Film Archive

International Programme 2015
Back Home Inna Denisova

Coming home to Simferopol. Encounters with fanatical Putin supporters and critics who have to leave Crimea. An authentic look at a deeply divided society.

Back Home

Documentary Film
Russia
2015
74 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Inna Denisova
Inna Denisova
DJ Enjoykin
Egor Maximov, Oleg Morgun
Natasha Josef
Anna Shifrina
Inna Denisova
Roman Bakharev
We’ll probably never know exactly how the annexation of Crimea happened. But Inna Denisova, who realised this no budget film with lots of energy, is not concerned with the covert army operations or the open political rhetoric. She is interested in the subtle atmospheric shifts that come with the geopolitical ones. How do you live in a sea of Russian white, blue and red and graffiti posters that some see as promises of happiness and others as chauvinistic boasts? Denisova counters Putin’s great project of bringing the peninsula back into the realm with her own small, very personal return to her native city, Simferopol. Two versions of “Back Home” – and the question of what this was, is and will be: home, belonging, childhood.

She talks to old school friends, artists and gallery owners, avoiding all polemics. Some stay, many leave. Whether interviewing a friend of director Oleg Sencov (sentenced to 20 years hard labour for “terrorism” without a scrap of evidence) or looking at the extremely martial re-enactment event culture (tank lightshows for the whole family), whether talking to a cartoonist who has no more tourists to draw, which is why he now portrays Zhirinovsky and the “friendly little people” of the annexation … one thing becomes clear: it’s a deeply divided society whose individual members feel even more deeply insecure.

Barbara Wurm
International Programme 2014
Brutus Svetlana Filippova

Brutus always glanced into human eyes only for a moment and immediately turned away. Nobody knows better than dogs how fast people’s affections can change.

Brutus

Animated Film
Russia
2014
11 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lyubov Gaidukova
Svetlana Filippova
Svetlana Filippova
Svetlana Filippova
Ekaterina Boykova, Svetlana Zimina, Sara Magambetova, Svetlana Filippova
Svetlana Filippova
Artem Fadeev
Brutus always glanced into human eyes only for a moment and immediately turned away. Nobody knows better than dogs how fast people’s affections can change.
International Programme 2018
Dramatic and Mild Nastia Korkia

The arrangement: muscle man, Kandinsky, curious people. They all meet here in the smallest imaginable space, mingling in a situation that’s abstract on the one hand but very corporeal on the other.

Dramatic and Mild

Documentary Film
Russia
2018
6 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Anastasiya Olesik, Sergey Kondryakov
Nastia Korkia
Sergey Amirdzhanov
Tatyana Vikhreva
Nastia Korkia
Yelena Petrosyan
Like an action figure in a doll’s house: the impressive security officer makes his pectorals twitch in turn, the walkie-talkie skips to the rhythm. He keeps watch in a comfortably furnished box mounted on stilts in an industrial building. It contains: a painting by Wassily Kandinsky! The visitors’ queue winds up to the box, everybody wants to see the artwork, be on intimate terms with this treasure. A few square metres of complete concentration.

Carolin Weidner
International Programme 2017
Harmony Lidia Sheinin

Grandmother needs nursing now and so five of the younger family members take command. A film about being old, a child, a mother and about sad farewells – to things, to life.

Harmony

Documentary Film
Russia
2017
62 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lidia Sheinin
Lidia Sheinin
Lidia Sheinin
Lidia Sheinin
Lidia Sheinin, Makar Akhpashev, Andrey Fonin, Pavel Doreuli
It’s difficult to decide whether one should resent the slightly-built grandma for being grumpy. Her granddaughter is moving in to cook and care for her. But she is trailing four little children who brazenly hog the tiny average Soviet-era flat, crawl under their great-grandmother’s feet, leave crumbs everywhere and vividly demonstrate the modern school of educational methods. Babushka becomes a stranger in her own home. She tidies and mops up (after them) – it’s a miracle she never stumbles over the stretched woollen threads and diapered bottoms that are everywhere –, she whines and scolds. But the tears only start to flow when her beloved piano is to be “liquidated”, as she puts it …

Lidia Sheinin captures the emotional oscillations in this daily family chaos with a sure sense of closeness and distance. She surveys generations and attitudes in the smallest spaces, studies characters and relationships – and creates, in the midst of this frenzy, almost infinite zones of reflection about what ties us to each other.

