Film Archive

International Programme 2017
95 and 6 to Go Kimi Takesue

Looking for the title of a script and finding a grandpa. A home movie style, warmhearted and humorous look: at the grandfather, the family history and the ancestors’ landscapes.

95 and 6 to Go

Documentary Film
USA
2016
85 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Kimi Takesue, Richard Beenen
Kimi Takesue
Paul Brill
Kimi Takesue
Kimi Takesue
Jeff Seelye
The filmmaker Kimi Takesue and her widowed grandfather Tom have big plans: first of all, Tom’s house must be cleared out. A lot of things have accumulated here since grandmother died, who didn’t really share Tom’s passion for film and television. Then there’s Kimi’s unfinished script which has been waiting for completion for years and really needs a new title. The spry pensioner comes up with many – sometimes corny – ideas which, unfortunately, do not always meet with much sympathy. And on top of it all his inquisitive granddaughter is trying to unravel her family history with the help of Tom’s memories. This yields insights into the living conditions of their ancestors, who tried to build a life as Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. The grandparents’ love story, too, is very interesting, especially the question how the two actually met and whether it was really love at first sight.

Shot like a home movie and intercut with archive material and shots of the Hawaiian landscape, Takesue takes a loving and humorous look at her grandfather and her roots. She may not get a new title for her script out of this, but it’s an enchanting way to get closer to her grandfather.

Kim Busch

A Tangled Tale

Animated Film
USA
2012
6 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Corrie Francis Parks
Corrie Francis Parks
Mark Orton
Corrie Francis Parks
Cole Pierce
In this unusual romance, hand-tinted sand becomes a metaphor for two souls as they join and separate. A lonely fish, hooked by an angler's line, encounters another in the same dire situation.

Adolescence

Documentary Film
Puerto Rico,
USA
2017
10 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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José Fernando Rodríguez, Guillermo Zouain
José Fernando Rodríguez
José Fernando Rodríguez
José Fernando Rodríguez, Guillermo Zouain
José Fernando Rodríguez
Alain Muñiz, José Fernando Rodríguez
A girl in the pool, close to the lens. She’s asking for a towel. White noise. A boy pretending to be a chicken hops through the room, picking at the mattress with his head. José Fernando Rodríguez reconstructs the states of his youth in “Adolescence”, using residual images of past times, hybrid images: excessive hormone boosts and the first fears of death, a girl in the pool and a dry run in the children’s rooms. The images in-between are missing. There’s only white noise.

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2018
América Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside

The law of responsibility is uncheatable, unquestionable: three brothers from Mexico share the care for their 93-year-old grandmother. A piece of evidence for humanism.

América

Documentary Film
USA
2018
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside
Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside
Erick Stoll
Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside
Christian Giraud
The outer layer consists of kissing and touching. A film wrapped in tenderness, surrounded by gestures of intimacy, sensitivity and warmth. Diego and his two brothers have returned to Colima in Western Mexico to take care of their 93-year-old grandmother. América is the name of this old woman with dreaming eyes and a warm smile, who is bedded and blanketed by the brothers at night, washed and dressed by them in the morning, cosseted, protected, surrounded by them at noon. The brothers’ father is in prison, their economic situation is precarious and the workload boundless. But human dignity and the law of responsibility are unquestionable, uncheatable. Never – whatever the cost, be it money, time, strength or a brawl – would Diego, Rodrigo and Bruno take their grandmother to a nursing home.

The US directors Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside followed the family for a period of three years and are now presenting an intimate debut film that is more than a document of the ethics of responsibility. It’s, and this is what one should call it, a piece of evidence for humanism.

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2018
Appalachian Holler Matthias Lawetzky

The end of coal-mining has left the Appalachians with environmental destruction and unemployment. Making music together gives the people something to hold on to and some dignity.

Appalachian Holler

Documentary Film
Germany,
USA
2018
29 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Matthias Lawetzky (Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main)
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
You don’t get rich in the Appalachian Mountains. “They’re trying to get thataway, but they usually die before they do,” they say here. The end of coal mining left the inhabitants with its consequential problems, environmental destruction and unemployment. Making music together – if only with spoons – gives the people in one of the remotest spots of the US something to hold on to and some dignity.

Fabian Tietke
International Programme 2018
Atmahaú Pakmát Cameron Quevedo

A poetic and political film about border demarcations and their consequences, the struggle for survival of adobe brick makers in the Mexican-US border region and the magic of a river.

Atmahaú Pakmát

Documentary Film
Mexico,
USA
2017
24 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Cameron Quevedo
Jesús Gerdel
Jim Hickcox
Cameron Quevedo
Will Harrell
Everybody’s talking about the planned wall between the US and Mexico, but what’s often overlooked is that this borderline is in itself a construct. In the mid-19th century, Mexico had to accept a massive loss of territory to its powerful northern neighbour. The demarcation line has followed the Rio Grande ever since. A poetic and political film about border demarcations and their consequences, the struggle for survival of adobe brick makers in the Mexican-US border region and the magic of a river.

Annina Wettstein
International Programme 2017
Before the Bridge Lewis Wilcox

Clear views from a driving car of post-apocalyptic scenarios: ruined factory buildings, dilapidated houses, heavy air. A fleeting glance at Trump’s America – and the future of the economy.

Before the Bridge

Documentary Film
USA
2017
18 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Savannah Mark
Lewis Wilcox
Arthur King & The Night Sea
Lewis Wilcox
Lewis Wilcox
David Carson
Jesse Herrera
Clear views from a driving car of post-apocalyptic scenarios: ruined factory buildings, dilapidated houses, heavy air. Then: dust-free shots of huge storehouses, robot arms, forklifts. A catalogue of disaster images meets a science fiction fantasy. No Hollywood superlativism but the effects of the automation and robotisation of the working world. The example: Indiana. A fleeting glance at Trump’s America – and the future of the economy.

Lukas Stern



Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2017

Bohemia, IA

Documentary Film
Germany,
USA
2017
30 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Angelo Wemmje (Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln)
Angelo Wemmje
Angelo Wemmje
Angelo Wemmje
Angelo Wemmje
90 per cent of the “Corn State” Iowa are used for agriculture. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the “natives” this film focuses on are naive hillbillies. They make music and take Polaroid pictures, watch lectures on quantum physics on YouTube or discuss whether Elvis or Picasso is more “goth”. Buddy Holly’s “Listen to Me” drifts over from a cornfield – and Iowa’s other attribute of “Swing State” suddenly takes on a different meaning.

Esther Buss

Clean Hands

Documentary Film
USA
2016
9 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Katherine Gorringe, Allison Kelley
Lauren DeFilippo
Hector Laguna
Lauren DeFilippo
Lauren DeFilippo
Josh Berger
Clean hands, clean engine hoods, clean-cut lawns. Everything is clean in this drive-in church in Daytona Beach, Florida. Christ’s blood is handed out ready-bottled at the gate, the priest’s appeal to Become Human! is received on 88.5 FM, collections are paid as easily as toll fees. It’s almost as if the cars themselves were praying in this motorist’s church – perhaps for a take-away absolution of their diesel sins.

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2017
Dina Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini

It’s time to move in together if you belong together. Dina lives an “ordinary” love story – normal in carnal as well as pyjamas-related terms. An irresistible statement about the joys of the ordinary.

Dina

Documentary Film
USA
2017
101 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini
Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini
Michael Cera
Adam Uhl
Sofía Subercaseaux
Where can a film lead that begins with a visit to the dentist? First of all to a declaration of principle: she’s just afraid of the unexpected. Dina tells the dentist’s assistant whom she makes hold her hand. That’s not a phrase. The next shot, filmed from above at an angle, catches Dina, who is in her late forties, crossing a street: look left, look right, look left, look right, still no car in sight, nowhere. All the more surprising then that she moves forward rather boldly when it comes to love – to the wedding, to the shared flat. But she read about it in preparation …

One must imagine Dina as the better, no, weightier half of a double pack. Not because she is a few pounds overweight, but because, even sitting down, she seems to set the speed at which Scott gets to accompany her through life. Presumably she was the one who allowed Daniel Sickles and Antonio Santini access to this sometimes clumsy, almost childlike intimacy. Even at the risk of looking funny. The filmmakers follow the lovers through the couch and easy chair landscapes of the US suburban lifestyle – in a quirky and laconic documentary romance about the ordinary and how hard it is to achieve sometimes.

