Film Archive

Jahr

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A Black Jesus

A Black Jesus
Luca Lucchesi
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2020
92 minutes
English,
French,
Italian
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Luca Lucchesi
Léa Germain
Wim Wenders
Eric Friedler
Silke Schütze
Christa Auderlitzky
Eric Friedler
Nordmedia
Francesco Vitaliti
Roy Paci
Luca Lucchesi
Luca Lucchesi
Edoardo Morabito
Hella Wenders
Luca Lucchesi

In Siculiana, a small Sicilian town full of flaking facades, religiosity is lived out as a matter of course. And of course the figure of Jesus Christ worshipped here is black, and always has been. However, some people cannot get used to their dark-skinned neighbours in the refugee camp. The camera accompanies locals and stranded people along their paths, which often lead to the church, but not necessarily together, and draws a kind of map of the city in black-on-black contrasts.

It’s become quiet in Siculiana, a local says. He’s not referring to the loud demonstrations against the Villa Sikania, now converted into a refugee reception camp. And certainly not to the colourful flurry of activity that grips the city every year as the faithful prepare for the feast of the Finding of the Cross. That’s when they hang up the “Benvenuti” sign. But who exactly is welcomed here? The pomp and circumstance of the festivities are at the centre of this filmic portrait of a community in which the alleged common ground is disintegrating into voice and skin tones: between the black people from abroad and the black man on the cross who – according to an elderly lady – was forced to “darken” himself in order to incorporate human sins. Between an aging city stylised to the point of becoming scenery and God’s newly arrived children who promise a future and who could bring new life into the alleys.
Sylvia Görke
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize
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Sinn und Sein
Rural vs. Urban
Zustand der Welt
Umverteilen und Mitreden
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The Crossing

Die Odyssee
Florence Miailhe
Competition for the Audience Award 2021
Animated Film
Czech Republic,
France,
Germany
2020
84 minutes
German
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Florence Miailhe
Dora Benoussilio
Luc Camilli
Ralf Kukula
Martin Vandas
Alena Vandasoá
Nassim Gordji Tehrani
Julie Dupré
Florian Marquardt
Marta Szymańska
Zuzana Studená
Anna Paděrová
Eva Skurská
Polina Kazak
Lucie Sunková
Urte Zintler
Paola de Sousa
Ewa Łuczków
Anita Brüvere
Aurore Peuffier
David Martin
Marie Juin
Valentine Delqueux
Andreas Moisa
Philipp Kümpel
Florence Miailhe
Marie Desplechin
Aline Helmcke

A country that could be anywhere, not precisely localized and yet everywhere. It’s a beautiful summer’s day when the life of siblings Kyona and Adriel changes forever. Their village is raided, destroyed and set on fire. The whole family is forced to flee and experiences many real and surreal situations on their tracks across a whole continent to finally arrive, perhaps, at a more peaceful place.

At the start of the film, Kyona leafs through a sketchbook, takes stock of her life and talks about the end of her childhood. It is only later that the siblings even realize that they are refugees, that like many others they are making their way to the border for a variety of reasons: natural disasters, the consequences of climate change, war, persecution. The two children come across dangerous and helpful people, are separated and find each other again. This feature-length animation, realized in oil on glass, relies on the rapid interplay between fantasy and reality, taking us, on the one hand, into a fictitious, non-real world. But on the other hand, the places, names, situations remind us of familiar things. They show fleeing, exile, setting out as a universal experience.
Lina Dinkla
Winner of Gedanken Aufschluss Prize
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Exile
Migration
Audience Award Competition 2020
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Eine einsame Stadt Nicola Graef
There’s no better place for a lonely life than Berlin. A portrait of a city with its diverse inhabitants, which strikes the right notes far away from any hullabaloo.
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A Lonely City

Eine einsame Stadt
Nicola Graef
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2019
90 minutes
German
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nicola Graef
Susanne Brand
Nicola Graef
ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH
SWR Südwestrundfunk
Gudrun Hanke-El Ghomri
Catherine Le Goff
Simon Hückstädt
George Kochbeck
Matthias Kreitschmann
Carsten Kramer
Luc Brocker
Alexey Fedorov
Oliver Drüppel
Zora Butzke
Kai Minierski
Alexander Rott
Philip Koepsell

Loneliness has many faces in Berlin. Young and old are afflicted by it, men, women, single and married people. It’s normal. Nonetheless there’s a stigma attached to this mixture of emotions that makes sufferers stay silent. Director Nicola Graef tries a different approach in her film: She lets the lonely inhabitants of the capital city speak, listens. The result is varied and quite often surprising.

Berlin is a city for extroverts, Tessa thinks. The young woman’s mind, however, is on the opposite site. The consequence is loneliness and that “is quite draining”, she says. 85-year-old Efraim, a photographer and flaneur, has found a confident way to deal with those nagging feelings: He’s “not the type for marriage” anyway. Artist Thomas, on the other hand, suffers from the end of a long-term love affair and wonders whether “the icing sugar is all kissed away by the age of 50”, but also says: “There is a market for everything, even for broken cars.” Poised and affectionate, we move through the expanses of the city in Graef’s film, where stories sprout like weeds between the cobblestones. From the corner pub to the artist’s studio, from the parks to the sports club and, time and again, into the silent flats – she encounters her witnesses to emptiness everywhere. Their reports are moving, but they never make us feel hopeless.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, Gedanken Aufschluss Prize
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Sinn und Sein
Liebe/ ohne Liebe
Small Worlds, Big People
Zustand der Welt
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What Remains on the Way

Lo que queda en el camino
Jakob Krese, Danilo do Carmo
Competition for the Audience Award 2021
Documentary Film
Brazil,
Germany,
Mexico
2021
93 minutes
Spanish
subtitles: 
German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing, English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jakob Krese
Danilo do Carmo
Annika Mayer
Bruna Epiphanio
Arne Büttner
Danilo do Carmo
Sofia A. Machado

In 2018, thousands of people from Latin America set out together, fleeing from a lack of perspective, poverty and violence to the U.S. Among them Lilian, a single mother from Guatemala, who found the courage to leave her violent husband. The caravan was her only chance to achieve this act of strength. Nevertheless: 4,000 kilometres with four small children, walking, hitchhiking and travelling north on “La Bestia”, the freight train, are still extremely perilous.

The film contrasts the media coverage with a sensitive view that deliberately focuses on one family. It registers inconceivable hardships, but also great helpfulness, Lilian’s power of endurance and her ability to make the exertions seem like an adventure trip for her children – at least occasionally. Despite this lightness, though, the struggle remains as present as the fact that the US is simultaneously building a wall to prevent anyone from crossing the border. When Lilian and her children reach the border after weeks of fear, she breaks down. Suddenly the question arises whether her goal is really this rich country. Isn’t it rather about finally standing up to male dominance and traditional gender roles? It’s very obvious that one thing remained on Lilian’s arduous way: Fear has yielded to a new self-confidence.
Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Winner of Honourable Mention (in the frames of the DEFA Sponsoring Prize)
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Family Ties
Migration
Audience Award Competition 2020
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The Blunder of Love Rocco Di Mento
Cinematic genealogy: A grandson sets out to document his grandparents’ boundless love but upon closer inspection of the myth is unable to overlook the family rifts.
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The Blunder of Love

The Blunder of Love
Rocco Di Mento
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2020
84 minutes
English,
Italian
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Rocco Di Mento
Valeria Venturelli
Sabine Panossian
Antonella Sarubbi
Valentina Cicogna
Rocco Di Mento
Jerome Huber
Franziska May

A young man meets a young woman and both fall for each other. A house is built, children are born, the fairy tale story of boundless love takes its course. A grandson sets out to explore the myth of his grandparents’ romance and tries to honour his deceased grandfather on film, assisted by all the surviving relatives. Not an easy undertaking when things may not have been exactly as the family tradition would have it …