Barbara Wurm


Nominated for MDR Film Prize
International Programme 2016
In Another World Anna Bedyńska

A baby is expected. Anticipated. Where is the head, where are the legs? But it’s different here – Kasia, who already has two kids and a career, must take a decision: her baby has Down’s syndrome.

In Another World

Documentary Film
Poland,
Russia
2016
26 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Marina Razbezhkina
Anna Bedyńska
Anna Bedyńska
Anna Bedyńska
Anna Bedyńska
Anna Bedyńska
A baby is expected. Anticipated. Where is the head, where are the legs? But it’s different here – Kasia, who already has two kids and a career, must take a decision: her baby has Down’s syndrome. Nine out of ten women in Germany choose an abortion in this case. For Kasia, who is catholic, this is hard to accept – as hard as the option of having the baby. Razbezhkina student Anna Bedyńska follows the family over a period of six months, in a film that touches on the last taboo of our perfect society.

Grit Lemke
International Programme 2017
Of Huge and Small Artem Funk

The question is not whether we’re afraid. The question is what we do when we’re afraid, says the activist Zhanna, who lives in Murmansk and has been classified as a “hostile agent” by the security forces for the past few years.

Of Huge and Small

Documentary Film
Germany,
Russia
2017
25 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Artem Funk
Artem Funk
Artem Funk
Artem Funk
Artem Funk
Artem Funk
The question is not whether we’re afraid. The question is what we do when we’re afraid, says the activist Zhanna, who lives in Murmansk and has been classified as a “hostile agent” by the security forces for the past few years. Zhanna lives with her fear and still speaks out about the present political situation – in Russia and elsewhere. It’s the only way she can reassure herself that we ourselves are writing our story.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
International Programme 2018
The Book of the Sea Aleksei Vakhrushev

Two traditional Chukchi hunters in the wide plains of ice in the furthest north-east of Russia: seals, whales and people, the world of today and ancient myths.

The Book of the Sea

Documentary Film
Russia
2018
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Aleksei Vakhrushev
Aleksei Vakhrushev
Alexander Tavrizyan
Vyacheslav Makaryev, Ruslan Fedotov
Julia Trofimenko
Eduard Belyayev
Aleksei Vakhrushev
Maria Ushenina, Sergei Ovcharenko
Two hunters in the Bering Strait in deepest north-east Russia. They are hunting to provide for their families and the inhabitants of their village. In the midst of the white expanse of ice they stalk the seals, circle the whales in the sea in their boats until the right moment for the harpoon has come. For the inhabitants of this icy region hunting is part of a special coexistence with nature. Not as a phrase to describe a peaceful co-existence despite everything but as an inextricable link – at least from the human point of view.

The past and present of this way of life are interwoven in the ancient stories that accompany them. In “The Book of the Sea”, the filmmaker Aleksei Vakhrushev, son and cinematographic herald of the Chukchi culture, intercuts ethnographic and landscape shots of the icy expanses with animated sequences in warm earth colours which resonate with an archaic but ever-present echo of the myths of the indigenous population of far east Russia. These elements combine to produce a haunting testimony of life in the Arctic.

Fabian Tietke
International Programme 2014
The Last Limousine Daria Khlestkina

An unexpected order for the almost phased out ZIL car factory in Moscow. A giant’s last gasp in the spirit of the old collective, portrayed as a tragicomic mudslinging contest.

