Film Archive

Jahr

Diary From the Revolution

Documentary Film
Norway
2012
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Kristine Ann Skaret, Geir Bølstad
Nizam Najjar
John Birger Wormdahl, Bjarne Larsen
Khalifa Elfetory, Sadoon Alamlas, Blade Kushba
Torkel Gjørv
Nizam Najar
Bernt Syvertsen
The first image: a reminiscence of Western movies – the director Nizam Najjar in a dusty landscape. But he can’t keep up this kind of cool for long; in Tripoli he is not deceived by the paroxysms of joy. Parts of the country are still occupied by Gaddafi’s troops; the front lines in Libya are confusing. He has spent the last ten years in the safety of exile in Oslo. Now that his country is in upheaval, nothing will keep him there. “Armed” with his camera he joins the rebels at Misrata, not concealing his fear. He is allowed to live among the irregular troops lead by Haj Siddiq as “one of them” for more than a year. He records skirmishes, problems with arms supplies and the provisional camp life in a video diary. His observations of the Al Gabra Brigade themselves are equally enlightening. What is its structure, how do the characters change? Even though they might die as heroes, all these young rebels have plans for a life on earth. The call for a “martyr’s death” sounds more and more like a hollow phrase. The charismatic figure of Haj Siddiq is at the centre of the filmmaker’s focus. Like a patriarch the former developer has gathered his family and former employees around him and made them his loyal followers. His smug style of leadership already contains calculations for the assumption of power after victory.

Cornelia Klauß

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

My Stolen Revolution

Documentary Film
Norway,
Sweden
2013
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Nahid Persson Sarvestani
Nahid Persson Sarvestani
Adam Norden
Nicklas Karpaty, Makan
Emil Engerdahl, Nahid Persson Sarvestani
The archive material in the opening sequence evokes life in Iran in the 1970s. Many people managed to “lead a normal life”, while the oppositional groups still fought the Shah side by side. The Shah was thrown over, “but the Islamists were better organised than us”. Nahid Persson Sarvestani was a leftist activist at the time. She escaped brutal detention, which meant torture, rape and mass executions, only by great luck and her brother Rostam’s help. Rostam himself was killed.
A stubborn feeling of guilt makes Nahid Persson Sarvestani bring some of the few survivors of the former movement together many years later. The suggestive power of the objects and works of art created in and through prison and the five women’s harrowing memories of a regime that is still in power today are juxtaposed with a very personal approach and a discourse reflecting private thoughts and questions. More than that, the director manages to depict a profound feeling of fellowship by confronting us with the moving stories of strong personalities who shook off the chador not only symbolically.

Claudia Lehmann



Film Prize "Leipziger Ring" 2013

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.