Film Archive

International Programme 2014
A Goat For a Vote Jeroen van Velzen

Student elections in rural Kenya. What do the candidates stand for? Who cares? It’s about prestige, and “little somethings” they distribute to the electorate. A basic course in democracy.

A Goat For a Vote

Documentary Film
Kenya,
Netherlands
2013
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hasse van Nunen, Maarten van der Ven
Jeroen van Velzen
Alex Boon
Stef Tijdink
Daan Wijdeveld
Jeroen van Velzen
Robil Rahantoeknam
Let’s look at how democratic processes are practiced at a student election in rural Kenya: What exactly does the student representative do? Who cares. The point is the office, the prestige, the start of individual careers. The candidates: Magdalena, who traditionally has a tough stand as the only female candidate. Harry, who is dirt poor. To finance his campaign he sells fish and coconuts on the market. Said the charmer, who wants to be an army general. He is already a strategist: a photo call with the deputy who is made to stand a step behind him, putting up posters, asking relatives for money. And then this seductive smile! They all know that the only way to win is through campaign gifts. Or let’s call them by their real name, like Magdalena’s grandmother: bribes. So they distribute candy and “little somethings”. Harry even manages to wheedle a goat out of his relatives. Meat for all! Only Magdalena talks about content – which is why she will lose …
What does this teach us? School as a social microcosm teaches what promises to be successful. If the way there is through corruption, that’s a daily experience in many countries. What did they say at the beginning of the film? “The best way to understand our society is to look at one’s children”. In this sense: A vote for a goat!
Matthias Heeder

Ana Ana (I Am Me)

Documentary Film
Egypt,
Netherlands,
Norway
2013
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Corinne van Egeraat
Corinne van Egeraat, Petr Lom
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Petr Lom, Nadine Salib, Sondos Shabayek, Sarah Ibrahim, Wafaa Samir
Petr Lom
Jeroen Goeijers
Where censorship rules, the hour of the metaphor has come. The Arab Spring in Egypt didn’t change much about this. The traditional roles assigned to women are still the same. Four young female artists from Cairo are cautiously exploring this thin line between poetry and prohibition in their works. They still have to hide their longing for creativity and self-realisation as well as their own ideas of sexuality and physicality under headscarves. The film translates this dichotomy between being and appearing into oscillating images that make us feel some of the fear and tension these women experience.
The Czech-born Canadian director Petr Lom and the Dutch filmmaker Corinne van Egeraat met the four theatre, photo and video artists at a workshop. They have been working together on this project since 2011, not just as actors, but also as co-authors. Their artistic objects and performances unfold a kaleidoscope of associations that dominate the film’s visual world. Past master Ryūichi Sakamoto provided the discrete but effective score. Ultimately, “Ana Ana” is a poem that couldn’t be more political.
Cornelia Klauß

Mario

Animated Film
Netherlands,
USA
2014
3 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Tess Martin
Tess Martin
In Italian playgrounds a song is chanted that dates back to World War I. It is a dark tale of a soldier who returns home to find his girlfriend in the arms of another man.
International Programme 2014
Storming Paradise Floor van der Meulen

Following the tracks of young European men who went to Syria as Jihadists. “Good boys” in search of meaning, first-hand reports and a bold shift in perspective.

Storming Paradise

Documentary Film
Netherlands
2014
46 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Janneke Doolaard
Floor van der Meulen
Stephan Polman
Michiel Boesveldt
It seems the number of men who leave their homes to test themselves in various crisis spots in foreign wars is growing. In foreign wars? Floor van der Meulen looks more closely when she hears of the death of a Dutchman in Syria. Some boys from her neighbourhood also left to become jihadists. What makes them leave family and friends behind to fight Assad as holy warriors? The boys who chose this path are “good boys”, say their friends from the Dutch tower blocks in contravention of public opinion. At the Turkish-Syrian border, the director meets a fighter called “abu gharib” – “the foreigner” – and hears a first-hand account of his story, which features George W. Bush’s war on terror as well as the search for a meaningful life: “The gates of paradise are wide open.”
The film offers a change of perspective rarely permitted in Western media. On the visual level, it frequently juxtaposes blurred hand-camera images of bombings of Syrian cities with the clarity of lighted windows in nocturnal Delft. But Floor van der Meulen breaks perspective again like a flip-flop image when she follows two Syrian fighters who do not necessarily trust the foreign jihadists.
Lars Meyer