The Last Limousine

Documentary Film
Germany,
Russia
2013
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marina Razbezhkina, Heino Deckert
Daria Khlestkina
Anton Silaev
Anna Dashina, Evgeniy Kurbatov
Daria Khlestkina, Mieneke Kramer
Daria Khlestkina
Sergey Ovcharenko, Maria Ushenina
They were not just the pride of the nation, but the symbol of a public display of power that gradually turned into an empty pose. The equally feudal and well-designed limousines that lead the Soviet military parades on Red Square demanded awe and respect in the East and West. They were manufactured by hand at the Moscow ZIL car factory until the collapse in 1990, when the production line stopped. The cause could not have been a lack of dictators or desire to display one’s power. Perhaps the open limousines became too risky? In short: suddenly an order bursts in on the almost phased out factory. The state wants three cars. The spirit of the old collective awakens, the machines are powered up again and the production director sternly inspects the giant halls where the cats have long made their home. Director Daria Khlestkino records this last gasp of a giant with precision and gives us insights – not without wistfulness – into the remains of a former socialist industrial structure where patience and the art of improvisation were the real capital.
Cornelia Klauß
International Programme 2014
The Term Pavel Kostomarov, Aleksandr Rastorguev, Aleksej Pivovarov

An insider’s look at the leaders of the anti-Putin opposition. From the far left to the far right, intellectuals, celebrities and politicians. A record of churning chaos – up close and breathless.

The Term

Documentary Film
Estonia,
Russia
2014
87 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Pavel Kostomarov, Aleksandr Rastorguev, Aleksej Pivovarov
Pavel Kostomarov, Aleksandr Rastorguev, Aleksej Pivovarov
This is THE film about the opposition against Putin’s Russia. One of its directors, Pavel Kostomarov, was searched during production, many of the protagonists were taken in investigative custody, and some were condemned. The dozens of cameras that contributed to the online clip project initiated in mid-May 2012 on which this film is based are in place when almost all the leaders of the protests against the government are arrested. Only Mr. Belov, the White one, gets away with inciting the Nazi mob to chant “Long live Anders Breivik”. There is Kseniya Sobchak, a politician’s daughter, former godchild of Putin, talk show host and much more, who despite her glamour is a capable representative of the moderate liberal intelligentsia. There is Aleksej Naval’nyj, who has collected countless supporters despite his massive tendency towards the extreme right. There is Sergej Udal’cov, the left wing extremist front man. Or Petr Verzilov, the husband of Pussy Riot’s Nadya and now Madonna’s and Yoko Ono’s “best friend”.
They all accepted a “term” with their appearance. But there is also a “term” that began when Putin became president again – the vital one, as it turns out, with regard to the rise and decline of civic resistance against the autocracy. While the Tsar, to the applause of “maîtres” like Depardieu, sings about his “thrill on Blueberry Hill” …
Barbara Wurm
International Programme 2019
Ties Dina Velikovskaya

When a child says goodbye to start its own life, sometimes the parents’ familiar world unravels down to the last thread. Witty drawings, warm-heartedly portrayed protagonists, visual wit.

Ties

Animated Film
Germany,
Russia
2019
8 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Florian Grolig
Dina Velikovskaya
Artem Fadeev
Björn Ullrich
Vera Myakisheva
Nadya Fedotova
Dina Velikovskaya
Artem Fadeev
The only thing left now is to say goodbye to Mom and Dad. The taxi to adulthood is already hooting. The last cup of tea together is drunk and the threshold already crossed. When a child steps out into adult life, the parents’ former world sometimes unravels down to the last thread, with every side-effect, for the daughter, too. Jaunty lines, beautifully drawn characters, visual wit – Dina Velikovskaya knows how to use the tools of animation with humour, personality and pizazz.

Nadja Rademacher



Awarded with the Mephisto 97.6 Audience Award.

Umba-Umba

Animated Film
Russia
2012
7 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lyubov Gaidukova, School-Studio "SHAR"
Konstantin Brilliantov
is used the part of the composition “Strike of miners in the Kuzbass” by Oleg Munager Sudakov and the music group “Grazhdanskaya oborona”
Konstantin Brilliantov
Konstantin Brilliantov
Konstantin Brilliantov
Anastassia Chekanikhina
The life of colliers is like the light on their helmet: it can shine brightly and goes off suddenly. An animation below ground.
International Programme 2014
Varya Aliona Polunina

A Moscow woman with health sandals and Aldi shopping bags explores the Ukraine war: on the Maidan, in Odessa and among the right-wing sector. The naive heroine comes very close to the truth.

