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

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
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

Pinball

Animated Film
Croatia
2012
7 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Vanja Andrijevic
Darko Vidačković
Hrvoje Štefotić
Darko Vidačković
Darko Vidačković
Darko Vidačković
Darko Vidačković
Hrvoje Štefotić
As though in a dynamic pinball game, the trajectory of the ball after launching is undetermined. The player’s actions direct the ball, make sense of its movements, leave their trace, but not in the long run.

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

The Blockade

Documentary Film
Croatia
2012
92 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Nenad Puhovski, Factum Documentary Project, Oliver Sertić, Restart
Igor Bezinović
Zli bubnjari, Antenat, Ibrica Jusić, Naš mali Afro bend, Tigrova mast, Idoli
Đuro Gavran, Eva Kraljević, Igor Bezinović, Haris Berbić
Hrvoslava Brkušić, Maida Srabović, Miro Manojlović
Igor Bezinović
Occupy, sit-ins, or punk performances in churches – civil disobedience is spreading like wildfire across the globe. In Zagreb, too, students of the Philosophy Department were no longer willing to accept the constantly rising tuition fees and decided to organise a student strike, the biggest since 1971. The revolt quickly spread to other universities. What started more or less spontaneously out of anger soon developed its own rules. Democracy needs practice, too, and there are no manuals on how to keep the protests going, mobilise the public and find an appropriate form of resistance; there’s only the process itself. Director Igor Bezinovic used to be a student of this department. His film is an anatomy of the asynchronous processes, the shifting hierarchies, the debates about opposition and opportunism, the fear of failing under public pressure. The Minister of Education on the other side knows exactly where the weak points of such a protest lie. How long will the students hold out and know that the teachers are on their side once the money stops coming? “Blokada” openly sympathises with the students but does not conceal how lonely and wearying it can be to be radical. The filmmaker is always present and very precise in his observations. Despite the many different perspectives Bezinovic managed to make a very coherent film.
– Cornelia Klauß

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

The Verdict

Documentary Film
Croatia
2013
11 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Miljenka Čogelja
Đuro Gavran
Pavel Posavec, Nikola Sučević, Tamara Duganđija, Đuro Gavran
Iva Mrkić
Danijel Peić
A man is holding up a banner showing the general, a uniformed man is swinging the Croatian flag, a woman is swaying to music, young people are singing of the beauty of Slavonia and the Dalmatinska Zagora. It’s April 15th, 2011, Zagreb, 16 years after the war. The man on the banner is Ante Gotovina. He is the hero of those who have just stopped singing. Now they are listening to the announcement of the verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Ante Gotovina is on trial. He is accused of having ordered war crimes against the Serbs. The extreme close-ups tell us nothing about the precise location. They merely confront us with the faces of people who back their national hero, wordlessly revealing memories of individual pasts and a piece of Croatian history. It’s highly unlikely that any of the singers on that day expected this history to take an unexpected last-minute turn.

Claudia Lehmann

Tide

Animated Film
Croatia
2012
6 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Dino Krpan, Diedra
Alen Zanjko
Vjeran Salamon
Ivana Fumic
Sinisa Mataic
Alen Zanjko
Boris Wagner
When the moon is full and the tide is high, strange things begin to happen. That's the initial point for a surreal story about two characters wanting to drink a cup of tea together, despite all odds. In this banal attempt, the damage greatly exceeds the benefit.

Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves

Animated Film
Croatia,
Estonia,
France
2019
18 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Chintis Lundgren, Draško Ivezić, Emmanuel-Alain Raynal, Pierre Baussaron
Chintis Lundgren
Terence Dunn
Chintis Lundgren
Chintis Lundgren, Draško Ivezić
Chintis Lundgren, Draško Ivezić, Darko Vidačković
Chintis Lundgren, Draško Ivezić
Pierre Yves Drapeau, Benoît Coallier
Toomas, an attractive wolf who meets with many immoral offers, opens a gigolo service after losing his job. After slow beginnings, business is soon flourishing – even a film offer is not long in coming. He keeps it all to himself. And thus imitates his wife, who, instead of Yoga classes, goes to a female empowerment guru called Alexandra Horn-Eye who was suggested to her via Juutub. Their relationship gradually gains momentum.

Carolin Weidner