Film Archive

El Gort

Documentary Film
Tunisia,
United Arab Emirates
2013
87 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hamza Ouni
Hamza Ouni
Mohamed Hakim Boujomaa, Hatem Nechi
Najwa Khechimi
Hassen Najar
This film vibrates with rage. Nothing was good, is good, will be good. This bitter truth surrounds the lives of Washwasha and Khairi like a wall. Both in their early 20s, dirt poor, no expectations of ever doing anything other than stacking, loading and unloading bales of hay for little money. Jobs? There are none in Tunisia. So they want to leave, go to Europe. But that, too, is only a dream.
“El Gort” traces the years from before the rebellion against Ben Ali to the first free elections, 2007 to 2012. But these events have no real meaning for the two of them. Washwasha was in prison during the revolution, Khairi went pillaging like most of the other residents of the city. Somehow the anger had to be vented. Nothing has changed except for the personnel, who cheat the poor exactly like the old regime. And the Islamic parties? F*** them!
The film translates this rage into a rough, immediate visual language that gives the narrative incredible momentum. Hard, rapid cuts, a restless, moving camera, no shot lingers over the beauty of the moment. Instead there’s a maximum of life which must be lived on and on. And that is the really amazing aspect of this first feature-length film by Hamza Ouni: its protagonists lucidly describe their situation without shirking responsibility for their actions.

Matthias Heeder



Talent Dove in the Young Cinema Competition 2014

International Programme 2014
Harvest Paul Lacoste

Every year, a colourful bunch of utterly diverse characters meet to pick grapes near Toulouse. An unusual look at a precarious job between poverty and self-determination.

Harvest

Documentary Film
France
2014
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Didier Creste
Paul Lacoste
Yvan Quehec
Anthony Brining
The scene: a small wine-growing region to the east of Toulouse. The time: mid-September. The cast: a company of about 15 women and men – “short service volunteers” for the few weeks of the wine harvest, armed with shears and buckets. The group has fanned out among the vines of a medium-sized grower in the Gaillac region. The statistics list them as harvest hands; the sociological term for them is “precariously employed”. The protagonists themselves, however, would qualify this imputation. Accepting it would mean handing over a big part of their pride. This attitude may be called unrealistic, but that’s precisely what director Paul Lacoste seems to be interested in: what people do and what they literally embody because of it rather than the opinions they express. The film still demonstrates almost casually how massively the insecurity of such an existence is inscribed into the protagonists’ behaviour. They all feel constrained by the unvoiced pressures of their situation. They may have more or less talent in suppressing such emotional and mental insights – but their objective effects can hardly be denied.

Ralph Eue



Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2014

International Programme 2014
Mar de Fons Bruno López, Florencia Luna

A father, a son, a fishing boat and the polluted coast off Barcelona. The death of a tradition and the disease of civilisation. A short novel with charisma.

Mar de Fons

Documentary Film
Spain
2014
30 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sergi Casamitjana, Escac Films
Bruno López, Florencia Luna
Julián Sánchez
Florencia Luna, Dídac Sáez
Bruno López, Dídac Sáez
Bruno López, Florencia Luna
Yago Flaquer, Mar Rosselló
“Another bad day!” This is what it sounds like when Catalan fishermen meet. The fish die-off and the pollution in the greater Barcelona area hit them hard. Ramón Costa has seen dramatic changes in his long career. This doesn’t refer to the fact that he made it from rowing boat to motorboat owner – no: Only six of the 100 fishing boats of his native village of Badalona are left. One of them belongs to Ramón. But he, too, is thinking about giving up his small family business, especially since he is worried about his eldest son. Opening a beach bar would be more profitable. The younger son, having at last emerged from adolescence, encourages him, that’s true. But junior is a stubborn smart-aleck.
All these problems accumulate in the narrow space of the fishing boat when father and son go out to sea. The film has all the ingredients of a short novel, telling a story of restless men, the death of tradition and the disease of civilisation and revolving around a charismatic main character: Ramón is a passionate storyteller and a father who makes touching efforts to stay connected to his sons, even if they grew up in a completely different age than he did.
Lars Meyer
International Programme 2014
Marmato Mark Grieco

In the Colombian village of Marmato international corporations are fighting for the gold in the mountain and the locals for their existence. A globalisation thriller with strong characters.

