Film Archive

Jahr

The Shelter

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2014
101 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Fernand Melgar
Fernand Melgar
Fernand Melgar
Karine Sudan
Elise Shubs
Every winter evening tumultuous scenes take place in front of the bunker: the employees of the municipal doss house may let in precisely 50 homeless people – the number is raised only in exceptional cases. A crucial test for both sides, for those who were rejected will find hardly any spots in the spanking clean Swiss city of Lausanne where they can spend the night without trouble with the police and protected from the cold.
Fernand Melgar reports a new kind of poverty that hits not only Romanian Roma families, but also the former middle classes and African migrants from the crisis-shaken parts of Europe. And he relates how the rich part of Europe deals with it. He keeps filming the routines in the shelter and offices over the course of a season. He follows those who were rejected into the night and stays with them as they – in our midst, but practically invisible – pass their days in the streets and public institutions. He watches them keep up appearances while their lives collapse. But he also shows how social workers daily try to fight the misery and only manage to administer it, while their humanity quite often brings them into conflict with their regulations or their boss.
By highlighting all sides, Melgar delivers more than a social study. It’s the nightmarish analysis of a system that can’t be repaired by merciful donations.
Grit Lemke

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.

Like Stone Lions at the Gateway Into Night

Documentary Film
France,
Greece,
Switzerland
2012
87 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Pierre-Alain Meier, prince Film SA
Olivier Zuchuat
Olivier Zuchuat
Olivier Zuchuat
Olivier Zuchuat, Eleni Gioti
Aris Athanassopoulos
The slow travelling shot along a stone wall through whose openings we get only occasional glimpses of the azure sea suggests an antique excavation. But appearances are deceptive, for this is 1948. The world is still under the shock of the World War when old frontlines re-emerge in Greece and a violent civil war begins. The Communist Party and the National Liberation Front, who just fought the Fascists in a gruelling partisan war, are banned and 80,000 Greeks are deported to barren islands like Makronisos. The crackling loudspeakers broadcast perfidious prohibitions and the mantra of the ten commandments which demand that people renounce communism and join the patriotic fight for “God, country and freedom”. Their goal: re-education. In reality this is psychological terror, combined with harassment and torture. But the walls of Makronisos aren’t silent. Their cracks used to hide poems by many poets like Yannis Ritsos, Tassos Livaditis and Mikis Theodorakis, who were interned here. Their yearning metaphors and powerful poetry are an attempt to stand up to the crude propaganda permanently broadcast throughout the tent camp. The Swiss director Oliver Zuchuat lets the texts clash and speak for themselves in a strict and consistent composition.

Cornelia Klauß



Preis der Ökumenischen Jury 2012

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.

The End of Time

Documentary Film
Canada,
Switzerland
2012
114 minutes
subtitles: 
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Cornelia Seitler, Maximage GmbH
Peter Mettler
Gabriel Scotti, Vincent Hänni, Richie Hawtin, Robert Henke, Autechre, Thomas Koner, Costanza Francavilla, Christos Hatzis, Bruno Degazio
Peter Mettler, Camille Budin, Nick De Pencier
Peter Mettler, Roland Schlimme
Peter Mettler
Peter Bräker
What is time? Three words forming a question that we will never be able to answer conclusively. Peter Mettler goes on a journey through space and time which lasts 114 minutes.
A NASA pilot rises 10,000 metres above the Alps with a helium balloon to drop back to earth. Where does time end? Scientists at the Swiss CERN try to study the Big Bang. Can time exist without space? When matter destroys all life, earth will revert to its original state. Are there places outside time? A big city where human civilisation is history. Is time a never-ending cycle? In the face of death, life at last – in the here and now. That is the only life, inexorably.
Peter Mettler frees the documentary from its narrative corset and takes us along on a cinematographic free fall experiment. He tackles time, expands and accelerates it, immerses us in breathtaking tableaux, edits voices, images and thought fragments to a space-time-vortex whose suggestive power you can only reject or succumb to. That’s presumptuous, tainted with the risk of failure. That’s great cinema.
– Claas Danielsen

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.