Film Archive

International Programme 2017
209 rue Saint-Maur, Paris, 10ème – The Neighbours Ruth Zylberman

The reconstruction of a dissolved house community. An experimental, historiographical look behind the scenes of a Paris building.

209 rue Saint-Maur, Paris, 10ème – The Neighbours

Documentary Film
France
2017
103 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Paul Rozenberg, Céline Nusse (Zadig Productions)
Ruth Zylberman
Nicolas Repac
Cédric Dupire
Valérie Loiseleux
Benjamin Bober, Graciela Barrault
The French director and historian Ruth Zylberman is sitting in a living room in the USA, visiting a 79-year-old man whom his Jewish parents hid with a stranger’s family during the German occupation of Paris. Henry Osman, born Henri Ossmann, hardly remembers his parents – not what they looked like, not what they did for a living. Zylberman has brought a pile of paper copies and is able to reconstruct parts of that childhood.

The house whose address gave the film its title – and where Osman lived as a small boy – is located in the Jewish district of Paris. Zylberman reconstructed the house community during the war in great detail: who lived here? Who knew whom? Re-enactments with dollhouse furniture and drawn floor plans at the former residents’ kitchen tables alternate with contemporary views of the building as she re-creates this typical Paris building in the Saint-Maur No. 209 as an anachronistic space in which history is still alive, right down to the cobbled courtyard. A highly focused and at the same time extremely emotional piece of experimental historiography.

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2017
8, Lenin Avenue Valérie Mitteaux, Anna Pitoun

Long-term observation of a successful integration: From an illegal caravan camp the Romanian Romani Salcuta made her way into French society.

8, Lenin Avenue

Documentary Film
France
2017
101 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Igor Ochronowicz
Valérie Mitteaux, Anna Pitoun
Valérie Mitteaux, Anna Pitoun, Raquel Freire, Sébastien Balanger
Fabrice Rouaud
Hugo Leitão
Long-term observations have their own rules. They often evolve out of earlier film projects and a continued contact with the protagonists. Anna Pitoun and Valérie Mitteaux have followed their protagonist Salcuta Filan’s fate with the camera for almost 15 years, which allows them to draw a wide narrative arc and reveal developments. The first images, showing the citizens of Achères, a community to the north-east of Paris, trying to protect a Roma camp from evacuation were shot in 2003. That was when the first film about Salcuta and her two children, Denisa and Gabi, was produced, “Caravan 55”.

The directors want to show that integration is possible, even for Roma, who are up against stronger prejudices than other immigrants. Right-wing populists use them as scapegoats to be made political examples of. Despite the warm-hearted helpers whose friendship with Salcuta’s family is real, everyday racism and antiziganism are clearly apparent, just like the shift to the right of the past few years which has changed the social climate in France. Nonetheless Salcuta grows from a shy, single widow to a confident matriarch who fights for her rights. In France she finds a voice she never had as a Romani in her home country of Romania.

Sirkka Möller


Nominated for Filmprize "Leipziger Ring"
International Programme 2017
Coal Heap Kids Frédéric Brunnquell

Northern France’s former coal mining region, now afflicted with poverty like an infectious disease. Two boys practise strengthening their immune system.

Coal Heap Kids

Documentary Film
France
2016
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Anne Gintzburger
Frédéric Brunnquell
Frédéric Brunnquell
Laure Matthey
Frédéric Brunnquell, Anne Gintzburger
Marc Soupa
There was a witticism among producers in old Hollywood that a great film must begin with an explosion and then work up to a climax. This film, shot in the former mining region of Northern France, starts with six explosions. What the brothers Théo (10) and Loïc (15) blow up may only be Chinese firecrackers, but they still announce in the first ten seconds that this is about something big: the poverty that plagues Théo’s and Loïc’s hometown of Lens and has eaten its way into all the crevices of the personal and the social like aggressive acid. Once upon a time one would have been justified in predicting a great future as working class heroes for the boys. But who would want to recommend this ethically charged and outdated model to a young person today? Who could?!

“Coal Heap Kids” was made as a contribution to the “Infrarouge” documentary film series on French television. The energy that drives it is purely cinematographic, though. What does this mean? A film like this justifies the survival of documentary cinema. Once this sentence is written down, a lot of things become easier. Because in cases where a pounding heart will not (or cannot) be translated into sober words, a hug is sometimes all it takes!

Ralph Eue

Inkotanyi

Documentary Film
Belgium,
France
2017
125 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Benoît Roland, Jean-Marc Giri
Christophe Cotteret
Manuel Roland
Jean-François Metz
Florence Ricard
Christophe Cotteret
Eugène Safali
“Inkotana” is a verb in the Bantu language Kinyarwanda. It means to fight without delay, never to give up. The official name of the Inkotanyi is: Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Ever since they ended the historically unprecedented genocide in 1994 with a guerrilla war – within 100 days, 1 million Tutsi were killed by Hutu extremists assisted by the population – they have been ruling the country under their close-lipped president Paul Kagame. The film reviews the history of the Inkotanyi in six chapters: from the historic background of the pogroms against the Tutsi, the time of exile and the founding of the RPF in the 1980s to the invasion of Rwanda in 1990 and the four-year civil war through to Kagame’s rule which was attended by counter-violence and oppression throughout. Archive material and interviews with high-ranking military officers and soldiers of the RPF, with journalists, historians and president Kagame form an image of “the best trained and most disciplined rebellion of the African continent”, as director Christophe Cotteret calls it. Last but not least, the film takes a look at colonial continuities in post-colonialism, apparent, for example, in the French support for the dictatorial Habyarimana regime.

