Film Archive

Jahr

Eine Art Liebe

Documentary Film
Germany,
Turkey
2012
70 minutes
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Dirk Schäfer
Dirk Schäfer
Armand Amar
Dirk Schäfer
Dirk Schäfer
Saydelizade
Even if he wouldn’t put it this way himself, Nevzat, the 30-year-old protagonist of this touching portrait from the depths of the Kurdish provinces, was a lifelong prisoner. Walled in between the archaic laws of his family clan and obedience to his father, he has no space left for his own desires or decisions. There’s only jobs he’s not allowed to choose and unwanted obligations. Saving money and leaving the village. Being in love just once. Somehow having a good life after all. The filmmaker Dirk Schäfer seems to have entered Nevzat’s life at the precise moment when his secret desires break free and he starts to throw off cultural ballast. He regularly commutes between Istanbul construction sites and his village. The promise of a metropolis there, the wall between him and his desires at home. On one level “Eine Art Liebe” portrays a man who believes in the right to a personal, self-determined happiness. On a second level a relationship between Nevzat and the director develops very carefully, often indicated only by a look or a gesture. Dirk Schäfer speaks Nevzat’s language, which enables him to enter into a reserved, direct dialogue with Nevzat, respecting the pre-existing limits. The filmmaker’s achievement lies in using his protagonist’s rebellion to open the door to a reality that seems alien and outdated. Nevzat profits from the exchange with the German who acts as a sounding board for his doubts and wishes. At the end he calls him teacher, because one doesn’t address one’s elders by their first name. But a teacher from whom he emancipates himself like he did from his cultural constraints.

Matthias Heeder



Honorary Mention in the German Competition Documentary Film 2012

German Competition 2016
The Others Ayşe Polat

Villagers in the east Anatolian region of Van, once the peaceful home of Armenians, Kurds and Turks, talk about the repressed history of a genocide and a complex conflict.

The Others

Documentary Film
Germany,
Turkey
2016
66 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Mehmet Aktaş, Said Nur Akkuş, Ayşe Polat
Ayşe Polat
Meryem Yavuz, Armin Dierolf
Eyüp Zana Ekinci
Ayşe Polat
Mustafa Baydemir, Oktay Çağla
Of course reality is more complicated, but the director uses a clever narrative ploy to introduce us to the past of the former Armenian province of Van in Eastern Anatolia. It’s the only place where the Van cat is found, an almost mythical animal and a cultural symbol that unites Armenians, Kurds and Turks alike. It’s via this historical code that the film depicts the sorrowful events of 1915: the Armenian genocide. They are still present today in the memory of the Kurds who took over the villages of the deported – traces the director follows like an archaeologist who uncovers a painful, difficult and suppressed history layer by layer.

What’s left of the days when the people here lived together as neighbours and not as witnesses of ethnic deviation? Dilapidated Armenian churches, pilgrimage sites, and the intricate family stories of survivors assimilated by force. Their descendants still shy from public avowals of their ancestry. Even worse: the Armenians are labelled “the others” even if they are part of one’s own biography, one’s genetic heritage. Factual in style, with quiet, observant camerawork and without pointing the finger at anyone, Ayşe Polat manages to take an authentic look at an open-ended historical conflict with “The Others”.

Matthias Heeder


Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Goethe-Institute Documentary Film Prize