Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

German Competition 2017
Eingeimpft David Sieveking

Subjective and personal food for thought on the controversial subject of inoculation. The director, a family man himself, uses his own dilemma as a starting point for a humorous film about risks, chances and ideologies.

Eingeimpft

Documentary Film
Germany
2017
95 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Martin Heisler, Carl-Ludwig Rettinger
David Sieveking
Jessica de Rooij
Adrian Stähli, Kaspar Köpke
Catrin Vogt, Mirja Gerle
Micki Fröhlich
David Sieveking
Björn Wiese
David Sieveking likes to get personal in his films, whether they are about his mother’s Alzheimer’s disease or his own quest for transcendence. In his new film he focuses on an issue that’s causing quite a stir in Germany: vaccination. Anyone who has ever seen the chasms opening up when this subject comes up in a surgery or at a parent-teacher conference knows what he’s talking about. To everyone else we recommend “Family Shots”, because the director manages, in fact, to turn his own insecurity into the starting point of an enthralling film.

The basic conflict sounds almost too simple: father wants the vaccinations, because the doctor advises them. Mother doesn’t because her gut feeling says no. Sieveking takes this impasse as an occasion to examine the supra-personal dimensions of this dissent. Trying to find an objective truth is far from his mind as he sticks to his role of the filmmaker-father, who puts inimitably naive questions to the WHO, the pharmaceutical industry and doctors critical of vaccination and finally comes to a conclusion that’s a pretty good summary of this ideologically charged debate. Sieveking is not afraid of stereotypes while he turns his political subject this way and that until he manages to reach his own, private decision.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, Gedanken-Aufschluss, DEFA Sponsoring Prize
German Competition 2017
Kolyma – Straße der Knochen Stanislaw Mucha

Reading bones to tell the past and future. A road trip along the Kolyma route in the Russian Far East, past convicts’ bones and pizza stands, with bone-dry irony.

Kolyma – Straße der Knochen

Documentary Film
Germany
2017
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Gerd Haag
Stanislaw Mucha
Eike Hosenfeld, Moritz Denis, Tim Stanzel
Enno Endlicher
Emil Rosenberger, Stanislaw Mucha
Stanislaw Mucha
Tim Altrichter
“Goulash?,” the young woman looking out of the hatch of a combined hot dog and pizza stand on the side of the windy Kolyma route asks again. No, Stanislaw Mucha did ask for “Gulag”. And he is astonished to find that here, where the Soviet penal and labour camp system shaped the natural and living environment for decades, the term isn’t commonly used. Actually, for all intents and purposes, the filmmaker’s journey seems to be more of a trip through wordscapes. It begins in Magadan Bay, which earned its nickname “gate to hell” as the port of entry for the forced labourers. It continues along the “longest graveyard in the world”, as the long distance road from the Sea of Okhotsk to Yakutsk is occasionally called. But it also crosses the paths of the living, those who stayed here or were born here, who more often than not have better things to do than to revolve around that genius loci. Encounters as inspiring electric discharges on the horizon of expectations – like those electric pulses an amateur physician picked up along the way wants to use to rejuvenate his old father.

When the present overwrites the past, when the Putin era superimposes the Soviet era, when the eternal periphery is allowed to actively participate in the snapshots made of it, the result are bone dry punch lines: for example that slow motion pop music video Mucha treats a girls’ dancing troupe to as he drives by.

Sylvia Görke


Nominated for ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, DEFA Sponsoring Prize
German Competition 2017
Muhi – Generally Temporary Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander, Tamir Elterman

A Palestinian boy who masters his difficult path between the political frontlines with an infectious laugh. A great, heartbreaking and encouraging film.

Muhi – Generally Temporary

Documentary Film
Germany,
Israel
2017
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hilla Medaila (Medalia Productions), Jürgen Kleinig (Neue Celluliod Fabrik)
Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander, Tamir Elterman
Ran Bagno
Avner Shahaf, Oded Kirma, Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander, Tamir Elterman
Joëlle Alexis
Ronen Geva, Maximilian Bloching
Six-year-old Muhi has an infectious laugh and loves to imitate his grandfather, Abu Naim. The boy, who was born the son of a Hamas activist in Gaza, has spent his whole life in an Israeli hospital. He has a rare autoimmune disease. When he was two his hands and feet had to be amputated. In Gaza he would be condemned to die, because healthcare is in a desolate state there. On the other side of the border he can get treatment, but the price is high.

