Film Archive

Young Cinema Competition 2012
Pablo's Winter

Once a miner, now a grumpy pensioner and professional chain-smoker, Pablo is supposed to give up nicotine. The end of a working life, carefully arranged and full of quirky humour.

Pablo's Winter

Documentary Film
UK
2012
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Juan Alberto Navazo
Julian Schwanitz
Nick Gibbon
A “story of nicotine and mercury” is what Chico Pereira calls this film in which he portrays the end of a working life and a region. For 2000 years, mercury was mined underground in the Spanish city of Almadén, the director’s hometown. Then, in 2011, a EU-wide ban on the resource marked the end of a proud culture of miners. The pensioner and chain smoker Pablo was one of them. Now he spends his days watching television, grumbling to his wife and producing billows of smoke. What’s left when the jobs are gone, the doctor forbids one to smoke on top of that and one has no idea what to make of the lifetime gained? When all that’s left in the end is a name in a yellowing file and a notebook full of memories of heroic labour disputes, fretwork classes in the pensioners’ club or a dance on Valentine’s Day just won’t do the trick. Carefully framed and arranged like a feature film and yet deeply authentic, the black and white scenes (camera: Julian Schwanitz, Golden Dove Short Film 2011), tell the story of a new beginning in the midst of decline with some cautious humour. There is an element of utopia in the old man’s almost fairytale-like encounter with the boy Jaime. At the end the miners’ choir appeals to their patron saint, Barbara. But she is no longer responsible for Almadén. Only Pablo is left to hold the fort – and smoke.

Grit Lemke



Awarded with a Honorary Mention in the Young Cinema Competition and the Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2012

Ub Lama

Documentary Film
Lithuania,
Mongolia,
UK
2011
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Arunas Matelis, Lukas Trimonis
Egle Vertelyte
Titas Petrikis
Gerelsukh Otgon, Egle Vertelyte
Francesca Scalisi
Egle Vertelyte
Vytis Puronas
A boy like many others of his age: Galaa (12) is a smart, pudgy little rascal who’s not overly fond of school. He prefers to hang out with his little brother (6), listen to hip hop music, watch wrestling on television or eat junk food and play at online dating. The latter is only a fantasy, though, for Galaa lives with his mother and little brother in a yurt settlement on the edge of Ulan Bator (without a computer, of course). For the family – his father died in an accident a few years ago – every new day is a balancing act of survival, for what they earn as ambulant petty traders on the market is barely enough to buy food. So enrolling the boy in a Buddhist monastery school is less a matter of vocation than of existential self-defence. It would be a relief for the family if he was accepted and Galaa himself would be offered a real future perspective. The boy soon realises that this thing would not be bad for him at all and acquires a taste for the whole ceremonial order of Buddhist monasticism with its drums, prayer mills, colourful clothes and bags. A charmingly light and fascinatingly profound documentary coming-of-age story deftly balanced between materialism and spiritualism and – last but not least –fuelled by a heart-rending sense of humour.
– Ralph Eue