Film Archive

International Programme 2016
Child Mother Ronen Zaretzky, Yael Kipper

As girls they were forced to marry considerably older men, now they talk about it with their adult children. About living with wounds that never heal.

Child Mother

Documentary Film
Israel
2016
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Yael Kipper, Ronen Zaretzky
Ronen Zaretzky, Yael Kipper
Shiran Karni, Adi Forti, Oren Rot
Ronen Zaretzky
Tor Ben Mayor
Ronen Zaretzky, Yael Kipper
Aviv Aldema, Db Studios
Esther’s, Naomi’s and Hanna’s memories are testimony to the cruelty of a both archaic and brutal tradition in human trafficking: the forced marriage of young girls to considerably older men for “Mohar” (nuptial money). The women, who come from Morocco and Yemen and are now grown old, have their say today in a dialogue with their daughters and sons who grew up in Israel. Their subjects are hushing up the age difference, repeated miscarriages and very early motherhood, being forced to work in spite of the babies at home, legendary escape attempts, self-empowerment by literacy, and always the constellation of raising kids in spite of the unfathomable trauma of having been sold by their parents. The film is most controversial when wounds meet wounds. “Did you never think about the fact that I would grow up without a father?” Avi asks, who became a half-orphan at the age of six.

With great empathy and stoicism the filmmakers manage to open an intimate space in which, of course, there is also dancing, joking and singing. And when the inexpressible manifests itself in pure emotion, there is always the women’s silence – carrying every facet of anger, shame, the longing to be dead, pride and will power.

Nadja Rademacher
International Programme 2013
Do You Believe in Love? Dani Wasserman

An unusual matchmaker and her clients: female, male, young, old, healthy, sick, handicapped, normal, and crazy. Politically uncorrect, with lots of fun.

Do You Believe in Love?

Documentary Film
Israel
2013
50 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barak Heymann
Dani Wasserman
Eli Soorani
Gonen Glazer, Daniel Miran
Ron Goldman
Dani Wasserman
Gil Toren
Tova has been unable to move a finger since the disease has paralysed her muscles. Now she sits enthroned in a huge, upholstered chair like an oracle and receives her clients in the living room. Women, men, young, old, healthy, sick, handicapped, normal, and crazy: they all come to Tova because each and every one of them is searching for the perfect mate. The fact that Tova herself does not believe in love and frequently states this loud and clear does not lessen her success. She works tirelessly to find the right partners for her desperate clients.
With dedication and a sophisticated bookkeeping system, she tries to bring together those who have been unsuccessful on the “free market” so far. But there’s no trace of compassion or misunderstood correctness: Tova’s “star” – a young, slightly spastic woman in a wheelchair – sends her dream man packing without batting an eyelash when he has the impertinence to reproach her for her unhealthy lifestyle on the first date. And so the search goes on.
Dan Wasserman follows this unique matchmaker over the course of a year, allowing us to share the life and sufferings of a strong woman and her family. He succeeds, not least thanks to his amazing protagonist, in making a warm-hearted film about love – or what we think is love.

Lina Dinkla

Down the Deep, Dark Web

Documentary Film
France,
Israel
2016
56 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Duki Dror, Alexandre Brachet, Liat Kamay-Eshed, Margaux Missika
Tzachi Schiff, Duki Dror
Frank Ilfman
Philippe Bellaiche, Gleb Volkov
Dror Yaakobovich
Yuval Orr
Ronen Nagel
Under the surface of Google Land where life is so comfortable there is a world known as the Deep or Dark Net. A virtual data space whose content will not be found by conventional search engines and that remains closed to ordinary users – unless they install dedicated software. Governments, banks or corporations use the Deep Net, as well as all those who wish to keep their online activities hidden. In Google Land we leave traces, in the Deep Net special encryption technology allows us to remain anonymous. Duki Dror’s and Tzachi Schiff’s comprehensive film about the Internet, privacy, surveillance and the vision of a completely new economic structure opens with its worst variation: as a market platform for drugs, child pornography and arms. Is this the reason why governments are fighting the Net? On the other hand it’s the only digital space that offers protection to critical journalists, opposition members in dictatorships or whistleblowers.

The film works its detailed and knowledgeable way through the current developments of our digital world without passing judgement. What’s at stake is individual freedom. The sceptical summary: people want just enough freedom to feel good. Google Land. Who cares if we expose ourselves to constant surveillance that way?

Matthias Heeder
International Programme 2013
Fading Note Hani Dombe

A woman does the housework in her flat somewhere in Eastern Europe, where she spent her youth with her sister. But she is beset by memories: games played together, piano practice and the dream of ...

Fading Note

Animated Film
Israel
2013
7 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hani Dombe
Hani Dombe
Yoav Hudin
Hani Dombe
Uriel Malnovitzer
Hani Dombe
Hani Dombe
Yoav Hudin
A woman does the housework in her flat somewhere in Eastern Europe, where she spent her youth with her sister. But she is beset by memories: games played together, piano practice and the dream of shining in the limelight as a duo. The holocaust put a sudden stop to that; only her memories are still alive. Her visions of how things could have been displace the reality around her.
International Programme 2013
Fading Valley Irit Gal

The fields of Palestinian farmers in the occupied territories on the West Bank are withering while the Jewish settlers have water to spare. A look at a drama in quiet images.