Muhi leads a paradoxical life. The only person allowed to accompany him to Israel was his grandfather. This hospital has been their “home” for six years now, far from their family. Muhi hardly knows his parents and siblings. His father condemns the state that keeps his son alive and wants the boy back in Gaza – whatever the cost. Though Muhi’s sphere of action is doubly limited, he has settled into his life and his optimism and courage make its obstructions seem absurd. And yet the irresolvability of his personal tragedy shines through the surface of every scene in this sensitive film. The end leaves us wondering how this unusual child will be able to continue to go his own way in the future.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann



Golden Dove German Competition;
Nominated for ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, DEFA Sponsoring Prize

German Competition 2017
Nach der Zukunft André Krummel

Ortwin Passon lives in Berlin, is HIV positive and writing a thesis on barebacking. Not a case history but a film about the miracles of the age.

Nach der Zukunft

Documentary Film
Germany
2017
46 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sigrid Gairing (Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg)
André Krummel
Tobias Burkardt
André Krummel
André Krummel
Raphaela te Pass, André Krummel
Simon Peter, Erik Lemke
Time, more precisely lifetime, feels strangely out of alignment, breaks out of its order and unravels – that becomes palpable again and again: at home, Ortwin Passon once says, sitting at the counter of a Berlin pub with his beer, he sometimes looks at himself in the mirror and talks to himself – about the future that’s behind him. How does this present day that you thought you’d never see feel? Ortwin is HIV-positive, buried his last boyfriend in 1995 (“nursed to death”, he calls it) and has been working on a thesis on barebacking for a while – the political and penal relevance of unprotected anal intercourse between men in Germany. For Ortwin and many of his friends the issues of freedom and self-determination, of the relationship between sex and the law, of the present and the future, of death and excess are particularly existential.

André Krummel has produced a gentle but unflinching introspection into his protagonist’s emotions, thoughts and life. A touching and lucid film about the miracle of the times that bear life.

Lukas Stern



Honorary Mention German Competition;
Nominated for ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, DEFA Sponsoring Prize

German Competition 2017
Sandmädchen Mark Michel

A journey into the interior worlds of a young woman who despite her handicap found a way to communicate with the world. Touching, poetic and enlightening.

Sandmädchen

Documentary Film
Germany
2017
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marcie K. Jost, Peter Zorn, Mark Michel
Mark Michel
Ines Thomsen
Andreas Baltschun, Mark Michel, Ed van Megen
Anne Löper
Mark Michel, Veronika Raila
Christian Schunke
What does it mean to be a prisoner of your own body and invisible? “Sandgirl” takes us into the unique world of experiences and life of Veronika Raila, a young autistic girl, hypersensitive and seriously disabled from birth. Raila knows what it feels like not to be seen as a person. As a child she was diagnosed with an IQ of 0. Only her parents refused to believe this. Today Raila publishes prose and poems, studies literature and theology. Together with director Mark Michel she reviews her own life in this film. The combination of her writings and thoughts with delicately filmed everyday observation, poetic nature shots and artist Anne Löper’s fleeting but powerful sand animations coalesce into an essay about freedom and perception.

“Sandgirl”, however, is more than the sequel to the award winning short film “Veronika” which Michel made about Raila in 2011. This time Veronika is not just a protagonist but a creative partner whose trenchant texts carry the film and who frequently makes detailed suggestions about how to illustrate her interior world. In a profound but sometimes also eminently funny dialogue with Mark Michel she finally becomes the tour guide of her own universe of sand, music and words.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, DEFA Sponsoring Prize

