Film Archive

Village of Women

Documentary Film
Armenia,
France
2019
92 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Stéphane Jourdain (La Huit), Tsovinar Soghomonyan (Hayk Studio), Thierry Barbedette (TV 78)
Tamara Stepanyan
Nils Økland, Sigbjørn Apeland, Narine Harutyunyan, Grigor Narekatsi, Cynthia Zaven, Edouard Mirzoyan
Robin Fresson, Tamara Stepanyan
Olivier Ferrari, William Wojda
Harutyun Mangasaryan, Tamara Stepanyan, Jean-Marc Schick
It’s the women who rule this Armenian village. They plough, harvest, and drive the tractors. They cook, eat together, laugh and sing. Life runs in a smooth rhythm, although melancholy seems to overshadow many conversations. The absence of men in the village is borne like a phenomenon of nature. The women have learned to adapt, solving problems together. All male villagers, except for a few old men, spend nine months of every year in Russia to work there. There are no jobs in Armenia. The families are complete only in winter. As soon as autumn begins to fade, the mood in the village begins to change. The return of the men brings excitement and joy, but also insecurity and changes. After the exuberant welcome celebrations, a new daily routine begins where couples are suddenly together again, children play with their fathers and the women finally know that a part of their workload is in other hands. But responsibilities must be redistributed every year.

Director Tamara Stepanyan has achieved a warm-hearted, stylistically assured portrait of a female community of fate who bear their difficult circumstances with lots of humour, warmth and a generous measure of lived feminism.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

I Had a Dream

Documentary Film
France,
Italy
2018
84 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Claudia Tosi, Nathalie Combe
Claudia Tosi
Daniele Rossi, Enrico Pasini
Claudia Tosi, Andrea Gioacchini
Marco Duretti
Claudia Tosi
Diego Schiavo
This film is flanked by two men: Silvio Berlusconi, who in 2008 became Italian Prime Minister for the fourth time, and Donald Trump, who was sworn in as president of the United States a little less than a decade later. Manuela, a member of the Italian Parliament, and Daniela, a local politician, see this period, marked as it is by men, as the epitome of political regression. Both have spent years fighting for more sexual equality, better laws to protect women from domestic violence and a more diverse body of political decision makers.

Is politics dead? This brutal question guides Claudia Tosi’s long-term observation of the developments of the past decade in Italy. With a loss of 6.7 % of the votes, the democrats were clearly defeated by the populist and Eurosceptic Five Star Movement. Neither Manuela nor Daniela ever thought that democracy, civil solidarity and the desire for progress would one day be challenged to such an extent or that Berlusconism, which they believed was overcome, would have such pervasive after-effects.

Lukas Stern



Awarded with a Golden Dove in the International Competition Long Film, with the Prize of the Interreligious Jury and with the FIPRESCI Prize

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Secret Nest

Documentary Film
France
2017
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Guillaume Poulet (Alter Ego Production)
Sophie Bredier
Hélène Breschand
Matthieu Chatellier
Catherine Rascon, Michaël Phelippeau
Nicolas Joly
The Château Bénouville in Normandy has an eventful history though it may look rather sleepy at the moment. In 1944, British soldiers landed in Hitler-occupied France only a few metres from here to start their first offensive. The castle served as a maternity hospital for unmarried mothers since 1929. In the 1940s, its director supported the Résistance. But the film is only marginally interested in these factual circumstances. It focuses on the experiences of mothers and children who, according to the respective views of institutional custody of the time, were helped here – and at the same time ostracised, at the mercy of others and stigmatised.

We see a wide variety of ways to cope with this “secret motherhood”. We understand the purpose, but also the horrors of suppression when things are carried into the next generation. But this film and its director not only make the protagonists and their descendants speak but act, even sing on camera, demonstrating a trust that goes far beyond “cooperation”. Sophie Bredier also frequently uses the tools of mystic-spectral narration: of huge empty rooms that fill with the stories of these people, of a birth castle that existed until 1985.

Leopold Grün

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

International Competition (as of 2015)
A Young Girl in Her Nineties Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Yann Coridian

Blanche is vegetating in a nursing home, a victim of Alzheimer’s disease – until the choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang wakes this sleeping beauty through dance and she falls in love … enchanting and tender.

A Young Girl in Her Nineties

Documentary Film
France
2016
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Marie Balducchi
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Yann Coridian
Hélène Louvart, Yann Coridian
Anne Weil
François Waledisch
Like many old people in nursing homes she seems to have drawn a curtain between herself and the world. Without relatives, in the company of other Alzheimer patients, she hardly remembers her melodious name: Blanche Moreau. But then choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang arrives at the hospital. Thierry incorporates the patients’ movements, gestures and words in his dance and doubly animates them: their bodies and their souls. Among the murmurs of French chansons which, of course, talk of the adventure of love, Blanche awakes from her enchanted sleep. And more than that. “Parlez-moi d’amour” and the handsome, attentive stranger open a space for her in which she can once more get lost – or find herself – in the ecstasy of being in love. For Thierry, visibly moved by this development, the task is to create the right balance through dance.