Fading Valley

Documentary Film
Israel
2013
56 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Irit Gal
Irit Gal
River
Daniel Gal
Rabab Haj Yahya
Irit Gal
If this film was about illegal substance deals it would be less remarkable that business must be done secretly. The commodity here, however, is not a hallucinogenic substances but something that makes life possible in the first place: water. But isn’t free access to water one of the basic human rights?
The scene is the valley of the Jordan River on the West Bank. Listening to the daily discussions of the water transport man with the resident Palestinians, who are trying to cultivate their land in this region, will give you an idea of what it means to live in an occupied military zone. While the world above ground is permanently threatened by drought, enough water is flowing through the subterranean pipelines. Irit Gal approaches the local conditions and incorporates this contradiction, which extends into quite different areas, too. The quiet images conceal a tragic story that reaches far beyond the boundaries of this valley.

Claudia Lehmann
International Programme 2018
Like Us, Lovers Dotan Moreno

The story of how an Israeli father found himself. An animated and precise observation of our daily life and the sudden surges of its hidden sensuality.

Like Us, Lovers

Animated Film
Israel
2018
16 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Dotan Moreno
Dotan Moreno
Amit Hai Cohen
Dotan Moreno
Dotan Moreno
Dotan Moreno
Dotan Moreno
Andres Rapaport
The story of an Israeli father’s road to finding himself. He, mother and child – a nice but alienated core family in a nice but lifeless suburb. The boy accidentally hurts a girl. The father, leading his son by the hand, goes to apologize and finally finds what he desires. An animation film full of precise observations of our daily life and its hidden and unexpected bursts of sensuality.

Saskia Walker

Nabbin

Documentary Film
Czech Republic,
Israel
2018
30 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nadav Harel, Kat Tolkovsky
Kat Tolkovsky
Kat Tolkovsky
Kat Tolkovsky
Kat Tolkovsky
Rotem Dror
After years in Israel the filmmaker returns to Nabbin in the Czech Republic, the place where she grew up, and to the people who surrounded her then.

Narrating Hebron

Documentary Film
Austria,
Israel,
Palestinian territories
2017
21 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
Viktoria Bayer
History is created by the person who tells it. And there are many different ways of telling it. Biases shift, details are left out or emphasised. In Hebron, a city in West Jordan divided into zones and inhabited by both Israelis and Palestinians, convictions about history and truth intersect with and are superimposed upon each other. The film collects the different narratives, told by Israeli and Palestinian city guides.

Carolin Weidner
International Programme 2015
Oriented Jake Witzenfeld

Young, cool, and gay: three Palestinians in Tel Aviv between long party nights and the struggle against exclusion from their own families, Arab society, and Israel.

Oriented

Documentary Film
Israel
2015
83 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jake Witzenfeld, Yoav Birenfeld
Jake Witzenfeld
Tamir Muskat
David Stragmeister, Michael Miroshnik, Omar Sawalha
Nili Feller
Jake Witzenfeld
Aviv Aldema
They are young and hungry for life, have academic degrees, their lifestyle is urban. Cool guys who want to prove that they represent a new generation. Khader, Fadi and Naeem have Israeli passports but consider themselves Palestinians first and foremost. They are also vegetarians, atheists and feminists. And most of all gay. While Naeem is still struggling with his coming out, Khader is a step further. His boyfriend is an Israeli. They are all outsiders, which unites them. Even if they can immerse themselves in the anonymity of long party nights in Tel Aviv, reality always catches up with them: a family who turn their backs and Israelis who are prejudiced against every Palestinian, straight or gay. The political conflict dominates everything.

British filmmaker Jake Witzenfeld followed his three friends over more than a year to get a look behind their cool facades. He makes them pose, arranges music clips, becomes part of their life, accompanies them on visits to their parents – and finds moments when the utopia of another life seems possible. In all the political and racist roaring and yelling the three friends seem like lambs.

Cornelia Klauß

Phoenix

Documentary Film
Israel
2018
69 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Anat Tel
Anat Tel
Alberto Shwartz
Emmanuelle Mayer
Noam Amit
Anat Tel
Rotem Dror
Ahfrahn Phoenix grew up among the African Hebrew Israelites in the Israeli town of Dimona. He was excluded from the community when he began to talk openly about the fact that he was raped repeatedly by a member of the community as a child. In his early thirties now, he is trying to carve out a present for himself despite the trauma of the past, in conversations with his parents and other victims of abuse from the religious group in Dimona.

“I’m riding a bike that I can’t manage to get off of,” that’s the metaphor Ahfrahn Phoenix uses for the memories he can’t shake off. Alternating between conversations and self-reflexive moments, the protagonist’s inner turmoil is reflected in the film’s images. The Israeli documentary filmmaker Anat Tel follows him on his way from surviving to living in a portrait of great intimacy which also raises fundamental questions about how to deal with sexual abuse in closed communities.