Talking Money

Documentary Film
Georgia,
Germany,
Switzerland
2017
81 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Susann Schimk
Sebastian Winkels
Sebastian Winkels
Frederik Bösing
Sebastian Winkels
Frederik Bösing, Nelson Marca Esprella, Corneille Houssou, Till Passow, Markus CM Schmidt, Johannes Schneeweiß, Niko Tarielashvili
People who go to their house bank for a personal consultation have either too much or too little money. And speaking of “house banks” – that sounds like a special bond, the “financial doctor you trust”. In any case, this special need for consultation arises from disparities: between dreams and income, investment needs and risk forecasts, personal circumstances and objective constraints. This in turn gives rise to a special culture of conversation, one that follows similar rules in Bolivia, Switzerland or Pakistan – that, at least, is the thesis of Sebastian Winkels’ film. And it doesn’t matter into which financial institution in this world we follow him and what language we hear there: superimposed upon each other, the images and soundtracks of the consultations become a sound that the bank customer as a collective subject knows only too well. Oh, the shame about one’s financial impotence! Ah, the confessions one feels constrained to make. And, oh dear, the helplessness with which one must surrender to the rows of numbers.

The camera takes sides – not on a moral level, but on a dramatic one. It is always placed behind the tables where the skilled rejecters and form explainers are sitting, of whom we rarely see more than a sleeve, though. And it faces up to the looks of passing applicants and consultation-seekers like an experienced anthropologist: incorruptible but touchable.

Sylvia Görke


Nominated for ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, DEFA Sponsoring Prize

Touching Concrete

Documentary Film
Germany,
South Africa
2017
58 minutes
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jonas Weydemann (Weydemann Bros), Ute Dilger (Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln)
Ilja Stahl
Niclas Reed Middleton
Florian Riegel
Ilja Stahl
Ilja Stahl
An enriching encounter! Whether coincidental or stage-managed isn’t relevant for the further interactions between filmmaker and filmed subjects. Because that “feeling of being there” described by Richard Leacock as the essence of the documentary soon eclipses all doubts and reservations. Impressed by the sure sense of style with which Ilja Stahl establishes the “right” kind of intimacy with his youthful protagonists in an overpopulated neighbourhood of Johannesburg, one feels happy to be allowed to drift with 16-year-old Tebogo and 15-year-old Karabo through their turf as a spectator for one summer. Their turf, that’s underground car parks, high rise roofs, nocturnal streets, where they dawdle away the time, somewhere between boredom and energy to burn.

The conflicts with their single mothers, however, the violence and death in the streets are omnipresent. Karabo feels the pressure more and more while Tebogo sees it as a continuous supply of material for games. He lives by the “anyway” principle when he balances on the parapet of a high rise roof or dances into the path of moving cars with friends and defies everything with a provoking smile. It’s touching how the future looms over these kids’ presence. But they refuse to allow it to rule them. At least not yet.

Ralph Eue


Nominated for ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, DEFA Sponsoring Prize
German Competition 2017
Wildes Herz Charly Hübner, Sebastian Schultz

The most dangerous band in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – a direct, raw and intense portrait of the successful left-wing punk band “Feine Sahne Fischfilet” and its singer, Jan “Monchi” Gorkow.

Wildes Herz

Documentary Film
Germany
2017
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sebastian Schultz, Lars Jessen
Charly Hübner, Sebastian Schultz
Jörg Gollasch
Martin Farkas, Roman Schauerte
Sebastian Schultz
Charly Hübner, Sebastian Schultz
Moritz Springer
“Wildes Herz” is a film about “Feine Sahne Fischfilet”, one of the most successful German punk rock bands, and their lead singer, Jan “Monchi” Gorkow. A young band who are under surveillance by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which gives them the right to call themselves the most dangerous band in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. A film that shows how musicians fight against Nazis and feelings of emptiness and frustration, in a region where home means the beautiful flat countryside. With music that’s quite unlike their home: strong, loud, joyous.

As this film examines Jan “Monchi” Gorkow’s life in home movies and interviews with his parents we gradually begin to understand that it is a parable on, a coming to terms with and an answer to what happened in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern after the reunification. When a refugee centre in Rostock-Lichtenhagen was on fire, the population applauding and the police looking the other way. That is the time Monchi grew up in. His path – or his rage – took him via the ultras of F.C. Hansa Rostock to the moment when his punk band realised at the end of the noughties that Nazis enjoyed their gigs. Taking a stance was called for. The leftist movements of the 1990s failed, Gorkow says, and that this must never happen again. An important, almost normal, poetic and rough film – exactly like the band.

Leopold Grün


Award winner of the ver.di Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, Gedanken-Aufschluss-Prize and DEFA Sponsoring Prize