Film Archive

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
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
International Programme 2012
When Hari Got Married Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam

It’s okay when you’ve never seen your bride before the wedding. But what will she be like? Forced marriage in India as a comedy with a touch of Bollywood, featuring an enchanting hero.

When Hari Got Married

Documentary Film
India,
Norway,
UK,
USA
2012
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ritu Sarin, White Crane Films
Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam
Arjun Sen
Tenzing Sonam
Tenzing Sonam
Tenzing Sonam
Saying “I love you” on the phone presupposes a personal history. But Hari has never met his future bride Suman, with whom he exchanges these tender words daily over the phone while driving his taxi over the bumpy streets of his Indian hometown at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains. It’s an arranged wedding, its history the thousand-year-old tradition behind it. Hari’s father won’t rest until his youngest son, who is already 30 after all, is finally married. He invests all his money in this project, for one thing is certain: the wedding will be colourful and expensive.
Who wants to make their father unhappy? And yet Hari has found a way to soften the tradition a bit: his mobile phone. “When you talk on the phone every day you would even fall in love with a stone”, he says in his inimitable and practical way. The usually cheerful young man’s straightforwardness is a constant surprise. And yet the closer the wedding approaches the more thoughtful and withdrawn the young man seems to be. Because he knows that Suman is not a stone and there’s a real concern that she won’t be able to handle the separation from her family. This unusual love must still pass its acid test – at the end of a long ceremony on which the bridal couple have the least influence. The story of this traditional wedding comes alive with its small signs of cautious modernisation to which Hari makes his modest contribution.
– Lars Meyer