Film Archive

1813 – Gott mit uns

Animated Film
Germany
2013
3 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sandra Strauß
Schwarwel
Ludwig van Beethoven
Thomas Reichl
Schwarwel, Dirk Reddig
Schwarwel
Maik Hartung
In October 1813, the decisive battle in the wars of liberation against Napoleon’s foreign rule – the Battle of the Nations – took place near Leipzig. More than 92,000 of the roughly 600,000 soldiers from over a dozen nations lead into this battle were killed or wounded. A typhus epidemic following the battle claimed many more victims among Leipzig’s civilian population. This fully animated film by Leipzig-born comic strip artist Schwarwel shows these victims, the war, destruction and suffering. “1813 – God With Us” is a film to promote community.
Film Unlimited 2013
6:30 Collection

A mass society sends masses of letters, which are now sorted, classified and sent on their way at assembly lines and with the help of machines. The film follows this process with barely concealed enthusiasm. It is considered to be the first documentary that uses only live sound, while demonstrating that sound is capable of much more than just “documentation” ...

UK

UK
1934

6:30 Collection

Animadoc
UK
1934
15 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

John Grierson, GPO Film Unit
J. D. Davidson
Harry Watt
J. Cox
A mass society sends masses of letters, which are now sorted, classified and sent on their way at assembly lines and with the help of machines. The film follows this process with barely concealed enthusiasm. It is considered to be the first documentary that uses only live sound, while demonstrating that sound is capable of much more than just “documentation”. Note the visual-sound-editing, especially the credit motif, which was recorded by the whole studio staff (including Grierson and Wright) using various props like a beer bottle, a projection machine and sand paper.

---Grit Lemke
Film Unlimited 2013
A Chairy Tale Normen McLaren, Claude Jutra

A wooden chair rejects a man who wants to sit down on it and starts to move with a will of its own. After the first consternation, the man’s ambition is kindled and the two begin a bizarre dance which ends in

1957

A Chairy Tale

Animadoc
Canada
1957
10 minutes

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Normen McLaren, Claude Jutra
Ravi Shankar, Chatur Lal, Maurice Blackburn
Evelyn Lambart
A wooden chair rejects a man who wants to sit down on it and starts to move with a will of its own. After the first consternation, the man’s ambition is kindled and the two begin a bizarre dance which ends in mutual consent.
“A Chairy Tale” developed the pixilation technique with which McLaren had already experimented in his surprise hit “Neighbours” further. He created alternative versions of the text editions that were also published by the NFB for this extraordinary dance film. The music was the contribution of a then largely unknown Indian musician: Ravi Shankar.

---Annegret Richter
Film Unlimited 2013
A Colour Box

When the young Norman McLaren saw “A Colour Box”, he knew that this was exactly what he wanted to do. Made without a camera and drawn directly on the celluloid ...

UK

UK
1935

A Colour Box

Animadoc
UK
1935
4 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

John Grierson, GPO Film Unit
Don Baretto and his Cuban Orchestra
When the young Norman McLaren saw “A Colour Box”, he knew that this was exactly what he wanted to do. Made without a camera and drawn directly on the celluloid, the success of this film (even though audiences first were shocked and jeered at it) established direct animation as a technique of its own. The slightly jazzy, dancing promotion of the Post Office at the end may have served to justify the production of such a work by a government institution, but Grierson explicitly considered such films as an enrichment of the GPO canon.

---Grit Lemke

A Folk Troupe

Documentary Film
China
2013
62 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Gang Zhao, Cherelle Zheng
Gang Zhao
Qian Ge, Deng Gang
Luo Quan
Lin Yan
Liu Jian
It’s not exactly a life of ease for the travelling showmen. A theatre company of eleven move into a provisional domicile in a garage-like hall right next to a large construction site on the outskirts of Chengdu, a business centre in the southwest of China. Here a special tradition of the Beijing Opera, the Sichuan Opera, has developed over the years. The actors perform a different play every day. From childhood on, they have learned the secrets of the artfully stilted songs and the sophisticated choreographies of changing the elaborate masks for the three- to four-hour performances. Century-old tales are repeated again and again. But life on the road is far from romantic. They are stuck in Chengdu because they have no money for travelling on; bureaucrats are unwilling to issue permissions, the company is caught in internal disputes, and the mood is tense. The audience on their simple wooden chairs are worn-down figures whose furrowed faces indicate a life of deprivation. The contrast to the colourful productions on stage, whose titles, like “In the Land of Plenty”, hold magnificent promises, couldn’t be bigger. The audience may just about be able to afford this kind of travelling opera, but it’s an unmistakeable swan song. Another piece of cultural history about to get lost …

Cornelia Klauß



Prize of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique 2013

International Competition Animated Film (until 2014) 2013
A Girl Named Elastika Guillaume Blanchet

Elastika is not like any other girl, because she is made of elastics. And because her universe is made of cork. Her journey is also one of a kind, as she jumps from one building to another, crosses an ocean, or travels to space by holding on to a firework rocket.

A Girl Named Elastika

Animated Film
Canada
2012
3 minutes
subtitles: 
French

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Guillaume Blanchet
Guillaume Blanchet
Bamprod
Guillaume Blanchet
Guillaume Blanchet, Minh Tran
Guillaume Blanchet
Guillaume Blanchet
François Bélanger, Pierre-Hugues Rondot
Elastika is not like any other girl, because she is made of elastics. And because her universe is made of cork. Her journey is also one of a kind, as she jumps from one building to another, crosses an ocean, or travels to space by holding on to a firework rocket.
Cross Media Screening 2013
A Journal of Insomnia

The world of insomnia as an interactive self-experience. Personal stories and staged encounters form a psychological profile of Western society. Intimate, but also disturbing.

A Journal of Insomnia

Documentary Film
Canada
2013
45 minutes

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Hugues Sweeney
What is it, what keeps us up at night? The interactive documentary looks into this question inviting users to immerse in the universe of insomnia – a phenomenon that is linked to stress and anxiety and affects one in three people in our contemporary society. Moving beyond the narrative boundaries of the documentary form, “A Journal of Insomnia” collects personal stories of insomnia via video, text and drawings and creates a collaborative experience of affected people from across the world. The revealing testimony of four insomniacs in particular offers an intimate experience of a distressing condition that is usually experienced in solitude.
Retrospective 2013
A Letter to Dad Srđan Keča

The war made Srđan Keča discover facets of his father he didn’t know. After the latter’s death, he sets out to find traces of those hidden, suppressed traits.

A Letter to Dad

Documentary Film
Serbia
2012
48 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Srđan Keča
Srđan Keča
Alcyona Mick
Srđan Keča
Katherine Lee
Tudor Petre
The war made Srđan Keča discover facets of his father he didn’t know. After the latter’s death, he sets out to find traces of those hidden, suppressed traits.

Olaf Möller

A Tangled Tale

Animated Film
USA
2012
6 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Corrie Francis Parks
Corrie Francis Parks
Mark Orton
Corrie Francis Parks
Cole Pierce
In this unusual romance, hand-tinted sand becomes a metaphor for two souls as they join and separate. A lonely fish, hooked by an angler's line, encounters another in the same dire situation.

Ab Ovo

Animated Film
Poland
2013
6 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

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Marcin Malatyński
Anita Kwiatkowska-Naqvi
George Antoniv
Anita Kwiatkowska-Naqvi
Anita Kwiatkowska-Naqvi
Anita Kwiatkowska-Naqvi
Anita Kwiatkowska-Naqvi
The film shows a new life waking up and the transformation of a female body which loses its former shape. The physical sensation becomes increasingly more distinct until the moment when the baby leaves the boundaries of the mothers body.

Abdullah

Animadoc
Germany
2013
9 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Holger Lochau
Jakob Besuch
Oleg Hollmann
Jakob Besuch
Jakob Besuch
“His name is Abdullah”, the doctor in the hospital tells the mother whose son just had a psychotic episode. For the first time in his life, Abdullah feels that he is regarded as an autonomous individual. A film about prejudices, narrated by Abdullah himself.

