Film Archive

Killing Time

Documentary Film
Netherlands
2013
54 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Eric Velthuis
Jaap van Hoewijk
Adri Schrover, Stef Tijdink
Jos Driessen
Jaap van Hoewijk
Diego van Uden & Benny Jansen
The ministers come at 12.45 p.m.; at 1.30 p.m. the telephone lines are opened for a last phone call. While workers are cordoning off the media zone in front of the state prison and setting up a platform and lectern, television teams are starting to arrive and the protesters’ faction moves into place. Meanwhile, the perpetrator’s relatives are waiting for the act of pardon at the Hospitality Centre. Two minutes left. At 6 p.m. sharp on 12 June 2013, Elroy Chester is given the deadly injection and the execution follows its familiar routine. Business as usual in Huntsville, Texas.
Jaap van Hoewijk records the sober minutes of an act that is institutionalised and rationalised down to the minutest detail, which even the unctuous terminology of redemption used by the Christian contingent can’t conceal. Just as businesslike he lists the facts of the crime, opening up the whole dimension named in the chapters of his film – in a not coincidental evocation of Dostoyevsky –: crime and punishment.
The images make your blood curdle. How one party accepts apparently without emotion to be the criminal and assumes the role even in grief. How they wait for the death sentence in a rocking chair. How the others, who are really victims, pose for the winners’ photo. And how one comes to understand that this is the real crime.
Grit Lemke

Maidan

Documentary Film
Netherlands,
Ukraine
2014
128 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sergei Loznitsa, Maria Choustova-Baker
Sergei Loznitsa
Sergei Loznitsa, Serhiy Stefan Stetsenko, Mykhailo Yelchev
Danielius Kokanauskis, Sergei Loznitsa
Vladimir Golovnitski
They sing the national anthem, together and with pathos, alone and accompanied by a guitar. They sing (an allusion to their unpopular President Yanukovych) “Vitya, ciao, Vitya, ciao, Vitya, ciao ciao ciao!”, Christmas carols and Ukrainian folk songs, they versify, rhyme, mock, revolt, celebrate. They rest, take care of each other, warm, cook and feed each other. They stick together and feel free. A new time has come. They can feel it.
Putting current political events in documentary form rarely succeeds. Sergei Loznitsa’s film “Maidan” is all the more impressive since it was completed a few months after the decisive events in Kiev. His long, calm and uncommented shots gradually coalesce into a narrative and something much bigger: the chronicle of a revolutionary national awakening, and, on another, higher level, the universal image of a people’s rebellion. The presence of the rostrum announces itself only on the soundtrack, likewise the bangs of smoke bombs and snipers later. Chants turn into battle cries, enthusiasm and esprit turn into fighting, heaviness, grief and ultimately mourning.
Today, as another few months have passed, one wishes that time had come to a standstill with the end of this film.

Barbara Wurm



Honorary Mention in the International Competition Documentary Film 2014