Film Archive

International Programme 2014
BrückenJahre Peter Benedix

The long lasting struggle of three Lusatian villages against demolition. A “bridge technology” from the point of view of those involved – including the coal miners. What’s more important: work or one’s home?

BrückenJahre

Documentary Film
Germany
2014
98 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Peter Benedix
Peter Benedix
Fabian Koppri
Peter Benedix, Andreas Albrecht
Peter Benedix, Andreas Albrecht
Peter Benedix
Fabian Koppri
Once a year the men of Kerkwitz meet to raise the maypole. Since 2008, Peter Benedix has been among them to follow their and the Lusatian villages of Atterwasch and Grabko’s struggle against the imminent excavation by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall. Four years after the spectacular “Limited Home” and financed mainly by crowd funding, he now delves even deeper into what this much-vaunted “bridge technology” really means – in a region that owed its survival to brown coal for more than a century and that has now become its victim. What’s more important: one’s home or work?
In addition to the question of what this does to people who are trying to live some kind of normal life in the middle of a long, gruelling conflict, Benedix pays more attention than in his first film to the political level, the level of arguments. He pulls off the feat of giving both sides – miners and protesters – space without giving up his author’s position. While there is a (far from stupid) counter-argument for every argument, while referendums and constitutional challenges fail and new protests are organised (by both sides), a village shop opens in Kerkwitz – apparently against all reason – and a child is born. And the men raise the maypole. But they are fewer now.
Grit Lemke
International Programme 2014
Der Zorn junger Männer Uli Kick

Aggression management training: eight boys who are used to hitting first are supposed to talk, listen, and take their victims’ perspective. Gradually something is set in motion … a psychological drama.

Der Zorn junger Männer

Documentary Film
Germany
2014
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Uli Kick
Uli Kick
Wolfgang M. Neumann
Waldemar Hauschild, Uli Kick
Gaby Kull-Neujahr
Uli Kick
Thomas Schwarz, Gregor Kuschel
“You’re a real parasite and a lazy bastard.” There is no soft pedagogical touch in aggression management training; people use plain language. Eight boys between 17 and 22 must meet for a weekly group therapy session for eight months or go to prison. They hit people (“On the head. Where else?”), kicked their victims, put them into hospital. When “the film starts” and their anger rises (“In the neck. It really makes me sick.”), they become the “ticking bombs” that the media and politicians like to talk of since violence has reached a “new level” and people were killed.
Now they are forced to do something that’s hard for them: talk about themselves. Learn to trust and think before they act. They must confront their actions, the victims’ perspectives and above all themselves in conversations and role playing games. The educators, too, go to their absolute limit. And yet they try again every week to teach something like goals and perspectives that just don’t exist.
Uli Kick skilfully brings out the filmic elements of the therapy: the dialogue scenes of interviews and conversations, the intimate chamber play created by concentrating on a few people and places, the psychological drama. And perhaps both the therapy and the film are about the same thing for the boys: to be really seen just once.
Grit Lemke
International Programme 2014
Jedes Bild ist ein leeres Bild Christoph Faulhaber

The artist’s alter ego, his video game avatar, explores public space. Virtual reality, surveillance, video clip, document, fiction, and a wild ride.

Jedes Bild ist ein leeres Bild

Documentary Film
Germany
2014
70 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Protostyle Pictures
Christoph Faulhaber
Pawel Wieleba, Otto Bode, John Francis, The Superpowers, The Embassadors, Harmony Hopper, Oliver Samlaus, Skuzzle Buzz, Giacomo Puccini, Christoph Faulhaber, Frank Müller et al.
Lukasz Chrobok, Christoph Faulhaber, Daniel Matzke, Jayson Haedrich, Gregor Gärtner, Jens Apitz
Maren Großmann, Anna Werner, Wolfgang Lehmann, Ramon Urselmann, Jonathan Miske
Thorsten Ernst, Christoph Faulhaber
Pawel Wieleba, Modo Bierkamp
There is the idea that public space is an actuality without prerequisites, which has evolved around us without alternative. For quite a while now, Christoph Faulhaber has countered such ideas with apparently naive questions. He simply re-dedicates intimidations and prohibitions and uses them as material for his equally subversive and meaningful statements.
Faulhaber has clear ideas of what the “venue” of art should be. His performances neither take shape in a safe studio nor are they presented exclusively behind the well cleaned windows of galleries. He prefers to stage his experiments against the order of the ruling systems right in the midst of society. After he was prohibited from taking photos of a US embassy, for example, he simply turned the tables and guarded the embassy so it wouldn’t be photographed by the public. This action in turn was documented on photographs that he then exhibited at documenta 12 – without an official invitation, of course –, which was promptly terminated. When he tried to enter the US as a German scholarship holder with a legal visa later, he was interrogated and urged to leave the country.
What this film teaches us in the most inspiring manner: the negotiation of power and the part images play in this process.
Ralph Eue
International Programme 2014
Räschen Peter Hecker

A small Lusatian town after mining is gone, three young people lost in the middle of nowhere. Talking about the (fictitious) missing Christian, they reveal their innermost thoughts. Sad poetry.