Alppikatu 25 – Home to the Homeless

Documentary Film
Finland
2012
27 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Cilla Werning, Liisa Juntunen
Inka Achté, Marika Väisänen
Graham Hadfield
Sari Aaltonen, Daniel Lindholm, Tuomas Järvelä
Hannele Majaniemi
Alppikatu Street No. 25 has been the address of a shelter for the homeless in Helsinki since 1937. A place for men who have no place of their own. Men without a past? “Create your own memories”, says the motto on a piece of paper pinned to the wall. And yet the memories and traces of the lives of many people who have made a minimal home here, if only temporary, are stored in the monotonous architecture, whose long, bare corridors and narrow cells make one think of a prison. Five of them tell their stories. For a moment, the film delves into each of their interior worlds using only their voices, to which subtle sound collages are added. Visually, the men are never more than phantoms. Sometimes they are caught in the blurriness of the room, sometimes they seem near stagnation. Only the cigarette smoke appears to move. The room, on the other hand, offers no resistance to the exploring camera, as if it could really tell us something about its inhabitants. The abstract brushes shoulders with the concrete, time brushes the room.

Lars Meyer

Amen!

Animated Film
Germany
2012
5 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Moritz Mayerhofer, Bettina Morlock
Moritz Mayerhofer
Wilhelm Stegmeier
Assen Semov
Moritz Mayerhofer
Damir Simovski, Mai Nguyen, Ania Plocica, Karl Krause
Moritz Mayerhofer
Dominik Avenwedde
What would God do if he could see how his word is preached to the people? A wicked and funny parable about a clergyman who goes completely over the top in a sermon for his last guest.
International Programme 2013
American Vagabond Susanna Helke

After his coming-out, teenager James is disowned by his parents and lives in the streets of San Francisco – until everything turns out differently. A touching coming-of-age drama.

American Vagabond

Documentary Film
Finland
2013
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Cilla Werning
Susanna Helke
Samuli Kosminen
Susanna Helke, Marko Luukkonen
Niels Pagh Andersen
It was never to be mentioned again, because if it wasn’t allowed it couldn’t be. But contrary to his father’s verdict, James did not become a “real” boy who loves hunting and fishing, but the worst this American middle-class family were able to imagine. So they threw their gay teenage son out of their home and left him to his fate as one of thousands of homeless adolescents in the States. Up to forty percent of them live on the streets because they belong to a “sexual minority”.
Susanne Helke accompanies James and Tyler, the love of his life, through the dirty streets and dark parks of San Francisco, the “gayest city in the world”. Instead of the hoped-for paradise they find themselves freezing, hungry, and marginalised, even by the established gay community. But things turn out differently: after the first part, where James tells his story from off screen, the second part is about his absence – he‘s behind bars as a “sexual offender”. Because while even his conservative family are now ready to reconsider their opinion, the “mother country of democracy” has nothing but severity against everything that’s different from the mainstream. This atmospheric and careful film is an equally tender and shocking coming-of-age story and at the same time a passionate plea to love your fellow human beings unconditionally.

Grit Lemke

Amílcar Cabral, the week of information, September 1972, Conakry

Documentary Film
(none)
1972
7 minutes

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José Bolama, Josefina Crato, Sana na N’Hada, Flora Gomes

Among Women

Documentary Film
Netherlands
2012
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Hasse van Nunen
Kim Brand
Harry de Wit
Suzan van Steenwijk
Joël Hielckert
Hips move rhythmically, bodies become entwined, a sexual dance is practised which at some point leads to a climax that will transport the dancer to another level. We are not in some night club in a European metropolis; we are among women in Zambia preparing each other for marriage. This is where they learn how to stay in control during intercourse, which naturally includes women pleasuring themselves. This is also where women are familiarised with the sight of the blood of defloration by making them cut the throat of a chicken clamped between their thighs. But women are not to behave like chickens under any circumstances! At any rate, it is said that after completing this course the ladies are able to carry their marriage, including the husband involved, “like a burden on their heads”.
Kim Brand approaches the rituals and thinking of another culture, not least by reflecting on her own relationship back home in Holland, opening quite original perspectives on the experience of pride, freedom, and happiness. An instructive film from every angle. We’re welcome to applaud these women at the end, as they do only after completing the act with their husband.

Claudia Lehmann