Film Archive

International Programme 2013
My Stolen Revolution Nahid Persson Sarvestani

Women who were tortured in Iranian prisons after the Shah was overthrown meet again for the first time to break their silence. Liberation through the power of art.

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

Second Class

Documentary Film
Lithuania,
Sweden
2012
60 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Elisabeth Marjanović Cronvall, Marta Dauliūtė
Marta Dauliūtė, Elisabeth Marjanović Cronvall
Elisabeth Marjanović Cronvall
Elisabeth Marjanović Cronvall
Thomas Jansson
The balancing act that filmmakers meeting their protagonists have to perform is well-known as a path strewn with snares, frustration and surprises. Patience is the prime virtue and a certain degree of empathy also helps. Marta Dauliūté and Elisabeth Marjanović Cronvall meet a group of young Lithuanian men aboard a “Swede ferry” and decide to make a film about these migrant workers. The men refuse, mostly because they do not understand what’s interesting enough about them for two women to fill a whole film with. They don’t want to confirm the stereotype of the migrant worker and feel no inclination to feed the media-induced sympathy machine. A documentary about earthquakes, that’s something they could understand. But about them?
Marta and Elisabeth are not deterred; they drink and dance with the men – and despite their initial resistance, their “subjects of study” gradually begin to acquiesce. Despite their aggressive refusal and stereotypical macho behaviour, the women with the camera manage to scratch their facades after a while and expose – disguised as flirty posing – their innermost thoughts. The result is an attentive study that lays bare a whole series of current social injustices while also providing a clever commentary on the specifically female look at a male object.

Lina Dinkla