Räschen

Documentary Film
Germany
2014
22 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Peter Hecker
Peter Hecker
Christian Möller
Peter Hecker
Felix Harmuth
The real Räschen is a small town in Lusatia that depends on mining, to which it had to sacrifice large areas. A town where the forest has re-conquered abandoned settlements, streets literally end in nothing and nobody has any business staying, at least when you’re as young as Marcel, Enrico and Svenja. It’s only natural that they find it “a bit boring” between the thumping car sound boxes and the singing of skateboards on tarmac – apparently the only movements in the midst of this stagnation. But then again: “Not too bad”, as Lusatians are wont to say, reaffirming it with a metaphysical “and all”.
As one of the boys states correctly, good films are not realised in reality but in the imagination. So Peter Hecker employs the brilliant trick of asking his protagonists about the allegedly missing Christian, who will always get by somehow, who was a “bit of a” rebel and “always so sad”. He becomes a reflection of the speakers who in precisely composed snapshots give us short but profound insights into their innermost being. As the camera captures a place that isn’t really there with warmth and poetry, the truth of the documentary is revealed only in the fiction – and all.
Grit Lemke
International Programme 2014
Sansui, Landschaft Nina Wiesnagrotzki

Fujiyama as a popular picture postcard, the expression of a fragile existence on the fault line between two tectonic plates. A multifaceted visual examination of a post-Fukushima mentality.

Sansui, Landschaft

Documentary Film
Germany,
Japan
2014
27 minutes
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg
Nina Wiesnagrotzki
Nina Wiesnagrotzki
Nina Wiesnagrotzki
Pablo Paolo Kilian
The Japanese have a special relationship with mountains, and not just since the cheesy film adaptation of “Heidi”. The snow-covered Fujisan (the correct name of Fujiyama) is probably the most popular picture postcard. Katsushika Hokusai’s coloured woodcuts are a masterful visualisation of their respect for the natural powers. Hardly surprising: two thirds of the archipelago are mountains and situated on the fault line between two tectonic plates. This fragile underground, which regularly triggers earthquakes and devastating tsunamis, has shaped the lives of its inhabitants. But they have also learned to live with it. Installation artist and filmmaker Nina Wiesnagrotzki’s film “Sansui, Landscape” is a kind of visual examination exploring the history of the Japanese mentality. She moves in ever widening circles of thinking which incorporate the image arsenal of popular cinema, comics and legends. Ever since the Fukushima disaster we know that Godzilla as the embodiment of a nightmare is no exaggeration.
Cornelia Klauß
International Programme 2014
The Last Limousine Daria Khlestkina

An unexpected order for the almost phased out ZIL car factory in Moscow. A giant’s last gasp in the spirit of the old collective, portrayed as a tragicomic mudslinging contest.

The Last Limousine

Documentary Film
Germany,
Russia
2013
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marina Razbezhkina, Heino Deckert
Daria Khlestkina
Anton Silaev
Anna Dashina, Evgeniy Kurbatov
Daria Khlestkina, Mieneke Kramer
Daria Khlestkina
Sergey Ovcharenko, Maria Ushenina
They were not just the pride of the nation, but the symbol of a public display of power that gradually turned into an empty pose. The equally feudal and well-designed limousines that lead the Soviet military parades on Red Square demanded awe and respect in the East and West. They were manufactured by hand at the Moscow ZIL car factory until the collapse in 1990, when the production line stopped. The cause could not have been a lack of dictators or desire to display one’s power. Perhaps the open limousines became too risky? In short: suddenly an order bursts in on the almost phased out factory. The state wants three cars. The spirit of the old collective awakens, the machines are powered up again and the production director sternly inspects the giant halls where the cats have long made their home. Director Daria Khlestkino records this last gasp of a giant with precision and gives us insights – not without wistfulness – into the remains of a former socialist industrial structure where patience and the art of improvisation were the real capital.
Cornelia Klauß

