Film Archive

Appunti del passaggio

Documentary Film
Belgium,
Italy,
Switzerland
2016
44 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Maria Iorio, Le Souvenir du Présent
Maria Iorio, Raphaël Cuomo
Alessandra Eramo
Gilles Aubry
“I have no visual memory. I remember emotions.” In their remarkably artistically dense documentary Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo combine various statements of contemporary witnesses into the personal report of an Italian who entered Switzerland in 1965 as a migrant labourer. At the core of this representative of many economic refugees from Southern Europe of the time lies the feeling that she is an “outlaw working body”. She feels humiliated and controlled by procedures at the “border health check”, by massive underpay, dangerous working conditions, psychological pressure in the factory and openly expressed, wounding resentment against the foreigners.

The film is a collage of memories given a voice by a female narrator and kept deliberately vague on the visual level. Vague, but extremely effective and openly sceptical about the reality promised by visual evidence. Besides distorted details and negatives of a few surviving photos it’s the restful contemporary video recordings, for example of an abandoned building with all the traces of use, which offer a suitable poetic space to the narrator’s audio report and a voice performance.

André Eckardt

Balloon Birds

Animated Film
Switzerland
2014
1 minute
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Nicolas Burlet, Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
The (very) short story of two balloon birds, meeting each other for the first time, until another comes …

Bay of Plenty

Animated Film
Switzerland
2018
12 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Milva Stutz
Milva Stutz
Lucia Cadotsch, Ludwig Wandinger
Milva Stutz, David Schlatter
Milva Stutz, David Schlatter
Milva Stutz
Lucia Cadotsch, Ludwig Wandinger
The tiny island in the ocean becomes a meeting place for two strange yellow figures. They shake their bums and stretch their breasts, sexual characteristics shift, dissolve, re-grow. A continuous transformation that also seems to produce new creatures. Suddenly all are in an ecstasy of love, cuddling and sucking a variety of protuberances, a great amalgamation seems imminent. Equally sexy and bizarre.

Carolin Weidner

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.

Chris the Swiss

Documentary Film
Croatia,
Finland,
Germany,
Switzerland
2018
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Samir (Dschoint Ventschr), Siniša Juričić (Nukleus Film), Heino Deckert (Ma.ja.de.), Iikka Vehkalahti (IV Films Ltd / p.s.72 productions)
Anja Kofmel
Marcel Vaid
Simon Guy Fässler
Stefan Kälin
Simon Eltz
Anja Kofmel
Daniel Hobi, Marco Teufen, Hrvoje Petek
Christian Würtenberg died in Croatia in 1992. Even though the young Swiss had come as a journalist, he was wearing the uniform of an international militia that fought on the Croatian side in the civil war. Why he took up arms has long remained a mystery. His cousin, the filmmaker Anja Kofmel, has confronted the question.

She interviews companions, complementing the documentary footage with dark, pared-down animated sequences which form the film’s narrative structure. Diving deeply into the political turmoil, the film portrays Chris’s path towards joining a group of nationalist mercenaries supported by Opus Dei. A politically explosive film even today, a visually impressive thriller that shows how quickly a person’s attitude can be devastated by war.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize and the MDR Film Prize; Swiss Film Award 2019: Best Documentary, Best Score, Best Editing

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

Die Reise zum sichersten Ort der Erde

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2013
100 minutes
subtitles: 
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Hercli Bundi
Edgar Hagen
Tomek Kolczynski
Peter Indergand
Paul-Michael Sedlacek, Edgar Hagen
Bruno Conti
Edgar Hagen
Jean-Pierre Gerth
Whereas Edgar Hagen observed psychiatric patients in his last films, he now looks into the abysses of a mentally disturbed society. A society that believes in a technology which has increasingly proved to be uncontrollable and keeps promoting it against its better judgment. Because it supposedly exists, the safest place on earth, where deathly nuclear waste can be stored harmlessly for hundreds of thousands of years.
Playing dumb in the tradition of the medieval fool, Hagen asks to see this place. He travels around the world, from Switzerland to Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, China, Japan, the United States, Australia, and back. He crosses oceans and deserts, hikes through forests and moors, explores the interiors of mountains. The scenery grows more and more unreal, the Grail more and more distant. Hagen meets geologists and nuclear lobbyists, environmental activists, tribal leaders, and local politicians. Some of them convinced of the cause, others doubtful. There is a lot of talk about “proof” and “fundamental feasibility”. But he digs deeper, seemingly naive. This narrative attitude enables him to neatly expose all the justification strategies of the nuclear industry as constructs that have long ago ceased to be concerned with technical feasibility and deal only with selling the impossible. A film about madness.

