Film Archive

A Horse is not a metaphor

Documentary Film
USA
2008
30 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Hammer
Meredith Monk
Meredith Monk
Riding and swimming in the river, in combination with Meredith Monk’s music, become symbols of the fight against ovarian cancer.
„Freedom is a horse galloping with mane and tail flying in the wind. Freedom is my eye and mind following the flow of expression through movement. Freedom is riding my horse on a trail exploring the unknown and seeing with fresh eyes as the world becomes new again. „A Horse Is not a Metaphor“ is about the power of living in the present to the fullest and with the greatest freedom.” (Barbara Hammer)
Best of TV - POV 2012
A Perfect Candidate R.J. Cutler, David van Taylor

A charismatic candidate in the Virginia senatorial race, and his democratic opponent. The mechanisms of politics and its string-pullers. Gripping.

1996

A Perfect Candidate

(none)
USA
1996
105 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ted Skillman, Dan Portland
R.J. Cutler, David van Taylor
Nicolas Doob
Remember Oliver North? In the late 1980s under President Reagan he secretly sold weapons to Iran and used the profits to support Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Risqué – the United States had issued an arms embargo against Iran and Congress had prohibited any support for the Contras. When the scandal was exposed, Reagan dropped Oliver North. The lieutenant-colonel was found guilty of corruption, lying and destruction of evidence. He appealed and was acquitted – for reasons of immunity. Now he needed a new job. This is where “A Perfect Candidate” comes in: the charismatic North entered the senatorial race in Virginia as the Republican candidate. Over seven months, we follow him and his opponent, the democratic incumbent Charles Robb, through the highs and lows of campaigning. Following the “spin doctors”, the people who pull the strings behind the scenes, very closely, Cutler and Taylor open up deep insights into the strategies and pitfalls of the political machine. The result is a captivating and extremely thrilling film in the spirit of Robert Drew’s and Richard Leacock’s Direct Cinema classic “Primary”. The Washington Post praised “A Perfect Candidate” as the “best American documentary since Hoop Dreams” and called it “one of a small handful of essential films about the politics in this country”.
– Claas Danielsen

Bent Time

Documentary Film
USA
1983
21 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Hammer
Pauline Oliveros
"'Bent Time' is influenced by scientists who have noted that light rays curve at the outer edges of the universe leading them to theorize that time also bends. A one-point perspective visual path across the US beginning inside a linear accelerator - or atom-smashing device - and travelling to such high-energy locations as the home of an ancient sun calendar in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico; the site of Ohio Valley Mound cultures; the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridges; and beyond. Inspired by this idea, I used an extreme wide angle lens of 9mm and "one frame of film per foot of physical space" to simulate the concept of time bending." (Barbara Hammer)
Best of TV - POV 2012
Better This World Kelly Duane de la Vega, Katie Galloway

Two young Americans who campaigned against Republican politics end up in prison as terrorists. Idealism, betrayal, fear, and hysteria in the “war against terror.”

Better This World

Documentary Film
USA
2011
89 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Katie Galloway, Loteria Films
Kelly Duane de la Vega, Katie Galloway
Paul Brill
David Layton
Greg O’Toole
Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega
In the United States, too, young people are actively engaged against war, globalisation and right-wing ideologies. David McKay and Bradley Crowder are political, they want to change the world and go out into the streets for their ideals. But Washington is a long way from Midland, Texas – their hometown, the birthplace of George W. Bush of all things. But one day the fascinating Brandon Darby arrives, a real activist and revolutionary, who takes them under his wings. Their shared goal: raise a riot at the Republican National Convention.
What began as the adventure of a group of slightly left-wing young people ended with charges of terrorism in an America marked and deeply divided by the “war on terror”. A shocking film about idealism, betrayal, fear and forgiveness.
Claas Danielsen
International Programme 2012
Downeast

An entrepreneur and his employees try to get a fish factory running and fight the stranglehold of financial capital in a small US coastal town. A gripping story.

Downeast

Documentary Film
USA
2012
78 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Matthew Dougherty
David Redmon
David Redmon and Ashley Sabin
The region of Maine called “Down East” is also known as the “Lobster Coast” – and until the crisis reached it, the people there earned a good living by fishing and processing fish. But the last sardine cannery in the small town of Gouldsboro closed in 2010 and the workers – their proud average age 65 – have been unemployed ever since. Until the Italian-American businessman Antonio Bussone arrives in the coast town to make a new start with the core workforce in the old factory: “Live Lobster”. But while the eager and hopeful old ladies are putting on their white rubber aprons and stepping up to the assembly lines again, Antonio is faced not only with the narrow-mindedness and competitiveness of the town fathers, who are in the fishing business themselves. He is forced to rely more and more on the banks as he fights a losing battle for his “American Dream”.
David Redmon and Ashley Sabin lived among the people of Gouldsboro for one and a half years and became part of the process whose different actors they follow and grow close to. In the best American narrative tradition they develop a gripping story in which honest enterprise (“business is personal”) in alliance with the workers is fighting against faceless financial capital. The fight is not only about existences and a whole lot of money, but most of all about dignity. Down East is everywhere.
– Grit Lemke
International Programme 2012
Drivers Wanted

A small taxi company in Queens, its old boss and his drivers, daily routines and struggles for survival. Full of whacky Jewish humour – the common man’s Big Apple.

Drivers Wanted

Documentary Film
USA
2012
54 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Adam Crystal
Joshua Z Weinstein
Jean Tsien
The New York street system consists of 6174 miles of mostly asphalt roads and legend has it that a real Yellow Cab Driver knows this jungle like the back of his hand. The filmmakers Jean Tsien and Joshua Weinstein mixed with the colourful community of drivers, mechanics and office clerks working for a long-established taxi company in Queens to document that the original ideal of the common man’s Big Apple is still very much alive and present in this slightly seedy enterprise. They avoided the trap of producing a simple assertion of an idyllic or even paradisiacal situation, opting instead for a highly enjoyable demonstration of that unspectacular and delightful feeling described by Hemingway when he remembered an encounter with some craftsmen during a stay in Paris in the 1920s: “It was easier to think if I was walking and doing something or seeing people doing something that they understood.“ What’s left? The certainty that it can’t hurt to feel grateful for little things occasionally.
– Ralph Eue

Dyketactics

Documentary Film
USA
1974
4 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Hammer
A Bolex camera between two women’s bodies seems to merge with them.
„Every frame in the film has an image of touching. Touch precedes sight in ontological human development and the connection of the two was an important aesthetic principal in my early films. The audience feels in their bodies what they see on the screen.” (Barbara Hammer)

The first “lesbian film” in film history

Endangered

Documentary Film
USA
1988
19 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Hammer
Helen Thorington
“Toward the end of the 80s the digital revolution was in full swing and I felt the imminent decline and possible death of 16 mm film, the medium I had chosen for my art. I went to the Galapagos Islands to mourn the loss of light through atmospheric pollution as well as the demise of film; I created this memento mori for the things I love.” (Barbara Hammer)

Generations

Documentary Film
USA
2010
30 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Hammer, Gina Carducci
The term generations is also used to indicate the degree to which a film print is removed from the master. This is about film, the different stages of its development, about representations, and about two women of different ages. Barbara Hammer and the young filmmaker Gina Carducci both film the last days of Astroland on Coney Island with a Bolex. They post-produce and edit image and sound separately, Hammer using digital tools, Carducci on film, before they bring the two versions back together. An experiment about the traces of mortality in architecture, in film and in us – and how they give rise to something new.
– Grit Lemke

Lover / Other

Documentary Film
USA
2006
55 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Hammer
They wore pants when most women didn’t, they lived an openly lesbian life, were surrealist photographers and writers – and the only ones who had the courage to resist the German occupation of the Isle of Jersey: Lucie Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe aka Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore. In this multilayered essay Hammer weaves disparate materials – interviews with contemporary witnesses, re-enactment, graphic elements, archival footage, letters and fictitious dialogues, often fragmented – into a delicate essay on the fragility of identities and the possibility of resistance.
– Grit Lemke

