Film Archive

International Programme 2018
(M)Other Antonia Hungerland

How does the image of motherhood change when egg donation, surrogate motherhood or adoption add various alternatives to the male-female-intercourse-biology model?

(M)Other

Documentary Film
Germany
2018
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Christopher Zitterbart, Saskia Veigel, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Antonia Hungerland
Markus Zierhofer
Antonia Hungerland
Antonella Sarubbi
Antonia Hungerland
Tim Altrichter, Benedikt Ludwig, Christoph Walter, Luise Hofmann
It’s quite realistic today for a child to have three mothers: an egg donor gives her genes to a baby who is born by a surrogate mother and raised by another woman or a person who may be male and gay. The classic concept of “natural” motherhood reaches its limits here (and elsewhere).

The definition of motherhood is being contested. The general controversy about changing social norms is reflected in the debate about (good) mothers. This discussion, as “(M)Other” very clearly demonstrates, concerns everybody. Both those who have to contend with stereotypes and prejudice as “classic” mothers and those who claim the term even though they do not correspond to the established “model” that stubbornly resists all obvious changes. Antonia Hungerland shows that the seemingly personal is still (or: today more than ever) highly political.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

International Programme 2018
All Creatures Welcome Sandra Trostel

A creative dive into the CCC hackers’ philosophy, which is not to bemoan the growing digitisation of life but to seize the technology to improve our life.

All Creatures Welcome

Documentary Film
Germany
2018
87 minutes
subtitles: 
German
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sandra Trostel
Sandra Trostel
Thies Mynther
Sandra Trostel, Lilli Thalgott
Sandra Trostel
Jon Frickey
Sandra Trostel, Thies Mynther
Jonas Hummel

A playful and highly informative attempt to describe the anarchic variety of creatures who regularly meet at camps and international conventions under the umbrella of Europe’s biggest hacker association, the Chaos Computer Club. Sandra Trostel looks over the shoulders of nerds, political activists, makers and “other galactic life forms” and shows, complemented by short animated sequences, what it means to regard society not as a given fact but as malleable material there to be “hacked”. Renouncing glorification but revealing a well-developed sense for inner contradictions, the film portrays a (sub)culture whose concerns have long become mainstream.



Luc-Carolin Ziemann



Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize


International Programme 2018
Appalachian Holler Matthias Lawetzky

The end of coal-mining has left the Appalachians with environmental destruction and unemployment. Making music together gives the people something to hold on to and some dignity.

Appalachian Holler

Documentary Film
Germany,
USA
2018
29 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Matthias Lawetzky (Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main)
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
You don’t get rich in the Appalachian Mountains. “They’re trying to get thataway, but they usually die before they do,” they say here. The end of coal mining left the inhabitants with its consequential problems, environmental destruction and unemployment. Making music together – if only with spoons – gives the people in one of the remotest spots of the US something to hold on to and some dignity.

Fabian Tietke
International Programme 2018
Carlotta’s Face Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld

Carlotta’s schooldays were like an endless nightmarish labyrinth in search of the right classroom. A drawn animation about facial blindness and the role of art.

Carlotta’s Face

Animated Film
Germany
2018
5 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Fabian Driehorst
Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld
Simon Bastian
Frédéric Schuld
Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld
Frédéric Schuld
Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld
Simon Bastian
Carlotta’s schooldays were like an endless nightmarish labyrinth in search of the right classroom. It was her lonely fate to find it both disturbing and natural to look into the mirror and not be able to recognise her own face. This drawn animation by neuroscientist and filmmaker Valentin Riedl, animated and filmed by co-director Frédéric Schuld, shows how she managed to make her own face recognisable to herself despite a rare disease.

Nadja Rademacher



Awarded with the Mephisto 97.6 Audience Award

Chris the Swiss

Documentary Film
Croatia,
Finland,
Germany,
Switzerland
2018
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Samir (Dschoint Ventschr), Siniša Juričić (Nukleus Film), Heino Deckert (Ma.ja.de.), Iikka Vehkalahti (IV Films Ltd / p.s.72 productions)
Anja Kofmel
Marcel Vaid
Simon Guy Fässler
Stefan Kälin
Simon Eltz
Anja Kofmel
Daniel Hobi, Marco Teufen, Hrvoje Petek
Christian Würtenberg died in Croatia in 1992. Even though the young Swiss had come as a journalist, he was wearing the uniform of an international militia that fought on the Croatian side in the civil war. Why he took up arms has long remained a mystery. His cousin, the filmmaker Anja Kofmel, has confronted the question.

She interviews companions, complementing the documentary footage with dark, pared-down animated sequences which form the film’s narrative structure. Diving deeply into the political turmoil, the film portrays Chris’s path towards joining a group of nationalist mercenaries supported by Opus Dei. A politically explosive film even today, a visually impressive thriller that shows how quickly a person’s attitude can be devastated by war.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize and the MDR Film Prize; Swiss Film Award 2019: Best Documentary, Best Score, Best Editing

International Programme 2018
Die Frist Karin Becker

Going to prison means saying goodbye to your whole former life. Guang, Jürgen and Vitali find individual strategies to cope with the period before their sentences start.

Die Frist

Documentary Film
Germany
2018
78 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Philipp Schall, Johanna Teichmann
Karin Becker
Dimitrios Ntontis, Sebastian Fillenberg
Franz Kastner, Fabio Stoll, Carla Muresan
Elisabeth Raßbach
Karin Becker, Silvia Wolkan
Hagen von Sayn-Wittgenstein
It’s a “rite of passage” of a different kind: reporting for a prison sentence. There are many documentations of life behind bars. But what happens just before, in the period between the verdict and the start of the prison sentence, during which people must take leave from the whole of their former life and are facing a step into the unknown? At first even this intermediate period is uncertain until the precise date of imprisonment is communicated. The convicts have minimal time to prepare for this new chapter in their lives. The psychological stress is a heavy burden.

“The Wait” follows three protagonists through this period. They develop different strategies: Vitali, father of a family and business owner, immerses himself in organisational matters. Jürgen, who was in prison before, clears out his flat and gets a tattoo, hoping to be able to delay his prison sentence with the help of a medical certificate. Guang, who comes from Taiwan, looks for a higher meaning. Prison must be part of the scheme of life the universe has planned for her. She finds this hard to accept, since she’s suffering from anxiety attacks. She gets help via Skype conversations with her Buddhist master. After his release he’s going to write a self-help book, Vitali jokes. To make it easier for others.

Annina Wettstein


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

International Programme 2018
Dreamaway Marouan Omara, Johanna Domke

With somnambulistic attention this film explores the realities and longings of young Egyptian hotel employees in a holiday resort emptied by post-revolutionary unrest.

Dreamaway

Documentary Film
Egypt,
Germany
2018
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Roman Roitman
Marouan Omara, Johanna Domke
Bilgehan Öziş
Jakob Beurle
Gesa Jäger, Louly Seif
Marouan Omara, Johanna Domke
A vision, a desert hike. We see a group of young Egyptians walking through the dark sands of the Sinai Peninsula, each on their own and yet together. The sun is low, their bodies are silent, tired and heavy. We see people who have set out, perhaps from a party. But we don’t see where they are headed. An image that’s so soaked with the past that it’s hard to discover a future in it.

The German-Egyptian directing duo Johanna Domke and Marouan Omara follow these young employees of one of the countless luxury hotels of Sharm El Sheikh. Post-revolutionary unrest and terrorist attacks have robbed the holiday resort on the Red Sea of all life: the hotels are empty, the pool gym units without participants, the party strips eerily deserted. The tourist planes, as we are shown again and again, fly over the town but no longer land here. With a kind of somnambulistic attention the film explores the lives, longings and plight of young Egyptians whose pasts suddenly no longer lead to futures.

Lukas Stern


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Exit

Documentary Film
Germany,
Norway,
Sweden
2018
80 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Eirin Gjørv
Karen Winther
Michel Wenzer
Peter Ask
Robert Stengård
Karen Winther
Yvonne Stenberg, Gisle Tveito
When Karen Winther comes across a few old boxes during a move she finds herself confronted with her past. On top are some swastika stickers, next to a tape labelled “Blitz” and “Hits”, and a lot of stuff decorated with the imperial eagle. Twenty years ago she joined a right-wing extremist organisation in Norway, looking for adventure and like-minded people. “It’s embarrassing to look at,” she comments in the voice over.