Grit Lemke
International Programme
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
Eisenberger – Kunst muss schön sein, sagt der Frosch zur Fliege Hercli Bundi

The Austrian artist Christian Eisenberger has produced around 45,000 artworks so far. A body of work that constitutes a challenge for the artworld.

Eisenberger – Kunst muss schön sein, sagt der Frosch zur Fliege

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2018
94 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Peter Zwierko
Hercli Bundi
Daniel Almada
Adrian Stähli, Aurelio Buchwalder, Christian Eisenberger, Hercli Bundi
Nela Märki
Hercli Bundi
Patrick Becker, Matthias Hefel, Hercli Bundi
“Art is just a social pretext,” says Austrian artist Christian Eisenberger while showing the filmmaker Hercli Bundi his latest series of pictures which is based on porn film sequences. That’s part of the “big circus of humanity,” he says he told an outraged friend.

A look into Eisenberger’s studio shows a – to the beholder – hopelessly tangled pile of works in different stages. The carton figures he started with “were for many years just thrown away.” Today Eisenberger is glad when he can send a bunch of artworks off to his gallerist and make room in his studio. His oeuvre is estimated to comprise around 45,000 works. Eisenberger acknowledges the artworld with its galleries, fairs and museums with a shrug, but also with a certain talent for self-marketing. As long as he can continue, whether at the studio or in an enamel factory. “Do not put your hands into the machine while it is operating!” a yellowed sign on his workshop wall says. That probably goes for the artist, too.

Fabian Tietke
International Programme
Elegy For a Lighthouse Dominique de Rivaz

In an attempt to come to terms with her father’s death, the director travels far beyond Arkhangelsk, where a village is fighting the sand and its doom. The spirit of survival, grief, and beauty.

Elegy For a Lighthouse

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2013
56 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Heinz Dill
Dominique de Rivaz
Guy Klucevsek, Père Thomas Pott, Jonas Fischer
Dmitrij Leltschuk, Dominique de Rivaz
Prune Jaillet
Dominique de Rivaz
Dmitrij Leltschuk, Dominique de Rivaz
A journey to come to terms with grief: the father died. The feeling of having a gap in one’s soul. At the same time, far up north, beyond Arkhangelsk even, in Shoyna on the White Sea, the lighthouse has just been condemned to remain dark forever. The filmmaker feels magically attracted to this strange place which means something to her she doesn’t understand. But when she arrives on the Western Coast of the Kanin Peninsula, the lighthouse keeper, who held out for a long time, has left. She finds only a few dozen inhabitants who stoically set themselves against the decline of history, and the lighthouse rusting away dolefully. But there was a time when the locals faced a rosy future: for many decades, the Soviet fishing industry boomed here – at times Shoyna’s population was over a thousand. Today the sea is overfished. Tons of fish have been replaced by tons of sand which, borne by the wind, settles on the shipwrecks, houses and streets of the former model kolkhoz. The longer filmmaker Dominique de Rivaz is faced with the remaining population’s spirit of survival, the more moments of overwhelming beauty she wrestles from the presence of Shoyna and its residents.

Ralph Eue

Ephemeral

Animated Film
Switzerland
2013
3 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
François Chalet
Sophie Haller
Sophie Haller
Carlos Ibañez Diaz
Solitude and pain, passion and love, breaking and rebuilding, life itself, all things change and go by, they are: ephemeral.

