Film Archive

Next Masters Wettbewerb 2019
Deep Waters Alice Heit

An opulent film essay celebrating autonomous female sexuality. Its attitude and style playfully take up the feminist departure of the 1970s, but are firmly aimed at the present.

Deep Waters

Documentary Film
France
2019
53 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
In the early 1970s, countless women in Western Europe and the U.S. fervently set out to explore their own bodies in self-help groups. Alice Heit’s film draws on this historic space of experience, opening on the sound level with personal reports of female sexuality affirming itself. Soon, a wide-ranging visual journey rich in associations develops, exploring and celebrating the physical phenomenon of female ejaculation suppressed in popular images of sexiness. Vulva-shaped sculptures and small statues of ancient mother goddesses lead the way to the spiritual emanations of the sexual and to creation myths in ancient India and Anatolia.

The shimmering Super 8 images, manually developed by the filmmaker (and looking beautifully homemade on all levels!) spread retro feelings on the formal level, too. Stop motion animations of crawling starfish evoke the surrealist film avant-garde. Other ingredients of this sex film of a different kind overflowing with motifs: lots of seawater. Dark snakes on pale skin. Trance-like chanting. And (with a title banner raised by two female divers underwater) perhaps the most poetic opening credits in the history of cinema.

Silvia Hallensleben
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2019
Nothing to Be Afraid Of Silva Khnkanosian

Ever since the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, the still disputed territory is contaminated by landmines. This cautious documentary follows five female de-miners on their risky job.

Nothing to Be Afraid Of

Documentary Film
Armenia,
France
2019
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Stéphane Jourdain
Silva Khnkanosian
Vahagn Ter-Habobyan
Justine Hiriart
Paruyr Baghyan
Five women plod their way through a steep forest: They are defusing landmines for an NGO. Ever since the war in Nagorno-Karabakh at the beginning of the 1990s, the still disputed region is contaminated. Care and patience are imperative in this work, the effects of habituation their enemy. Speed would be a category with fatal consequences here: Every booby trap they overlook can cost a human life.

This observational documentary adapts its narrative rhythm to the slowness and meticulousness of the risky job. The women’s eyes are directed to the ground where they patiently search every square inch and dig up suspicious spots. The camera observes their activities with the same attention, frequently focusing on details. Gradually, the systematics of the processes are revealed. Only the beeping of the metal detectors and an occasional whistle disturb the silence. The forest seems silent after the long years of war. But then we are startled by the controlled detonation of a detected mine. What a relief for everyone to spend the evening in their shared accommodation in a relaxed atmosphere! Cooking and eating together brings some ease. The ever-present fear is left behind in the forest for a moment.

Annina Wettstein