Film Archive

Jahr

Countries (Film Archive)

International Competition 2021
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A Custom of the Sea Fabrizio Polpettini
Three friends explore the radiance of the Mediterranean, which connects Christian and Islamic countries and has always been and still is a site of conflicts.
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A Custom of the Sea

Un usage de la mer
Fabrizio Polpettini
International Competition 2021
Documentary Film
France
2021
52 minutes
French,
Italian,
Arabic,
English
subtitles: 
English, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Fabrizio Polpettini
Fabrizio Polpettini
Pierre-André Belin
Valentina Provini
Marylou Vergès

Porto Maurizio, where the director, who lives in France today, grew up, is located on the Ligurian coast. The village is the starting point for a cinematic journey into the past that spans a surprisingly wide arc to a time when Muslim pirates, the corsairs, haunted the Mediterranean and took Europeans as slaves. To this end, the film light-handedly draws from the rich fund of film history and its iconography.

Adventure films from the 1940s and historical murals depict the naval battles of the early 19th century in powerful images. The director ingeniously combines such visual finds with analogue new recordings of a journey with two friends. Their seemingly loosely told anecdotes and chance encounters combine to form a coherent whole, forming a geopolitical system of coordinates around the Mediterranean that deals with eurocentrism, colonial history and religiously motivated conflicts between Christian and Islamic countries. The subjects couldn’t be more topical.
Annina Wettstein
Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award, Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
#
Witty
Migration
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A Night of Knowing Nothing

A Night of Knowing Nothing
Payal Kapadia
Camera Lucida – Out of Competition 2021
Documentary Film
France,
India
2021
96 minutes
Hindi,
Bengali
subtitles: 
English

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Payal Kapadia
Thomas Hakim
Julien Graff
Ranabir Das
Wouter Jansen
Ranabir Das
Ranabir Das
Moinak Bose
Romain Ozanne
Payal Kapadia
Himanshu Prajapati

Riots and protests at an Indian film school, told in letters written by student L to her lover K, in which she reflects on what’s happening around her. While government forces gradually push back the rebellion, L realizes that she will never receive an answer because K belongs to a higher caste. The anonymous lines are wistful echoes of a love tragedy in times of the resurgence of a nationalistic class society.

Director Payal Kapadia steeps the visual material, compiled from a variety of sources and testifying to long, draining nights of protest, but also to great determination and a youthful exuberance, almost consistently in grainy black and white. Even mobile phone or surveillance camera footage are thus aesthetically related to 16mm student films from past decades. But against this contrast the immediate, unfinished nature of what is shown becomes all the more apparent, referencing the complex dialogue between a fragile memory and a tumultuous present that goes on in the film. A present in which questions of artistic representation, but also of personal responsibility, must be renegotiated.
Felix Mende
#
Redistribution and Having a Say
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
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A Solar Dream

Un rêve solaire
Patrick Bokanowski
Animation and Musique concrète 2021
Animated Film
France
2016
63 minutes
French
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Patrick Bokanowski
Patrick Bokanowski
Patrick Bokanowski
Patrick Bokanowski
Michèle Bokanowski
Patrick Bokanowski

Patrick Bokanowski subjects his own early cine film footage to a magical optical transformation. In the glistening drizzle of electronic sounds and the deep rumbling of drone waves by Michèle Bokanowski, light eruptions, sweeping colours and shadowy apparitions unfold while the original footage shines through. A diary of awake dreaming observation.

André Eckardt
#
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
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Abyssal

Abisal
Alejandro Alonso
International Competition Short Film 2021
Documentary Film
France,
Cuba
2021
30 minutes
Spanish
subtitles: 
French, English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alejandro Alonso
Boris Prieto
Alejandro Alonso
Oderay Ponce de León
Boris Prieto
Norwegian Fund for Cuban Cinema
CNC / Aide aux cinémas du monde
Lisandra López Fabé
Pepe Gavilondo
Nancy Angulo
Glenda Martínez Cabrera
Velia Díaz de Villalvilla
Alejandro Pérez
Emmanuel Peña
Alejandro Alonso
Alejandro Alonso

A ship scrapyard in western Cuba. The observing camera follows Raudel and his colleagues who work in what seems like a hermetically sealed microcosm. A homing pigeon strays into the place; the workers contemplate it silently as they smoke. Sometimes they talk about their dreams. Shots are focussed in turns on their bodies and their surroundings. Rhythmic, artfully crafted and authentically produced sounds accompany precise and lucid images, without aestheticizing the harshness of their work.

Borjana Gaković
#
Redistribution and Having a Say
Rural vs. Urban
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Anxious Body

Fuan na karada
Yoriko Mizushiri
International Competition Short Film 2021
Animated Film
France,
Japan
2021
6 minutes
English
subtitles: 
None

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Yoriko Mizushiri
Emmanuel-Alain Raynal
Pierre Baussaron
Nobuaki Doi / New Deer
Luce Grosjean

Tszzzzidd – skin and adhesive tape separate slowly, almost lasciviously. From a sober physical point of view, forces between molecular bonds are being overcome. Yoriko Mizushiri composes brief, highly sensual variations on pain and pleasure based on this phenomenon. Restrained, calm and scalpel-sharp, she creates two-dimensional drawn animations in subdued colours, accompanied by cool electronic sounds that explode in one’s head only to scatter into the anxious but curious body.

André Eckardt
Nominated for mephisto 97.6 Audience Award
#
Witty
Sense and Being
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Atomu

Atomu
Shariffa Ali, Yetunde Dada
Extended Reality 2021
-
France,
Kenya,
USA,
UK
2020
12 minutes
English

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Shariffa Ali
Yetunde Dada
Antoine Cayrol
Steve Jelly
Steve Jelly
Arnaud Colinart
Opeyemi Olukemi
Rafael Pavon
Annick Jakobowicz
Simon Windsor
Andrew Orkin
Banna Dasta
Toby Coffey
Steve Jelly
Simon Windsor
Akash Kushwaha
Annick Jakobowicz
Stephen Buescher
POV Spark
Opeyemi Olukemi
Arnaud Colinart
Rafael Pavon
Antoine Cayrol
Stephen Buescher
France Télévisions
Dimension
Derren Sinnott

In the mythology of the Kikuyu community the Mugumo, the Kenyan fig tree, represents transformation and rebirth. This multiplayer VR experience invites us to witness a sacred ritual: Dancing around the Mugumo can turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man. We follow Waicici, a genderless person, in the quest for the most honest version of themselves.

Lars Rummel
#
Sense and Being
Family Ties
Animation Perspectives 2021
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Ceuta’s Gate Randa Maroufi
A performative reconstruction sketches and condenses daily life at the border between the Spanish exclave of Ceuta and Morocco, which is crossed illegally by all kinds of goods.
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Ceuta’s Gate

Bab Septa
Randa Maroufi
Animation Perspectives 2021
Documentary Film
France,
Morocco
2019
19 minutes
Spanish,
Arabic
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Randa Maroufi
Saïd Hamich
Randa Maroufi
Randa Maroufi
Luca Coassin
Ismael Joffroy Chandoutis
Mohamed Bounouar
Léonore Mercier

Everything seems neat at first in Randa Maroufi’s performative reconstruction. Cars form orderly queues; market women tie up their baggage. On the monotonous grey background, the scenes appear schematic, like a blueprint where suddenly everything becomes graphically condensed. Everyday life at the border between the Spanish exclave of Ceuta and Morocco, which is crossed illegally by all kinds of goods.

André Eckardt
#
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
Migration
State of the World
International Competition 2020
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Considering the Ends Elsa Maury
Shepherdess Nathalie learns what it means to kill with one’s own hands. Her process of development turns out to be a holistic learning experience: about responsibility, care and knives.
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Considering the Ends

Nous la mangerons, c’est la moindre des choses
Elsa Maury
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Belgium,
France
2020
67 minutes
French
subtitles: 
English, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Elsa Maury
Cyril Bibas
Luc Reder
Olivier Burlet
Javier Packer-Comyn
Philippe Cotte
Marc Siffert
Mathieu Cauville
Loïc Villiot
Galaad Germa
Willy Boutet
Christian Tessier
Elsa Maury
Geoffroy Cernaix
Pauline Piris-Nury
Martin Flament
Elsa Maury
Nathalie Savalois

The vultures are circling over the Cevennes, the south-eastern part of the French Massif Central. They are part of the holistic cycle of becoming and passing away which shepherdess Nathalie seeks to come closer to. Because the vultures are gnawing at the remains of her beloved animals. She considers herself responsible not only for their lives, but also for their death. Elsa Maury’s film is an unequivocal testimony to what it means to wield the fatal knife oneself.

The sounds made by a ewe when a lamb is born seem almost human. And when a little later the newborn turns out to be unwilling to live it seems as if one could detect pain in the mother’s eyes. The shepherdess Nathalie’s empathic look at her flock was transferred directly to the viewer. Each animal here has its own name, each has a biography that Nathalie knows by heart. And it’s ultimately up to her to finally decide when the end of a sheep is near. In diary-like sequences we learn about her feelings, take part in a difficult process of development which results in new self-confidence, perhaps even new wisdom. Elsa Maury shows a perennial school of killing and death. She leaves the events uncommented, but achieves an intensity through images and editing that stays with us for a long time.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
#
Natur in Bearbeitung
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Rural vs. Urban
Small Worlds, Big People
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Conversations with Siro

Conversations avec Siro
Dima El-Horr
International Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Lebanon,
France
2021
52 minutes
Arabic,
French
subtitles: 
French, English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Dima El-Horr
Paul Rognoni
Sabine Sidawi
Dima El-Horr
Catherine Zins
Jean-Pierre Dussardier

Lebanese filmmaker Dima El-Horr moved to Paris several years ago. Among the friends who stayed at home is the artist Sirvat Fazlian, whom she regularly visits in Beirut until the failed revolution of 2019, the COVID lockdown, the devastating port explosion and finally the dramatic economic crisis put a temporary end to their meetings. So the director decides to give her conversations with Siro a cinematic form.

Ever since the death of her husband, the well-known Armenian actor Berj Fazlian, Siro has lived alone in a flat filled with souvenirs and devoted most of her time to music and painting. In this film, footage from the years before 2019 blends with recorded phone calls between Siro and Dima and recent scenes from Paris, coming together in a densely woven portrait of life in exile. While snow falls in Paris, Siro talks about warm days on the Mediterranean coast and sings Armenian songs. She rails against the permanent crisis in Lebanon, but her nature is not affected. For one thing, Siro personifies the legendary Lebanese resilience. Yet for the filmmaker she represents that part of the heart that people in exile leave behind. So almost inevitably, “Conversations with Siro” becomes the director’s dialogue with herself.
Christoph Terhechte
Nominated for FIPRESCI Prize, Prize of the Interreligious Jury
#
Exile
State of the World
Animation and Musique concrète 2021
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Court-circuit n° 180 – Interview with Michèle Bokanowski Lorenzo Recio
Michèle Bokanowski’s sounds have been a distinct part of Patrick Bokanowski’s film images since 1972. Between tape loops she talks about her work with material that’s often quite unlike music.
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Court-circuit n° 180 – Interview with Michèle Bokanowski

Court-circuit n° 180 – Interview de Michèle Bokanowski
Lorenzo Recio
Animation and Musique concrète 2021
Documentary Film
France
2004
10 minutes
French
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lorenzo Recio
ARTE France
MK2TV

Michèle Bokanowski’s sounds have been a distinct part of Patrick Bokanowski’s film images since 1972. The origin of her soundtracks often lies in noises that are quite unlike music. Thus, she uses the clacking of billiard balls to describe people working on a field in the distance. Between tape loops and electronic devices, the composer talks about her craft of shaping sonorous material.

André Eckardt
#
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
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Deep in Time’s Crevasse

Au fond de la crevasse des temps
Romulus Balazs
International Competition Short Film 2020
Documentary Film
France
2020
29 minutes
French,
Romanian
subtitles: 
English

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Romulus Balazs
Romulus Balazs

How can we visualise the past without perceiving it too much as a historical fact? This film uses a clever combination of archival material and oral history to bring memories of a transgenerative trauma and the associated pain to the surface. What seems to be the past becomes visible in countless points of contact with the present. It’s a simple, touching treatment of the incomprehensible consequences of a historical crime.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
#
Zustand der Welt
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Sinn und Sein
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Die Odyssee

Die Odyssee
Florence Miailhe
Competition for the Audience Award 2021
Animated Film
Germany,
Czech Republic,
France
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
Nominated for Gedanken Aufschluss Prize
#
Exile
Migration
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Downstream to Kinshasa

En route pour le milliard
Dieudo Hamadi
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Belgium,
DR Congo,
France
2020
90 minutes
Lingala,
Swahili
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Dieudo Hamadi
Quentin Laurent
Frédéric Féraud
Dieudo Hamadi
Aurelien Bodinaux
Stephan Riguet
Dieudo Hamadi
Hélène Ballis
Catherine Catella
Sylvain Aketi
Dieudo Hamadi
Les Zombies de Kisangani

In the summer of 2000 Ugandan and Rwandan troops fought a devastating battle in Kisangani. The International Court of Justice sentenced Uganda to pay one billion U.S. dollars to the civilian victims. After almost twenty years of waiting in vain, some of them set out for Kinshasa to enforce their legal claim. The physical and theatrical power of their mission both drives and radiates from this film.

Dieudo Hamadi has given the women and men he is about to follow down the Congo a visually confident and assured exposition. Gathered on an inky black stage, they look at us and sing: of blood spilled, of money forgotten. Then the march of the maimed sets itself in motion, on crutches, with prostheses, past the nearby pits of the dead and out into the country. Every metre covered is an act of rebellion. When the procession of beggars, who rightly won’t tolerate this designation, finally climbs the stairs of the National Parliament, iconic scenes of Soviet revolutionary cinema seem to shine through. But the crowd that is moving here is different. Its individual bodies push back with all their weight both against the casual shrug of the shoulders of political routine and the carelessly rounded calculations of loss and equivalent value of the arithmetic of war.
Sylvia Görke
#
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Rural vs. Urban
Small Worlds, Big People
Zustand der Welt
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Flammes

Flammes
Patrick Bokanowski
Animation and Musique concrète 2021
Experimental Film
France
1998
4 minutes
without dialogue
subtitles: 
None

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Patrick Bokanowski
Patrick Bokanowski
Patrick Bokanowski
Eric Castera
Michèle Bokanowski
Daniel Borenstein
Patrick Bokanowski

Dark percussive sounds call forth anthropomorphic creatures. They come to life in short dance etudes. Optically manipulated, they stretch into gaunt shapes, unfold in a thousand layers like exotic animals, dissolve into abstract paintings. They are pure creatures of light: fleeting, immaterial. The rhythmic sound motif colours their movements with sometimes pithy, sometimes breathy variations.

André Eckardt
#
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
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Flee

Flugt
Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Competition for the Audience Award 2021
Documentary Film
Denmark,
France,
Sweden,
Norway
2021
86 minutes
Danish,
Dari,
Russian,
English
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Monica Hellström
Charlotte De La Gournerie
Signe Byrge Sørensen
Shoshi Korman
Janus Billeskov Jansen
Kenneth Ladekjær
Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Amin
Uno Helmerson

For many years, Amin was unable to speak about the experience of his flight. It is only now that he finds the courage to open up to his schoolmate, filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen. From earliest childhood Amin’s life was marked by political unrest in his native country of Afghanistan and soon by growing up without a permanent home. His painful memories are visualized in haunting animations, interwoven with documentary footage.

It’s a well-known fact that flight does not lead from point A to point B and then simply ends. Amin’s story, though, shows how rocky and tortuous it can really be, leading from Afghanistan via Russia, Estonia and a few other stations to Denmark. Only when his life is on a safe track with an upcoming wedding and a good career does he find the strength to talk about what he had to go through to be where he is today. In an almost psychoanalytical setting, the protagonist – lying down – talks about his past. The narrative moves in a spiral between then and now, allowing for frequent respites between the traumatic impressions that the poignant animation makes almost physically tangible. It’s no coincidence that “Flee” has already won multiple awards and is considered an “instant classic” even now.
Kim Busch
#
Migration
Family Ties
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For a Fistful of Fries

Poulet frites
Jean Libon, Yves Hinant
Competition for the Audience Award 2021
Documentary Film
France,
Belgium
2021
100 minutes
French,
Urdu,
Bengali,
English
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jean Libon
Yves Hinant
Bertrand Faivre
François Clerc
Clémentine Hugot
Anouk Zivy

In Belgium and France, the documentary series “Strip-Tease” is real cult viewing. The creators of the TV production have now used more than twenty-year-old material to make a crime documentary in dirty black and white. The Brussels CID are investigating a murder case: A casual prostitute was killed in her flat. The discovery of a few French fries enables them to track down the perpetrator. True Crime.

The dead woman’s name was Kalima Sissou. Very quickly, the investigation focuses on her former boyfriend Alain, and so, in authentic, raw images, we watch Inspector Lemoine and his colleagues at work: at the crime scene, interrogating witnesses and, naturally, cross-examining the main suspect. Despite the serious character of the events, Jean Libon and Yves Hinant’s offbeat mixture of dark thriller and absurd reality comedy does not lack (black) humour. Shot in a simple cinéma-vérité style, the film does not embellish on what it shows. The creative and conceptual model is, of course, the series “Strip-Tease”, co-developed by Libon in 1985 and widely known for the unconventional, blunt and politically incorrect manner in which it tackled even delicate subjects. “For a Fistful of Fries” continues in this vein and takes us very close to the often incredibly profane action.
Lina Dinkla
#
Redistribution and Having a Say
State of the World