Film Archive

International Programme 2014
A Goat For a Vote Jeroen van Velzen

Student elections in rural Kenya. What do the candidates stand for? Who cares? It’s about prestige, and “little somethings” they distribute to the electorate. A basic course in democracy.

A Goat For a Vote

Documentary Film
Kenya,
Netherlands
2013
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hasse van Nunen, Maarten van der Ven
Jeroen van Velzen
Alex Boon
Stef Tijdink
Daan Wijdeveld
Jeroen van Velzen
Robil Rahantoeknam
Let’s look at how democratic processes are practiced at a student election in rural Kenya: What exactly does the student representative do? Who cares. The point is the office, the prestige, the start of individual careers. The candidates: Magdalena, who traditionally has a tough stand as the only female candidate. Harry, who is dirt poor. To finance his campaign he sells fish and coconuts on the market. Said the charmer, who wants to be an army general. He is already a strategist: a photo call with the deputy who is made to stand a step behind him, putting up posters, asking relatives for money. And then this seductive smile! They all know that the only way to win is through campaign gifts. Or let’s call them by their real name, like Magdalena’s grandmother: bribes. So they distribute candy and “little somethings”. Harry even manages to wheedle a goat out of his relatives. Meat for all! Only Magdalena talks about content – which is why she will lose …
What does this teach us? School as a social microcosm teaches what promises to be successful. If the way there is through corruption, that’s a daily experience in many countries. What did they say at the beginning of the film? “The best way to understand our society is to look at one’s children”. In this sense: A vote for a goat!
Matthias Heeder
International Programme 2014
A House in Fog Mokhtar Namdar

A woman alone in an old manor in the Iranian mountains. A simple life of hard work and caring for animals, painted in the warmest colours. But this idyll has enemies …

A House in Fog

Documentary Film
Iran
2014
27 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Javad Zahiri
Mokhtar Namdar
Mohammad Rasouli
Emad Khodabakhsh
Mokhtar Namdar
Mehdi Sadeghi, Ali Hasanzadeh
Of course the house is far too big for one person. The 100-year old mansion handed down through generations still looks majestic in this idyllic hilly landscape somewhere in Iran, despite its decrepitude. Nowadays it has only one inhabitant, Soraiia Hassani, who runs and maintains it. She needs nobody else, since she has the animals and the daily chores that make her life meaningful.
The camera paints this life in the warmest colours, finding or inventing in casual arrangements images that are closer to painting than photography. Dark colours dominate and yet there is no feeling of loneliness. Such a life becomes imaginable. Soraiia seems to miss no one, or perhaps only those who are already dead. But every paradise has its enemies. Is it the public welfare office or the law, is it her secret or is it the ghosts of the past that don’t trust Soraiia to be able to live this hermit’s life, only because she is a woman?
Cornelia Klauß
International Programme 2014
Amerykanka. All included Viktar Korzoun

Prison life in the dreaded KGB headquarters of Minsk, told by dissident poet Alyaksandr Fyaduta in front of an animated, cartoon-like prison backdrop. A bitter satire à la Erofeyev.

2013

Amerykanka. All included

Animadoc
Belarus
2013
52 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Kasia Kamockaja
Viktar Korzoun
Natalia Shyrko, Eugene Yellow
Viktar Tumar
Viktar Korzoun, Anatoly Todorsky
Alexander Fyaduta, Viktar Korzoun
Taras Senchuk
The “Amerykanka” is the headquarters and notorious torture centre of the KGB in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, the last dictatorship in Europe. Immediately following a protest against the results of the presidential elections of 19 December, 2010, a number of opposition members were arrested, among them Alyaksandr Fyaduta. He was detained at the “Amerykanka” over a period of three months, 50 days of which he spent in solitary confinement. During that time he wrote “American Poems”, the book on which this courageous and formally unusual film by Viktar Korzun is based. It revolves around Alyaksandr Fyaduta: his arrest, interrogations, humiliations, life in prison, though he appears not in a traditional interview setting but as an active agent in front of and in animated prison scenery. The real live image of the “slightly overweight protagonist with glasses”, as Fyaduta self-deprecatingly describes himself, constantly changes into his animated alter ego and vice versa. The way this artistic device, born out of the lack of a real location, is realised reveals a strong taste for playfulness and creates a surprisingly ironic distance both to the events and the state of the country. And perhaps mockery is the only possible attitude left in the face of a government that arrests people, as recently happened, merely for clapping their hands silently and in public.
Matthias Heeder

