Film Archive

Anger

Documentary Film
Spain
2014
24 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sergi Casamitjana
Mireia Fontanals
Jordi París
Anna Serra
Eli Sort
Mireia Fontanals
Aleix Burgueño
Anita and Amadeu are still a couple, though age is definitely getting to them. They can’t escape their different habits, accomplishing everything with infinite slowness. Their only companions nowadays are the cats and the dog. She is still quick on her feet and keeps things going, while Amadeu just about manages, with effort and patience, to keep upright. Being dependent on each other, their tone gets sharper.
The whole drama of ageing is precisely sketched in a few scenes. The young filmmaker Mireia Fontanals keeps visiting the two over an extended period of time to document the same processes. Quite simple, in principle, because there are only a few locations left in the life of the couple: their home, the hospital ward, the nursing home. And there are only a few questions left open. This one for example: do you still love me?
Cornelia Klauß

Escort

Documentary Film
Netherlands
2013
19 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Zinzy Nimako, Jonne Roos
Guido Hendrikx
Lucas Malec
Emo Weemhoff
Lot Rossmark
Guido Hendrikx
Tijn Hazen, Taco Drijfhout
How do you lift someone lying shackled on the floor? How do you carry him or her when they resist? How do you fasten a body? How do you push it up a gangway? What do you do when they scream? And how do you manage to deport a desperate person, who may be leaving a family behind, to a country where nothing but insecurity, poverty or persecution awaits them? These are the questions that young recruits of the Dutch federal police must face as they are completing a special training course in escorting rejected asylum seekers on their deportation flights.
Guido Hendrikx gives us, comprised in a few scenes, a tightly composed Direct Cinema insight into a practice that is common but mostly invisible to the public. While he avoids outright emotionalisation, he manages to disturb us nonetheless. Because we can’t evade this question either: what is humane? (and asking ourselves with some trepidation what we would do if an “escort” and his passenger were sitting behind us on a plane).

Grit Lemke



Golden Dove in the International Short Documentary Competition 2014

Hotel 22

Documentary Film
USA
2014
8 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Elizabeth Lo
Elizabeth Lo
Jonathan Zalben
Elizabeth Lo
Elizabeth Lo
Elizabeth Lo
Christopher Giamo
The end of the line, Palo Alto, California. Bus No. 22 ceaselessly drives passengers through wealthy Silicone Valley. An ordinary urban bus during the day, it leads an unglamorous double life at night. When darkness falls, the poor, the homeless, figures in the shadow of wealth, gather at the bus stop. Silently and cumbrously they climb the bus which turns into a rolling dormitory. For one night they are jarred to the bones, exposed to arguments and racism and showered with instructions for order that suggest that everything here is still fine and in control: “If you’re tired, put your head up against the window.” In a little less than eight minutes the film captures the mood swings of this ride through the night which has become part of their daily life for many, and at the same time draws a sketch for a large-scale portrait of society.
Lars Meyer

Metaphor or Sadness Inside Out

Documentary Film
Portugal,
UK
2013
32 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Catarina Vasconcelos
Catarina Vasconcelos
Lucie Troger
Catarina Vasconcelos
Catarina Vasconcelos
Catarina Vasconcelos
Mike Wyeld
A young man from Lisbon writes to his sister, a filmmaker living in London. He confesses that, nine years after their mother died, he feels an emptiness in his life. Her answer is a film intended to fill that gap. The brother describes his nostalgia for a time when he wasn’t even born yet, a past that seems lost. It is their mother’s past, the time of the Portuguese revolution, which reconciled a country that was internally fractured. Today, that feeling of freedom is hard to grasp for a post-revolutionary generation living through the euro crisis. Can you film yourself backwards in time?
The grainy Super 8 material bridges the gap between the present and the past. The camera visits the places of three generations of a family that have felt halved. The sea, which the grandfather once called a metaphor for the world, is one of them. The lyrical dialogue between brother and sister keeps returning to that feeling of halfness, while the visual level is a search for the missing half, not without a subtle irony that offsets the melancholy undertone. After all, a metaphor will be a metaphor. A self-reflexive, poetic picture puzzle in which the personal always transcends itself.
Lars Meyer

Of God and Dogs

Documentary Film
Syria
2013
11 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Abounaddara Collective
Abounaddara Collective
Abounaddara Collective
Abounaddara Collective
The face and voice of a young Syrian fighter. The left half of his face is in deep shadow. We hear a story, still glowing with the remembrance of an interrogation at which he was consulted as a specialist. His words and sentences are delivered haltingly, gravely. The first sentence, after he has collected himself smoking, head bowed and eyes closed: “I killed.” He is convinced that the man he shot at the end of the interrogation was innocent. But the ten men who were present at the interrogation had already pre-condemned the suspect, just wanted their judgement legitimised. What should have been an ordinary assignment became within a few long minutes a test of the young man’s humanity, which he feels he has failed. This is the failure that “Of God and Dogs” examines as it swells to a great filmic requiem: unreconciled, masterful, despairing.
Ralph Eue

Presence

Documentary Film
Iran
2013
18 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hossein Rasti
Hossein Rasti
Hossein Rasti
Hossein Rasti
Mosoud Asadi
Men flagellating themselves until blood flows, ecstatic moaning and masses of people overwhelmed by grief … Every year on the Day of Ashura, Shia Islam commemorates the death of the third Imam in the battle of Kerbela. The martial images of this procession shape our ideas of a religion whose history and present day are marked by repression and suffering.
Hossein Rasti, too, opens with this ritual but in a surprising twist turns to look at its secular side. There’s cooking and eating going on here. In a multi-purpose hall hastily converted into a sacred place, a host of cooks feed 5,000 believers with a traditional lamb stew. Rasti cuts from the mourners’ tears to those of the man who has to chop a mountain of onions. Hectolitres of soup are being prepared in huge, bubbling pots (if hell should exist, this is how it must look), ladled out at lightning speed and skilfully slapped in front of the rows of seated believers. Their orderly withdrawal is managed with the same routine.
Blood, meat, and bread – archaic symbols, which a skilful montage strips of their religious aura without damaging it. This powerful (and brave) miniature shows that a community of faith can also be defined in earthly terms.
Grit Lemke

Starting Point

Documentary Film
Poland
2014
25 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ewa Jastrzebska
Michał Szcześniak
Przemysław Niczyporuk
Jacek Tarasiuk, Daniel Gąsiorowski
Katarzyna Bonda, Michał Szcześniak
You grow with your tasks, they say. Aneta’s task is immense and painful. She has to confront her past every day if she wants to have a future again. When she was 19 she rebelled against everything and ended up as a murderer. Nine years later, she is allowed to leave prison occasionally to do community service in a nursing home. This is where she meets an old lady, Helena – in whom she finds a life story that ran completely counter to hers. While Aneta risked her chances and freedom, Helena grew up a rheumatic and knows the world, as she says, only through the window. Still she calls herself a realist.
Accepting the circumstances – a sense of reality, as it were – becomes the key to Aneta’s anxious hopes for forgiveness and a new beginning outside her monotonous prison life. In finely apportioned doses the film reveals the stations of her life and inner struggle, mirrored in Helena’s sincere interest. The dialogue between the composed little woman in the wheelchair, who almost disappears under her hat, and her caretaker with her emotional swings reveals more than mere sympathy – it may even be mutual fascination.
Lars Meyer

T's World: The Over-identification of Terry Thompson

Animadoc
France,
UK,
USA
2014
29 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ramon Bloomberg
Ramon Bloomberg
Ramon Bloomberg
Stark Haze
József Szimon, Balázs Őrley
On 18th October, 2011, the sheriff of Zanesville, Ohio, got an agitated phone call: the animals that eccentric Terry Thompson was legally keeping on his ranch were roaming the county. Red alert! That night, a heavily armed police force killed more than 56 bears, tigers, wolves, leopards and lions. Thompson had opened the cages, shot himself and offered his body as food to the animals. So far, so good, so American.
British media artist Ramon Bloomberg has turned this bizarre incident into a Brechtian story. Bloomberg combines Brecht’s play “The Yes Sayer” about traditional custom and formalised law with the American settler’s anarchical logic of freedom which fights every kind of state influence as an infringement on individual freedom: I am the lord of my animals, my land, my house, my family. End of story!
Bloomberg translates epic theatre into the language of film in the age of Play Station games. Real live shots are combined with images from the police car’s video camera, Google Earth data mining sequences and computer animated re-enactments. We hear minutes and statements of everyone involved as well as a comment taking the form of an (antique) chorus, the voice of the law, the neighbour and the animal. The only voice we don’t hear is Terry Thompson’s. His motives remain a big secret.

Matthias Heeder



Honorary Mention in the International Competition Animated Film 2014

The Predicate and the Poppy

Animadoc
France
2013
24 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Valérianne Boué, Luc Camili
Jeanne Paturle, Cécile Rousset
Thomas Dappelo
Mélanie Braux
Jeanne Paturle, Cécile Rousset
Jeanne Paturle, Cécile Rousset
Manuel Vidal
When knights parade up and down, unknown flying objects whirl through the air and the room suddenly turns into an impenetrable maze, we are in the classroom of an ordinary school on the outskirts of Paris. That’s roughly how five young teachers experience their first days on the job. And since words can hardly express what’s going on at a school, Jeanne Paturle and Cécile Rousset resort to a rich arsenal of animation techniques to translate this mixture of desperation, anarchy and chaos into images. Photo collages, cut out animation, plasticine and classic cartoon animation make historic personalities rise from the history books, reconstruct the Big Bang and make numbers begin to dance. The film literally explodes! But it aims at more and, above all, refuses to lament the dreadful state of education. Only when the teachers themselves become students, understanding the alphabet of the street and the key to every single student, can the nightmare of school perhaps turn into a space of freedom.
Cornelia Klauß

Victory Day

Documentary Film
Russia
2013
29 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sergey Vinokurov, Alina Rudnitskaya
Alina Rudnitskaya
Fedor Bakulin
Alina Rudnitskaya
Sergey Vinokurov
Alexsey Antonov
“Only in Russia is it possible for the president to declare the year in which he files for divorce the ‘Year of the Family’.” While the sea of flags of the victory parade in the streets of St. Petersburg below illustrates how much Russian nationalist, communist and orthodox positions have merged in this country of ideological extremes, lesbian and gay couples stay at home on their sofas. Behind closed windows and out of reach of the new public who are to be kept pure of all “perverts”. They talk about how they met and how their parents and environment deal with their coming out. A talk show is being broadcast on television, an upright citizen thinks that the anti homosexual law passed in June 2013 is too harmless: “This type should be forbidden to donate blood or sperm and if they have a car crash their hearts should be buried in the ground or burned as unsuited for the prolongation of any kind of life.” The applause lasts several minutes.
The nice thing about this film is the normality of these loves and lovers, the obviousness of their views and attitudes. And yet – certainly at the end, in the brilliant final montage – a layer of desperation has settled on their intelligent faces. After the Jews and queers, one of them says, all that’s missing is a law against witches. Welcome to the Middle Ages, welcome to Russia today.
Barbara Wurm

White Death

Documentary Film
Chile
2014
17 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Isabel Orellana Guarello
Roberto Collío
Roberto Collío
Matías Illanes
Roberto Collío
Jota Sandoval, Roberto González
Roberto Collío
Roberto Collío
The vivisection of a landscape: sombre black and white images unfurl panoramas of a scraggy mountain region. Narrow paths winding through the Andes, crosses decorating the wayside. The ruins of a barracks appear, once housing recruits who departed on a last exercise and were caught in a snow storm. Fragments of real live shots collide with extremely reduced animations. The film’s emulsion begins to pulse and dissolve. Sudden lightning destroys every trace of narrative. This is not the reconstruction of an event that happened in 2005, but the evocation of a nightmare of coldness and death that was irrevocably inscribed into the landscape.
Director Roberto Collío deftly and brilliantly experiments with different materials to evoke graphical analogies. He started out as a sound designer; so on the subtly wrought soundtrack the lonely death of a young soldier finds its long, sad echo in the diminishing sounds of a whistle.

Cornelia Klauß



Golden Dove Animated Documentary 2014