Sylvia Görke
International Programme 2016
Do Not Resist Craig Atkinson

A country on its way to becoming a police state: a journey through the US featuring astonishing material about the military industrial complex that’s behind the shootings of black people.

Do Not Resist

Documentary Film
USA
2016
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Laura Hartrick
Craig Atkinson
Grayson Sanders
Craig Atkinson
Craig Atkinson, Laura Hartrick
Scott Weber
Those were the days, when Hollywood allowed the world to laugh at American police recruits who stared at their guns as if they were flat irons! Of course reality was never like “Police Academy”. Today, however, regular police operations occasionally resemble cinema plots – of war movies. “Do Not Resist” opens with apocalyptic images from Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting of the 18-year-old African-American Mike Brown in August 2014 was followed by protests against police violence. In the heat of the night heavily armed policemen advance, guns ready, accompanied by an armoured car. What exactly is their mission here? And who protects the rights of the citizens?

Starting in Ferguson director Craig Atkinson embarks on an investigative journey through the U.S. to explore the police methods of tomorrow and finds a lively debate about militarisation and becoming a police state. It’s true: councillors in communities with non-existent crime rates decide to buy armoured cars. Ideologists like police trainer Dave Grossman cite the frontier metaphor and the good-versus-evil formula. Windows are smashed at random in police operations against a few grams of grass. And criminologists examine the technical potentials of early recognition of criminals. The slogan “Yes We Can” acquires a whole new meaning.

Lars Meyer
International Programme 2015
Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll John Pirozzi

Hypnotic rhythms, exotic sounds, cool singers: East Asian rock, wiped out by the Khmer Rouge. Time travel with magical archive material.

Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll

Documentary Film
USA
2014
107 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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John Pirozzi, Andrew Pope
John Pirozzi
Scot Stafford
John Pirozzi
Daniel Littlewood, Matthew Prinzing, Greg Wright
In the 1960s and early 70s a new musical style emerged in Cambodia which turned rock’n’roll upside down and created something new by mixing Western sounds with the delicate melodies, hypnotic rhythms and female vocalists of traditional Cambodian music. American filmmaker John Pirozzi takes us on a musical journey of exotic and yet familiar sounds. At the same time he uses archive material and testimonies of witnesses of the time to build a bridge to national history. While the young musicians, along with parts of Cambodian society, were opening up towards Western influences, their country was slowly moving towards the abyss. In 1975 the Khmer Rouge started their cruel elimination of all art and intelligence, including the music scene. The rediscovery of these songs is a late triumph of rock’n’roll.

Zaza Rusadze
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

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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

Drift

Documentary Film
USA
2016
21 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Chris Ward
Chris Ward
Jay Purdy, Chris Ward
Chris Ward
Chris Ward
Cheng Zheng
A workshop, its windows sealed with duct tape. An old man solders and turns screws, eats lunch out of plastic containers, crawls into a sleeping bag at night. In 1973 Tom Ward and eleven other men set sail from the coast of Ecuador to Australia – on wooden rafts. Today he lives a retired life. At the time, Ward recorded stunning images of the expedition: the ocean sloshing over the raft, cloudy red skies. Now they are back on the screen – in his son Chris’s film.

Lukas Stern
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

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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 2013
Elk Grass Abbey Luck

The lonely Elk Mountain is longing for a companion. It is home to abounding wildlife, but can only stiffly observe them in his rocky form ...

Elk Grass

Animated Film
USA
2013
3 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

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Abbey Luck
Abbey Luck
Pete Van Leeuwen
Awesome + Modest
The lonely Elk Mountain is longing for a companion. It is home to abounding wildlife, but can only stiffly observe them in his rocky form until he finds a way to beckon an elk cow to wander inside his ear-cave. Inspired by Peter van Leeuwen’s song “Elk Grass”.