“Exit” is her film, her story, and yet the plot soon points in other directions, refuses to be constrained by its own structure. Winther travels to the US to meet women who also used to move in right-wing extremist circles. She sits in the car with a former left-wing extremist activist, talking about a formative encounter many years ago. She meets Ingo Hasselbach, “The Führer of Berlin”, whose career in the East German neo-Nazi scene is the subject of Winfried Bonengel’s film “Führer Ex”. And she meets a former jihadist who served a sentence in a Paris prison. In addition to surprisingly similar motivations and experiences, what they all have in common are the difficulties caused by their “Exits” – feelings of guilt, but also threats from still active members.

Carolin Weidner


Awarded with the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, the Young Eyes Film Award and the Gedanken-Aufschluss Prize from the Jury of juvenile and yound adult prisoners of JSA Regis-Breitingen

In the Claws of a Century Wanting

Documentary Film
Germany,
Philippines,
Qatar
2017
120 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jewel Maranan
Jewel Maranan
Jewel Maranan
Lawrence S. Ang
Francis Raphael Solajes, Mikael Andres Quizon
This film comes to rest with the rainy season. Typhoons are brewing and the sounds – the calls of playing children, the creaking of huge loading cranes, the noisy life in the alleys, the rumbling of trucks – all give way to the monotonous and persistent sound of pouring water. Only now do we notice how transparent and delicate, unstable and rich this world is into which the Philippine director Jewel Maranan takes us in her film.

Makeshift shanty towns built of corrugated iron, wooden slats and plastic sheets sprawl along the edges of Manila’s giant commercial harbour. The people who live here are poor, work as day labourers or load containers at night. The harbour is flourishing, its facilities are expanding, and the people are forced by the government to resettle. Five protagonists open up perspectives right into the heart of the reality of a marginalised environment. And whenever the camera – through the tarpaulins and sheets of corrugated iron – gives us a glimpse of the gantry cranes and piles of containers behind the houses, we also get a glimpse of the frowning face of the globalised world economy.

Lukas Stern


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

International Programme 2018
Island of the Hungry Ghosts Gabrielle Brady

The Christmas Island crabs scuttle wherever they want. The asylum seekers interned on the island must stay where they are. A filmic reflection in powerful metaphors about the right to hospitality and forbearance.

Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Documentary Film
Australia,
Germany,
UK
2018
98 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alexander Wadouh
Gabrielle Brady
Aaron Cupples
Michael Latham
Katharina Fiedler
Gabrielle Brady
Leo Dolgan
There are places that make us realise instantly that they don’t need us and never did. They exist even if we don’t look at them. Christmas Island, a tiny 135 square kilometre dot in the Indian Ocean, is such a place. It probably first saw humans in 1643. It’s hard to imagine how amazed the endemic red crabs, which were alone with themselves, the tropical thicket and the snow white sandy beaches until then, must have been at this loud-mouthed guest who declared himself the great “discoverer”! The refugee reception centre on Christmas Island is another such place. Since 2001, the Australian government has detained asylum seekers here to deny them their right to regular admission procedures on the continent. The crabs continue amazed.

We are brought face to face with this amazement in the powerful images, sounds and metaphors of Gabrielle Brady’s cinematic reflection on the right to hospitality and forbearance – poetically condensed, emotionally haunting and politically poignant. First in the shape of trauma therapist Poh Lin, who helps the inmates of the detention camp come to terms with their fate while she herself is struggling to maintain composure. Then as the mythical story of the wandering spirits of the dead, told by the Chinese immigrants. And finally as a sprawling, teeming, unimpressed nature that grows and crawls wherever it pleases.

Sylvia Görke


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Living the Light – Robby Müller

Documentary Film
Germany,
Netherlands
2018
87 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Carolijn Borgdorff, Alexander Wadouh, Sven Sauër
Claire Pijman
SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan)
Claire Pijman
Katharina Wartena
Claire Pijman
Robby Müller (1940–2018) was a luminary, but not in the way this term is commonly used. He could easily have played one of the wise and taciturn Indians in Jim Jarmusch’s Acid Western “Dead Man”. But that was impossible because he was the DOP of this film, for which he conjured his special, firm and almost painterly, but also transparent and shimmering light onto the screen, as he did for around 70 other masterpieces of international auteur cinema.

Over decades the cinematographer kept a video diary which the filmmaker Claire Pijman already worked with for the great exhibition “Master of Light” at the Amsterdam EYE Film Museum and which she now uses as the central pool of images for her own film, “Living the Light”. Fellow cinematographer Agnès Godard says about a sequence between Dennis Hopper and Nicholas Ray from Wim Wenders’ “The American Friend” that mastership for her is achieved only when the grandeur of the cinematography makes itself vanish from a scene because it becomes its natural component. Strange that one always feels that one can almost hear Robby Müller’s images. In “Living the Light”, this impression is underlined by delicately improvised soundscapes by Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan.

Ralph Eue


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Notizen aus dem Unterbewusstsein

Animated Film
Germany
2018
3 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Susann Anuk Arnold
Susann Anuk Arnold
Michał Krajczok
Susann Anuk Arnold
Susann Anuk Arnold
Susann Anuk Arnold
Michał Krajczok
A poetic-melancholy dialogue about questions of belonging and the desire to be absorbed in a greater whole. However: if someone else were to lift me into my life, would it still be my life? Where does the other stand? Where do I stand? Filmmaker Susann Anuk Arnold from Leipzig creates images that seem to arise from the subconscious: the blinding light of the morning storm, the black pulsing hole, the borders of hope …

Nadja Rademacher
International Programme 2018
Oasis Veneta Androva

A big private investment project in Jericho has failed: the “Oasis” casino is closed until further notice after two years of operation and corruption scandals.

Oasis

Animated Film
Germany
2018
15 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Veneta Androva
Veneta Androva
Haydeé Jiménez
Veneta Androva
Veneta Androva
Veneta Androva
Veneta Androva
Benedikt Frey, Nadia D’Alò, Veneta Androva
A casino like a mirage: 2,800 square metres of gambling space, 220 gambling machines and 34 gambling tables. Jericho, Palestinian territories: “Oasis” has been waiting for its re-opening since 2000. After two years of operation and corruption scandals, the Israeli-Jordan-Palestinian development aid project was stopped. Veneta Androva gradually makes the story emerge through an invisible avatar in flickering images of a CGI desert.

Nadja Rademacher

Obon

Animated Film
Germany
2018
15 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

André Hörmann, Christian Vizi, Anna Bergmann
André Hörmann, Anna Bergmann
Daniel Regenberg
Anna Bergmann
André Hörmann
Christoph de la Chevallerie
“Obon” is a diminutive for “hanging head down in hell and suffering,” and the name of the Japanese festival in honour of the ancestors. For the aged narrator Akiko Takakura it’s a ghostly memorial day. As one of the last survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb she is haunted by memories of the countless dead, above all her violent father who was reformed only by the disaster. Her incredible story, animated in sepia-coloured drawings.

Nadja Rademacher

Palace for the People

Documentary Film
Bulgaria,
Germany,
Romania
2018
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Martichka Bozhilova, Thomas Tielsch, Velvet Moraru
Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Ema Konstantinova
Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Momchil Bozhkov
Today we see them with a tourist’s eye – or we don’t see them at all, like the Palace of the Republic in Berlin. “Palace for the People” visits five emblematic buildings of the socialist era: massive stone bodies, whose facades and interiors, configuration of rooms and furniture, decor and functionality invariably aimed for the representation of political systems and values. Superlative power buildings – some shooting up high like the Lomonosov University in Moscow, some sprawling like Ceauşescu’s palace in Bucharest.

Guided tours are always a form of return, a kind of retrospective, the affective connection to what is gone. With a sharp eye for historic architectural quirks and characteristic features, Georgi Bogdanov and Boris Missirkov take us to places that are, however historical they may seem, still haunted by the ghosts of the visions they were once built for. Places soaked with futures that never materialised or materialised quite differently from what was envisioned.

Lukas Stern


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize and the MDR Film Prize


The screening on 31 October, 17:00, is a special screening supported by MDR.

International Programme 2018
Räuber & Gendarm Florian Maubach

Children play cops and robbers. The rituals of the game become a framework for desire and aversion within the group, merging with the rituals of adolescence.

Räuber & Gendarm

Animated Film
Germany
2017
8 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Florian Maubach
Florian Maubach
Florian Maubach, Alma Weber
Florian Maubach
Jonatan Schwenk
Children play cops and robbers. The rules of the game become a framework for desire and aversion within the group, merging with the rituals of adolescence. Finding a role, swapping roles, trying out roles between the first arousal and the agreed-on return home to Mom. Florian Maubach produced his graduate film with reduced colours and flat animations: the playground as a rehearsal stage for all that’s yet to come.

Fabian Tietke