Esther Buss


Nominated for Filmprize "Leipziger Ring"
International Programme 2017
Moriyama-San Ila Bêka, Louise Lemoine

A film about Japanese architecture and lifestyles, noise music and sleeping on the floor. And about a new friend: the enigmatic Mr. Moriyama.

Moriyama-San

Documentary Film
France
2017
63 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Filippo Clericuzio
Ila Bêka, Louise Lemoine
Ila Bêka
Ila Bêka, Louise Lemoine
Walter Fuji, Lo Studio
“Time flows slowly in Moriyama-San’s house. I stayed 7 days.” All because of Otomo Yoshihide, the Japanese noise musician about whom Ila Bêka and Mr. Moriyama happened to strike up a conversation one hot August day in Tokyo. An almost providential encounter, since one of them films architecture while the other lives in a house designed by Ryue Nishizawa, a member of the SANAA office. A small, minimalist residential area whose box-like homes are connected by a kind of grove. The idea: a village surrounded by forest in the middle of Tokyo.

Bêka and his co-director Lemoine watch Moriyama-San shave in the morning, listen to music and read, they show windows being opened and take part in a barbecue. And at some point the most beautiful woman Moriyama-San knows enters the scene. This is a film about an enigmatic Japanese man who wears only white T-shirts and speaks next to no English. And an Italian man who wordlessly recognises his new friend.

Carolin Weidner
International Programme 2017
Riot Frank Ternier

“Here, words are dead …” Irrepressible rage is spreading in all its physicality. A young man was killed in an altercation with a neighbour and the police.

Riot

Animated Film
France
2017
13 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Annabelle Gangneux
Frank Ternier
Frédéric Duzan
Frank Ternier
Frank Ternier
Laurent Moulin, Frank Ternier, Magali Charrier
Frank Ternier
Frédéric Duzan
“Here, words are dead …” Irrepressible rage is spreading in all its physicality. A young man was killed in an altercation with a neighbour and the police. Bocari’s story is told from two perspectives: on the one hand the brutal and racist circumstances that led to his death in the street, on the other hand the riot his fate triggers in the Banlieue. Rage becomes tangible – in a choreographed performance.

Nadja Rademacher


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award
International Programme 2017
Stepping Out Stéphane Mercurio

Playing life: long-term prison inmates work through their experiences on the theatre stage and show what it means to be robbed of one’s freedom.

Stepping Out

Documentary Film
France
2017
93 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Viviane Aquilli
Stéphane Mercurio
Mathieu Bertholet, Stéphane Mercurio
Nicolas Chopin-Després
Dana Farzanehpour, Julien Brossier
What does it mean to tell one’s life story on a theatre stage and put oneself in the limelight? You can see how much effort this costs the people who dare take this step. They aren’t used to being the centre of attention. They are formed by an institution created to equalise individuals and reduce personal freedom to a minimum: prison. In his stage project “Une longue peine” with Louis, Éric, André, Alain and Annette, theatre director Didier Ruiz embarks upon an emotional journey in the course of which we begin to feel what it means to hand over control of your own life to someone else.

Documentary filmmaker Stéphane Mercurio does not record the production but the path leading up to it. With great calm and reserve she follows the process of remembering and overcoming obstacles, gradually revealing the scars prison left on their bodies and souls. The stage becomes a field of experimentation for emotions that had no place in prison. The skilled lone fighters experience how beneficial it can be to trust the other. The opening of the curtain on the first night marks the end of the film. Not a film about what’s said but about what remains unspeakable.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
International Programme 2017
The Minister of Garbage Quentin Noirfalisse

In the run-up to the planned presidential elections, the Congolese artist Emmanuel Botalatala works tirelessly on his assemblages. He really earned his title of “Minister of Garbage”.

The Minister of Garbage

Documentary Film
Belgium,
France
2017
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Maximilien Charlier, Laetitia Rodari
Quentin Noirfalisse
Pierre Monongi Mopia, Daniel Dibwidi
Adrien Kaempf, Quentin Devillers
Marie Estelle Dieterle
Quentin Noirfalisse
Nicolas Kerjan
The Congolese artist Emmanuel Botalatala is working on his new assemblage. He fixes painted tombs, crosses and tanks made of garbage to a plywood board while a member of his team paints a blood-red street around the “African cemetery”. In the end the work is dominated by the colours of the German flag – an allusion to the European arms shipments that support the wars on this continent.

Before Botalatala started to work as an artist in 1979 he was a teacher and bank clerk. The 68-year-old autodidact invariably points out that he never attended art school. The “Minister of Garbage” combs the garbage dumps of Kinshasa almost daily to collect material for his object paintings. He finds his subjects in the radio news. Resignations, violent dissolutions of rallies and a massacre with hundreds of victims are reported in the run-up to the presidential elections. Botalatala sacrifices a lot for his artistic and educational project, which would be unthinkable without the work of his wife and the self-styled “Vice Presidents”, while his male artist’s ego frequently shines through his socially engaged art. Even a “Minister of Garbage” wants to leave a legacy.

Esther Buss