Ana Ana (I Am Me)

Documentary Film
Egypt,
Netherlands,
Norway
2013
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Corinne van Egeraat
Corinne van Egeraat, Petr Lom
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Petr Lom, Nadine Salib, Sondos Shabayek, Sarah Ibrahim, Wafaa Samir
Petr Lom
Jeroen Goeijers
Where censorship rules, the hour of the metaphor has come. The Arab Spring in Egypt didn’t change much about this. The traditional roles assigned to women are still the same. Four young female artists from Cairo are cautiously exploring this thin line between poetry and prohibition in their works. They still have to hide their longing for creativity and self-realisation as well as their own ideas of sexuality and physicality under headscarves. The film translates this dichotomy between being and appearing into oscillating images that make us feel some of the fear and tension these women experience.
The Czech-born Canadian director Petr Lom and the Dutch filmmaker Corinne van Egeraat met the four theatre, photo and video artists at a workshop. They have been working together on this project since 2011, not just as actors, but also as co-authors. Their artistic objects and performances unfold a kaleidoscope of associations that dominate the film’s visual world. Past master Ryūichi Sakamoto provided the discrete but effective score. Ultimately, “Ana Ana” is a poem that couldn’t be more political.
Cornelia Klauß

Balcony Tales

Documentary Film
Cuba,
Denmark
2013
36 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ellen Riis
Helle Windeløv-Lidzélius
Christian Schrøder, Max Bering, Peter Johansson, Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius
Adam Morris Philp, Denis Guerra Ribas, Rocío Aballí Hernández
Mette Esmark, Nanna Frank Møller
Helle Windeløv-Lidzélius, Janis Reyes Hernández
Niels Arild
Everybody in the city of Havana knows that it’s better to walk in the middle of the street and not on the sidewalk, where you may be hit by a crumbling balcony. Still: the balcony is a loyal friend, connecting people with their neighbours, the hawkers, the noise and smell of the street. Ceci has spent his whole life here. Now he is old and blind, but not alone. He has his balcony, from which he shops, hears important news and calls for Edilia, a young woman from the opposite side of the street who takes care of him like a daughter. This warm-hearted, unspectacular relationship forms the framework for a filmic declaration of love to the balconies of Havana. Each of them has their own story, their own soul and magic. It’s a bitter thing for anyone not to have one, for then you are cut off from life, which displays the full panorama of human diversity only to the viewer from above.
Matthias Heeder

Balloon Birds

Animated Film
Switzerland
2014
1 minute
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nicolas Burlet, Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
Marjolaine Perreten
The (very) short story of two balloon birds, meeting each other for the first time, until another comes …
International Programme 2014
BrückenJahre Peter Benedix

The long lasting struggle of three Lusatian villages against demolition. A “bridge technology” from the point of view of those involved – including the coal miners. What’s more important: work or one’s home?

BrückenJahre

Documentary Film
Germany
2014
98 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Peter Benedix
Peter Benedix
Fabian Koppri
Peter Benedix, Andreas Albrecht
Peter Benedix, Andreas Albrecht
Peter Benedix
Fabian Koppri
Once a year the men of Kerkwitz meet to raise the maypole. Since 2008, Peter Benedix has been among them to follow their and the Lusatian villages of Atterwasch and Grabko’s struggle against the imminent excavation by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall. Four years after the spectacular “Limited Home” and financed mainly by crowd funding, he now delves even deeper into what this much-vaunted “bridge technology” really means – in a region that owed its survival to brown coal for more than a century and that has now become its victim. What’s more important: one’s home or work?
In addition to the question of what this does to people who are trying to live some kind of normal life in the middle of a long, gruelling conflict, Benedix pays more attention than in his first film to the political level, the level of arguments. He pulls off the feat of giving both sides – miners and protesters – space without giving up his author’s position. While there is a (far from stupid) counter-argument for every argument, while referendums and constitutional challenges fail and new protests are organised (by both sides), a village shop opens in Kerkwitz – apparently against all reason – and a child is born. And the men raise the maypole. But they are fewer now.
Grit Lemke
International Programme 2014
Brutus Svetlana Filippova