Holding and trusting each other – that also describes the careful attitude of the director towards the dancers: a successful actress and feature film director, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, in collaboration with Yann Coridian, now delivers a sensitive debut documentary. We learn only what is revealed by the place and situation about the patients’ lives. But in any case the film makes us sense that memories are less about one’s CV than about a reservoir of emotions.

Lars Meyer



Prize of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique 2016

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Francofonia

Documentary Film
France,
Germany,
Netherlands
2015
87 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Thomas Kufus, Els Vandevorst
Alexander Sokurov
Murat Kabardokov
Bruno Delbonnel
Alexei Jankowski, Hansjörg Weissbrich
Alexander Sokurov
André Rigaut, Jac Vleeshouwer
His oeuvre is among the most original produced by the (Russian) cinema of the past decades. In “Francofonia”, the idiosyncrasies of the “grand auteur” Alexander Sokurov reach a new dimension. The result is an animated fictional documentary essay collage of historical archive and re-enacted material about the eventful history of the Louvre in Paris, complete with Skype-based container philosophy, a drone-driven bird’s eye view of the world today and a personally voiced (only slightly cryptic) comment on the eternal relationship between art and war, humanism and power and (cultural) heritage and ideology.

While Hitler is invading France (as seen in Ophül’s “Le Chagrin et la pitié”) and Franz Graf von Wolff-Metternich is collaborating with the Louvre’s director Jacques Jaujard to evacuate the cultural goods according to the “art protection law”, Mrs. Marianne or Mr. Bonaparte occasionally drop by from the hereafter … Or the two Russian immortals, Tolstoy and Chekhov, appear, though at the deathbed …

The great nations, their spirit (and ghosts), Europe and art, the world and its condition. Wild chains of associations are cast here, but Sokurov is in full control of his powers. Amazing enough when we consider the waves of opposition this contemplative artist faces today.

Barbara Wurm

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

The Magic Mountain

Animadoc
France,
Poland,
Romania
2015
87 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Anca Damian, Guillaume de Seille, Joanna Ronnikier
Anca Damian
Alexander Balanescu
Ion Ioachim Stroe
Theodore Ushev, Sergiu Negulici, Raluca Popa, Dan Panaitescu and Tomek Ducki
Anca Damian, Anna Winkler
Frédéric Théry, Sebastian Wlodarczyk

“Sometimes I feel I wasn’t made for these times.” This laconic statement of the protagonist of Anca Damian’s second animated documentary defines his position early in the narrative: somehow off kilter. Adam Jacek Winkler, Polish photographer, anti-communist dissident, mountain climber and artist, is a restless spirit, always on the lookout for the noble cause worth fighting and dying for. A modern Don Quixote, whose obsession takes him to Afghanistan where he joins the Mujahidin’s fight against the Red Army. It’s a romantic and torn hero the director portrays here, combining material from Winkler’s personal archive (photos, sketches, videos) with the stylistic wealth of artistic animation, including collages, graphically distorted film and photo material, drawings, plasticine animations or simply painted paper folded into mountains. The various techniques address the various situations, managing to translate the protagonist’s emotional world into a highly original filmic reality, sometimes surreal, sometimes absurd and bitter. “The Magic Mountain” is the second part of a planned trilogy about modern heroes whose third and last instalment this cinematic experience gives us every reason to look forward to. Mattias Heeder





MDR Film Prize 2015


The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

The Other Side

Documentary Film
France,
Italy
2015
92 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Muriel Meynard, Paolo Benzi, Dario Zonta
Roberto Minervini
Diego Romero Suarez-Llanos
Marie-Hélène Dozo
Bernat Fortiana Chico
Once more, Roberto Minervini travels the American South, this time Louisiana. Life and the people here are rough, the images, however, are dazzlingly beautiful, almost tender. The ambivalence is deliberate. It’s the tenderness of “I love you, bitch”, spoken while high on drugs. The sultriness of a summer of quick sex in the trailer, alcohol and crystal meth. A physicality bordering on intimacy determines the poor whites’ life in this film. All that’s left of the American Dream are drugs, racist slogans and slurs on Obama.

Even if this world of the underdogs is uncomfortable – it’s there and has a ghostlike existence in the shadow of American history. Like the protagonist Mark, whom Minervini shows in a dream sequence, naked on a country road as if he was already on the other side. But then he allows this Louisiana ghost, who is supplying his family, girl friend and friends with homemade drugs while on the run from a prison sentence, to become a human being of flesh and blood.

Some shoot up, others shoot: paramilitary groups train in the forest for the worst case, to save America from its own authorities. What seems like a film within a film is united by the slogan: “To protect our families, our freedom.” But which families, which freedom?

Lars Meyer

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.