Varya

Documentary Film
Russia
2014
46 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nastya Velskaya
Aliona Polunina
Dmitry Rakov
Aliona Polunina
Aliona Polunina
Interims, uncertainties, illustrated by the great search engine powers: for Yandex, the Crimea is Russian territory, for Google it is Ukrainian. And the realm of Facebook is only a keystroke away, not to be underestimated as a platform for ideological positioning. When Aliona Polunina tries to shoot a film about the Russian-Ukrainian war she meets Varya, a simple Moscow mathematics teacher with frizzy grey hair, naive eyes, health sandals, plastic bags and a notebook. Varya is strange, but a heroine: she canvasses her Facebook contacts in the country that became the declared enemy of her government overnight. Varya goes Ukraine to explore a whole spectrum of political and national euphoria there (be it militant or pacifist, idiosyncratic or collective), which she emphatically tries to understand and communicate to her Russian fellow campaigners in defiance of the delusions propagated by the mass media.
It’s that simple step of turning addresses in a virtual social network into real contacts that enables Polunina and us, via the documentary camera, to regain access to a public that is threatening to sink under the military and media war – by regulated exclusion or an overkill of unregulated self delusion. Varya fights against both wars. Courageous.
Barbara Wurm

Watching the Ball

Animated Film
Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Estonia,
Germany,
Russia,
Serbia
2014
12 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Michael Schwertel, Martin Kleinmichel
Martin Kleinmichel
Henning Schärfke, Martin Kleinmichel
Martin Kleinmichel
Anastasia Tasić, Ivan Ramadan, Katre Haav, Krunoslav Jović, Nenad Krstić, Tatiana Moshkova, Till Laßmann
Anastasia Tasić, Ivan Ramadan, Katre Haav, Nenad Krstić, Tatiana Moshkova, Till Laßmann, Martin Kleinmichel
Rainer Gerlach
Different people are watching football at different places on earth and in space. While the game connects them all, every one of them has his or her own problems to cope with. A European community project about our favourite sport.
International Programme 2012
Winter, Go Away! Elena Khoreva, Denis Klebleev, Dmitry Kubasov, Askold Kurov, Nadezhda Leonteva, Anna Moiseenko, Madina Mustafina, Sofia Rodkevich, Anton Seregin, Alexey Zhiryakov

Snapshots of the anti-Putin protest movement: from Pussy Riot across the street to the election office. Courageous, ingenious, occasionally funny and radical.

Winter, Go Away!

Documentary Film
Russia
2012
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marina Razbezhkina, Risk Film Studio
Elena Khoreva, Denis Klebleev, Dmitry Kubasov, Askold Kurov, Nadezhda Leonteva, Anna Moiseenko, Madina Mustafina, Sofia Rodkevich, Anton Seregin, Alexey Zhiryakov
Thaw, frost or the banishment of winter: there always seems to have been a correspondence between the important turning points of Soviet (now Russian) political history and a variety of extreme climatic conditions. Today it’s Vladimir Putin who personifies winter, the cold and dark weather in his great realm. But it was in winter (last year) that the first heavy protests against the sovereign started. How to cope with the anger and outrage at a corrupt system displaying more and more marks of a dictatorship? How to get rid of one’s fury at, even hatred of the man who has firmly drawn the (obviously arbitrary) line between detention and freedom somewhere between Khodorkovsky and Pussy Riot? The people portrayed in this film are courageous and refreshing, just like the young filmmakers themselves, a ten-person collective headed by Marina Razbezkina, who on behalf of the “Novaya Gazeta” follow the various opposition movements’ attempts to politicise society and create a civic public. It’s a difficult, often violent and sometimes even funny undertaking. Whether we see them as observers in an election office (whose chairman steals away through the backdoor to escape charges of fraud) or as protesters in the midst of a host of militia truncheons, there can be no more question of a “United Russia”. An instructive film and a radical diagnosis of its (our) age.
– Barbara Wurm