Film Archive

Under the Skin

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2019
84 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Britta Rindelaub
Robin Harsch
Le Bruit.
Robin Harsch
Ana Acosta
Igor Marlot
Three transgender teenagers undergo radical physical changes caused by hormone therapy and surgery: This is the external metamorphosis that finally brings their appearance into line with their long-felt gender identity. Behind them lie desperate years in which they had to struggle not only with themselves but also with their family and school environments. This continuous experience of rejection and harassment has made them vulnerable. They long for the day when they don’t have to explain themselves all the time.

The curious and frank questions of the director, who is also the cinematographer, produce a very intimate relationship between him and those he films. What becomes clear is how difficult, complicated and all-encompassing the path of transformation is not only for the teenagers but also for their parents. What does it mean to a mother when her child, born as a girl, becomes a boy? A counselling centre supports the teenagers and their families in everything, helps them with psychological and legal issues, accompanies them to talks with teachers and medical professionals. This support is essential to give everyone concerned some orientation. And it enables the adolescents to finally arrive in their bodies, their selves.

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.

Looking Like My Mother

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2016
78 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Brigitte Hofer, Cornelia Seitler
Dominique Margot
Peter Bräker
Simon Guy Fässler
Christof Schertenleib
Susanne Hofer
Dominique Margot
Peter Bräker, Jacques Kieffer
The filmmaker is driven to this project by the fear of not only looking like her mother but having the same disease – full of hopes of finding the cause of the defect. What can be explained can also be prevented, or at least controlled. But depression is like a demon that slowly takes possession of a person. When Dominique Margot was a child the heralds and signs of panic and paranoia made no sense. So she began to assemble these elements of lunacy into a fantasy world in which her mother became the queen of the ghosts.

The director juxtaposes the seriousness of her subject with the lightness of her film. In this road movie back into the past and herself she eagerly experiments with mixing re-enacted scenes and surreal moments with interviews. Her escape routes lead to punk, distant lands and the cinema. Makes no difference, there’s no escape from one’s family. What is an accepted diagnosis today was rarely recognised then, in the 1970s. Her mother came from a mountain farming village where melancholia was always simply believed to be run in the family.

Cornelia Klauß

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.

(Be)Longing

Documentary Film
France,
Portugal,
Switzerland
2014
77 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Luís Urbano
João Pedro Plácido
João Pedro Plácido
Pedro Marques
João Pedro Plácido, Laurence Ferreira Barbosa
Hugo Leitão
Uz, a hamlet in the north of Portugal, is home to about 50 people. Four generations, including the filmmaker João Pedro Plácido’s grandparents, so there’s reason to assume that he was emotionally involved with this project long before the first take was even a remote possibility. In Uz time passes as if clocks didn’t exist. Few things happen, lots of things are going on. The elements provide the rhythm. The story of village life over the course of a year develops organically between cattle drives, an overturned dung cart, harvest and the feast on the day the animals are slaughtered, between vespers and fireworks, confession and longing. The characters, too, develop quite naturally. There’s even a boy-meets-girl story which gradually emerges from the flow of events between Daniel, the youngest lad in this village community, and a young woman from nearby. It’s a touching moment when Daniel thinks about what kind of relationship a guy like him can probably expect from the future – that is “ordering” a Thai or Brazilian bride on the Internet. Even more touching is the fact that he (and the Brazilian or Thai) are spared this fate, at least for the time being. The film portrays people and events with sober tenderness, beautifully balanced between precise observation and sparing poetry.

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.