Film Archive

Jahr

Countries (Film Archive)

Aufenthalt auf Erden

Documentary Film
GDR
1979
18 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Orlando Lübbert, Christiane Barckhausen
Orlando Lübbert, Christiane Barckhausen
While people are commuting on the (East) Berlin underground, wounded Nicaraguan Sandinistas are being treated in a hospital nearby and prepared for a life with, in some cases, severe handicaps. Their childlike faces form a stark contrast to their sober, matter-of-fact narratives of fighting and terrible experiences and losses.
An oppressive documentary from today’s perspective, maybe partly because of the lack of distance towards children fighting in wars. Above all, it illustrates how high a price the nations of Latin America were willing to pay for their freedom – also expressed in the title’s reference to Pablo Neruda.
– Grit Lemke

Leipzig 1979 “Prize of the Minister of Culture of the GDR”

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.

Canto General

Documentary Film
GDR
1982
40 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilm
Joachim Tschirner
Mikis Theodorakis, Maria Faranduri, Petros Pandis, Heiner Vogt - Rundfunkchor Berlin (DDR)
Rainer Schulz, Günter Breßler, Karl Faber, Walfried Labuszewski, Jochen Härtel
Joachim Tschirner
Even today, “Canto General” by the Chilean national poet Pablo Neruda is regarded in Latin America as the most important literary work right after the bible. The Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis became Neruda’s artistic companion and set parts of his work to music. A few days before the Chilean premiere, scheduled for September 1973, the military coup happened. Neruda died two weeks later. It was not before 1981 that the work was premired in the GDR.
The film interweaves the sometimes painful biographies of these two once-in-a-century artists who were both closely linked to the dictatorships and liberation struggles of their time, their creative work and the “General Song”. A moving document of the power of art beyond death.
– Grit Lemke

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.

Compañera Inge

Documentary Film
GDR
1982
30 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Sabine Lenkeit
Karlheinz Mund
Christian Lehmann
Angela Wendt
Rolf Liebmann
150 Cubans are training as skilled workers in an Upper Lusatian textile company. “Compañera Inge” is in charge of the foreign workers and must prove herself as a “practical life coach”. The Cubans’ South American temperament, their openness and enjoyment of life, despite the “brotherliness” prescribed by the authorities, are far from being unanimously approved of by their German colleagues. A clash of cultures in the service of the revolution ... and a gentle jolt to the taboos of a closed society in its exposure of prejudice and problems, made for GDR Television, amazingly enough, and the only film on this subject until 1989.
DEFA for GDR Television
– Grit Lemke

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.

Ein Bild malen ist wie Mais anbauen - Bauernmalerei aus Nicaragua

Documentary Film
GDR
1984
21 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Karlheinz Mund
Wolfgang Dietzel
Wolfgang Geier, Karlheinz Mund
In the 1960s, the poet and priest Ernesto Cardenal, the future Cultural Minister of Nicaragua, founded the Solentiname community that was based on early Christian principles. More than 40 peasant artists found their own style, closely related to naïve painting, there. Their narratives and colour-drenched paintings form an intensely sensual picture of the lives, struggles and daily routines of simple peasants. After they made their own brushes out of hair at first, they soon began to regard painting as a means to cope with life in the face of oppression, persecution and loss: “I paint what I have never seen. I paint the unknown.”
– Grit Lemke

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.

Erinnere dich mit Liebe und Hass

Documentary Film
GDR
1974
40 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Jürgen Böttcher, Rolf Liebmann
Werner Kohlert, Bernd Mertens, Horst Simon
Three years after the hopeful meeting with representatives of Chile’s New Song movement, the protagonists are lost or killed, like Victor Jara, others managed to save themselves by going into exile. Some live in the GDR, like the Inti Illimani group. Their stories and powerful songs are combined with expressive photos (by Thomas Billhardt and others) and scenes from Patricio Guzmán’s film “The First Year”. At the end of this black-and-white film, the screens turns red in a reference to Eisenstein ...
There is scarcely another film that evokes so painfully what Chile meant to a whole generation not just of GDR artists and what incurable wounds are left by the failure of a utopia.
– Grit Lemke

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.

