Film Archive

Bird Island

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2019
60 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Joëlle Bertossa, Flavia Zanon
Maya Kosa, Sergio Da Costa
Sergio Da Costa
Gabriel Gonzalez, Maya Kosa, Sergio Da Costa
Maya Kosa, Sergio Da Costa
Xavier Lavorel
After a long illness and isolation Antonin takes up work in a bird sanctuary. He is still fighting with fatigue, a consequence of his illness. The new colleagues patiently give him time to arrive. In this small cosmos, Antonin gets as much protection as the patients. Some of the wild birds are delivered with serious injuries, some are in shock. They need the absolute dedication of the veterinarian and the nurse – and get it. None of them are unfazed by the loud roaring of the nearby airport.

Antonin reports about the station as an off screen narrator in diary-like entries. In literary language he explains work processes and describes the fates of the swans, eagle owls or crows. The interactions within the team and the treatment of the animals are also shown, in a minimalist way. The film oscillates between stylised artificiality and documentary observation. The warm-hearted story of this wondrous place gently evolves into a fable about rescuing animals – and humans – in need.

Annina Wettstein



Awarded with the Healthy Workplaces Fim Award.

Das Fieber

Documentary Film
Austria,
Germany,
Switzerland
2019
99 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Markus Wailand
Katharina Weingartner
Siri Klug
Andrea Wagner
Toby Cornish
Katharina Weingartner
Patrick Becker, Peter Braeker
The fight won’t end. Malaria still rules large parts of Africa. Every 60 seconds a child south of the Sahara dies of the disease. All in all, it causes around half a million deaths per year. But why is it so impossible to successfully conquer the disease, even though countless relief organisations have been working on a solution for many years?

The reason, of course, is money, global conflicts of interest, the powerful pharmaceutical industry. That’s nothing new. But the Austrian filmmaker Katharina Weingartner produced an enthralling documentary thriller which literally inscribes exciting, context-shifting and -widening lines of connection into the more or less familiar general picture: connections between the parasite and the pharmaceutical industry, between self-determination in East Africa and the richest man in the world. The focus is on three courageous people in Uganda and Kenya who are fighting the disease on the spot and are often more successful with alternative methods than Western medicine is comfortable with. Because after all a solution of their own, without foreign help and technology, without the mercantile and public philanthropic interests of the helpers, would mean independence.

Julia Weigl

Our Lucky Hours

Documentary Film
Belgium,
France,
Switzerland
2019
77 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alexandre Cornu
Martine Deyres
Olivier Brisson, Nicola Marinoni
Jean-Christophe Beauvallet, Dino Berguglia, Antoine-Marie Meert
Philippe Boucq, Catherine Catella, Martine Deyeres
Martine Deyeres, Anne Paschetta
Olivier Hespel, Marianne Roussy, Olivier Schwob
Between 1939 and 1945, 45,000 patients died in French mental institutions. There was only one place where the patients survived the euthanasia: the hospital in the remote village of Saint-Alban. In addition, the doctors, nursing staff and patients there worked with the residents of the village to hide a number of war refugees, resistance fighters and persecuted Jews and thus save them from certain death.

What made Saint-Alban so exceptional? During her research, director Martine Deyres found photos, home movies and sound recordings in the hospital archives. She uses this material to draw the portrait of an institution that was far ahead of its time. The patients were respected, integrated and individually supported. By working in the household or on the fields, they also contributed, especially during the war, to the fact that no one in Saint-Alban had to go hungry. There was a patient newspaper and various arts and crafts classes. Auguste Forestier’s wooden sculptures even became famous as “art brut”, when the painter Jean Dubuffet discovered the works of the Saint-Alban patient after the war. All this coalesces into a rousing plea for a respectful treatment of the mentally ill, which is more important than ever in an age of economic constrictions and strong normative tendencies.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann

Taste of Hope

Documentary Film
Germany,
Switzerland
2019
71 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Laura Coppens
Laura Coppens
Azadeh Zandieh
Laura Coppens
Angelika Levi, Laura Coppens
Azadeh Zandieh
A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of cooperative economy. It spreads fear because it gives the small cogs in the giant economic wheel the power of decision over the sense, purpose and speed of the whole machinery. It is one of the last great emancipation projects: liberation from the frustration of knowing that your destiny lies in the not always skilful hands of strangers. The cooperative tea refinery Scop-TI in Gémenos in southern France, founded in 2016, was created by such an act of liberation: For 1,336 days, the employees occupied the production facilities of the Fralib tea factory to extort a new start under their own management from their “employer” global corporation.

What precisely this management looks like and whether it is capable of translating the revolutionary spirit of machine kidnapping into a working production routine that secures everyone’s livelihood is the basic question of Laura Coppens’ film, which turns it into a kind of statement of accounts – about income and spending, insights and exertions. She sends us on an assembly line through the cooperative daily working routine which requires more maintenance than some people expected. A portrait of Che Guevara is hanging in the manager’s office; a credit application is pending at the bank. The fight continues.

Sylvia Görke
International Programme 2019
Warum Schnecken keine Beine haben Aline Höchli

Snails go to the office, but a dip in the capital curve calls for radical measures. A tragicomedy about the economic factor in biological evolution.

Warum Schnecken keine Beine haben

Animated Film
Switzerland
2019
11 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Michèle Wannaz, Marcel Derek Ramsay
Aline Höchli
Samuel Schranz, Gurpreet Kaur
Marcel Derek Ramsay
Aline Höchli
Aline Höchli
Peter Bräker
Aline Höchli’s drawn animation seems colourful, groovy and light-footed at first. Snails go to the office. The creative, sociable, but slow colleagues are tolerated in that busy-bee working world. But a dip in the capital curve calls for radical measures. At the end the work-life balance is once more righted, albeit with a surprising distribution. A tragicomedy about the economic factor in biological evolution.

André Eckardt