Ulrich Seidl und die bösen Buben

Documentary Film
Austria,
Germany,
Switzerland
2014
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Johannes Rosenberger, Christian Beetz, Werner Schweizer
Constantin Wulff
Johannes Hammel
Dieter Pichler
A portrait of director Ulrich Seidl, who tends to be labelled a maniac and social pornographer (and more besides) and whom everybody thinks they know before they’ve even seen a single one of his films. Constantin Wulff gives us a first glimpse of the Austrian filmmaker at work. The much-discussed “Seidl method” is directly and vividly demonstrated here – and you can’t help but be amazed, because this method seems to be so different from what one had imagined.
Seidl is one thing first and foremost: a highly focused and precise visual worker. Patiently Wulff observes the director during the shooting of his new film “In the Basement” and during rehearsals for his theatre production “Bad Boys/Hideous Men”. Combining these with extensive interviews and excerpts of former films, this portrait reveals a complex and exceptional artist.
What it also shows: how much Seidl’s whole creative work is a quest in which he is guided by real circumstances as well as by his own visions and demons.
Ralph Eue

Walking Under Water

Documentary Film
Germany,
Poland,
UK
2014
77 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Moniką Braid, Stefan Kloos
Elizą Kubarską
Michał Jacaszek
Piotr Rosołowski, Lisa Strohmayer
Bartosz Pietras
This is a film about a fairytale that was once true. Not so long ago, an unusual tribe lived on Borneo: the Badjao, who lived in and under water more than on dry land. They had neither passports nor money, but astonishing abilities. From earliest childhood they learn to dive and do without breathing for a long time. They move between shoals of fish and coral reefs like strollers who are at home there. Alexan, the last of his kind, teaches 10-year-old Sulu how to catch fish without modern appliances. The filmmaker Elizą Kubarską leaves no doubt about her fascination: in elaborate images that transcend every television documentary she dives into an idyllic and picturesque underwater world. She reminds us where we originally came from. And she shows us where we’re headed in equally unequivocal scenes: as the nomads, who are considered stateless today, vanish, they take their traditional knowledge and century old rituals with them. The rest is done by the fishing fleets and tourists.
Cornelia Klauß

Watching the Ball

Animated Film
Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Estonia,
Germany,
Russia,
Serbia
2014
12 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Michael Schwertel, Martin Kleinmichel
Martin Kleinmichel
Henning Schärfke, Martin Kleinmichel
Martin Kleinmichel
Anastasia Tasić, Ivan Ramadan, Katre Haav, Krunoslav Jović, Nenad Krstić, Tatiana Moshkova, Till Laßmann
Anastasia Tasić, Ivan Ramadan, Katre Haav, Nenad Krstić, Tatiana Moshkova, Till Laßmann, Martin Kleinmichel
Rainer Gerlach
Different people are watching football at different places on earth and in space. While the game connects them all, every one of them has his or her own problems to cope with. A European community project about our favourite sport.
International Programme 2014
Willkommen auf Deutsch Hauke Wendler, Carsten Rau

Two well-to-do northern German villages are to accommodate a group of asylum seekers. While some help the foreigners, others found citizens’ initiatives against them. A spooky provincial farce.

Willkommen auf Deutsch

Documentary Film
Germany
2014
89 minutes
subtitles: 
German
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hauke Wendler, Carsten Rau
Hauke Wendler, Carsten Rau
Sabine Worthmann
Boris Mahlau
Stephan Haase
Hauke Wendler, Carsten Rau
Torsten Reimers, Detlev Meyer
A “culture of welcome” could become the new euphemistic non-word of the year. It pervades this film which observes over an extended period of time what happens when two well-to-do Northern German villages are supposed to welcome a group of asylum seekers.
There are the citizens in their terrace houses who can’t let their daughters out into the streets if the end of the world as represented by 53 refugees (black if worst comes to worst) is near. They hastily form citizens’ initiatives to take legal action against this impending doom. There is the pub owner who in an apparently selfless gesture offers his empty guestrooms, which is presented as the “socially acceptable” option. There are the administrators who are desperately looking for housing, struggling for acceptance, at last set up a few containers and then give themselves a satisfied pat on the back. All of them can’t emphasize enough how welcome the foreigners are to them in principle (but not too many, not in our town). And there are the foreigners themselves, traumatised at the end of an odyssey and hoping for a new home.
Wendler and Rau show an everyday racism that does not come in combat boots but in the guise of charity and democracy – but also people who spend the night with a refugee’s children when the mother has to go to hospital. And at the end the pub owner frying up a schnitzel with the Albanians – in the heart of the German province.
Grit Lemke