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Balcony Tales

Documentary Film
36 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ellen Riis
Helle Windeløv-Lidzélius
Christian Schrøder, Max Bering, Peter Johansson, Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius
Adam Morris Philp, Denis Guerra Ribas, Rocío Aballí Hernández
Mette Esmark, Nanna Frank Møller
Helle Windeløv-Lidzélius, Janis Reyes Hernández
Niels Arild
Everybody in the city of Havana knows that it’s better to walk in the middle of the street and not on the sidewalk, where you may be hit by a crumbling balcony. Still: the balcony is a loyal friend, connecting people with their neighbours, the hawkers, the noise and smell of the street. Ceci has spent his whole life here. Now he is old and blind, but not alone. He has his balcony, from which he shops, hears important news and calls for Edilia, a young woman from the opposite side of the street who takes care of him like a daughter. This warm-hearted, unspectacular relationship forms the framework for a filmic declaration of love to the balconies of Havana. Each of them has their own story, their own soul and magic. It’s a bitter thing for anyone not to have one, for then you are cut off from life, which displays the full panorama of human diversity only to the viewer from above.
Matthias Heeder
International Programme 2015
Outside Laurentia Genske

Sex tourism in Cuba: two young men believe they can build a future via foreign women – and maybe even that love exists. But everyday life is exhausting …


Documentary Film
64 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ute Dilger, Luis Alejandro Yero
Laurentia Genske
Laurentia Genske
Lara Rodriguez Cruz, Laurentia Genske
Laurentia Genske
Robert Keilbar, Damian Rubiera Hernandez
Today’s Cuba under the aegis of Raúl Castro has a booming shadow economy. Anyone who can tries to earn a little extra, sell something or profit from the tourists. Two young men from Baracoa try their luck with female foreigners. Yohan especially is a dreamer who believes his own tactics when he talks about love. His greatest dream, however, is Europe.

Laurentia Genske, who spent two years as a guest student in Cuba, follows the arduous daily life of the two who are increasingly coming under pressure: from their mothers, who want proper sons, from the police, who sanction unregistered contact with foreigners, from criminals who want to defend their territory. What looks playful and naive at first turns out to be bitterly serious. Money drives a wedge into every relationship and leaves a bitter taste. Neither the lascivious Salsa rhythms nor the gentle swoosh of the palm fronds can hide this.

Cornelia Klauß