Film Archive

Cheer Up

Documentary Film
Canada,
Finland
2016
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Liisa Juntunen
Christy Garland
Tom Third
Sari Aaltonen
Thor Ochsner, Graeme Ring
Try to cheer up! That’s what the girls get to hear even when one of their ingeniously constructed pyramids of bodies just collapsed and they lie on the floor, bleeding and injured. Cheerleading is the essence of the kind of motivation coaching that fills whole shelves of self-help books and always drives us to peak performances – since this is exactly what this sport is about. It’s just that the logic of the permanent drive to succeed doesn’t seem to work with the Arctic Circle Spirit Ice Queens in Rovaniemi near the Arctic Circle: they are Finland’s worst cheerleading team. But coach Miia is determined to change this. After a visit to the world’s top team in Dallas, Texas – which looks like brainwashing – she wants to make her flock “number one” by means of a “yes you can” strategy. But the flock have other worries: after the death of her mother Patu must cope with her father’s new partner; Aino is drawn into the wild party life and jeopardises her position in the team. Add first love and moving out from home. And Miia, too, realises that the American credo of “everything is possible” may be seen in a completely different light …

Christy Garland confidently mixes the narrative traditions of the classic sports film with those of the coming-of-age drama while staying close to her protagonists. Falling and getting up again. Sounds easier than it is.

Grit Lemke


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award

Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest

Animadoc
Finland
2016
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Joonas Berghäll, Satu Majava
Katja Gauriloff
Timo Peltola
Enrique Méndez, Heikki Färm
Timo Peltola
Veronika Besedina
Katja Gauriloff
Timo Peltola, Jukka Nurmela
A documentary fairytale with enchanting animations set in the land of the Skolt Sami people near the polar circle. The narrator is Kaisa, a charismatic storyteller and singer. The filmmaker Katja Gauriloff, her great-granddaughter, approaches her life from the perspective of a man who was initially a stranger: Robert Crottet, the Swiss writer who followed an urgent call he heard in a fever dream and went to Lapland in the 1930s, where he felt, as he wrote in his book “The Enchanted Forest”, “transported to a time when the separation between man and animal and the nature that surrounds us all was not as marked as in our day”. In Kaisa, who virtually adopted him, he found an enlightened representative of this Golden Age.

Over the years the two became soulmates. And like the Brothers Grimm, who produced their children’s and household tales in the 19th century by listening to oral traditions, Crottet recorded the myths and legends Kaisa told him and was increasingly filled and transformed by them. In the 1950s he also became the international ambassador of the nomadic Skolt Sami people while they were driven further and further north and forced to fight for survival.

Ralph Eue



Golden Dove International Competition Animated Documentary 2016