Film Archive



Documentary Film
83 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Florian Baron, Herbert Burkert
Florian Baron
Yunas Orchestra, Jana Irmert, Fatima Camara
Johannes Waltermann
Clemens Walter
Florian Baron
Jana Irmert, Linus Nickl, Nils Vogel-Bartling
The trauma of 9/11, the ideology of violent retribution, military service as a patriotic family tradition, the “unfairness” of today’s warfare – in their voice-overs, five young Afghanistan war veterans first establish familiar foundations. Joe, Torrie, Mike, James and Justin from Pittsburgh are slow to show us their faces. Physically unharmed but full of inner pain they have become the misunderstood upon their return. Their violent experiences speak a language that the people at home don’t understand.

“Stress” finds an artistic approach that impressively emphasizes the spoken word with all its unmistakeable signals of emotions and produces a physical experience of the tension of a permanent state of alarm in all its complexity. An extremely slow camera and sound follow the verbal descriptions of war experiences with everyday scenes, like a somnambulistic nightmare, creating plastic almost-still lives where everything can be looked at from every side but still remains intangible. They reveal a life behind glass and in a leaden time that moves inexorably forward but allows no real progress. The coda of this intoxicating and oppressive composition reverberates for a long time: it’s Torrie’s conviction that ultimately the army is still a good place to grow up.

André Eckardt

Awarded with the DEFA Sponsoring Prize for an outstanding long German documentary film
Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Next Masters Competition 2015
TransFatty Lives Patrick O'Brien

At the age of 30, DJ TransFatty gets the fatal diagnosis: Lou Gehrig’s disease … and henceforth points the camera at himself. A chronicle of decay – sarcastic, self-deprecating, bad, wild, off-beat. Wheelchair Punk.

TransFatty Lives

Documentary Film
84 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Patrick O'Brien, Michele Dupree, Amelia Green-Dove, Darin Hallinan, Marcia Mohiuddin, Doug Pray
Patrick O'Brien
Bradford Reed
Ian Dudley
Lasse Jarvi
Augenblick Studios, Inc.
Patrick O'Brien, Lasse Jarvi, Doug Pray
Lenny Schmitz

The author, director and protagonist of this moving “art project of my existence” was 30 when he was diagnosed with ALS. A degenerative nerve disease that switches off one muscle after the other until the patient finally suffocates. Only the brain remains intact to the last breath. Patrick, an anarchist underground filmmaker and known as DJ TransFatty to millions of online fans, points the camera at himself from the moment of diagnosis. Writing an imaginary letter to his son whom he fathered – incredible enough – when he was already half-paralysed, he tells the story of his increasing deterioration as a kind of travelogue. Memories of a past life depicted in clips from earlier, wilder films are disrupted by images of incipient paralysis until the narrative is completely focused on the now. Despite the increasing loss of control this now is an enormously busy place, also in terms of artistic creation, and brings us what must be the weirdest wheelchair sequence in recent documentary cinema. At the same time, doubts, lover’s grief or political comments are built into this chronicle in such a tongue-in-cheek and gaily sarcastic manner that the image of the paralysed body disappears behind the creative spirit determined to communicate with the world. The wonderful thing is that Patrick O’Brien really translated his life into a work of art. Matthias Heeder

Young Eyes Film Award 2015