Film Archive

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International Programme 2015
A Baptism of Fire Jérôme Clément-Wilz

The lives of young war reporters who travel to crisis spots at their own expense and risk their lives to shoot the picture that will change everything. A precarious job.

A Baptism of Fire

Documentary Film
France
2015
58 minutes
subtitles: 
English
French

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jérôme Caza – 2P2L
Jérôme Clément-Wilz
Jérôme Clément-Wilz
Ael Dallier Vega
Jérôme Clément-Wilz
Nowadays countless journalists and photographers are travelling the world to supply us with the latest news and images from conflict regions. Stories of heroic war reporters were often told in the cinema. Jérôme Clément-Wilz takes a different perspective: news journalism is an industry, too. Many freelance photographers, most of them young, travel to hotspots at their own expense – hoping to shoot the life-changing picture at the right place at the right time and sell it for a high price to the leading media or agencies. The film is an intimate observation of the lives of young French reporters that gives them the space to reflect on their work. Their dreams come true in the Arab Spring: their pictures make it to the cover pages of the biggest dailies. And yet Clément-Wilz avoids heroic pathos, concentrating instead on his young protagonists’ spirit of adventure and youthful recklessness on the one hand and on the tough business where there are no safety nets and where the ones who risk their lives most readily have the best chances of survival on the other. War reporter – a precarious job.

Zaza Rusadze
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2015
Brumaire Joseph Gordillo

The last French coal miners in charismatic photos. The present day holds only precarious jobs for the young generation. The end of work in suggestive images.

Brumaire

Documentary Film
France
2015
66 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Juan Gordillo, Martine Vidalenc
Joseph Gordillo
Hervé Birolini
Laetitia Giroux
Dominique Petitjean
Cynthia Gonzalez
Sandrine Mercier, Christian Lamalle
When the last French coal mine in Lorraine was closed in 2004, Joseph Gordillo had already gone down many times with the miners to photograph them and capture his own fascination for this underground world in the pictures. He portrays the mine as a living cosmos the workers are part of. Even in individual portraits they stay a part of the whole. Their charisma is visible in their shining eyes, their strength in the group.

In his film Gordillo reworks the photographic material, reconstructing the age of mining through pans, processed images and abstract sound collages. A former miner lends his voice – a vivid field report and flow of thoughts.

But Gordillo’s theme is not work in the past but its social significance. And so he adds a second voice, that of a young woman, a miner’s daughter. She can still be proud of her father but no longer of herself. Her life as a cleaning woman in a town marked by decline is captured in its sterility and lack of perspective. The step away from the solidarity and identity of the miners leads directly into isolation. With noticeable consequences: de-politisation, unemployment, a shift to the right. In suggestive images, the film portrays the autumn of the work society over two generations.

Lars Meyer