Fabian Tietke
International Programme 2013
Ponevezh Time Yehonatan Indursky

The closed world of an orthodox Talmud university in Israel. Elite educational establishment, century-old rituals, community, and great pressure. “Beneath the Wheel” with kippa and torah.

Ponevezh Time

Documentary Film
Israel
2012
53 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Einat Pinsky-Goldschmidt, Talia Kleinhendler, Osnat Handelsman-Keren
Yehonatan Indursky
Ophir Leibovitch
Philippe Bellaiche
Tali Halter-Shenkar
Yehonatan Indursky
Yossi Appelbaum
The Ponevezh Yeshiva is one of the most renowned Talmud schools in Israel. More than 1,000 students study the Torah day and night. The daily schedule is strict, of course, or, as one of the Rabbis puts it: If you miss morning prayers only once you ruin everything. At first glance life in this elite boarding school gives one a feeling of security – the security of ultra-Orthodox century-old Jewish rituals and a life devoted to celebrating God. Every exception to the rule is an extremely delicate matter. When you look more closely, you see – and who wonders – insecurity among the adolescents and young men, coupled with the wish to distinguish themselves, for example through ambition. Because the individual is apt to be overlooked when everyone is equal. Many are under pressure. One student is urgently looking for a new study partner; another is coming to terms with his parents’ wish to find the right wife for him. A third feels like a stranger and lonely among his fellow students.
Director Yehonatan Indursky studied at Ponevezh himself, which enabled him to be the first to open a filmic window on this otherwise closed world. He does it with great sensitivity and intuition for his protagonists’ personal questions and desires. Thus his subject becomes not the school as such but the balance between the individual and the community.

Lars Meyer
International Programme 2014
Robin Yuval Nathan, Merav Ben Simon-Nathan

A visual interpretation of a poem by Emily Dickinson within a fragile organic world in which flowers and creatures change between life and death, between blooming and withering.

Robin

Animated Film
Israel
2014
4 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Yuval Nathan, Merav Ben Simon-Nathan
Yuval Nathan, Merav Ben Simon-Nathan
Efrat Ben Zur
Yuval Nathan, Oded Plotnizki
Yuval Nathan, Merav Ben Simon-Nathan
Yuval Nathan, Merav Ben Simon-Nathan
Yuval Nathan, Merav Ben Simon-Nathan
Efrat Ben Zur
A visual interpretation of a poem by Emily Dickinson within a fragile organic world in which flowers and creatures change between life and death, between blooming and withering.
International Programme 2013
The Lab Yotam Feldman

The Palestinian conflict as a field of experimentation for the Israeli arms industry. An investigation that comes alarmingly close to some of the leading minds and penetrates deeply into the logic behind it all.

The Lab

Documentary Film
Israel
2013
58 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Yoav Roeh, Serge Kestemont, Frank Eskenazi
Yotam Feldman
Guns that shoot around corners, so-called “cornershots”, are among the more profitable special developments of the Israeli arms industry. The army had already tested them in house-to-house fighting before they went on to become an international bestseller. A conspicuous number of former army employees enter the arms industry. They supply not only the tools of war, but the practical experience, too. War as a field of experimentation for the arms industry?
Israel is the fourth-largest arms exporter today. Director Yotam Feldman wants to find out whether the country’s wealth, however unevenly distributed it may be, exists in spite of or precisely because of military conflicts. So he talks to those who ought to know: the leading minds of a deathly industry. He is there when they receive diplomats from all over the world and visit arms fairs. When military philosophers think up the superstructure and the Brazilian police follow suit. “The Lab” is an investigative film in the best sense. As opposed to the likes of Michael Moore, Feldman does not play the provocateur. This seeming neutrality allows him to come really terrifyingly close to those dealers and their logic. This ought to be instructive for German citizens, too. After all, Germany ranks third among the global arms exporters.

Lars Meyer

White Night

Documentary Film
Israel
2012
48 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Daniel Gal
Yuval Orr
Irit Gal
They are up in their kitchens before daybreak, straighten their sleeping children’s blankets and are ready to depart between two and three in the morning. Every night, Palestinian women living in a refugee camp near Jerusalem go on a difficult journey. Irit Gal accompanies Fatma, Jamila and the others, including Fayek, the only man, on their way across rough ground, mountains and forests, rubble and debris. When they reach the border to Israel they crawl through narrow holes in the barbed wire to run to safety from the army then. In the city, the hunted turn into modern women in high heels and without Hijabs who merge with the crowds. When they are cleaning Israeli homes it looks as if they were leading a normal life for a moment.
Under cover of darkness – which is no real protection after all – the women confide their fears, dreams and longings to the camera. The film moves only in the no man’s land between the borders, like its protagonists, who are marginalised by two societies: their own, where women are supposed to stay at home (even while they are forced to feed their families by illegal means) and Israel, which refuses them work permits and thus a life in dignity. One would like to invite those responsible to take part in this hellish night-time journey just once.
– Grit Lemke