Film Archive

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In the Claws of a Century Wanting

Documentary Film
Germany,
Philippines,
Qatar
2017
120 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jewel Maranan
Jewel Maranan
Jewel Maranan
Lawrence S. Ang
Francis Raphael Solajes, Mikael Andres Quizon
This film comes to rest with the rainy season. Typhoons are brewing and the sounds – the calls of playing children, the creaking of huge loading cranes, the noisy life in the alleys, the rumbling of trucks – all give way to the monotonous and persistent sound of pouring water. Only now do we notice how transparent and delicate, unstable and rich this world is into which the Philippine director Jewel Maranan takes us in her film.

Makeshift shanty towns built of corrugated iron, wooden slats and plastic sheets sprawl along the edges of Manila’s giant commercial harbour. The people who live here are poor, work as day labourers or load containers at night. The harbour is flourishing, its facilities are expanding, and the people are forced by the government to resettle. Five protagonists open up perspectives right into the heart of the reality of a marginalised environment. And whenever the camera – through the tarpaulins and sheets of corrugated iron – gives us a glimpse of the gantry cranes and piles of containers behind the houses, we also get a glimpse of the frowning face of the globalised world economy.

Lukas Stern


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Nine Month War

Documentary Film
Hungary,
Qatar
2018
73 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ágnes Horváth-Szabó, András Pires Muhi
László Csuja
Zágon Nagy
Ágnes Mógor
László Csuja
Tamás Beke
János is in his early twenties when he is conscripted by the Ukrainian government. His family are part of the Hungarian minority in the country. Many flee to the EU to escape conscription, but János chooses military service. László Csuja follows him in the weeks before he sets out on the 1,500 km trip to the frontline, he is there when János returns to his family for the holidays and welcomes him home when his term of service has ended. He also uses material János himself recorded with a smartphone camera when he was a soldier – glimpses of life on the base.

It’s no coincidence that the nine months of the title evoke the duration of an average pregnancy – “Nine Month War” is the portrait of a development, perhaps not from embryo to baby but from boy to man, depending on one’s definition of man. János, the boy, seems equally strong and naive, is surrounded by the love of his fiancée and an ever-present mother. János, the man returned by the Ukrainian army after his service, is more inaccessible, sometimes rude. Resistance has formed against the main female protagonists in his life. János is preoccupied with himself, sitting around in semi-darkness and playing with his hands, looking after the soldiers who come to the kiosk where he works with an impenetrable expression.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize