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Young Cinema Competition 2013
Kalyug Juri Mazumdar

The ancient Indian tribe of the Bhil in the age of decline, the mythical Kalyug – caused by HIV. Legends and contemporary reality interwoven in archaic images.

Kalyug

Documentary Film
Italy
2013
74 minutes
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Heidi Gronauer, Lorenzo Paccagnella
Juri Mazumdar
Anke Riester
Giorgio Chiodi
Gero Hecker
Once upon a time there were a brother and sister who had illicit sexual relations. That was the beginning of the age of Kalyug, the age of downfall in Hindu cosmology. Has it started again? The Bhil, an ancient tribe, must think so. Modern society has condemned them to live in poverty and loneliness as migrant workers. Worse, a terrible disease is raging among them: HIV. It’s hard to develop a rational attitude towards the causes and effects of the virus on the background of traditional beliefs and the hierarchy in Indian hospitals. At least now the medicine is reaching the patients. A young medical student brings it on his motorcycle, travelling endless miles through a barren, dusty landscape. But his fight for enlightenment seems a fight against windmills.
“Kalyug”’s sophisticated dialectic narrative, which interweaves ancient legends and the stories of the present age, is compelling. The film moves without breaks from a background story, a storyteller at a campfire, to three different internal stories which in turn are linked in a kind of circular structure, with one motive prompting the next. Embedded in the serene flow of the narrative, the archaic images have a mythical effect – while remaining firmly rooted in the reality of the here and now.

Lars Meyer
Next Masters Competition 2019
Never Whistle Alone Marco Ferrari

A cool and therefore all the more breathtaking study of corruption and truth that presents courageous whistleblowers from the “back benches”. Political, abysmal, activating.

Never Whistle Alone

Documentary Film
Italy
2019
74 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Priscilla Robledo, Francesco Crespi
Marco Ferrari
Francesco Leali, Alessandro Branca
Stefano Govi
Neil Devetti
Syd Golding
Marco Ferrari
Vito Martinelli
Ever since Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden everyone knows what a whistleblower is. Betraying secrets for a good cause brings a lot of honour to those who dare expose criminal systems. But becoming a whistleblower also means you lose your (former) life, risk mobbing, persecution and exile.

Director Marco Ferrari talks to seven people from his home country Italy who took this decision, asking them about their motives and the consequences – on a personal level as well as with regard to the crimes they denounced. Even if each of the interviewees worked up the individual courage to denounce system failures, their stories are uncannily similar: Anyone who gets out and does the right thing is immediately faced with aggression, intimidation, corruption, harassment and isolation. The police and judiciary seem not even close to being able to protect whistleblowers adequately respectively deal with their information sensibly. Ferrari doesn’t emphasize the individual characteristics but shows, by means of deliberately exaggerated stagings, what universal patterns of intimidation, cover-ups and thoughtlessness corrupt organisations are founded on. An important, tense film, whose protagonists seem like a blueprint for more moral courage at the desk.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Young Cinema Competition 2012
White Men Alessandro Baltera, Matteo Tortone

White among blacks: dozens albinos are killed in Africa. Four men’s lives between mortal fear and defiant rebellion, in compelling black and white.

White Men

Documentary Film
Italy
2011
65 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Enrico Giovannone, Babydocfilm
Alessandro Baltera, Matteo Tortone
Rodolfo Mongitore
Matteo Tortone
Alessandro Baltera, Enrico Giovannone
Alessandro Baltera, Matteo Tortone
Nicolò Angelino
The white citizens of Tanzania are the rich settlers. The “white men”, the albinos, however, the white ones among the black ones, are considered underprivileged and leprous. And not only that: especially in the region around Lake Victoria superstition has it that anyone who owns a part of their body will suddenly become rich. So they live like fair game, constantly in danger of being attacked, mutilated or hacked to pieces. The film manages to make this permanent feeling of exposure palpable by following the protagonists on long walks through streets lined with shabby cabins. What is garbage here, what is furniture? They seem defenceless, forced to run this gauntlet every day while people are calling from all sides: Hey, white man. The two Italian directors Baltera and Tortone portray four of them, show how they organise their survival, how they fight back. The rapper Dixon, for example, takes the offensive: as Mr. White he angrily cries out his lyrics at the local Kiss Club. Or Alfred Kapole, president of the local Albino Center, who collects all the horrible news from the region, usually unable to help. The idea of shooting the film in black and white is almost mandatory as a format if you want to take the albinos’ perspective. Those who are different face difficulties all across the globe, but here, where the perpetrators have practically nothing to fear, the albinos live in dread.
– Cornelia Klauß