Film Archive

Jahr

A Strange New Beauty

Documentary Film
USA
2017
51 minutes
subtitles: 
No
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver, Mike Degen
Entering the comfort zone of a luxury estate in Silicon Valley, inhabited but empty. The first impression: an illusion of Arcadia. A painstakingly created and maintained claim. Though the travails that went into the magnificent appearance of the garden were masterfully concealed and silenced too. Only the things and plants that make up this Arcadia know of its violence. And they have the power to tell us about it! But only those who look and listen closely will hear their ghostly-real voices and the eerie noise behind the silence. From the mouths of ghosts … Thus we learn of the world behind the appearances. A world ruled by dominance and submission. By strategies to overcome fear. And by the antagonism between the “natural” pursuit of happiness of a very few and the collateral damages produced in the process. Because ultimately this film by Shelly Silver is a narrative of barbarianism and how, brilliantly refined, it manages to present itself as strangely new and beautiful – “a strange new beauty” indeed.

Ralph Eue

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.

Pushkar Myths

Documentary Film
India,
USA
2017
104 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Vijay Pratap Singh
Kamal Swaroop
Ashok Meena, Kumar Avyaya
Shweta Rai
Radhamohini Prasad, Hansa Thapliyal
Kamal Swaroop
Kanishk Bhoklay, Manish Pal Singh, Gautam Nair
“All year one sensed a hidden tension, all year something was going on in preparation for those days, as if the ultimate purpose of the year was to home in on those three days.” (Roberto Calasso, “Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India”)

Pushkar is a small town in the Federal State of Rajasthan in northwest India and one of the holiest places of Hinduism. Once a year, however, during the full moon in the autumn month of Kartik, the town and the desert surrounding it turn into a sprawling fun fair with Ferris wheels and carousels, music from folklore to rock and colourful dance performances. Thousands of people, Hindus and Muslims alike, pour in from villages in the whole region to trade camels, horses and cattle. The spectacle appears in the desert as suddenly as a Fata Morgana. And just as suddenly the colourful magic is over. Director Kamal Swaroop – who shot one of the (post-)modern classics of Indian cinema with “Om Dar-B-Dar” in 1988 – captures the exuberant goings-on with a precise eye for strong images and details, exploring the myths and gods of India as well as their political instrumentalisation.

Frederik Lang

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.