nameless Croatian children nobody is writing plays about? The rehearsals, the cast and the adolescent amateur actors produce a raw and emotionally stirring reflection of the events, revealing the social division and helplessness in the face of a seemingly irresolvable conflict manifested in the soulless labelling of people.

Kim Busch


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize

Strictly Animated 2018
The Cake Daniel Šuljić

Cutting a cake into pieces of exactly the same size is a skill … In this finest animated massacre ever, Daniel Šuljić creates a scathing picture of our society.

The Cake

Animated Film
Croatia
1997
8 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Dragan Švaco (Zagreb Film)
Daniel Šuljić
Božidar Kramarić
Zlata Reić
Stjepan Bartolić, Daniel Šuljić
Daniel Šuljić
Tomislav Babić
Željko Königsknecht
Having a party is fun. So is eating cake. But attention when it’s distributed among the guests: cutting a cake into pieces of exactly the same size is a skill … Daniel Šuljić created what’s presumably the finest animated massacre ever in oil on glass, drawing a scathing picture of our society which, alas, will last.

Duscha Kistler

The Cure

Documentary Film
Croatia
2018
44 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Noah Pintarić
Ana Opalić
Ana Opalić, Martina Zvonić
Ana Opalić
Noah Pintarić, Ana Opalić
Ana Opalić, Jasna Žmak
Nikola Uršić
Tamara holding a cigarette, close-up: “I get depressed without nicotine.” Opening credits. Tamara holding a cigarette, close-up: her voice hoarse, post-surgery and pre-postoperative therapy. With every visit drawing on her cigarette becomes visibly more painful for Tamara. Her body becomes a cocoon and dully rumbling sound box for her oropharyngeal cancer. But the taciturn woman fights back with large, colourful embroideries, gets lost in music and absent looks. Her stubborn addiction doesn’t cave in either, time and again placating her with cigarettes until the scratchiness of this filmed portrait congeals into mild wonder.

Ana films her mother, asks questions when things aren’t self-explanatory. “Coffee and Cigarettes” in unpretentious images, in the simplicity of family life, in a modest kitchen that clearly says “home.” The observer becomes the seismograph of an addiction, which includes warm-hearted gestures towards her addicted mother. The observed woman has the time of her life, because her daughter is capable of recognising beauty as an artist and has both feet firmly on the ground. She herself no longer needs anything. And the cigarettes? For Tamara they are the melancholy reminder of a significant person whom she calls back into her life with the smoke: “I get depressed without nicotine.”

André Eckardt


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize