Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

German Competition 2019
Coming off the Real Time, for a While Anna Friedrich

On the Swedish coast, the farmer Sven Axel lives with his mother, a few animals and a lot of imagination. He dreams of filmmaking and acting. Now he tries out both.

Coming off the Real Time, for a While

Documentary Film
Germany
2019
62 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Anna Friedrich, Ray Peter Maletzki (ROSENPICTURES)
Anna Friedrich
Stef Ketteringham
Anna Friedrich
Anna Friedrich
Anna Friedrich
Andrea Rüthel, André Görbing, Leo Rocker, Maximilian Glaß, Anna Friedrich
Anna Friedrich follows Sven Axel Nilsson into the morning fog. Sven Axel works as a farmer somewhere in Sweden, the sea nearby. But he is much more than that. Friedrich teases it out of him by asking him about his dreams and fears, by wanting to know which of the four elements is his favourite. She hands him the camera because he wants to film stones, so a short but no less spectacular contribution about a mystical rock formation becomes part of this unconventional portrait. But Sven Axel also likes acting and so, without further ado, he becomes this, too: an actor.

Far away from almost any disturbance, the two begin a kind of game in which both Sven Axel’s mother and an area used by the Swedish army for exercises play roles. “For me the world is a quite big globe. ’Cause I haven’t travelled so much in my life,” he says. And adds: “Now, the wide, wide world seems very small. But it’s not true. If you sail, or you’re walking or you ride, it’s quite a big world, it is.” In any case, Sven Axel’s world is an extremely rich one. Anna Friedrich makes it negotiable.

Carolin Weidner
German Competition 2019
Girls of Paadhai Natalia Preston

In a women’s refuge in Southern India, girls are faced with the decision between education and early marriage. But how much freedom of choice is allowed by tradition?

Girls of Paadhai

Documentary Film
Germany
2019
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Natalia Preston
Natalia Preston
Stephan Garin
Isabelle Casez
Andreas Zitzmann
Natalia Preston
Andreas Fertig
A woman’s refuge in southern India serves as a shelter for children and adolescents who resist early marriage. The girls discuss love – with surprisingly pragmatic considerations: “If your parents get you married to a boy, you can confront them, can’t you? But if you pick the boy, they can say: It was your choice.” Spoken by twenty-year-old Amulpriya, whose case demonstrates the underlying structures. Her mother, too, was married at an early age to a man who turned out to be unable to provide for her, as had been hoped. After a lifetime of work and deprivation, she now wants the same solution, which didn’t work for her, for her daughter: marriage. But Amulpriya wants to get an education and is supported by Sunitha, the manager of the shelter.

The name Paadhai refers to the specific building and the shelter it houses, but also to the charity organisation that supports it. Natalia Preston picks up a few other stories beside Amulpriya’s and thus reveals why gender relations are so dominant in Indian society: They are the crucial social question that runs through all sections, even the often-invoked caste system.

Bert Rebhandl



Awarded with the Film Prize Leipziger Ring.

German Competition 2019
Halb Traum Dandan Liu

A reunion, ten years after graduating from the Beijing Academy of Fine Arts: How much is left of the creativity of that time? What does everyday life look like today?

Halb Traum

Documentary Film
Germany
2019
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

KHM Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln
Dandan Liu
Dandan Liu, Mayc Eccher, Fang Du, Shi Tou
Dandan Liu
Fang Du, Xingguo Liu
Dandan Liu
Dandan Liu
Ten years ago they graduated together from the Beijing Academy of Fine Arts and dreamt of creative careers: in photography, graphic design, in video and installation art, in film or mixed media. The filmmaker, who subsequently left China, continued her studies in Germany and lives here today. She sets out in search of her former fellow students. What do they still have in common? How do they see their past works today? How did the urge to make art change? What is left of their dreams? What does their everyday life look like today?

In addition to asking fundamental questions about changes in creativity and inspiration, the film is also a portrait of the one-child policy generation of the 1980s, whose lives were shaped by massive economic and social upheavals and who tried to resist through their individual concepts of life. How much scope for personal (artistic) development is left – in their everyday life, from which art is gradually fading? Because the university did not teach them how to survive economically on art alone.

Frederik Lang
German Competition 2019
Havelland Fontane Bernhard Sallmann

When Fontane’s text and Sallmann’s images enter into a dialogue, the result is gradually turned into an event movie. Literature meets visualisation meets an old contemporary landscape.

Havelland Fontane

Documentary Film
Germany
2019
109 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Bernhard Sallmann
Bernhard Sallmann
Bernhard Sallmann
Christoph Krüger
Bernhard Sallmann
Klaus Barm
At first it seems a spoken word film whose greatness comes only from the famous text that celebrates the unspectacular, long neglected hinterland of Berlin as if it was as impressive as the awe-inspiring Alps or the lovely Lake Constance. But it is precisely the simplicity and precision of Theodor Fontane’s observations that feed the style of “Havelland Fontane”, Bernhard Sallmann’s continuation of his explorations of “Ramblings through Brandenburg”.

It consists of factual observations of the landscape today which do not directly illustrate the text, as a simple travel report would do – a description of Werder island here, the images to illustrate it there. By rejecting these attributions, Sallmann arouses interest. Which place is meant and why is he filming children in the water? The viewer enters the anecdotal and entertaining details of the text, while the time gap between the words (1889) and images (2018) becomes more and more tangible. One hears about the history of the Slavs which shapes the region until today and thinks about tendentious historiography. In the longest chapter, one learns a lot about the isolated fishermen’s island of Werder and its curiously secretive inhabitants. It is said that the islanders were even spared the plague and founded a fruit empire that has lasted through the ages.

Saskia Walker
German Competition 2019
Im Stillen Laut Therese Koppe

Erika and Tina, both 81, take a humorous look back at their lives in the GDR. At the time they fought for freedom, autonomy and their love – to the indignation of the prudish Stasi.

Im Stillen Laut

Documentary Film
Germany
2019
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Therese Koppe, Marie-Luise Wagner, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Therese Koppe
Irma Heinig
Annegret Sachse
Evelyn Rack
Therese Koppe
Billie Mind
Erika and Tine are 81 and have been a couple for 40 years. The two women live on a farm in Brandenburg they restored themselves and look back on eventful lives. In the GDR they both had to fight for personal and artistic freedom and struggled daily with socialism, not to mention its actually existing contradictions. Unlike other GDR creative artists who cracked under the rejection of their art and ideas, they both take a humorous look back today at the manifold documents of their lives, contextualising and contradicting the numerous Stasi files with their own memories, photos, paintings, sculptures and texts. They use the conversations with the young director to take a close look at their own (GDR) past, but also the post-reunification period, the present and future.

What can art do in times of social political challenge? How can one stay true to oneself, art and one’s ideals? Where are women still confronted by structural discrimination today? How can social grievances be resolved together? By staying naturally close to its protagonists, the film manages to achieve an enchantingly lucid narrative about freedom, autonomy, creativity and sociality – and, last but not least, a marvellous ode to love.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann



Honorable Mention of the VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness.

German Competition 2019
Landretter Gesa Hollerbach

A mayoress, an astronomer, a restaurateur and a female farmer active in the European Parliament. They are all united in this mellow portrait – as well as in the fight for their respective homes.

Landretter

Documentary Film
Germany
2019
83 minutes
subtitles: 
German
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Erik Winker, Martin Roelly, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Bady Minck
Gesa Hollerbach
Johannes Winkler
Jennifer Günther
Carina Mergens
Gesa Hollerbach
Johannes Winkler

Life in the country has many facets and faces. Nature, peace, tradition. But reality today is often different, because structural change is destroying Europe’s villages. Schools are forced to close, communities are underfinanced, land speculation makes the farmers’ work harder and glaringly illuminated cities make the stars harder to see than a few years ago even in the hinterland. Locked-up cinemas, dilapidated houses, deserted train stations. Gesa Hollerbach’s unagitated documentary portrays four people and their lives. They come from very different backgrounds: a mayoress, an astronomer, a restaurateur, and a female farmer active in the European Parliament. In Saxony, in the Allgäu, in Austria. Ultimately, though, they are united in a joint, relentless struggle for their respective homes. The film wants to show that change can be imagined and implemented, that resistance bears its first fruits and that the tireless efforts of those courageous guardians of the countryside are not in vain. Today we see young families in the streets again and couples who deliberately choose to move to the country. The change has already begun.



Julia Weigl


German Competition 2019
Nachspiel Christoph Hübner, Gabriele Voss

Final part of a long-term observation of football talents trained at Borussia Dortmund in the 1990s. Three lives with, for and after the “favourite sport”.

