Film Archive

Casa

Documentary Film
France
2013
54 minutes
subtitles: 
English
French

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marc Faye, Gerald Leroux
Daniela De Felice
Matthieu Chatellier, Daniela De Felice
Alessandro Comodin, Daniela De Felice
Daniela De Felice
Daniela De Felice
Xavier Thibault
The house is crammed with objects of no great material value. Years after her father’s death, the director, her mother and brother clear the family home, once a promise of social advancement and now a place nobody wants to live in. The memories lie in the remains of everyday life and the junk of countless boxes of dusty entomological specimens. The mother tried to stop the passing of time by excessive collecting. And so the dialogues between the members of the family revolve around the big question of transience. Can memories be shared? What’s left of a life when the next generation attaches a different value to its objects? When memories disintegrate like the wings of the butterflies in their glass cases?
De Felice focuses on the process of remembrance and the question of what our memory retains. It’s not about the faces in the photographs, but the process of posing for the camera, filming and commenting. And the moments of silence while the camera is still running. And most of all the shape our memories assume. In this case, it’s the ink watercolours sketched by the director. Pared-down and delicate, sparingly animated from time to time, they do what only art can do: take us into the inner spaces where our families continue to live when all artefacts have long crumbled to dust.

Grit Lemke



Golden Dove Animated Documentary 2013

Silence Radio

Documentary Film
Belgium,
France
2012
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Isabelle Mathy, Delphine Schmit, Denis Delcampe
Valéry Rosier
Olivier Vanaschen, Mathieu Cauville
Nicolas Rumpl, Didier Vandewattyne
Valéry Rosier
Arnaud Calvar, Guilhem Donzel
Life is a chanson. Alain Resnais is not the only one who knows this; so do the operators of the “Puisaleine” community radio in rural Picardie. We see for the most part elderly people at the controls, struggling with the computer (occasionally the wrong song will be played), accepting music requests, telling jokes and giggling hysterically into the microphone, or dispensing esoteric to hands-on life counselling (“Leave the house!”). Their listeners sit in interiors that will soon be history, filmed with sociological precision: heart-shaped cushions, pictures of cats, teddy bears, artificial flowers, tassels and baroque curlicues. They sit alone on fully automated beds in rooms that are far too big for them and in which only the photos on the windowsill recall the families that once existed. And they listen to the radio: the song about the white roses, or the one about the love that lasted fifty years. We learn a story with every song, about nights of bombings and burning airplanes, about great love, or the child who died before the parents. And at some point they start to sing.
The elegant arrangements and meaningful montage of this tender film, imbued with loss and loneliness, but also with a quiet kind of humour, keep it firmly on the thin line between kitsch and great drama. A film for the heart, whose needs cannot be overestimated.

Grit Lemke



Honorary Mention in the Young Cinema Competition 2013

Stop-Over

Documentary Film
France,
Switzerland
2013
100 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Heinz Dill, Elisabeth Garbar, Sophie Germain, Olivier Charvet
Kaveh Bakhtiari
Kaveh Bakhtiari
Kaveh Bakhtiari, Charlotte Tourres, Sou Abadi
What is a human being without a passport? The question B. Traven discussed in his classic novel “The Death Ship” is still disturbingly topical. The death ship that director Kaveh Bakhtiari finds is called Athens. This is where he happens to run into his Iranian cousin Mohsen. But while he himself has had a Swiss passport from childhood, is able to move freely and cross borders, Mohsen is an illegal immigrant. He spent three months in prison for this and is now stuck in Athens – like thousands of others for whom Greece was to be no more than a stop-over. He shares a flat with curtained windows with other “illegals”. Kaveh decides to move in and share their life.
For almost a year he accompanies their daily life, which looks like the life in an ordinary flat-share only at first glance but is essentially marked by fear, claustrophobia and deprivation. The days move past the curtains like a shadow-play, while every day people risk their lives for their hopes, put themselves at the mercy of smugglers or wait years for fake passports. The film registers directly how their hopes crumble – an intense experience for the audience, who are “locked up” with the protagonists at least for the duration of the film. A courageous film that brings to light what is otherwise concealed by the shadow of the European crisis.

Lars Meyer



Talent Dove in the Young Cinema Competition 2013

Young Cinema Competition (until 2014) 2013
What a Fuck Am I Doing on This Battlefield Nico Peletier, Julien Fezans

Avantgarde musician Matt Elliott talks in disturbing clarity and expressive black and white about God, the world, and his demons. A precisely understated music film.

What a Fuck Am I Doing on This Battlefield

Documentary Film
France
2013
53 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nico Peletier, Julien Fezans
Nico Peletier, Julien Fezans
Elliott Matt
Nico Peletier
Nico Peletier, Julien Fezans
Nico Peletier, Julien Fezans
Julien Fezans
A record of various encounters with musician Matt Elliott before and after a number of concerts, filmed in expressive black and white. A fascinating simultaneity of absolute directness and extreme stylisation in the tradition of the legendary conversations recorded in Andy Warhol’s “Interview”. A music film, certainly, but working with precise understatement to resist the temptations of becoming a mere product sales channel. Matt Elliott’s works are usually defined as somewhere between dark folk and melancholic-electric avant-garde. His albums are appropriately entitled “Howling Songs” or “The Broken Man”. Obviously trusting the two filmmakers Julien Fezans and Nico Peltier completely, the musician opens up and talks in disturbing clarity about God, the world, the role nightmares and episodes of depression play for his creativity, his sympathetic refusal to play the Angry Young Man in everyday life, and his hatred of political manipulation and despotism. By the way: the central chapter of this film bears the allusive title “The Howl”, which suggests associations with literature. We have good reasons to assume that some poses and gestures explicitly refer to Edvard Munch’s expressionist painting “The Scream”.

Ralph Eue