Film Archive

Sections (Film Archive)

Next Masters Wettbewerb 2016
#uploading_holocaust Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir

Young Israelis performing a rite of initiation, the “Journey to Poland”: seven days, three mass graves, four concentration camps, and cameras running all the time. An exercise in identity made up of YouTube videos – horror 2.0.

#uploading_holocaust

Documentary Film
Austria,
Germany,
Israel
2016
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion, udiVsagi production
Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir
Uri Agnon
Sagi Bornstein, Gal Goffer
Aviv Aldema
It’s like an initiation ritual. Every year 25,000 Israeli pupils and students go on a trip to Poland, visiting four concentration camps, three mass graves and two ghettos in seven days. It’s a journey to the dead, their roots, and themselves: as Jews and citizens of Israel. They document everything on their smartphones: hotel rooms, barracks, shooting ranges, themselves, their friends. The material shared on YouTube is the basis of this film – and it’s revealing. The two Israeli directors Sagi Bornstein and Udi Nir set contemporary recordings against videotapes from the 1980s. How will the memory change when there are no more contemporary witnesses? What can the crumbling sites still reveal? When will the rituals become hollow?

The Holocaust is the narrative of Israel, the constituent element of the state, even more than Zionism. That’s what the young people are taught to believe. The concept is historical imagination and immersion. They are supposed to feel the squeeze of the cattle wagons, the hardness of the narrow pallets and the oppression of the gas chambers. Horror 2.0. The video material also shows, however, how much smarter the young people are. There are no stupid questions, documentary filmmaker Marcel Ophüls once said, only stupid answers.

Cornelia Klauß


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2017
Delta Oleksandr Techynskyi

Deep winter in the Bukovina in the thinly populated Danube delta: the season of the tough reed harvest. In this inhospitable and remote region, spirituality offers a sheltering home to the community.

Delta

Documentary Film
Germany,
Ukraine
2017
80 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Yulia Serdyukova, Gennady Kofman, Kirill Krasovski
Oleksandr Techynskyi
Oleksandr Techynskyi
Marina Maykovskaya
Oleg Golovoshkin
The thinly populated Danube delta in the Bukovina is situated at the EU’s exterior border on Romanian and Ukrainian territory. Far from the container ships on the main stream a network of tributaries branches out in an endless reed forest. Warm and cold browns alternate in the shifting light of midwinter. Walls of fog and grey water blur the horizon. Men cut their way through the high canes to harvest the reed. The camera pushes them to the edge of the frame. The strictly limited sharp focus sometimes turns them into strangers in an unreal landscape by which they are occasionally absorbed. It’s cold and wet as they cut the huge reeds, gather them in massive bunches and carry them across ice channels. The work is hard, the voices of the rural workers rough, the daily grind that must be survived is tough. In the pathless, wild isolation of this region, the orthodox faith offers shelter. Hectic and chaotic, buckets and bottles filmed from up close scoop the holy water out of the river. At the last benediction the village mourns by chanting, tightly packed around the deceased – the spiritual rituals of a small, isolated community encircled by the veins of the mighty Danube. Oleksandr Techynskyis haptic film captures the closeness in this wide expanse.

André Eckardt



Honorary Mention Next Masters Competition;
Nominated for MDR Film Prize, Healthy Workplaces Film Award, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Stress

Documentary Film
Germany,
USA
2018
83 minutes
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Florian Baron, Herbert Burkert
Florian Baron
Yunas Orchestra, Jana Irmert, Fatima Camara
Johannes Waltermann
Clemens Walter
Florian Baron
Jana Irmert, Linus Nickl, Nils Vogel-Bartling
The trauma of 9/11, the ideology of violent retribution, military service as a patriotic family tradition, the “unfairness” of today’s warfare – in their voice-overs, five young Afghanistan war veterans first establish familiar foundations. Joe, Torrie, Mike, James and Justin from Pittsburgh are slow to show us their faces. Physically unharmed but full of inner pain they have become the misunderstood upon their return. Their violent experiences speak a language that the people at home don’t understand.

“Stress” finds an artistic approach that impressively emphasizes the spoken word with all its unmistakeable signals of emotions and produces a physical experience of the tension of a permanent state of alarm in all its complexity. An extremely slow camera and sound follow the verbal descriptions of war experiences with everyday scenes, like a somnambulistic nightmare, creating plastic almost-still lives where everything can be looked at from every side but still remains intangible. They reveal a life behind glass and in a leaden time that moves inexorably forward but allows no real progress. The coda of this intoxicating and oppressive composition reverberates for a long time: it’s Torrie’s conviction that ultimately the army is still a good place to grow up.

André Eckardt


Awarded with the DEFA Sponsoring Prize for an outstanding long German documentary film
Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Next Masters Wettbewerb 2017
The Strange Sound of Happiness Diego Pascal Panarello

The Sicilian Diego, plagued by existential crises, is haunted by a vision: the image of a Jew’s harp. His search for the history of this instrument takes him into deepest Siberia.

The Strange Sound of Happiness

Documentary Film
Germany,
Italy
2017
89 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Edoardo Fracchia
Diego Pascal Panarello
Bartolomeo Sailer
Matteo Cocco
Enrica Gatto, Carmen Kirchweger
Alvise Renzini
Diego Pascal Panarello
Danilo Romancino, Michael Haesters, Sorin Apostol
After twenty years, the failed musician Diego returns to his Sicilian hometown of Augusta with no money, job or perspectives. In a dream he has a vision of a Jew’s harp, called Marranzano in Italian. The half vibrant, half buzzing sound of this small musical instrument echoes in the chant of the omnipresent cicadas – and in the sound of an electric shaver. After some initial research at the local souvenir shop, Diego soon finds himself in freezing Yakutia, where the Jew’s harp is called Khomus and considered a lucky charm. In Siberia Diego also meets the most famous Khomus player in the world, a generally respected blacksmith with a striking resemblance to the master from “The Karate Kid”, and learns about the rich mythology of the instrument. People say, for example, that one of the best Marranzani flew into space one night to be played by a Russian cosmonaut. Diego’s research on the universal history of the Jew’s harp merges with the story of his personal pursuit of happiness, while his journey is driven in equal measure by self-questioning, ethnographical interest and associative enthusiasm.

Esther Buss



Honorary Mention Next Masters Competition;
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize