Film Archive

International Programme 2012
Die Wiesenberger Martin Schilt, Bernard Weber

A Swiss yodelling choir wins a casting show and the mountain farmers become show business superstars – in the middle of haymaking season! A feel-good film with yodel potential.

Die Wiesenberger

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2012
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Martin Schilt, Luckyfilm GmbH
Martin Schilt, Bernard Weber
Pantha du Prince
Peter Indergand / Stéphane Kuty / Martin Schilt / Bernard Weber
Mike Schaerer / Stefan Kälin / Dave D. Leins
Martin Schilt / Bernard Weber
Dieter Meyer
This film does away with the stereotype that yodelling belongs in the somewhat dowdy corner of folksy music shows in dirndls and lederhosen. For two years, the filmmaker followed the Wiesenberger Yodellers on their way to show business. They are a club of 20 yodelling Swiss mountain farmers who used to meet in the chapel once a week to yodel together – until they won the “The Greatest Swiss Hits” talent show. Now the amateur yodellers are recording artists swamped with offers. Some of the farmers have reached their limit; others are intoxicated by the new world opening up to them. Then they get the offer to represent Switzerland at the Shanghai Expo – during haymaking season of all times. This is where their success becomes the acid test for the yodelling club, where traditionally all decisions are democratically discussed and reached by consensus.
This film shows how different ideas of solidarity and friendship work, documenting how the yodellers manage to stay authentic despite the limelight. And it casually dusts off the image of musicians who make folk music in the best sense of the word. You’ll leave the cinema yodelling!
– Antje Stamer
International Programme 2012
Mein erster Berg - Ein Rigi Film Erich Langjahr

The Rigi Mountain is the centre of the world for the Swiss, a place of work and tourism. Precise and poetic, accompanied by a jazzy alpenhorn. A hymn by the grand old man of mountain films.

Mein erster Berg - Ein Rigi Film

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2012
97 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Erich Langjahr, Langjahr Film GmbH
Erich Langjahr
Hans Kennel
Erich Langjahr
Erich Langjahr
Erich Langjahr
Silvia Haselbeck
Erich Langjahr may be widely regarded as the personification of mountain films. He has been part of Leipzig since the 1970s, caused a sensation with his Alpine trilogy, enchanted everyone with his “Erbe der Bergler” – and has now announced that he is going to present his last (or so he says) mountain film. It’s dedicated to the Rigi: a summit once described as the centre of the world, which is still partly true for many people in Switzerland. How do you describe a mountain? Erich Langjahr’s method: stay away from all folklore, be poetic and therefore concrete. Once more he unites precision and soul as he observes a native of the Rigi region felling trees, cutting posts, pouring concrete or shovelling snow, sharing a meal with friends, driving cattle up and down the mountain and walking over the mountain. This appropriation is never contemplative – and here’s another constant in Langjahr’s philosophy -, but always active. Langjahr’s camera, which was once fascinated by haymaking on the mountain, is now immersing itself in the ballet of a mini-excavator or the virtuosity of a chainsaw. The Rigi is no refuge of the pre-modern age: there’s mass tourism here as well as futuristic viewing platforms, high rises and the inevitable “Rigi Events”.
And yet this film – maybe helped by the transcendent and jazzy alpenhorn soundtrack – is a hymn to what is sacred to us (even in a secularised world) – and to Switzerland, this strange and distant planet.
– Grit Lemke

Room 69

Animated Film
Switzerland
2012
3 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Claude Barras, Hélium Films
Claude Barras
Patrick Tresch
Crictor
Elie Chapuis
Germano Zullo
A road in an arid desert. A car pulls off on the parking of a motel. A man holding a cardboard box comes out of it and rushes into the room number 69 ... in order to amaze the spectator how concise a story can be told.

Virgin Tales

Documentary Film
Germany,
France,
Switzerland
2012
87 minutes
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Mirjam von Arx, ican films gmbh
Mirjam von Arx
Adrian Frutiger
Kirsten Johnson, Claudia Raschke
Sabine Krayenbühl
Michèle Wannaz, Mirjam von Arx
Judy Karp, Tammy Davies
Girls in white dancing around a cross, before they tearfully receive “purity rings” and “chastity chests” from their fathers; who lecture about “waiting in purity” and how to modestly cover one’s neckline while serving tea at “purity meetings”. Boys in armour and sword who are knighted as future leaders of the country and the family. White roses and bibles everywhere. It may look like a carnival and mummery, but for 25 percent of the US population this is serious, even sacred.
Mirjam von Arx observed a family of seven in Colorado Springs, the centre of evangelical Christians in the United States, over a period of one and a half years. The Wilsons are the movement’s poster-family, its most zealous defenders, who founded the tradition of the “purity balls” that is now spreading across the globe. A model American family, smart, neat and far from unlikeable. It is one of the achievements of this film that its protagonists are not exhibited as freaks but that the phenomenon is explored in all its complexity, with all political and ideological implications. Because the virgin’s counterpart is the soldier, the GI. He’s fighting in Afghanistan – in agreement with his chaste wife at home – for the “true” values of God and country: against pre-marital sex, people of different colours and faiths, gays, democrats, etc. The private has rarely been so political.
– Grit Lemke