Film Archive

International Programme
About Finnish Manhood Samuli Salonen

Finnish male poses: by the water, in front of the sauna, in the forest. They just stand there. But one can listen to them. They talk about closed-off feelings. And the desire to open up.

About Finnish Manhood

Documentary Film
Finland
2019
10 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Samuli Salonen (Kino Euphoria)
Samuli Salonen
Samuli Salonen
Samuli Salonen
Samuli Salonen
Samuli Salonen
One is staring out at the sea. The other is standing in the forest. One is trying to throw a basket. And there, in front of the sauna hut, someone is leaning against the railing. Men. Finnish men. Almost all of them share one thing: a state of emotional repression, deeply entrenched in their own self-conception. What seems frozen at first is quickly released – you just have to be willing to listen. “But if you can’t talk about feelings, then you can’t feel much,” one of them confesses. This is an invitation to talk.

Carolin Weidner

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Tell Me

Documentary Film
Finland
2019
8 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Azar Saiyar
Azar Saiyar
Azar Saiyar
Azar Saiyar
Johannes Vartola
“Do you know this bird?”, the host of the Finnish television show “The Apple Tree” asked in 1979. One could guess finch. To be followed later by hooded crows and a grey-brown nightingale that is good at hiding and only betrays its presence by its song. Birds are at the centre of this found footage film compiled from private and publicly accessible material – and the question of what stories humans read into nature.

Frederik Lang

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

A Life from Death

Documentary Film
Finland
2017
20 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Paria Eskandari, Aalto University, ELO Film School Finland
Tuuli Teelahti
Max Smeds
Tuuli Teelahti, Kai Rintamaa
Tuuli Teelahti
Tarmo Pehkonen
Sound seeps away from the piano, breath from life, focus from the film. A mimesis of dying, stylised, but tangible. Death from the perspective of the attending carers: changing the sheets, holding back tears, having a coffee break, holding fading hands, lighting candles. And once more: changing the sheets, holding back tears, the coffee … life cycles.

Lukas Stern

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

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

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Machines

Documentary Film
Finland,
Germany,
India
2016
71 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Rahul Jain, Thanassis Karathanos, Iikka Vehkalahti
Rahul Jain
Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva
Rahul Jain, Yaël Bitton
Susmit Nath, Adrian Baumeister
The camera movements are ghostlike because it is a disembodied presence floating through the factory. But what it captures is surreal: infernal fires and reams of fabric falling like water. It’s noisy, it’s dark, but on the back of this image-hungry creature we move quickly through the rooms. It’s not clear what it is looking for. Sometimes it will hide, crouching in a corner, lurking for the workers who don’t seem to notice. There’s humidity everywhere, liquids, tinctures and sweat. And the sound of turning rollers. A textile factory in the Indian state of Gujarat, which nobody visits unless absolutely forced to. Still, there are jobs here, albeit badly paid, and no trace of union structures. “The state of Gujarat has fed the stomachs of the poor,” somebody says in the film.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for Healthy Workplaces Film Award

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Soviet Hippies

Documentary Film
Estonia,
Finland,
Germany
2017
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Liis Lepik, Sarita Sharma, Sami Jahnukainen
Terje Toomistu
Taavi Arus
Martin Männik
Priit Tender
Terje Toomistu
Indrek Soe, Seppo Vanhatalo
A life between Lenin and Lennon. The clash between utopias of freedom and utopias of community. Life as a hippie in the Soviet Union was dangerous – no wonder, considering that the flower children were especially hardened criminals. Just imagine: up to ten phone booths per day were looted in Tallinn alone to tune their electric guitars with the valuable electronic parts. Guitar raid! Drugs, rock’n’roll, long hair, naked bodies, sex, peace, psychedelic art, meditation, Batik shirts, shaggy beards.

The Estonian director Terje Toomistu uses a wide and abundant variety of archive material to trace a lifestyle that marked not only the American 1970s but also proliferated in the metropolises of the Soviet Union, even if nobody there understood exactly what the Beatles were actually singing. And today, 40 years later? Some of the Soviet hippies are now old Soviet hippies. The Vietnam War is over – today it’s the Ukraine War. The KGB has ceased to exist – today Putin is in power. And some things are exactly like they used to be: peace, joy, Batik, beards.

Lukas Stern


Nominated for MDR Film Prize

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

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

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

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

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Daddy's Girl

Documentary Film
Finland
2015
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Mika Ronkainen
Melisa Üneri
Olli Tuomainen
Melisa Üneri
Mesut Ulutas
Melisa Üneri
Esa Nissi
Granted, one doesn’t have to go to the movies to learn that families are a nuisance. But this film has more to offer. For example a family that is uniquely terrible in an almost made-for-the-movies way and gleefully plays this out for the camera. “Daddy’s Girl”, that’s the director, though everyone in this family wants to direct. Daddy himself most of all, a natural as a movie hero, rather exhausting as a father. A Turk who raised his daughter alone in Finland. (We will learn why he didn’t return home.) In order to escape his oppressive, dominant love, Melisa moves to the only place where Daddy is guaranteed not to follow her: Turkey. But that’s where Granny is waiting – Daddy, ten times worse. The family conflict is now exacerbated by a cultural conflict, because Granny knows exactly what respectable women should do and what they shouldn’t …

A brilliant black comedy full of cleverly observed and deployed details in which at least two of the three main protagonists are trying to make each other’s life hell according to every rule in the book of spitefulness. Behind all this is the question of how a generation whose parents removed every obstacle in their path can ever liberate themselves. In Istanbul Melisa meets angry young people whose Gezi protests are also directed against their parents’ generation.

Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

International Programme
American Vagabond Susanna Helke

After his coming-out, teenager James is disowned by his parents and lives in the streets of San Francisco – until everything turns out differently. A touching coming-of-age drama.

