Film Archive

Jahr

German Competition 2020
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80.000 Schnitzel Hannah Schweier
Monika has a new dream: She fights tirelessly to preserve her grandmother’s ailing inn and farm. A family chronicle and a film about life goals.
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80.000 Schnitzels

80.000 Schnitzel
Hannah Schweier
German Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2020
102 minutes
German
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hannah Schweier
Stefan Sporbert
Stefanie Reinhard
Romy Steyer
Johannes Kunz
Ella Zwietnig
Hannah Schweier

Grandma Berta’s beloved “Zollhaus” is on the verge of ruin. She has dedicated her whole life to this inn and farm. Now her granddaughter Monika, the filmmaker’s sister, is to take over the heavily indebted family farm in the Upper Palatinate. What makes Monika decide to give up her previous plans and move to the countryside to live with her grandmother? The director decides to follow her sister for one year during this apparent labour of Sisyphus.

Monika puts all her energy into the ailing farm and is constantly confronted with its history: Grandma Berta’s schnitzel was legendary. But only the jukebox is left of the merry evenings in a packed inn. Berta had to bury her husband, two of her sons and a grandson. She is not a woman of tender words and unsparingly direct, which soon leads to conflict. The director at first watches her indefatigable sister in stunned disbelief. But gradually she understands that Monika has found a new dream in the “Zollhaus”. This enables her to offer an intimate insight into the chronicle of a family. The film confronts us with the universal question when it is the right time to live one’s dreams and how quickly this time may pass.
Annina Wettstein
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, DEFA Sponsoring Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Gedanken Aufschluss Prize
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Natur in Bearbeitung
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Family Ties
Rural vs. Urban
Small Worlds, Big People
Download Film Details PDF
German Competition 2021
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A Sound of My Own Rebecca Zehr
A visually and aurally outstanding film about the musician Marja Burchard, leader of the legendary band “Embryo”. An ode to hearing, experimentation and inspiration.
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A Sound of My Own

A Sound of My Own
Rebecca Zehr
German Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Germany
2021
52 minutes
English,
German
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Rebecca Zehr
Rebecca Zehr
Katharina Rabl
University of Television and Film Munich (HFF)
Tina Janker
Melanie Jilg
Felix Press
Rebecca Zehr
Marja Burchard

She first appeared on stage at the age of eleven with the legendary Krautrock band “Embryo”. Her father, Christian Burchard, founded the band in 1969 and led it until 2016. Today – in her mid-thirties – Marja Burchard is the bandleader in this project, which has become a kind of family for her. But what seems so simple and organic is far from self-evident in an extremely male-dominated sphere, as Rebecca Zehr shows in her precisely observed and designed film.

This strictly and yet lightly composed melange mixes archival footage, psychedelic animation sequences and everyday observations of the normal life of a female musician between organisation and inspiration. With the visual level restricted to black and white and thus deliberately restrained, all the more attention is focused at the sound. The – who wonders? – outstanding score never takes the music for granted but works robustly with our perception. It’s the lucid, calm images and the narrative that is always anchored in the here and now that let this film stay incredibly haptic despite its concentration on our sense of hearing. Rebecca Zehr is not interested in portraying a musical legend, but in showing us what it could look and feel like to not only make music but live in it.
Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness
Winner of Golden Dove (German Competition)
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Family Ties
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
German Competition 2020
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Atomkraft Forever Carsten Rau
A visually stunning and at the same time sober reckoning of the zero sum game between climate change and nuclear disaster: no dramatisation at all and yet deeply disturbing.
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Nuclear Forever

Atomkraft Forever
Carsten Rau
German Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2020
94 minutes
German,
French
subtitles: 
German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Carsten Rau
Hauke Wendler
Carsten Rau
SWR Südwestrundfunk
NDR Norddeutscher Rundfunk
Georg Gruber
Timo Grosspietsch
Andrzej Krol
Carsten Rau
Stephan Haase
Augusto Castellano
Ketan Bhatti
Vivan Bhatti

This detailed and sober look at the issue of nuclear power begins where Germany is currently standing: with shutting it off. It’s precisely because the film is anything but alarmist that the alarming aspect of the situation becomes clear. The nuclear nightmare is not over; a safe final nuclear waste repository is not in sight. And yet, boosted by the coal phase-out, many people seem to see “clean” nuclear energy as an option again. The terror of climate change trumps the terror of the nuclear worst case scenario. A zero sum game.

Carsten Rau succeeds masterfully in calmly probing the heated controversy. He talks to people who live with and off nuclear power. Engineer, scientist or innkeeper, he very deliberately frames them all with the same mixture of seriousness and nonchalance. The story is told without dramatisation, but with stunningly “beautiful” images that make the fascination with this technology quite comprehensible. When hip French nuclear engineers finally try to join the front line of climate protesters, we realise how false the talk of an “unavoidable option” is and always has been. The portrait of a society emerges that walked into a blind alley with open eyes and is slowly coming to realise that with every step it takes it is moving further away from the exit.
Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Gedanken Aufschluss Prize, Young Eyes Film Award
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Natur in Bearbeitung
Zustand der Welt
Umverteilen und Mitreden
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German Competition 2020
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Die Wächterin Martina Priessner
A Syrian Orthodox nun lives in an abandoned estate in south-eastern Turkey. Despite hostilities from the Muslim neighbourhood: she won’t be driven out.
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The Guardian

Die Wächterin
Martina Priessner
German Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2020
87 minutes
Turkish,
Kurdish,
Turoyo
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Martina Priessner
Gregor Streiber
Friedemann Hottenbacher
Martina Priessner
Meryem Yavuz
Martina Priessner
Özlem Sarıyıldız
Robert F. Kellner

In a dilapidated village in south-eastern Turkey, a Syrian Orthodox nun endures alone with her animals. However strong the hostility of her predominantly Muslim neighbourhood may be: she won’t be driven out, for she has sworn to protect the church and not to leave the sacred place. This quietly filmed observation of everyday life focuses on an isolated woman who carries the pain of a whole community inside her.

The population of the village was tortured and driven away in the 1990s. The nun Dayrayto came here only afterwards. Today she rarely receives visits from passing believers. She usually spends her days doing maintenance work on the church and taking care of the animals. Right now she is worried about her old dog. Has he been poisoned? What to make of the provocations and threats she talks about? Dayrayto is always vigilant, even when she’s resting. From her elevated dwelling she looks far across the landscape, registering every vehicle, however distant. But she is in no way distracted by the presence of the film crew. The unobtrusive camera follows the nun – not at every turn, but as a constant, protective companion as she endures on her “bastion”. Loneliness, worries and fear shape this sparse life. They made her suspicious, but also fearless.
Annina Wettstein
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, DEFA Sponsoring Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness
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Sinn und Sein
Small Worlds, Big People
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Rural vs. Urban
Download Film Details PDF
German Competition 2020
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Grenzland Andreas Voigt
Along the river Oder: Virulent questions about homeland and community, everyday life and politics, asked with confident casualness, provide an account of the present.
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Borderland

Grenzland
Andreas Voigt
German Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Germany,
Poland
2020
100 minutes
English,
German,
Polish
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Andreas Voigt
Barbara Etz
Kazimierz Beer
Klaus Schmutzer
MDR Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk
RBB Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg
Thomas Beyer
Rolf Bergmann
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH
PISF, Poland Polish-German Film Fonds
Filmbüro MV
Nordmedia
Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung GmbH
BKM
Marcus Lenz
Maurice Wilkerling
Ina Tangermann
Gerhard Ziegler
Peter Carstens
METRIX
Cine Chromatix

The river Oder: A historical and cultural landscape churned again and again by the tide of events of the past century. A tale told in concentric circles about a region which was and still is the scene of the beginning, end and open middle of voluntary and involuntary migrations. Virulent issues of daily life and politics that, asked with confident casualness, provide a robust account of the present.

Movements and stories in the border region between Poland and Germany – Andreas Voigt’s new film takes up the themes of his 1992 work “Borderland – A Journey”. The charged term “homeland” stirs up (trouble in) the minds and hearts of the people: What it once was and what has become of it! Sure, that’s not the top priority in their daily agenda. But how people appropriate this term and how that in turn structures their attitudes also determines how they figure out the taste of life in the here and now of Europe. The search for closeness is confronted with the insistence on distance. Communication about belonging becomes flimsy because the body language says something different than the spoken word. As a film that’s not about administering a politically correct separation diet, “Borderland” provokes experiences and enables encounters.
Ralph Eue
Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Gedanken Aufschluss Prize, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, MDR Film Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness
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Regional (Heeme)
Rural vs. Urban
Small Worlds, Big People
Zustand der Welt
Download Film Details PDF
German Competition 2021
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Jedermann und Ich Katharina Pethke
How close is too close? The attempt to produce the portrait of an actor turns into a struggle between closeness and distance and a balancing act between fiction and reality.
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Everyman and I

Jedermann und Ich
Katharina Pethke
German Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Germany
2021
65 minutes
German
subtitles: 
English, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Katharina Pethke
Katharina Pethke
Fünferfilm UG
Julia Cöllen
Frank Scheuffele
Karsten Krause
Katharina Pethke
Katharina Pethke
Clemens Endreß
Die Elektrohand Gottes

Is it possible to get close to someone who sees their sole task in life in losing themself in the parts they play? How can a film portrait be created when every image only contributes to further fictionalization? Who is facing each other when the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred? Katharina Pethke looks back to dissect the past and her contradictory feelings for the celebrated actor Philipp Hochmair, following the lines of her own artistic and personal doubts.

The magnificent black and white images guide the eye from the surfaces to the details, whose meaning the director probes and questions in her subjective, tentative voiceover. The film preserves the rawness of unfinished reflections without getting mired in vagueness. Step by step, the honest assessment of a desire is achieved; a desire which could function only in the delicate balance between attraction and repulsion and from which Katharina Pethke frees herself by adopting a position of artistic distance. Her sometimes self-mocking commentary is supported by dramatic guitar riffs (provided by Hochmair’s band project “Die Elektrohand Gottes”) and underpinned by filmic references, all of which revolve around the making of images and the relationship between reality and imagination.
Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness
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Love/Without Love
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
German Competition 2021
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Kopf Faust Fahne – Perspektiven auf das Thälmanndenkmal Betina Kuntzsch
Ten cinematic perspectives on a historical site: Ernst Thälmann Park in East Berlin. In 1986, an old gasworks made way for a housing estate – and a controversial monument.
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Head Fist Flag – Perspectives on the Thälmann Memorial

Kopf Faust Fahne – Perspektiven auf das Thälmanndenkmal
Betina Kuntzsch
German Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Germany
2021
47 minutes
German
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Betina Kuntzsch
Maria Wischnewski
Sven Boeck
Martin Langner
Claire Roggan
Betina Kuntzsch
Joachim Gies
Michael Walz
Betina Kuntzsch
Betina Kuntzsch

For technical reasons – too massive! – this 50-ton bronze colossus was not demolished in 1993. Today it is listed as a historical monument, along with the associated housing estate. A relic from the old days: Today, the raised fist of the former German Communist Party leader and erstwhile GDR hero Ernst Thälmann in the Prenzlauer Berg park defies the collective forgetting of a not-so-long-ago past instead of heralding the victory of communism.

In 1986, an old municipal gasworks in East Berlin made way for a housing estate – and a monument that was controversial even then. Partly imagined, partly remembered and extensively researched throughout, Betina Kuntzsch assembles a complex narrative as part of her project “Vom Sockel Denken” about the Ernst-Thälmann-Memorial in Berlin: about a place full of history, viewed from ten different perspectives. In her omnibus film she skilfully uses various aesthetic and research tools. The successful combination of own footage, animation, archive material and oral history generates a kind of kaleidoscope, a gem of historiographic documentary-making and a parcours through a whole range of documentary film genres.
Borjana Gaković
Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness
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Witty
State of the World
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Lift Like a Girl

Ash ya Captain
Mayye Zayed
German Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Egypt,
Germany,
Denmark
2020
95 minutes
Arabic
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Mayye Zayed
Mayye Zayed
Anke Petersen
Anna Bolster
Eva Klöcker
Claudia Tronnier
The Getty Images ARRAY Grant
Arab Fund For Arts & Culture (AFAC)
HotDocs - Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund
International Media Support (IMS)
The Danish-Arab Partnership Programme The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Initiative (DEDI)
Samir Nabil
Andromeda Film AG
Kristoffer Salting
Brian Dyrby
Sara Abdallah
Mayye Zayed
Mohamad Elhadidi
Marian Mentrup

Captain Ramadan’s “gym” is located in a dusty residential area near the port of Alexandria. This is where the former professional athlete has coached young women in weightlifting for over twenty years – including his daughter Nahla, the first Egyptian world champion. An extraordinarily intimate portrait of this lone and fighter who raised Egypt’s young athletes to world class level with self-funding, which also puts the focus on a second protagonist: young Asmaa.

Mayye Zayed has followed the Captain’s student, who was fourteen at the start, for four years. Wearing a red Popeye t-shirt and backed by her coach, she fights her way to the global top league matches. The story of the inner highs and lows of the introverted young woman unfolds gently as the camera captures her emotional states precisely without many words. The dramaturgy of the chronological narrative follows the events in the best direct cinema manner, impressively adapting to the rhythm of life – and death. The result is the portrait of an unusual relationship and of a harsh environment that demands more than physical strength from the participants.
Borjana Gaković
Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award, DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness
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Small Worlds, Big People
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Family Ties
Download Film Details PDF
German Competition 2021
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Los cuatro vientos Anna-Sophia Richard
A region in the Dominican Republic lives on job migration, on money from afar. Impressions of estranged families in search of happiness – in dreamy images.
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Los cuatro vientos

Los cuatro vientos
Anna-Sophia Richard
German Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Germany
2021
98 minutes
Spanish,
German,
English
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Anna-Sophia Richard
Gerrit Klein
Adrian Goiginger
Südwestrundfunk
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Marcus Vetter
Jonas Schneider
Felix Schmerbeck
Berend Intelmann
Claudio Demel
Florian Staerk
Anselm Koneffke
David Kuruc

Almost every inhabitant of Fondo Negro has relatives abroad. Since the 1980s, job migration, meaning wages shared with the residents from afar, has been one of the most important sources of income in this region in the southwest of the Dominican Republic. Young women in particular go to Europe or the U.S. to support their families by unskilled labour. In her enchantingly beautiful film, director Anna-Sophia Richard shows how this affects the ones who stay behind.

When she set out on the journey to Europe, she didn’t know what to expect, says one of the seven people portrayed. It was as if she was going on a holiday: a holiday that’s now lasted more than thirty years. Others haven’t seen their families in over fifteen years, their only contact being by phone or video chat. The mayor of Fondo Negro, herself the first job migrant from the region, tries to keep the women in the village. But the pull of jobs elsewhere is powerful. What’s left are separated families, children who grow up without parents and couples who become estranged. Almost in passing, the director shows in colourful, dreamy images how provisional solutions manifest themselves and permanently shape the reality of people’s lives. Happiness is only an eight-hour flight away – and still unattainable.
Kim Busch
Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Young Eyes Film Award, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, Leipziger Ring
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Migration
Exile
German Competition 2021
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Nasim Ole Jacobs, Arne Büttner
Sensitive and intimate portrait of an Afghan woman and her family in the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos – before and while the camp went up in flames.
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Nasim

Nasim
Ole Jacobs, Arne Büttner
German Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Germany
2021
120 minutes
Dari,
French,
Greek,
Persian (Farsi)
subtitles: 
German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing, English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ole Jacobs
Arne Büttner
Ray Peter Maletzki
Ayla Güney
Stephan Helmut Beier
Ole Jacobs
Arne Büttner
Janina Herhoffer
Arne Büttner
Ole Jacobs
Azadeh Zandieh
Nasima Tajik

For eight months, Ole Jacobs’s and Arne Büttner’s film team followed the Afghan Nasim and her family in the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, where at times 20,000 people had to live in a space designed for less than 3,000 people. This documentary observation shows with great empathy the daily life of the mother of two who time and again manages to deal impressively with the challenges of this unacceptable and extreme situation.

Nasim previously lived with her family in Iran, where she had already endured discrimination. Her marriage is broken; the camera gingerly captures the mute conflicts with her husband – glances tell everything. Nasim suffers from rheumatism and can hardly move her hands, but she finds loving words to explain this – to her own children and others from over the way. For a while, she even fills in for the school teacher who has left: “Today we will be painting …” She herself, however, is denied the understanding she always shows for others: Everyone around her thinks they know better what she needs. When the camp goes up in flames in September 2020, every hope of a better world seems lost. Nasim is left to fend for herself – but perhaps this new disaster is a chance in disguise.
Borjana Gaković
Winner of DEFA Sponsoring Prize, ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness
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Family Ties
Migration
German Competition 2021
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Pa va hêng Franziska von Stenglin
Liem lives in one of the remote regions of Vietnam and belongs to the ethnic minority of the Sedang. Together with friends he sets out into the jungle, on the trail of his ancestors.
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Dust of Modern Life

Pa va hêng
Franziska von Stenglin
German Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Germany,
France
2021
82 minutes
Vietnamese,
Sedang
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Franziska von Stenglin
Lucas Tothe
Franziska von Stenglin
Cinegrell
Umlaut Films
Lucie Baudinaud
Zuniel Kim
Marylou Vergez
Christian Wittmoser
Nguyen Ngoc Tân
Thomas Höhl

Liem belongs to the ethnic minority of the Sedang and lives in a remote region of Vietnam. The observing camera succinctly sketches a daily routine that’s marked more by surviving than by living. With his friends, he prepares for an expedition into the jungle, where the young men want to take time out, continue the tradition of their ancestors, become hunters and gatherers. The more twisting their paths, the deeper the film seems to enter into a different sphere.

We get to know Liem doing everyday activities. Carrying the baby in a sling, he cooks, hangs out the laundry, goes to the field. The giant loudspeakers fixed to the streetlights fill his village with official news and advertising. In his stilt house, Liem prefers to listen to Vietnamese pop music. Soon we feel the rhythm, the unique beat of this life. When Liem and his friends set out in rubber sandals and carrying backpacks, the camera follows close behind, takes their perspective. Shot on Super 16, the film captures the green tones of the Vietnamese Central Highlands, the images develop a mesmerizing depth. The rustling of leaves, the buzzing of insects, birdsong and permanent rain come together in a melodious soundscape. Suddenly time seems to stand still, the separation between screen and auditorium is lifted.
Anke Leweke
Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness
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Sense and Being
Intervening Nature
German Competition 2021
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Reality Must Be Addressed Johanna Seggelke
When you meet your twin soul at the other end of the world but the fascination does not survive the transfer to everyday life … An intoxicatingly raw coming-of-age story.
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Reality Must Be Addressed

Reality Must Be Addressed
Johanna Seggelke
German Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Germany
2021
53 minutes
English,
German
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Johanna Seggelke
Johanna Seggelke
Kerstin Zachau
University of Television and Film Munich (HFF)
Marie Zrenner
Silvius Sonvilla
Louis Dickhaut
Cornelia Böhm
Vi R. Spengler
Johanna Seggelke

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” Even though Sky and Johanna definitely did not have this quote by Mark Twain in mind, it’s written in the stars of the two young women’s journey through South Africa. A chance acquaintance turns into a relationship that shimmers in all the colours of love. Between Marmite toasts, joints, selfies and music they explore each other inside out. But what happens when the journey ends?

In this deeply personal piece, filmmaker Johanna Seggelke chooses a very different approach to its predecessor, “Bibi Must Go” from 2020. She questions herself, her feelings and memories and almost casually unfolds an enchanting coming-of-age story about a love that emerges and fades in the seemingly endless summer. With a light hand, the film maintains the delicate balance between shimmering beauty and incidentality and manages to make the complicated dialectics of intimacy and strangeness palpable. The outstanding montage interweaves feathery holiday videos with an extraordinary score and the director’s sometimes wonderfully quirky, sometimes wise reflections. A delightfully direct film which preserves the rough edges of the moment and at the same time tries to outwit the undeceivability of one’s own emotions – at least for the time it takes to smoke a cigarette.
Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Winner of Young Eyes Film Award
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Love/Without Love
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
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Rift Finfinnee

Rift Finfinnee
Daniel Kötter
German Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Ethiopia,
Germany
2020
79 minutes
Amharic,
Oromo
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Daniel Kötter
Meike Martens
Angelika Ramlow
Daniel Kötter
Daniel Kötter
Marcin Lenarczyk
Matthias Behrens
Getatchew Merkuria

Socio-geographic explorations on the periphery of Addis Ababa, run through by a variety of borders and rifts – between agrarian and urban spatial practices, between economic and linguistic floes, between perspective and dilemma. A polyphonic audiovisual narrative of people who are forced to experience the impetuous urbanisation of African societies the hard way, recorded as a case study that expands into a complex allegory.

Addis Ababa (Finfinnee in the language of the rural Oromo people) is a rapidly growing East African metropolis. “Rift Finfinnee” evolves from the concrete observation of main and side effects of urbanisation in four extremely different settlements, located within sight of each other on the eastern outskirts of the Ethiopian capital, to an expansive composition about the dynamics of an urban turbo modernisation. The Great Rift Valley currently still (!) constitutes a both natural and symbolic barrier to limit the further tentacle-like expansion of the megacity into agricultural territory – across this and other rifts. This interim report on the situation at the rifts probes the field of tension created by unstable pasts, unreliable futures and a contested present.
Ralph Eue
Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness
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Zustand der Welt
Rural vs. Urban
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Natur in Bearbeitung
Download Film Details PDF
German Competition 2021
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Vor Zeit Juliane Henrich
The director – or more precisely, her alter ego – sets out in search of traces of her family history in Silesia. What she finds are dinosaurs. Including a few made of plastic.
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Time Before Land

Vor Zeit
Juliane Henrich
German Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Germany
2021
80 minutes
German,
Polish
subtitles: 
German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing, English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Juliane Henrich
Juliane Henrich
Thomas Kaske
Angelika Ramlow
BKM
Juliane Henrich
Juliane Henrich
Till Beckmann
Benedikt Schiefer
Tom Schön
Kate Tessa Lee
Nannina Matz
Juliane Henrich

Silesia: a contested region marked by migrations. Animosities between the peoples have a long tradition here, not only since the Second World War. But the National Socialist tyranny left clear lesions behind. The director’s grandfather comes from this region, was the organist in a church in Krasiejów – a place which was once also called Krascheow and, for a while, Schönhorst.

The filmmaker Juliane Henrich – or more precisely, her alter ego, the writer Nannina Matz – sets out in search of her family history. What she finds are bizarre ways of representing the history of humanity – and the history of earth. She comes across all kinds of traces of dinosaurs. Some may only be made of plastic, but others are not: A certain species of this genus, whose fossils were found in Silesia, was christened “Silesaurus opolensis” by the Polish palaeontologist Jerzy Dzik. That’s why there is a Dinosaur Park in Krasiejów. And a local museum, of course. But also many people with different individual memories. They do not necessarily lead to ground-breaking discoveries regarding the looked-for family past, but they broaden the view: of the complex history of this region and the way it is thought together, represented and codified.
Borjana Gaković
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, Young Eyes Film Award, DEFA Sponsoring Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, MDR Film Prize
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Family Ties
Exile
German Competition 2020
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Wir wollten alle Fiesen killen Bettina Ellerkamp, Jörg Heitmann
A real-life satire about the incredible acquisition and impossible sale of a bunker mountain – a mixture of serious documentary and bone-dry humorous science fiction.
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We Wanted to Kill All Nasty Ones

Wir wollten alle Fiesen killen
Bettina Ellerkamp, Jörg Heitmann
German Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2020
91 minutes
German,
English
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Bettina Ellerkamp
Jörg Heitmann
Jörg Heitmann
silent green Kulturproduktionen GmbH + Co KG
home productions GmbH
Stephan Helmut Beier
Ginan Seidl
Bettina Ellerkamp
Ray Peter Maletzki

A jumble of emerging history is contrasted with the present efforts to optimise profit through ventures and ominous business ideas. In the midst of this labyrinth is a duo of artists who only want to make films. Their misfortune: the German film funding system allows only those who work in an artistic-documentary style to realise science fiction films. Cause enough to find true science fiction material on real German soil instead of looking for a fiction.

Rothenstein, south of Jena. A mountain, hollowed out and built on. Labyrinthine corridors cast in concrete spread over a distance of more than five kilometres. The film precisely constructs – stone by stone, image by image – a story which, composed as a mirror of German history, touches on archaeological finds from twelve thousand years ago and at the same time projects into the uncertainties of the future. Bizarre energy fields, myths and tales of dragons, plans of U.S. preppers fleeing from the end of the world meet facticities of National-Socialist exploitation and forced labour, stories of flight from the 1930s, and the military history of the GDR.
Borjana Gaković
Nominated for DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Gedanken Aufschluss Prize
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Regional (Heeme)
Natur in Bearbeitung
Witty
Rural vs. Urban
Zustand der Welt
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