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T's World: The Over-identification of Terry Thompson

29 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ramon Bloomberg
Ramon Bloomberg
Ramon Bloomberg
Stark Haze
József Szimon, Balázs Őrley
On 18th October, 2011, the sheriff of Zanesville, Ohio, got an agitated phone call: the animals that eccentric Terry Thompson was legally keeping on his ranch were roaming the county. Red alert! That night, a heavily armed police force killed more than 56 bears, tigers, wolves, leopards and lions. Thompson had opened the cages, shot himself and offered his body as food to the animals. So far, so good, so American.
British media artist Ramon Bloomberg has turned this bizarre incident into a Brechtian story. Bloomberg combines Brecht’s play “The Yes Sayer” about traditional custom and formalised law with the American settler’s anarchical logic of freedom which fights every kind of state influence as an infringement on individual freedom: I am the lord of my animals, my land, my house, my family. End of story!
Bloomberg translates epic theatre into the language of film in the age of Play Station games. Real live shots are combined with images from the police car’s video camera, Google Earth data mining sequences and computer animated re-enactments. We hear minutes and statements of everyone involved as well as a comment taking the form of an (antique) chorus, the voice of the law, the neighbour and the animal. The only voice we don’t hear is Terry Thompson’s. His motives remain a big secret.

Matthias Heeder

Honorary Mention in the International Competition Animated Film 2014

The Wait

Documentary Film
25 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Inka Achté
Inka Achté
Graham Hadfield
Inka Achté
Rodrigo Saquel
Nina Rice
They vanish without warning: fathers, husbands, sons who leave their home to meet someone and never come back. They leave behind families who may never learn whether something happened or whether they were abandoned. Sleeplessly, they keep turning over the clues in their minds, desperately looking for signs they might have overlooked in this puzzle, reconstructing every detail of the last hours. They wait for years, fearing nothing more than getting an answer. Director Inka Achté has found a shimmering visual language for this almost unbearable atmosphere of uncertainty. The views of train stations and crowds always carry the deceptive hope that the missing person might be among them. They are interspersed with images of the protagonists as silhouettes torn from the darkness by the camera. These oscillating images illustrate the fateful ties between those who are present and those who are absent, this life and the other. Only the pudgy boy who resembles his vanished father so much has something to cling to as he gingerly holds his guinea pig in his arms.

– Cornelia Klauß