Brutus always glanced into human eyes only for a moment and immediately turned away. Nobody knows better than dogs how fast people’s affections can change.

Brutus

Animated Film
Russia
2014
11 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lyubov Gaidukova
Svetlana Filippova
Svetlana Filippova
Svetlana Filippova
Ekaterina Boykova, Svetlana Zimina, Sara Magambetova, Svetlana Filippova
Svetlana Filippova
Artem Fadeev
Brutus always glanced into human eyes only for a moment and immediately turned away. Nobody knows better than dogs how fast people’s affections can change.

Castillo y el Armado

Animated Film
Brazil
2014
13 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Pedro Harres, Otto Guerra, Marta Machado
Pedro Harres
Felipe Puperi
Marco Arruda
Pedro Harres
Hermes de Lima, Fabiano Pandolfi, Josemi Bezerra, Ruben Castillo
Pedro Harres
Thiago Bello
A young dock worker on the border between Brazil and Uruguay does everything to keep on top of his family, his job and fishing.
International Programme 2014
Der Zorn junger Männer Uli Kick

Aggression management training: eight boys who are used to hitting first are supposed to talk, listen, and take their victims’ perspective. Gradually something is set in motion … a psychological drama.

Der Zorn junger Männer

Documentary Film
Germany
2014
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Uli Kick
Uli Kick
Wolfgang M. Neumann
Waldemar Hauschild, Uli Kick
Gaby Kull-Neujahr
Uli Kick
Thomas Schwarz, Gregor Kuschel
“You’re a real parasite and a lazy bastard.” There is no soft pedagogical touch in aggression management training; people use plain language. Eight boys between 17 and 22 must meet for a weekly group therapy session for eight months or go to prison. They hit people (“On the head. Where else?”), kicked their victims, put them into hospital. When “the film starts” and their anger rises (“In the neck. It really makes me sick.”), they become the “ticking bombs” that the media and politicians like to talk of since violence has reached a “new level” and people were killed.
Now they are forced to do something that’s hard for them: talk about themselves. Learn to trust and think before they act. They must confront their actions, the victims’ perspectives and above all themselves in conversations and role playing games. The educators, too, go to their absolute limit. And yet they try again every week to teach something like goals and perspectives that just don’t exist.
Uli Kick skilfully brings out the filmic elements of the therapy: the dialogue scenes of interviews and conversations, the intimate chamber play created by concentrating on a few people and places, the psychological drama. And perhaps both the therapy and the film are about the same thing for the boys: to be really seen just once.
Grit Lemke
International Programme 2014
Diamond Kris Mergan, Geert Vandenbroele

As a child Ketje used to spend the holidays with his aunt. He returns to the place to reminisce about the pharmacist and his quest for the diamond of the birds.

Diamond

Animated Film
Belgium
2014
12 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Kris Mergan, Erik Schut
Kris Mergan, Geert Vandenbroele
Ceres Elliana
Kris Mergan
Geert Vandenbroele, Matthias Claeys, Beorn Leonard, Inne Haine
Kris Mergan, Geert Vandenbroele
Peter Schön, Rob Ten Bokum, Nicolas Dennefeld
As a child Ketje used to spend the holidays with his aunt. He returns to the place to reminisce about the pharmacist and his quest for the diamond of the birds.
International Programme 2014
Dominguinhos Joaquim Castro, Mariana Aydar, Eduardo Nazarian

José Domingos de Morais, one of Brazil’s great accordion players. A dreamy trip in time back to an unknown country and a quarry of memories. Bold and enchanting.