Maya Deren's Sink

Documentary Film
USA
2011
30 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Hammer
The encounter with the works of American avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren (1917-1961) – marginalised during her lifetime – inspired Barbara Hammeras a filmmaker. Using interiors, articles of daily use and the architecture of places where Deren lived Hammer explores another piece of “hidden history”, an “archive of the mundane”, fragmented and with multiple superimpositions like our memory. Images from Deren’s films and of the filmmaker herself appear on the walls and in the rooms. Fleeting shadows like the stories told by witnesses which come from far away or from the walls and instantly turn into history. What traces are left by a life? “Nothing is first, nothing is last, nothing is future, nothing is past.“
– Grit Lemke

National Hunger March

Documentary Film
USA
1931
12 minutes
subtitles: 
English Captions

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Studiya Meshrabpom
Under president Hoover, whose relief campaigns of the early 1920s made him popular, unbridled capitalism and stock exchange speculation led to a crash, dramatic wage cuts, mass unemployment and ultimately to the Great Depression. This early American social documentary shows the long march across the US to Washington to demand winter relief and unemployment insurance, undertaken by black and white delegates of the unemployed in December 1931. Since 1922, Workers’ International Relief had brought individual Russian and German films by IAH colleagues to the States. Together with “The Passaic Textile Strike” (Samuel Russak, USA 1926), this film about the hunger march constituted the beginning of a nationwide self-organised proletarian film movement – again and again the topic was hunger ...
– Alexander Schwarz

Places Other People Have Lived

Animadoc
USA
2011
7 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Laura Yilmaz
Laura Yilmaz
Laura Yilmaz
Laura Yilmaz
Laura Yilmaz
Bethany Sparks
What begins as a biography of a house, told through bittersweet and sometimes humorous personal anecdotes, ultimately raises larger questions about the emotional content of physical spaces, and what happens to our histories when we leave those places behind.
The film contains extensive photography of the filmmaker's childhood home, which was sold just a few months after the images were taken.

Pond and Waterfall

Documentary Film
USA
1982
15 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Hammer
A pond metamorphoses into great ocean waves. Up and down, light and darkness, heaven and earth. An eternal circle – which the audience experience from inside.
– Grit Lemke

Pools

Documentary Film
USA
1981
9 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Barbara Hammer, Barbara Klutinis
Everything is in flow – yet in swimming pools time seems frozen. A reflection on movement and stagnation.
– Grit Lemke
International Programme 2012
Project Z: The Final Global Event Phillip Gara

Disney & Co. in the service of the US Army: how the military, science establishment and entertainment industry constructed a new, virtual enemy after 9/11. A touch of WikiLeaks in the cinema.

Project Z: The Final Global Event

Documentary Film
USA
2012
70 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

James Der Derian, Global Media Project
Phillip Gara
Brian Knoth, Ben Leadbetter, Alec Redfern, Bob Fish
Phillip Gara, James Der Derian
Phillip Gara
James Der Derian
An applied media criticism trip into the mindset of the military superpower USA: “Projekt Z” works like a black box in which various materials were deposited: interview clips with high-ranking military officers, politicians, scientists, but also fragments of reports, official and less official images. The contents of this box are spilled in front of the audience to uncover connections. A whiff of WikiLeaks wafts through the cinema. The trail leads back to the early 1990s. After the end of the Cold War, the US military are faced with the challenge of finding a new enemy. No threat, no innovation. In new training centres in the desert soldiers puzzle over who they are going to fight in the future and, most of all, how and with what equipment. The idea of “simulation” revives the collaboration between the armed forces, sciences and the entertainment industry – so the inevitable Jack Valenti comes in. A militarisation of society by means of a virtual enemy who, after 9/11, is declared a zombie once and for all - “Z” as in “Zombie”. From now on America is fighting the spirits it called upon itself. The second part of the film analyses the current situation in rapid interview collages and asks what must happen for the virtual bubble to avoid the ultimate accident – comparable only to a gigantic market crash, as Paul Virilio believes. Welcome to the present day.
– Lars Meyer