Film Archive

Palace for the People

Documentary Film
Bulgaria,
Germany,
Romania
2018
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Martichka Bozhilova, Thomas Tielsch, Velvet Moraru
Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Ema Konstantinova
Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Momchil Bozhkov
Today we see them with a tourist’s eye – or we don’t see them at all, like the Palace of the Republic in Berlin. “Palace for the People” visits five emblematic buildings of the socialist era: massive stone bodies, whose facades and interiors, configuration of rooms and furniture, decor and functionality invariably aimed for the representation of political systems and values. Superlative power buildings – some shooting up high like the Lomonosov University in Moscow, some sprawling like Ceauşescu’s palace in Bucharest.

Guided tours are always a form of return, a kind of retrospective, the affective connection to what is gone. With a sharp eye for historic architectural quirks and characteristic features, Georgi Bogdanov and Boris Missirkov take us to places that are, however historical they may seem, still haunted by the ghosts of the visions they were once built for. Places soaked with futures that never materialised or materialised quite differently from what was envisioned.

Lukas Stern


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize and the MDR Film Prize


The screening on 31 October, 17:00, is a special screening supported by MDR.

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.

The Call

Animated Film
Romania
2018
10 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Anca Damian
Anca Damian
Ciprian Cimpoi
Sergiu Negulici, Ioana Laura Nicoară
Anca Damian
Clément Badin, Lionel Guenoun
Her son’s daily phone call and taking regular baths are among an elderly woman’s favourite pastimes. She finds lightness by immersing herself in the water. The memories weighing her down disappear. Will she resurface to answer her son’s phone call? A creative short film full of powerful images that dives into the spheres of different animation techniques – and of existence. A poetic stream of thoughts about transience.

Annina Wettstein

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.

Cabbage, Potatoes and Other Demons

Documentary Film
Germany,
Romania
2016
62 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Alex Iordăchescu, Șerban Georgescu, Heino Deckert
Șerban Georgescu
Vlad Blîndu
Bogdan Slăvescu
Șerban Georgescu
Șerban Georgescu
Alex Iosub
In the small town of Lunguleţu in Southern Romania there are around 1,000 farmers who own the same number of tractors and produce 100,000 tons of cabbage and potatoes per year. Every one of these thousand farmers will then stand on the local market square in summer after the potato harvest and in late autumn after the cabbage harvest, sacks of cabbage and potatoes piled up in huge pyramids as far as the eye can see. Any attempt to make a profit by selling the produce is, of course, in vain in view of this absurd overproduction. The diligent farmers underbid each other until they end up either losing money or ploughing the harvest under right away.

When director Şerban Georgescu buys a ton of white cabbage for his mother for 20 Euros here, he begins to wonder and decides to spend a year in Lunguleţu and cultivate cabbage and potatoes himself. He investigates why the farmers voluntarily enter this economic dead end. Even though the mayor and a few villagers have some good ideas for finding a way out of this misery, a common solution is not in sight. The suspicion among them sits deep and the fear of any kind of cooperative is great – the memories of expropriation under Ceauşescu are still too fresh, potential success by competition seems too tempting, even if they are threatened by bankruptcy every day.

Lina Dinkla

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.

As You Like It

Documentary Film
Romania
2013
22 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Ioana Lascăr
Paula Oneţ
Tudor Petre
Paula Oneţ
Paula Oneţ
Paula Oneţ
Rudolf Costin, Manuela Borza, Ioana Ţurcan
There’s no time like the present, would be a good description of a phenomenon Paula Oneţ came across in the region of Cluj in Romania, which made her curious. Women and men in the second half of their lives but still quite hale and hearty are intensely concerned about the photo that’s to be mounted on their own headstone – not as a hypothetical issue, but as a very concrete undertaking.
Visits to the hairdresser are made, photo shootings scheduled, serious discussions had over headstones which, though the owner is still very much alive, are already standing on the graves, decorated with flowers and wreathes. The headstone, including a carefully produced and selected portrait, is a status symbol during one’s lifetime. And it’s the – evidently – vain attempt to determine how you want to be remembered by posterity. But what may seem an eccentric and possibly bothersome task at first glance actually shows a healthy, fear-free attitude to one’s own death.
“As You Like It” is an entertaining reflection about our earthly existence and the human need to understand one’s inevitable demise as a part of life.

Lina Dinkla

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.

International Programme
Stremt 89 Anda Puscas, Dragos Dulea

What do you need for a revolution? Lots of alcohol, a few sickles and shotguns and an opponent in the cornfield... Autum 1989 in the Carpathian Mountains, straight from the source.

Stremt 89

Documentary Film
Romania
2012
14 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Anda Puscas, UNATC
Anda Puscas, Dragos Dulea
Stephen James Wilkinson
Anda Puscas
Dragos Dulea
Dragos Dulea
Never heard of Stremt? But you can learn how to stage a revolution from the small Romanian village near Cluj-Napoca in the Carpathian Mountains. It doesn’t take carnations or the colour orange but, first of all, alcohol for Dutch courage. Only then do you set out, arm yourself and suddenly identify enemies and terrorists everywhere – or was it the other way round? Time passes more slowly in Stremt. After they saw Ceauşescu’s fall on television, some villagers felt that their hour had come and decided to rebel. But where do you start a revolt when everyone knows everyone else? The ensuing dramatic scenes were mainly due to the wild conjecture and rumours that spread suddenly – and the fact that no one was hurt was mainly due to the fact that the pistol wasn’t loaded. The two young filmmakers’, born in 1985 and 1989, short film is a merry tour de force that demonstrates how quickly a house of card collapses once fear has been conquered.
– 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.