Film Archive

Alzheimer

Animated Film
Iran
2012
8 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alireza Hashempour
Alireza Hashempour
Selected Music
Alireza Hashempour
Malaeke Farhang Adib
Alireza Hashempour, Malaeke Farhang Adib
Mani Hashemian
An old man lives alone with his dog. Since he keeps forgetting everything, the dog has to think for him, every day. A satirical vision of life with Alzheimer’s.
International Programme 2012
Anatomie des Weggehens Oliver Tataru

A family who left Romania a long time ago and never quite arrived in Germany. There is a rift between the generations and their memories. An attempt of reconciliation and rapprochement.

Anatomie des Weggehens

Documentary Film
Germany
2012
73 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Oliver Tataru
Oliver Tataru
Simon Weber
Oliver Tataru
Oliver Tataru
Wasn’t there anything worth mentioning? No, not for Oliver Tatarus’ father. What should he talk about with his son in front of the camera? But the director doesn’t give up. As a child he didn’t live in Germany but in Bucharest, Romania. As a child he saw no reason to leave. But his parents saw no future in Ceauşescu’s Romania. And one day the decision had been taken. A leave-taking began that was to last two years. An agonising break-up that never quite turned into a departure and gradually isolated the members of the family from each other. At some point half the flat was cleared: sold. And he says there wasn’t anything?
The son wants to know why he was denied a future in his home country. He confronts his parents, questions them separately. His reaction when they refuse to contribute to this recycling of feelings is as sullen as a child’s. In the middle of the interview his mother loses her composure because her son apparently still refuses to understand what the reality in Bucharest was like then: “like Hiroshima.”
Tataru returns to his hometown to compare memories. He finds poetic images of desertion, the grey tones of the Bucharest facades that he once thought of as velvety, gaps in the walls as wide as the memory gap running through his family. But the cement is already there in the subjective images. Old wounds and fears come together to form the picture of a family, a puzzle of tensions and emotions.
– Lars Meyer
International Programme 2012
Arbeit Heimat Opel Ulrike Franke, Michael Loeken

Apprentices in the Bochum Opel works accompanied over the period of their apprenticeship: drilling, swotting, giving everything, being “Opelaners” – in times of job cuts and plant closures.

Arbeit Heimat Opel

Documentary Film
Germany
2012
90 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ulrike Franke, Filmproduktion Loeken Franke
Ulrike Franke, Michael Loeken
Jörg Adams, Michael Loeken, Reinhard Köcher, Dieter Stürmer
Bert Schmidt
Ulrike Franke, Michael Loeken
Filipp Forberg, Axel Schmidt
The world trusts German cars; “Made in Germany” is regarded as a guarantee of solid craftsmanship. This has a lot to do with Germany’s unique system of apprentice training, which is based on centuries of tradition. But what’s it like to be an apprentice today, especially at one of the flagships of the German car industry?
Ulrike Franke and Michael Loeken portray six 16- to 19-year-olds who started their apprenticeship as industrial mechanics at the Bochum Opel works in 2009, and their instructor. They are there when the boys pull on their Opel shirts for the first time, sweat at the drill and lathe, measure a piece for the hundredth time and despair when they fail once more to satisfy Mr. Kranz’s standards; when they boredly play with their mobile phones during boring union meetings and suddenly loose all coolness before a test. It’s still true that everyone has to start at the bottom of the ladder, but something is different: Loeken/Franke confront the images of the boys’ working life – filmed exclusively at the workplace – with news reports of imminent job cuts at Opel. Iron principles and pre-shaped identities – I am an “Opelaner” and Opel is part of Ruhr destrict like the Schalke football club – are destabilised by the ups and downs of the stock market. In this phase of transition from school and home to working life, each apprentice develops his own strategy to deal with that insecurity. Because everything could be over before it even started. Opel recently announced that intend to give up Bochum as a location in 2016 was announced.
– Grit Lemke
International Programme 2012
Big Boys Gone Bananas!* Fredrik Gertten

A small film company’s almost hopeless battle against the Dole food corporation. The connections between consumption, freedom of opinion and democracy as a thriller.

Big Boys Gone Bananas!*

Documentary Film
Sweden
2012
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Margarete Jangård, WG Film
Fredrik Gertten
Conny Malmqvist, Dan "Gisen" Malmquist
Frank Pineda, Joe Aguirre, David McGuire, Malin Korkeasalo, Stefan berg, Kasia Winograd, Sasha Snow, Terese Mörnvik
Jesper Osmund, Benjamin Binderup
Charlotte Rodenstedt
Fredrik Gertten
Alexander Thörnqvist
In 1989, when a whole nation "was gone bananas”, the banana was regarded as the ultimate symbol of the good life in East Germany. The freedom of unlimited consumption seemed to go hand in hand with the freedom of speech and the arts. Frederik Gertten is about to teach us about the real link between bananas and democracy.
In his last film Gertten proved that their cultivation on Nicaraguan plantations owned by the Dole food corporation is extremely harmful to the workers. Before the opening of that film, the filmmaker got a 200-page letter from the corporation trying to stop the screening. An unprecedented campaign – documented and retold by Gertten in this film – begins. A small, independent production company stands up to a big player who seems to be able to buy, manipulate, threaten or even destroy at will everything and everyone from the legal system to the L.A. Film Festival, from the press to the whole Internet. An uneven, practically hopeless fight against a power that dwarfs even George Orwell’s imagination.
Only when the civil society in the shape of the Swedish parliament and a handful of enlightened consumers begins to understand that responsibility for the freedom of opinion and the arts cannot lie solely with the individual artist but is a good everyone must defend does the case take an unexpected turn, which – don’t we know it – has something to do with banana consumption...
– Grit Lemke

Brave New Old

Animated Film
UK
2012
10 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Adam Wells
Adam Wells
Luke Davoll
Adam Wells
Detailing the daily trails of a man, his wife, and a film noir private detective is not an unusual accessory to a film, but the mechanical storytellings used in this case change everything.

Captive

Animated Film
Estonia
2012
6 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Timo Kähara
Thomas Auner (performer) / Johann Sebastian Bach (composer)
Timo Kähara
Timo Kähara
Timo Kähara
Timo Kähara
Timo Kähara
The loneliness of a man in his prison cell. Routine is his only companion: every day he makes a new mark on the wall. But eventually every wall is covered...

Damascus, My First Kiss

Documentary Film
Lebanon,
Qatar,
Syria
2012
42 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lina Al Abed, SakaDo Productions
Lina Al Abed
Wael al Kak
Joud Gorani
Andrijana Stojkovic, Rami Nihawi
Lina al Abed
Ghanem Al Mir
In her third documentary the Palestinian-Jordanian filmmaker Lina Alabed once more addresses the role of women in the Arab world. The location is Damascus, Syria. The revolt against Assad’s regime hasn’t started yet. But there is tension in the air and the question of the limitations set for women by a male-dominated society must necessarily lead to the question of freedom. Three women talk about their relationship to their bodies and sexuality, about the pressures of tradition and feelings of guilt. Asma, a Muslim woman who was married at 16 when she had no idea what marriage means; Lina, the daughter of a wealthy Christian family, who regrets that she doesn’t know her body yet at the age of 45; at last the director herself and her very personal off-screen comments which forge the voices of this film into a single narrative. It’s surprising how frankly Asma and Lina describe their lives, surprising to the protagonists themselves. In a wonderful scene – Asma has just described how stroking her daughter in her arms was criticised as designed to incite sexual arousal – she looks into the distance, lost in thought. Then she turns her head towards the camera and says: Where are you taking me? So how can conditions be changed? Lina and Asma have freed their daughters from social pressure by allowing them to make their own life decisions, cutting a swath through the petrified social conditions at whose end the director envisions the freedom of humanity, independent of sex.
– Matthias Heeder
International Programme 2012
Der Große Irrtum Dirk Heth, Olaf Winkler

Eggesin and elsewhere: committed people who work – without an income. The concept of citizen work reflected in a thoughtful and multilayered essay.

Der Große Irrtum

Documentary Film
Germany
2012
105 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Dirk Heth, Olaf Winkler
Dirk Heth, Olaf Winkler
Melanie Barth, Wolfgang Adams
Dirk Heth
Dirk Heth, Olaf Winkler
Olaf Winkler
Raimund von Scheibner
How do you determine the value of a human being? In our society the answer seems obvious: through the market. But Olaf Winkler and Dirk Heth are interested in “how to be happy without a market value”. They return to the shrinking town of Eggesin, which they filmed once before in 2002, to find an unemployment rate of 20 percent and dedicated people who work without earning a real income: Marion who has her own business but is still dependent on welfare. The single mother Diana who scratches along on “job creation schemes”. The one-Euro jobber Irina who may be lucky enough to rise to 1.50 Euros per hour or a part-time job. Mrs. Westholm and her “Heimatstube” volunteers. The concept of citizen work, promoted by politician Rainer Bomba on the state and federal levels, seems to be a solution. In Eggesin the mayor is launching a time bank project. The film never uses these people as props but sees their biographies and constraints and takes them seriously. At the same time, the first person narrator – a cameraman in letters to his children – becomes one of them, because the market doesn’t need him anymore, either.
The filmmakers and their protagonists both see how the “ruthless paradigm of unconditional marketability threatened to swallow an intact city.” They discover ideas and commitment that seem to go nowhere. Caught between hope and a growing feeling of impotence, they ask questions that must be heard.

Grit Lemke



Film Prize "Leipziger Ring" 2012

International Programme 2012
Der Prozess Gerald Igor Hauzenberger

The biggest criminal case in Austria, where harmless animal rights activists were accused and convicted of being enemies of the state. A Kafkaesque swan song for Western democracy.

Der Prozess

Documentary Film
Austria
2012
112 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Michael Seeber, Gerald Igor Hauzenberger, framelab filmproduktion
Gerald Igor Hauzenberger
Bernhard Fleischmann
Dominik Spritzendorfer, Gerald Igor Hauzenberger
Michael Palm
Chris Moser
Gerald Igor Hauzenberger
Michael Palm
Igor Hauzenberger’s film is extremely disturbing. When, in the name of article 278a, which was adopted to fight organisations like the Mafia and Al Qaeda, a protest letter is turned into a threat, an animal rights activist into an enemy of the state, and an NGO into a terrorist organisation, the pillars of our civil society are beginning to totter alarmingly. Thirteen animal rights activists are facing trial in Vienna because they staged some high-profile protests against factory farming and fur trading in front of stables and department stores. Sure, naked protesters in the Viennese city in the middle of winter, carrying dead animals or, covered in blood, crucified pigs’ heads through the streets, are not a pleasant sight. It’s also annoying that this Association against Factory Farming (VGT) is not simply a gang of losers but an international network among whose leaders are scientists and green politicians, including the charismatic Dr. Dr. Martin Balluch who chose the way of the street after a university career. Igor Hauzenberger follows the protesters over several years, tries to shed some light on the legal jungle and persistently tries to get public attorneys, press officers and department store operators in front of his camera. In vain. This biggest criminal case in Austria yet is turning into a test case: democracy versus those who are not averse to shouting “we need Hitler back” occasionally.
– Cornelia Klauß

Die Bande

Documentary Film
Germany
2011
13 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Susanne Schulz
Susanne Schulz
Manuel G. Richter
Anke Trojan
Marion Tuor
Susanne Schulz
Daniel Fischer
“Camera – and action!” – The gang of six girls who are discovering a dusty garret are rolling. Charlotte, Jule, Lene, Kaya, Anna and Lisa want to tell a story. They brought the camera. But a story about what? About monsters and mummies in the forest, or perhaps about giant cats? They all speak at once until Anna proposes to make a film about their gang. About friendship and its trials. A quick scribble in the script – “We are a gang” – and the girls’ imaginary world and the “adult” film crew’s observations begin to merge.
The heroine of the story is Lisa (in “real” life too, since she bravely takes a spider from the camera girl’s back), though the others tease her because she is the youngest. She runs away and gets lost, her friends look for her, she’s found only after a long dark night. Their friendship is saved, the girls laugh and shout: “One for all and all for one!” Susanne Schulz made a film that’s as light-hearted and lively as these ten-year-old girls. “Die Bande” reminds us of the carefree world of childhood which isn’t so carefree when you’re in the middle of it. In addition to the sequences shot by the members of the gang, the film also shows situations when the girls argue, make up and monkey around. We are left with the impression that this is really the best gang in the world.
– Luc-Carolin Ziemann
International Programme 2012
Die Wiesenberger Martin Schilt, Bernard Weber

A Swiss yodelling choir wins a casting show and the mountain farmers become show business superstars – in the middle of haymaking season! A feel-good film with yodel potential.

Die Wiesenberger

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2012
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Martin Schilt, Luckyfilm GmbH
Martin Schilt, Bernard Weber
Pantha du Prince
Peter Indergand / Stéphane Kuty / Martin Schilt / Bernard Weber
Mike Schaerer / Stefan Kälin / Dave D. Leins
Martin Schilt / Bernard Weber
Dieter Meyer
This film does away with the stereotype that yodelling belongs in the somewhat dowdy corner of folksy music shows in dirndls and lederhosen. For two years, the filmmaker followed the Wiesenberger Yodellers on their way to show business. They are a club of 20 yodelling Swiss mountain farmers who used to meet in the chapel once a week to yodel together – until they won the “The Greatest Swiss Hits” talent show. Now the amateur yodellers are recording artists swamped with offers. Some of the farmers have reached their limit; others are intoxicated by the new world opening up to them. Then they get the offer to represent Switzerland at the Shanghai Expo – during haymaking season of all times. This is where their success becomes the acid test for the yodelling club, where traditionally all decisions are democratically discussed and reached by consensus.
This film shows how different ideas of solidarity and friendship work, documenting how the yodellers manage to stay authentic despite the limelight. And it casually dusts off the image of musicians who make folk music in the best sense of the word. You’ll leave the cinema yodelling!
– Antje Stamer
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

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

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
International Programme 2012
Dragan Wende - West Berlin Dragan von Petrovic, Lena Müller

Playboys, women, kebab shops and good old Ku’damm: how to survive the fall of the Berlin Wall and other disasters when you’re the king of the West Berlin underworld.

Dragan Wende - West Berlin

Documentary Film
Germany,
Serbia
2012
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lena Müller, von.müller.film
Dragan von Petrovic, Lena Müller
Ognjan Milosević
Vuk Maksimovič
Dragan von Petrovic
Braća Burazeri
Vuk Maksimovič, Lena Müller, Dragan von Petrovic
Vladimir Uspenski, Vladimir Zivković, Miloš Drndarević
The exiled Yugoslavian Dragan Wende has not set foot in East Berlin for the past 20 years. If only Gorbachev had not destroyed the wonderful balance of the world, especially Dragan Wende’s world, with the fall of the Wall! Once the King of the Berlin underworld and the shady nightclub district along Ku’damm, the legendary Rolf Eden’s right hand man (though Eden hardly remembers his best man) and – his pockets full of Western money – the dream of the ladies of East Berlin, he now leads a rather humble existence. True to style at Adenauerplatz and in brothel-red plush, still working as a “street manager” (bouncer) for various nightclubs, but actually rather lonely and on welfare. And as if that wasn’t enough, along comes his filmmaker nephew Vuk to explore the myth of his uncle from the West, followed by father Mile, a first generation guest worker, proud builder of West Berlin and also a great friend of the Wall...
This “Balkan tragicomedy” is a loving portrait full of black humour of a breed of men who will not be branded as losers by some accidental historic turn – even in the face of all evidence. There’s glamour in the smallest shack, and they have found their home in a community of bizarre survival artists, between Balkan songs and Kebab stands. Vuk was also accepted in the end – as a “street manager”, of course. West Berlin is saved for now.
– Grit Lemke
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

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

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

Duo de Volailles, Sauce Chasseur

Animated Film
Belgium,
France
2011
6 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Thrierry Zamparutti, Ambiances...asbl
Pascale Hecquet
Pierre Gillet
Pascale Hecquet
Pascale Hecquet
Valerie Capoen
A black chicken and a white chicken are sitting in their living room when the door bell rings. It’s the fox with a raised gun – and a black/white vision deficiency.

Happy Birthday

Animated Film
Estonia
2012
12 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Andrus Raudsalu, OÜ Nukufilm
Riho Unt
Malle Maltis
Urmas Jõemees
Riho Unt
Marili Toome, Andres Tenusaar
Riho Unt
Horret Kuus
A science fiction vision of the duel between the biblical hero Jesus and a man-made robot. Will the robot manage to break the fixed dogmas and transform religion to his advantage or will the status quo stay firm?