American Vagabond

Documentary Film
Finland
2013
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Cilla Werning
Susanna Helke
Samuli Kosminen
Susanna Helke, Marko Luukkonen
Niels Pagh Andersen
It was never to be mentioned again, because if it wasn’t allowed it couldn’t be. But contrary to his father’s verdict, James did not become a “real” boy who loves hunting and fishing, but the worst this American middle-class family were able to imagine. So they threw their gay teenage son out of their home and left him to his fate as one of thousands of homeless adolescents in the States. Up to forty percent of them live on the streets because they belong to a “sexual minority”.
Susanne Helke accompanies James and Tyler, the love of his life, through the dirty streets and dark parks of San Francisco, the “gayest city in the world”. Instead of the hoped-for paradise they find themselves freezing, hungry, and marginalised, even by the established gay community. But things turn out differently: after the first part, where James tells his story from off screen, the second part is about his absence – he‘s behind bars as a “sexual offender”. Because while even his conservative family are now ready to reconsider their opinion, the “mother country of democracy” has nothing but severity against everything that’s different from the mainstream. This atmospheric and careful film is an equally tender and shocking coming-of-age story and at the same time a passionate plea to love your fellow human beings unconditionally.

Grit Lemke

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

International Programme
Hazards Virke Lehtinen

Is it coincidence that determines which leaf falls from the tree at what point, whether we get cancer, or what we remember? An artful essay about fate, cinema images, and memory.

Hazards

Documentary Film
Finland
2013
45 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Virke Lehtinen
Virke Lehtinen
Virke Lehtinen
Tuuli Kuittinen, Juuso Lavonen
Virke Lehtinen
Our lives are shaped by coincidences. At least that’s the point of view that strikes Virke Lehtinen as he revises the images of his life. He has worked as a cinematographer and documentary film director since the 1960s. There are enough events in his archive that were unintentionally exposed, as it were. A burning car by the side of the road on a snowy night is one of them. The camera stoically keeps recording while the cinematographer – Lehtinen – leaps onto the scene to help. The images haunt him. Is it really all coincidence? Which leaf falls from the tree at what time, whether we get cancer or not – and what we remember? For isn’t memory dependent on an infinite number of components?
The director turns his thesis into a visual principle, allowing himself to be guided from one image to the next, giving his thoughts free rein while everything is being woven into a dense carpet of motives. In the back of the spectator’s mind there may emerge an idea which the narrator of the epilogue of the cult movie “Magnolia” expresses in view of a sheer endless chain of accidents: “And you really want to tell me this is coincidence? That can’t be the answer!” With quiet melancholy, Lehtinen creates an artful essay film about the fateful connection between coincidence, memory and film images, which could also be interpreted as a kind of found footage autobiography.

Lars Meyer

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

International Programme
My Stuff Petri Luukkainen

A farewell to the affluent society: a year without one’s possessions, which are retrieved piece by piece. But what is really important? A sporting self-experiment that doesn’t sermonize.

My Stuff

Documentary Film
Finland
2013
80 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Anssi Perttala
Petri Luukkainen
Timo Lassy
Jesse Jokinen
Altti Sjögren
Petri Luukkainen
Kyösti Väntänen
Life in an affluent society is not without its challenges. All those useful and beautiful objects surrounding us are supposed to create a permanent feeling of happiness. But paradoxically the lack of privations tends to lead to identity crises. Just think of Sofia Coppola, whose whole cinematic oeuvre is founded on that. The young Finnish director Petri Luukkainen adopts a sporting attitude. To find out what he really needs in life, he starts a documentary experiment on himself. In the middle of winter he clears his flat and locks everything he owns, down to the last pair of underpants, away in a rented storage. For one year he will take out one object per day and systematically get his life back, piece by piece. Moral support is provided by his grandmother. But soon he faces decisions that are too much for an individual. What’s more important: mattress, coat, spoon, toothbrush, mobile phone? Playfully, Luukkainen thinks, films and, yes, directs himself on his way through his annulled Helsinki student life. A simple experimental set-up evolves into a narrative. The question of what one needs in life, however, is left for everyone to answer for themselves, because “My Stuff” precisely does not sermonize on the thin line between the prosperous and affluent society.

Lars Meyer

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Remembrance

Documentary Film
Finland
2013
69 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jouko Aaltonen
Peter von Bagh
Arto Kaivanto
Petteri Evilampi
Peter von Bagh
Martti Turunen
Memories of Oulu, where Finnish director Peter von Bagh grew up. Oulo, Wikipedia says, used to be famous for its wood tar production and fishing port, suffered massive bombing in the Second World War, flourished as a centre of paper production, chemical and steel industries and has now become a synonym for IT and wellness. Three Finnish presidents and an impressive number of artists and scientists attended the city’s Lyceum, as the director himself did. These confirmable historic circumstances play a role in “Muisteja”, but the ambition to do justice to an exterior chronology of events and names or make a contribution to the official history of the city is firmly relegated to the background in favour of the joy of tracing personal memory capers triggered by the archive film footage and photos used.
A poetic portrait of a city that is closer to the evocative and subtle energy of Dominik Graf’s and Michael Althen’s “Munich – Secrets of a City” than to enterprises with a more systematic and representative approach such as “Berlin – Symphony of a Metropolis”.

Ralph Eue

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Sock Skewer Street 8

Animated Film
Finland
2013
6 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Eija Saarinen
Elli Vuorinen
Jani Lehto
Elli Vuorinen
Elli Vuorinen
Elli Vuorinen
Elli Vuorinen
Jani Lehto
A lonely woman in empty rooms. Nothing much happens. But then the protagonist finds some tiny knitted socks. The plot thickens. Who owns these socks?

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.