Dominguinhos

Documentary Film
Brazil
2014
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Deborah Osborn, Gilberto Topczewski, Felipe Briso
Joaquim Castro, Mariana Aydar, Eduardo Nazarian
Mariana Aydar, Eduardo Nazarian, Duani Martins
Pedro Urano, Tiago Tambelli
Joaquim Castro
Boreal Studio
Di Moretti
Edson Secco, Joaquim Castro
Songs that tell stories of love, the last draught or the lack of money. There can be no doubt that the music of José Domingos de Morais, one of the great Brazilian accordion players, is folk music in the best sense. This film constitutes the three directors’ respectful bow to the artist, who died in 2013. All through his life he retained a deep bond to the culture of his home, the Sertão in the northeast of Brazil. That’s where the film starts, too. Not so much the portrait of a musician as a dreamy trip in time through an unknown Brazil whose diversity was the soil from which something as wonderful as Dominguinhos’ music could grow. The filmmakers use a variety of sources: archive material from the 1940s about the Sertão of the farm labourers and have-nots, television shows from the 1950s and 60s, interviews with musicians from various phases of his life, great concerts in the 2000s. In fact they work in a quarry of visual memories – not just their protagonist’s, but also their own and those of their country. This work of remembrance, associative and erratic, dominates the film’s tone. An image sequence edited to a melody, a rhythm to a story, the lyrics of a song to a short biographical note. It’s a bold narrative design and the music is simply enchanting.
Matthias Heeder

Ephemeral

Animated Film
Switzerland
2013
3 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

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François Chalet
Sophie Haller
Sophie Haller
Carlos Ibañez Diaz
Solitude and pain, passion and love, breaking and rebuilding, life itself, all things change and go by, they are: ephemeral.
International Programme 2014
Focus on Infinity Joerg Burger

Reflections on infinity: physicists, theologians and philosophers, unreal places, immense facilities, complex technologies and theories, a sense of humour and infinite space.

Focus on Infinity

Documentary Film
Austria
2014
80 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Joerg Burger, Ralph Wieser, Georg Misch
Joerg Burger
Joerg Burger
Gökce Ince
Joerg Burger
Hjalti Bager-Jonathansson, Sebastian Brameshuber
“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end”, Woody Allen once said. The fact that none other than this urban neurotic is quoted in a film marked by infinite landscapes, giant architecture and the most complex technologies has a lot to do with the interview partners – especially the female ones – Joerg Burger finds on his cinematic exploration with its “Focus on Infinity”. They are not only among the probably most intelligent and farsighted minds on our planet, they also have a sense of humour – and an inner calm (often based on physical-astronomic knowledge) as they contemplate human life.
Contemplation and meticulousness, perfectionism and modesty – perhaps these are the qualities that are needed for their sheer infinite drive to search for knowledge (or in other words: the fundamental questions of existence). Researchers and theologians, scientists and philosophers, empiricists and theorists share this realm of infinity. The film follows them on trips into a universe located at the intersection of perception, thinking and imagination and sharpens our eye to the tiniest details of the biggest picture. A gem, a masterpiece.
Barbara Wurm
International Programme 2014
Grace Under Water Anthony Lawrence

Lou is losing the cold war with her stubborn and enigmatic stepdaughter Grace when an unexpected challenge arises from the depths of a warm, dreamy afternoon at the local pool

Grace Under Water

Animated Film
Australia
2014
8 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

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Anthony Lawrence
Anthony Lawrence
Phil Okerstrom
Jon Billington
Cindy Clarkson
Paul Howell, Anthony Lawrence, Nick Hilligoss, Kelly McGillivray-Brown
Chrissie McMahon
Phil Okerstrom, Stephen Witherow
Lou is losing the cold war with her stubborn and enigmatic stepdaughter Grace when an unexpected challenge arises from the depths of a warm, dreamy afternoon at the local pool. Shadows of the past bear down on the present as Lou is forced to face the truth about herself and the frustrating child she is trying to love.