Film Archive

Das Forum

Documentary Film
Germany,
Switzerland
2019
116 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Christian Beetz, Georg Tschurtschenthaler, Karin Koch, Marcus Vetter
Marcus Vetter
Marcel Vaid
Georg Zengerling
Marcus Vetter, Ana Fernandez Rocha, Michele Gentile
Christian Beetz
Melanie Westphal, Dieter Meyer, Marco Teufen, Jonathan Schorr, Marcus Vetter
Every year in January, the Swiss village of Davos provides the backdrop for the World Economic Forum (WEF). This conference is a meeting of the global economic and political elites. It’s true, the public debates and press conferences have been streamed on the WEF website for a while now, in the spirit of a transparent, albeit suspiciously semi-official, audiovisual protocol – but never in the now 49 years of the WEF’s history was an independent filmmaker allowed any insight into the machinery of the event or behind the facades of the institution.

Over a period of three years, director Marcus Vetter observed the workings of this machinery. He cast a few but highly concentrated looks at the history of the Forum, founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, and now very confidently combines individual biographies, historical moments, logical connections and matters flitting about at the periphery to form the complex picture of a global fabric. Klaus Schwab, 79 today, is pleased with the fabric metaphor, since he himself has repeatedly said that the threads of the world may be coming together at “his” WEF, but that its knots acquire meaning and purpose only when the threads are later redistributed responsibly. This film is about no less than those threads and thus the meaning and purpose of the WEF.

Ralph Eue

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.

My English Cousin

Documentary Film
Qatar,
Switzerland
2019
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Joëlle Bertossa, Flavia Zanon
Karim Sayad
Patrick Tresch
Naïma Bachiri
Miguel Antunes Dias
Fahed wants to change his life. It’s been almost twenty years that he left Algeria. At the time he was full of hope when he arrived at the British seaport of Grimsby, which was long past its heyday. His dream of prosperity evaporated. In order to survive financially he works two jobs in a 50 hour week. It’s true that he now has a residence permit and leads a well-integrated life in a workers’ flat share, but now, at middle age, he longs to go back to his Algerian home, in order to be closer to his mother. And he has marriage plans! But will Fahed manage to settle back in there and find his role after such a long absence? His family don’t quite believe his intentions to return and tease him because his engagement remains a mystery. He has probably gotten too used to the British mentality, an aunt assumes.

So where is Fahed’s home now? Unprejudiced and with an eye for humorous details, Karim Sayad follows his taciturn cousin’s dithering back and forth. A film about personal and not least social turning points, because in the background the two countries England and Algeria are moving towards political upheavals.

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.

Architektur der Unendlichkeit

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2018
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Brigitte Hofer, Cornelia Seitler
Christoph Schaub
Jojo Mayer
Ramon Giger
Marina Wernli
William Crook
Christoph Schaub, Samuel Ammann
Jan Illing, Jacques Kieffer, Reto Stamm
In Japanese aesthetics, Wabi-Sabi describes a continuous cycle of becoming and passing away. Temporality and age are inherent in every object and creature and, depending on one’s outlook, may transcend to infinity. How can this be imagined? What goes beyond it? The filmmaker Christoph Schaub starts his very personal journey through time and space in his childhood, when his fascination with sacred buildings began – and his wonder at beginnings and ends.

Architecture helps separate the finite and the infinite. It offers protection from what is boundless, at the same time creating a sense of vastness, the narrator claims. Together with architects and artists he explores the magic of sacred spaces, defined here as far more than church buildings. The artist James Turrell, known, among other things, for his “Skyspaces”, reflects on who owns spirituality – fundamental for this film which follows “spiritual life” in architecture and the fine arts, but also in nature, and literally lifts it over and above the limits of thinking. A slightly floating camera immerses us in other-worldly, somnambulistic images, takes us on a sensual and sensing journey through vast spaces, and guides our eye towards the infinity of the starry sky and the depths of the ocean. Past and present, primeval times and light years, it’s all there.

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.

Das Kongo Tribunal

Documentary Film
Germany,
Switzerland
2017
100 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Arne Birkenstock, Olivier Zobrist, Sebastian Lemke
Milo Rau
Marcel Vaid
Thomas Schneider
Katja Dringenberg
Milo Rau
Marco Teufen, Jens Baudisch
For more than 20 years, the tortuous civil war in Congo has transformed an area the size of Western Europe into hell on earth. This permanent conflict, also called World War Three because of the direct or indirect involvement of all superpowers, has killed about six million people so far. Director Milo Rau managed, for the first time in the history of this war and in the middle of the combat zone, to hold a symbolic tribunal involving many of the participating parties. His recordings from remote villages and nearly inaccessible mining areas and his factual and focused observation of the trial in a courthouse built specifically for the shooting paint a complex portrait of this exemplary economic war. This documentary examination of a global conflict is not about winning or losing but about the question of what we are willing to pay for the wealth of the First World.

Ralph Eue



Honorary Mention in the International Competition;
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, DEFA Sponsoring Prize

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.

Cahier Africain

Documentary Film
Germany,
Switzerland
2016
119 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
PS Film GmbH, Filmpunkt GmbH
Heidi Specogna
Peter Scherer
Johann Feindt
Kaya Inan
Heidi Specogna
Karsten Höfer, Thomas Lüdemann, Florian Hoffmann, Andreas Turnwald
A film carried by the sad beauty of its images and the deep personal empathy the director feels with her protagonists’ fates. During a research trip to the Central African Republic Heidi Specogna comes across an exercise book. Its contents: photos and statements of 300 women who were raped by Congolese rebels in 2002 – a homemade piece of evidence that forms the starting point of this seven year observation.

In a spectacular operation the book, now the centre of the film, finds its way to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The women’s paths are different. Specogna follows Amzine, a young Muslim, and her 12-year-old daughter Fane, and Arlette, a Christian girl whose knee was shot to pieces by the rebels. The originally planned project to follow the woman on their difficult path back to a kind of normal life is changed when Islamic and Christian militias reappear out of thin air across the country, looting and killing. Once more Amzine, Fane and Arlette, who had just worked their way towards a bit of stability and safety, are forced to flee. As a viewer one must be prepared for this film which offers no comfort, only the women’s incredible will to survive in the face of the fragility of their existence.

Matthias Heeder



Silver Dove International Competition 2016, Prize of the Interreligious Jury 2016;
Nominated for Goethe-Institute Documentary Film Prize 2016

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.

Lampedusa in Winter

Documentary Film
Italy,
Austria,
Switzerland
2015
93 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jakob Brossmann
Jakob Brossmann
Serafin Spitzer, Christian Flatzek
Nela Märki

When the flood of refugees began to cross the Mediterranean, the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa became a projection screen for paranoid xenophobes and a symbol of an inhumane asylum policy. In the winter of 2014, theatre artist and filmmaker Jakob Brossmann travelled to the island to find out what life there is really like. The tourists and media are gone and the inhabitants’ real problems come to the fore: the old ferry, essential for their survival, burnt down and was replaced by an even older one. That’s why the fishermen go on strike. A group of refugees who have been stuck on the island for months want to cross to the mainland. They are on strike in front of the church. Because there’s no ferry, waste is piling up and food is running out. In the midst of this tense situation two women, the mayor and a dedicated lawyer, are fighting for humane solutions out of deep personal conviction. Brossmann’s observations are unobtrusive and precise. He confidently guides us through the events of this crisis while introducing places and people that are linked to the immigrants’ fate. What’s remarkable is that the inhabitants and refugees refuse to be instrumentalised against each other. Both groups are victims of the same cynical policies. Showing this clearly is the great strength of the film. Matthias Heeder


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.