Nachspiel

Documentary Film
Germany
2019
94 minutes
subtitles: 
German
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Erik Winker, Martin Roelly
Christoph Hübner, Gabriele Voss
Jörg Follert
Christoph Hübner
Gabriele Voss
Christoph Hübner, Gabriele Voss
Gabriele Voss

A new hip at 34! The life of a football player can be tough. And what comes next? Christoph Hübner and Gabriele Voss meet three men again whom they have followed since 1998 as part of a long term observation of football talents. “Nachspiel” forms a trilogy with “The Champions” (2003) and “HalfTime” (2010). Florian Kringe, Heiko Hesse and Mohammed Abdulai were all once regarded as the great hopes of the professional team of Borussia Dortmund. But their careers took very different turns. Kringe had the greatest potential but was set back by many injuries. Hesse soon played only to finance his studies in England and works in Brussels today. Abdulai has a German passport, works as a bus driver and is planning a trip to his native Ghana. They saw sport as a “school of life”. “Nachspiel” also references these three life stories with the rapid developments in contemporary football, where talents are promoted and challenged by high tech.



Bert Rebhandl


Resonance

Documentary Film
Germany,
Israel
2019
56 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Itay Marom
Itay Marom
Itay Marom
Sunjha Kim, Itay Marom
Rotem Dror
Music can trigger the deepest and most secret emotions in us, be a physical, mental or spiritual experience – for the musicians who create it, too. Aspiring singers take private lessons to reach the highest level of classical singing. The film follows three renowned voice and singing teachers and their students over the course of a semester. It is tough physical training, hours of practice, breathing, finding the exactly right positions of tongue and jaws. Because ultimately the magic of extreme emotionality can be produced only on the basis of technical perfection, by pouring ones personality into it, by an interplay of effort and the ability to let go.

Though we learn little about the singers, listening primarily to their voices, we feel the intensity and intimacy that arises between teacher and student in these kinds of private lessons – an atmosphere in which something great, transcendent is being built. The light and usually quiet concrete building of one of the three music academies visited by Itay Marom for his film seems almost like a Zen monastery.

Frederik Lang



Awarded with the DEFA Sponsoring Prize.

German Competition 2019
Waterproof Daniela König

Two women, two worlds, one occupation: Khawla and Aishe are plumbers in Jordan. Will they be able to make their friendship waterproof again after the whirlwind of events?

Waterproof

Documentary Film
Germany
2019
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Stefan Kloos, Michaela Pňačeková
Daniela König
Basel Naouri
Patrick Richter
Alex Bakri
Daniela König
Manja Ebert, Claudia Leder
At the beginning the car radio plays a song you simply have to hum along with. The song escapes the neat compact car, floats out into urban space and becomes the initial sound of an in some respects initial film. In the car, women on their way to the next job are sitting, giggling, singing (and smoking). They are plumbers – a golden craft that shines a little brighter than elsewhere here in the desert state of Jordan. Water needs to be carefully protected from leaking, getting dirty, dripping and seeping away here. This lends their mission a heroic touch – and provides the not unfunny horizon in front of which the German media artist and reportage filmmaker Daniela König talks about something (almost) completely different.

This other thing is not encountered often in the (Western) filmic view of “the Arab world”. It’s bright and casts shadows only where two diverging developments meet in a confined space. Here is peroxide-blonde Khawla, who successfully sells herself in the media as “Jordan’s first female plumber”, and there is her employee Aishe, who wants to start something new as her 40th birthday is approaching. How will their friendship develop in the up and down of hierarchic friction, in the shifts from patronising to dependency to patronising? This is shown in a documentary that borrows its plot from soap operas – and pays back in the currency of another genre.

Sylvia Görke
German Competition 2019
Zustand und Gelände Ute Adamczewski

Ute Adamczewski films places in Saxony that are no longer recognisable as sites of Nazi persecution in 1933. A charged confrontation of contemporary scenes with archive texts.

Zustand und Gelände

Documentary Film
Germany
2019
119 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ute Adamczewski
Ute Adamczewski
Stefan Neuberger
Ute Adamczewski
Ute Adamczewski, André Siegers
Ludwig Berger
The title already indicates that this is about two levels. History and the present, archive and presence – these are the terms Ute Adamczewski uses to describe the tension between state and terrain. The series of dichotomies could be continued with “image and sound”. What we see in these two hours are towns, places and landscapes in Saxony. They all have a connection to events immediately after the Nazis seized power in 1933. At that time the hunt for political opponents began which affected so many that numerous, partly improvised prisons and camps were built in the area.

An off-screen woman’s voice calmly reads from documents of the period, supplemented and expanded by memoirs of those affected from the post-war period. Historical-political aspects are added successively. In the GDR, only those who had fought against fascism were regarded as “victims of fascism”. Jews were no victims in that sense. This finds a remarkable parallel in the fact that even the Nazis in their attempts to bring order to the persecutions of 1933 (still) excluded the Jews: “Foreign descent is no reason for protective detention.” An impressive film about the presence of the past, both in form and content.

Bert Rebhandl



Awarded with a Golden Dove in the German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film and the VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness.