Film Archive

Rules of the Game

Documentary Film
France
2014
106 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Muriel Meynard, Patrick Sobelman
Claudine Bories, Patrice Chagnard
Patrice Chagnard
Stéphanie Goldschmidt
Claudine Bories, Patrice Chagnard
Benjamin van de Vielle
There’s a rumour that the employment market is looking for bold individualists. Within limits, of course. The reality is: if it doesn’t fit, it’s made to fit – or rejected.
Lolita does not smile readily. Kevin doesn’t know how to sell himself. Hamid can’t abide bosses. They are twenty. They have no qualifications. They are looking for work and will be trained by a consulting agency over six months to learn the behaviour and forms of expression today’s employment market demands.
The consultants’ motives are more than honest: to enable young people to lead a decent life in the existing system. The kids see a new and strange world open up before their eyes. Both sides practice the best intentions, but now and then there are still glitches and sometimes there’s even the risk of a crash.
We’ve seen films about the admission process of acting schools (“Addicted to Acting”, et al.). But such situations, though exciting, are child’s play compared to the roles Lolita, Kevin and Hamid must learn to play if they want a part in the performance that is called “living (and surviving) in capitalism today”.

Ralph Eue



Golden Dove in the International Competition Documentary Film 2014

Spartacus & Cassandra

Documentary Film
France
2014
81 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Samuel Luret, Gérard Lacroix, Gérard Pont
Ioanis Nuguet
Aurélie Ménétrieux, Milk Coffee & Sugar
Ioanis Nuguet
Ioanis Nuguet, Anne Lorrière
Ioanis Nuguet
Maissoun Zeineddine, Marie Clotilde Chery, Jean-François Briand, Alexandre Gallerand, Marc Nouyrigat
One thing in life should be understood: that a child should be able to rely on his or her parents and grow up sheltered. That he or she should have a home. 13-year-old Spartacus and his 10-year-old sister Cassandra don’t even have a roof over their heads when the Roma family’s dwelling in the French town of Saint-Denis burns down. While the state helps them find refuge with the young trapeze artist Camille, their parents continue on a downward spiral. One side offers security, education and a childhood off the streets. On the other, a vicious circle of poverty, alcohol, self-pity and lethargy awaits them. Spartacus and Cassandra have to choose. It’s more than the old question of whether it’s possible to rise above difficult circumstances. How can children let go of their parents?
In shimmering, dreamlike images and an impressionist montage, Ioanis Nuguet shows the children poised between a family background they can’t shake off and a future that’s not easy to attain. A Caucasian chalk circle at whose end – as in Brecht’s play – something like hope is waiting. But also a bitter rap performed by Spartacus who makes it clear that this problem is not a personal one.

Grit Lemke



Prize of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique 2014

The Stone River

Documentary Film
France,
Italy
2013
88 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Giovanni Donfrancesco, Estelle Fialon
Giovanni Donfrancesco
Piero Bongiorno, Olivier Touche
Giovanni Donfrancesco
Giovanni Donfrancesco, Thomas Glaser, Pauline Dairou, Muriel Breton
Federico Cavicchioli
History is what happened in the past, they say. It can be portrayed as a longitudinal or latitudinal section. Some imagine it longish, others like a pile. Italian director Giovanni Donfrancesco sees history as a branching network of living veins that reach into the present. One of these veins links Carrara in the Apuan Alps to the American city of Barre. In the early 20th century, many impoverished Italian marble cutters and sculptors moved across the Atlantic to the granite quarries of Vermont where they hoped to find a better life. But you don’t get old when you work in a quarry. Within a short time many work migrants died of silicosis, also known as black lung. During the 1930s depression, writers interviewed the Barre stone cutters to integrate their oral testimony in the great project of the Roosevelt administration to draw a picture of America in the era of the Great Depression. Donfrancesco’s project has the same titanic dimensions: he combines narratives of Barre’s former inhabitants, spoken in the voices of its present residents, in a powerful succession of images and sounds that becomes a veritable fresco of multilayered individual and social realities – somewhere between deprivation and pride, personal tragedy and utopian hopes.
Ralph Eue