Frühzug

Animated Film
Switzerland
2012
5 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
François Chalet
Delia Hess
Joan & The Sailors
Delia Hess
Delia Hess, Anja Sidler, Charlotte Waltert
Delia Hess
Thomas Gassmann, Christof Steinmann
After spending the night together a couple parts ways. Inspired by the activities of the man’s morning rituals, she sinks into a dream accompanied by the rhythms of the morning train and finds herself alone once again.

Greater Than

Animated Film
Germany,
Switzerland
2017
9 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Roland Fischer
Kate Haase, Sebastian Hühnel
Verena Marisa
Sebastian Hühnel
Kate Haase
Kate Haase, Sebastian Hühnel
Kate Haase, Sebastian Hühnel
Lukas Fuchs
You take a risk when you leave your sheltering cocoon to step into the glaring light of the outside world. Especially when this world is made of long, stele-like white forms which move in unpredictable ways and threaten to grasp you. Herma meets a far bigger creature that speaks her language here. Each of them manages to climb a stele. Can their peculiar dialogue be continued despite the distance? A stylised puppet animation about self-liberation and its limits.

Nadja Rademacher

Grozny Blues

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2015
104 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Frank Matter
Nicola Bellucci
Blues Brothers Cafe Band
Simon Guy Fässler
Anja Bombelli
Nicola Bellucci, Lucia Sgueglia
Nicola Bellucci
The images of war seem forgotten – Chechnya has vanished long ago from the headlines of the Western press. The traces of the years of military conflict with Russia have all but disappeared in the capital of Grozny, which boasts new promenades, modern high-rises and blinding street lights. The surface is shiny, but pain is still rooted deep in the people’s souls. A country that’s about to forget its past and that’s full of monuments to its President Kadyrov and, next to him, Vladimir Putin. Four women who have fought for human rights for years are trying to preserve the collective memories. They have been collecting stories on video ever since the war began in the 1990s, documenting the horrors of war and its consequences which nobody in official Chechnya wants to see. The film ingeniously juxtaposes images from their archive and images of Grozny today. The history of the war of independence and a forgotten genocide lies between them.

Zaza Rusadze
International Programme
Immer und Ewig Fanny Bräuning

A couple, both in their late sixties, who travel through Europe in a caravan refurbished as a mobile nursing home room. Director Fanny Bräuning has devoted a deeply intimate film to her parents.

Immer und Ewig

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2018
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Thomas Thümena
Fanny Bräuning
Olivia Pedroli
Pierre Mennel
Catrin Vogt
Fanny Bräuning
Patrick Becker, Jean-Pierre Gerth
“Only” a love story. “Only” a film about attachment, entwinement, reliability, trust. A couple, both in their late 60s, who travel Europe in a caravan refurbished as a mobile nursing room despite the fact that the woman has MS. He, a former photographer who gave up his job because it was incompatible with taking care of his wife. She, a former painter and graphic designer who returned to life from a coma, albeit paralysed from the neck down.

Her face is radiant as she talks about how much she loves looking out of the window on their drives, even if there’s nothing but the highway outside. He demonstrates with restrained admiration for the technical innovations how the built-in hospital bed can be adjusted to several sleeping positions. Dreamy pragmatism, compatible with daily life – everything, always, regardless. Director Fanny Bräuning has dedicated a deeply intimate film to her parents. In conversations with them she tells the story of a love that weathered all crises.

Fabian Tietke
International Programme
Immersion Lalita Brunner

An indoor pool means fun in the water. But only after one has undressed, and this is where things get complicated. In the end Tommy is gliding through the water – which comes as a surprise.

Immersion

Animated Film
Switzerland
2016
3 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Jürgen Haas
Lalita Brunner
Moritz Widrig
Lalita Brunner
Lalita Brunner
Lalita Brunner
Thomas Gassmann, Hannes Oehen, Markus Graf
An indoor pool means fun in the water. But only after one has undressed, and this is where things get complicated. In the end Tommy is gliding through the water – which comes as a surprise. In contrasting colours, sophisticated split screens and geometric plays of forms Lalita Brunner finds an astonishing design language that allows her to delve deep into Tommy’s physical being.

André Eckardt


Nominated for mephisto 97.6 Audience Award