Ganz Berlin ist in deinen Augen - Erinnerungen an Otto René Castillo

Documentary Film
GDR
1979
27 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Karlheinz Mund
Atahualpa Youpauqui
Karlheinz Mund
Werner Kohlert, Karlheinz Mund
Otto René Castillo, who is still revered as the most important poet in his home country of Guatemala, studied literature in exile in Leipzig from 1959-1962 before he signed up with DEFA to work in the medium of film. He returned in 1963, joined the guerrilla and was cruelly killed by the Guatemalan army in 1967.
Years later his former colleague Karlheinz Mund embarks on a search for his traces in Guatemala and the GDR. Fragmentary, composed of his fellow travellers’, wives’ and colleagues’ memories, of poems and letters, the image of a man emerges who couldn’t bear “to only talk when others are dying”. An image that is doomed to remain incomplete. Mund and the writer Fritz Rudolf Fries, who wrote the voice-over, are questioners and behind their reflections on an uncompromising artist and friend lies the unspoken realisation of their own failure in a country that had accommodated itself to mediocrity.
The name Castillo is fatefully linked to this festival: Otto René Castillo was a member of the jury of the Leipzig “Documentary and Short Film Week” in 1961 (which the Cuban director Octavio Cortázar remembers in a film), which was probably instrumental in making him switch to DEFA. In 1983 his son Patrice Castillo – who still lives in Leipzig – was among the young people and members of the GDR peace movement who organised the legendary “candle rally”, were brutally arrested and sentenced to long prison terms.
– Grit Lemke

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.

Lautaro

Animated Film
GDR
1977
19 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA Studio für Trickfilme
Juan Forch
Bernd Wefelmeyer
Hans Schöne
Juan Forch
Chile films from the period of the coup frequently refer to the Lautaro epic: a Mapuche boy who is laid in chains by the Spanisch conquerors and, growing up among them, learns from them. He returns home as a warrior, teaches the Indians how to use arms and leads them in the resistance against the conquerors.
This metaphor of the political fate of the left in Chile was designed by Hermando León in powerful, earthy pictures. A renowned painter, he had to leave Chile after the coup and ultimately settled in Dresden, where he taught at the Academy of the Arts for years and is still working as an artist today.
– Grit Lemke

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.

Mitbürger

Documentary Film
GDR
1974
8 minutes
subtitles: 
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Peter Hellmich
Walter Heynowski, Gerhard Scheumann
Santiago de Chile, La Moneda government palace, 11 September 1973. Pictures of the bombing. We hear Salvador Allende’s voice; his last words, addressed to his people in the hour of his fall, accompanied by a fast-paced montage of photos and archive footage of the short period of construction and hope. And Allende’s legendary sentence: “I believe in Chile and its future.” Then, again: flames.
– Grit Lemke
Main Prize and Fipresci Award Oberhausen (1974)

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.

Tango Traum

Documentary Film
GDR
1985
20 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Helke Misselwitz
Gunther Becher, Lutz Körner
Brigitte Unterdörfer
A flat in Prenzlauer Berg in the 1980s, a woman and some tango music. A personal essay in which the director explores the origins of the tango, questions archives, texts, old photos and film material, finally even an Argentine, interpreting the tango as a cultural practice closely related to politics and society. But there is its other side, too: the sensual, erotic side visualised in staged scenes. Both levels, past and present, here and there, become blurred.
In the end the woman is forced to realise that she can never get the tango feeling. What is distant remains foreign, Montevideo an impossible dream in the GDR of the leaden 1980s. A grief that, translated into dance, could be a tango.
– Grit Lemke

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.