Film Archive

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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

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.

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

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.

Homo Botanicus

Documentary Film
Colombia,
France
2018
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Nicolás Van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf, Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun, Guillermo Quintero
Guillermo Quintero
Violeta Cruz
Guillermo Quintero
Julie Borvon, Guillermo Quintero
Guillermo Quintero
Marc-Olivier Brullé
A professor and his master student set out to explore the untouched tropical Andes Mountains. The eminent botanist Julio Betancur has already collected more than 19,000 species of plants and archived them in a giant herbarium in Bogotá that he keeps expanding, assisted at the moment by his young follower Cristian. The director, Guillermo Quintero, was a student of Betancur more than fifteen years ago before he studied philosophy in Paris and later turned to filmmaking. He still feels respect for his former mentor today, and fascination for the seemingly anachronistic and romantic scientist’s view of the rich flora. The filmmaker follows the unusual pair, commenting events from offscreen as an outside observer. We detect admiration for their passion, but also doubt about their meticulous collecting. Is this kind of classification of nature still in keeping with the times?

In his debut film Quintero allows himself to be pulled into the eddying timelessness of the tropical forest. Varied and artful shots of the fauna show a surprisingly different and mystic view of Colombia, communicating the image of a country with a budding film industry whose authors devote themselves predominantly to political or personal conflicts.

Annina Wettstein

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.

Tan

Documentary Film
France,
Iran
2018
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Elsa Klughertz (Jonas Films), Ali Shirkhodaei (Reyhan Film)
Elika Hedayat
9T Antiope
Ali Shirkhodaei
Maxence Voiseux
Elika Hedayat
Amaury Arboun, Vincent Pateau
Elika Hedayat distinguishes between the bodies made available to her as models at drawing school and those she encounters in her mind. The former are maimed, sometimes monstrous, they have missing limbs and painful expressions on their faces. Hedayat begins to search for the real persons behind the figures her imagination is projecting on the walls of her skull. She meets Iranian men whose bodies were maimed and thus formed by war. But also men who increase their body mass by disciplined exercise, seemingly compensating for the lack of arms and legs of the others. The young woman is fascinated by the human, male body which she regards as potentially the result and imprint of a much bigger one – the social body. “Tan” is the filmic investigation of this connection which Hedayat grasps intuitively. Together with some of the protagonists she literally dives into the depths to look for the bottom, the reasons. The others’, but also her own.

Carolin Weidner

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.

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Behind the Stone Wall Magali Roucaut

A small factory in the middle of Paris where for decades the finest cardboards were manufactured. A last look at a working world driven from our environment and a quiet, finely observed requiem.

Behind the Stone Wall

Documentary Film
France
2016
59 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Docks 66
Magali Roucaut
Magali Roucaut
Laureline Delom
Magali Roucaut
The machines rattle and hiss, squeak and groan. Every second robot arms dart forward and back, again and again. The people are part of the machines, pushing cardboard into steel mouths and pulling it out, in, out, to the rhythm of the machines. Punching, folding, riveting, wrapping. They stop briefly only when director Magali Roucaut asks a question, to talk about their life in the rhythm of the machines, behind the stone wall.

Over decades the inhabitants of this district in the middle of Paris, who speak from off-screen, hardly noticed the fact that a medium-sized company produced cardboard boxes here. No mass-produced goods for Scandinavian furniture stores but carefully manufactured special containers for archives and libraries. Now the small factory must go – the facade already bears a poster for the lofts that are to be built here to “upgrade” the district. Roucaut is interested in what is about to vanish here, the workers’ lives and biographies – all of them migrants, some of them second generation employees. She documents the disappearance of labour from our environment, its move to the periphery and probably soon to Asia. You only realise that some things were there when they are gone, which is what Roucaut opposes in her quiet, precisely observed requiem.

Grit Lemke


Nominated for Healthy Workplaces Film Award

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 Third Shore

Documentary Film
Brazil,
France
2016
57 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
André Hallak
Fabian Remy
Rafael Martini
Lucas Barbi
Fabian Remy, Bruno Carboni
Fabian Remy
Osvaldo Ferreira
In 1953 the Villas-Bôas brothers, pioneers of indigenism in Brazil, made first contact with the Kayapó and recorded the amicable meeting in grainy black and white. They anticipated the conflicts between the tribe and the nation state and saw themselves as mediators. To their surprise they discovered a young white man among the Indians: João was the child of Brazilian settlers who had been kidnapped and raised by the Kayapó during the long-running struggle. As he retraces his path, a life between two worlds, without a fixed home, begins for him.

To Fabian Remy this story is a model to describe a society divided even today, though he doesn’t find João among the living. In his stead Thini-á accompanies the director on a biographical search for clues and lives through a mirrored identity conflict. He left his tribe to move to the megacity of Rio de Janeiro after he witnessed how indigenous culture was corroded by modern civilisation. But more and more often nostalgia draws him back to his roots. As he swings pendulum-like between the places, the film takes up his movements on the formal level and follows Thini-á on his rides across dusty plains and the Amazonas region – as a continuing documentary journey. Which would have suited João, too, who spent his later life as a ferryman between the riverbanks.

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.

(Be)Longing

Documentary Film
France,
Portugal,
Switzerland
2014
77 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Luís Urbano
João Pedro Plácido
João Pedro Plácido
Pedro Marques
João Pedro Plácido, Laurence Ferreira Barbosa
Hugo Leitão
Uz, a hamlet in the north of Portugal, is home to about 50 people. Four generations, including the filmmaker João Pedro Plácido’s grandparents, so there’s reason to assume that he was emotionally involved with this project long before the first take was even a remote possibility. In Uz time passes as if clocks didn’t exist. Few things happen, lots of things are going on. The elements provide the rhythm. The story of village life over the course of a year develops organically between cattle drives, an overturned dung cart, harvest and the feast on the day the animals are slaughtered, between vespers and fireworks, confession and longing. The characters, too, develop quite naturally. There’s even a boy-meets-girl story which gradually emerges from the flow of events between Daniel, the youngest lad in this village community, and a young woman from nearby. It’s a touching moment when Daniel thinks about what kind of relationship a guy like him can probably expect from the future – that is “ordering” a Thai or Brazilian bride on the Internet. Even more touching is the fact that he (and the Brazilian or Thai) are spared this fate, at least for the time being. The film portrays people and events with sober tenderness, beautifully balanced between precise observation and sparing poetry.

Ralph Eue

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.

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

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.