In his search Rocco Di Mento unearths old 8mm home movies, an unpublished novel, various love letters and a whole host of long-suppressed feelings. It’s hardly surprising that this mixture begins to develop a dynamic of its own. Suddenly the issue is no longer only the search for the love of one’s life but also the questions of what holds people together above and beyond their relationship status and degree of kinship and how forgiveness is possible even though you have long since lost faith in it. An ingeniously constructed family constellation full of Italian temperament, in which tension, emotion and truthfulness are inextricably linked. Because: “Even if you leave you will always be part of your family.”
Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize
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Liebe/ ohne Liebe
Family Ties
Small Worlds, Big People
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The Cars We Drove into Capitalism

The Cars We Drove into Capitalism
Georgi Bogdanov, Boris Missirkov
Competition for the Audience Award 2021
Documentary Film
Bulgaria,
Germany,
Denmark,
Croatia,
Czech Republic
2021
93 minutes
Bulgarian,
German,
Norwegian,
Czech,
Russian,
English
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Georgi Bogdanov
Boris Missirkov
Martichka Bozhilova
Tina Leeb
Miljenka Čogelja
Dana Budisavljević
Jiří Konečný
Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær
Sascha Beier
Simone Baumann
Boris Missirkov
Georgi Bogdanov
Boris Missirkov
Georgi Bogdanov
Emil Granicharov
Jacob Thuessen
Georgi Tenev
Veselin Zografov

A nostalgic trip into a past when buying a car constituted a lifetime’s work – especially for those Europeans who had a maximum of two handful of brands at their disposal. This cheerfully edited collection of auto biographies from socialist production evokes seemingly carefree times when the motorized vehicle was allowed to be simply a status symbol: free from ideological turf wars revolving around the climate crisis and mobility diets.

From Russia via Bulgaria and the Czech Republic to Germany and Norway, love stories between humans and Trabi, Moskvitch and Volga are captured on film. We meet protagonists who are fond of their beloved piece of tin, then or now, or have even amassed a considerable collection. There’s a couple who met and fell in love at a retro car exhibition and still drive the same model today. We meet a sexton who passes on his official car after 32 years of use. We make the acquaintance of a pin-up who always poses in front of vintage cars from the East. They all have a soft spot for these rickety rust buckets, because even though the products of the socialist car industry were usually slow, chunky, tedious to drive and to repair, they were all regarded as showpieces of a successful life. And there was one in almost every family: coveted, long longed-for, assiduously polished.
Lina Dinkla
Nominated for MDR Film Prize
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Witty
State of the World
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The Good Soldier

Le bon soldat
Silvina Landsmann
Competition for the Audience Award 2021
Documentary Film
Israel,
France,
Germany
2021
88 minutes
Hebrew,
English
subtitles: 
English, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

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Silvina Landsmann
Silvina Landsmann
Pierre-Olivier Bardet
Christoph Menardi
Silvina Landsmann
Tal Shefi
Ami Arad
Guy Barkay
Nadir Fleishman
Zohar Cheppa
Tully Chen

The NGO “Breaking the Silence” – BtS for short – consists of veteran Israeli soldiers who, by collecting personal accounts of their memories, want to raise awareness of everyday military life and the treatment of the population in the Occupied Territories. Director Silvina Landsmann’s film allows us a look behind the scenes of a contested group with a controversial approach in the midst of a conflict that’s been smouldering for more than 70 years.

What makes a good soldier? The ability to execute orders without scruples, or the consideration of higher moral goals when dealing with the enemy? For many members of BtS, the latter was only possible after active military service. In their work, they engage with operations and acts that in retrospect seem wrong to them. They address the Israeli population and foreign media with videos, lectures and city tours. The streets of Hebron are the site of frequent clashes between BtS, Israeli settlers and the army. On the political level, too, the organisation is harshly criticized. They are accused of fabricating stories, damaging Israel’s reputation and playing into the hands of anti-Semites. Landsmann observes with a cinematic, sober eye how the group struggles internally and externally to find its voice.
Kim Busch
Nominated for Leipziger Ring
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State of the World