Film Archive

Jahr

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Special Screening MDR
Ein Hauch von Freiheit – Schwarze GIs, Deutschland und die US-Bürgerrechtsbewegung Dag Freyer

Black GIs experience a kind of equality in post-War Germany – and carry the idea back to the States. Veterans about an irony of history.

Ein Hauch von Freiheit – Schwarze GIs, Deutschland und die US-Bürgerrechtsbewegung

Documentary Film
Germany,
USA
2013
90 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Leopold Hoesch, Sebastian Dehnhardt, BROADVIEW TV
Dag Freyer
Benjamin Wistorf
André Hammesfahr, Philipp Kiesling
Dag Freyer
Ulrich Brochhagen (MDR), Charles Poe (Smithsonian Networks)
They came to Germany to free the country from racism and oppression. But their own army and country were ruled by strict segregation. This documentary by Dag Freyer tells the story of the African-American soldiers stationed in post-World War Two Germany. Accepted by the German population as representatives of one of the victorious powers, it was the first time they experienced a kind of equality. They were allowed to enter the same places as white people, relationships with white women – unthinkable at home – were the order of the day.
The shock after their return from the war was all the bigger. Once back in the States, the black US military personnel found they were facing the same conditions as before the war: segregation and discrimination determined their lives. In Germany the soldiers had seen the opposite and this experience of freedom was to give a massive boost to the civil rights movement. An irony of history: one of the foundation stones for the victory over segregation in the United States was laid in the ruins of Nazi Germany, of all places.
In “A Touch of Freedom”, World War Two veterans remember their time in Germany and their political work at home. Among them is former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, talking about his deployment in Gelnhausen in one of his most personal interviews.

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

No Place on Earth

Documentary Film
USA
2012
80 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
J. Flint Davis
Janet Tobias
John Piscitello
César Charlone, Edu Grau, Peter Simonite, Sean Kirby
Deirdre Slevin, Claus Wehlisch, Alexander Berner
Janet Tobias, Paul Laikin
Lewis Goldstein
Hubert von Spreti (BR), Katja Wildermuth (MDR)
This multiple award-winning documentary by Emmy Award winner Janet Tobias, acclaimed at a host of international festivals, tells another incredible story of living and surviving in times of persecution and war.
In 1993, New York speleologist Chris Nicola makes a discovery. While exploring a subterranean system in the Ukraine he comes across some highly unusual objects: a woman’s shoe, a house key, a hand-hewn millstone … It takes him nine years to fit all the parts of this mysterious story that happened 60 years back even then together.
In May 1942, as the Nazis advance further and further into Eastern Europe, five Jewish families flee into one of the biggest cave systems in the world: 124 kilometres long with five lakes. 38 Jews –from infant to old man – are now hiding in the darkness. They make themselves at home, build beds, and lamps from old bottles. Some of them frequently risk their lives leaving the cave to get firewood and food from the world above. For almost two years, the cave-dwellers live, work, eat, and sleep right beneath their enemies’ feet. When the Nazis retreat in April 1944, all 38 Jews come out of their cave: mud-encrusted, in ragged clothes, and blinded by the sunlight – but alive.

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.