Marmato

Documentary Film
Colombia,
USA
2014
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Stuart Reid, Mark Grieco
Mark Grieco
Todd Boekelheide
Mark Grieco
Ricardo Acosta, Mark Grieco
Noah Conti
Mark Grieco, Stuart Reid
Bob Edwards
Every day Dumar says goodbye to his wife and kids in a long ceremony of kisses and blessings as if it was the last time. Equipped with the spiritual protection of his family and the religious protection of the statue of a Jesus with outstretched arms that looks over the green mountains of Colombia from the town of Marmato, he enters the gold mine. For over 500 years, the locals have been digging and blasting narrow tunnels into a mountain that threatens to collapse any minute. But the miners have nothing but gold, even though they are the ones who profit least from it. There has been an international gold rush going on here since the government opened the gates to foreign corporations in 2006. It’s to be the end of the ancient methods. A Canadian company wants to strip-mine the mountain, allegedly in a socially and ecologically sustainable manner. But what will become of Marmato? The battle for one of the biggest gold deposits in the world has begun.
Mark Grieco followed the complex disputes surrounding the exploitation of the mountain, the existence and identity of the natives for six years in a film that has already garnered a number of awards. As tightly plotted as a suspense novel – and with fairly novelistic characters – he tells a tale of growing resistance against globalisation. The current gold rate, burned into the tunnel walls, delivers the comment on the various situations and an old balladeer in a cowboy hat picks his ironic songs on his guitar.
Lars Meyer

Rules of the Game

Documentary Film
France
2014
106 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Muriel Meynard, Patrick Sobelman
Claudine Bories, Patrice Chagnard
Patrice Chagnard
Stéphanie Goldschmidt
Claudine Bories, Patrice Chagnard
Benjamin van de Vielle
There’s a rumour that the employment market is looking for bold individualists. Within limits, of course. The reality is: if it doesn’t fit, it’s made to fit – or rejected.
Lolita does not smile readily. Kevin doesn’t know how to sell himself. Hamid can’t abide bosses. They are twenty. They have no qualifications. They are looking for work and will be trained by a consulting agency over six months to learn the behaviour and forms of expression today’s employment market demands.
The consultants’ motives are more than honest: to enable young people to lead a decent life in the existing system. The kids see a new and strange world open up before their eyes. Both sides practice the best intentions, but now and then there are still glitches and sometimes there’s even the risk of a crash.
We’ve seen films about the admission process of acting schools (“Addicted to Acting”, et al.). But such situations, though exciting, are child’s play compared to the roles Lolita, Kevin and Hamid must learn to play if they want a part in the performance that is called “living (and surviving) in capitalism today”.

Ralph Eue



Golden Dove in the International Competition Documentary Film 2014

International Programme 2014
The Last Limousine Daria Khlestkina

An unexpected order for the almost phased out ZIL car factory in Moscow. A giant’s last gasp in the spirit of the old collective, portrayed as a tragicomic mudslinging contest.

The Last Limousine

Documentary Film
Germany,
Russia
2013
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marina Razbezhkina, Heino Deckert
Daria Khlestkina
Anton Silaev
Anna Dashina, Evgeniy Kurbatov
Daria Khlestkina, Mieneke Kramer
Daria Khlestkina
Sergey Ovcharenko, Maria Ushenina
They were not just the pride of the nation, but the symbol of a public display of power that gradually turned into an empty pose. The equally feudal and well-designed limousines that lead the Soviet military parades on Red Square demanded awe and respect in the East and West. They were manufactured by hand at the Moscow ZIL car factory until the collapse in 1990, when the production line stopped. The cause could not have been a lack of dictators or desire to display one’s power. Perhaps the open limousines became too risky? In short: suddenly an order bursts in on the almost phased out factory. The state wants three cars. The spirit of the old collective awakens, the machines are powered up again and the production director sternly inspects the giant halls where the cats have long made their home. Director Daria Khlestkino records this last gasp of a giant with precision and gives us insights – not without wistfulness – into the remains of a former socialist industrial structure where patience and the art of improvisation were the real capital.
Cornelia Klauß

The Shelter

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2014
101 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Fernand Melgar
Fernand Melgar
Fernand Melgar
Karine Sudan
Elise Shubs
Every winter evening tumultuous scenes take place in front of the bunker: the employees of the municipal doss house may let in precisely 50 homeless people – the number is raised only in exceptional cases. A crucial test for both sides, for those who were rejected will find hardly any spots in the spanking clean Swiss city of Lausanne where they can spend the night without trouble with the police and protected from the cold.
Fernand Melgar reports a new kind of poverty that hits not only Romanian Roma families, but also the former middle classes and African migrants from the crisis-shaken parts of Europe. And he relates how the rich part of Europe deals with it. He keeps filming the routines in the shelter and offices over the course of a season. He follows those who were rejected into the night and stays with them as they – in our midst, but practically invisible – pass their days in the streets and public institutions. He watches them keep up appearances while their lives collapse. But he also shows how social workers daily try to fight the misery and only manage to administer it, while their humanity quite often brings them into conflict with their regulations or their boss.
By highlighting all sides, Melgar delivers more than a social study. It’s the nightmarish analysis of a system that can’t be repaired by merciful donations.
Grit Lemke