Film Archive

International Programme 2017
209 rue Saint-Maur, Paris, 10ème – The Neighbours Ruth Zylberman

The reconstruction of a dissolved house community. An experimental, historiographical look behind the scenes of a Paris building.

209 rue Saint-Maur, Paris, 10ème – The Neighbours

Documentary Film
France
2017
103 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Paul Rozenberg, Céline Nusse (Zadig Productions)
Ruth Zylberman
Nicolas Repac
Cédric Dupire
Valérie Loiseleux
Benjamin Bober, Graciela Barrault
The French director and historian Ruth Zylberman is sitting in a living room in the USA, visiting a 79-year-old man whom his Jewish parents hid with a stranger’s family during the German occupation of Paris. Henry Osman, born Henri Ossmann, hardly remembers his parents – not what they looked like, not what they did for a living. Zylberman has brought a pile of paper copies and is able to reconstruct parts of that childhood.

The house whose address gave the film its title – and where Osman lived as a small boy – is located in the Jewish district of Paris. Zylberman reconstructed the house community during the war in great detail: who lived here? Who knew whom? Re-enactments with dollhouse furniture and drawn floor plans at the former residents’ kitchen tables alternate with contemporary views of the building as she re-creates this typical Paris building in the Saint-Maur No. 209 as an anachronistic space in which history is still alive, right down to the cobbled courtyard. A highly focused and at the same time extremely emotional piece of experimental historiography.

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2017
8, Lenin Avenue Valérie Mitteaux, Anna Pitoun

Long-term observation of a successful integration: From an illegal caravan camp the Romanian Romani Salcuta made her way into French society.

8, Lenin Avenue

Documentary Film
France
2017
101 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Igor Ochronowicz
Valérie Mitteaux, Anna Pitoun
Valérie Mitteaux, Anna Pitoun, Raquel Freire, Sébastien Balanger
Fabrice Rouaud
Hugo Leitão
Long-term observations have their own rules. They often evolve out of earlier film projects and a continued contact with the protagonists. Anna Pitoun and Valérie Mitteaux have followed their protagonist Salcuta Filan’s fate with the camera for almost 15 years, which allows them to draw a wide narrative arc and reveal developments. The first images, showing the citizens of Achères, a community to the north-east of Paris, trying to protect a Roma camp from evacuation were shot in 2003. That was when the first film about Salcuta and her two children, Denisa and Gabi, was produced, “Caravan 55”.

The directors want to show that integration is possible, even for Roma, who are up against stronger prejudices than other immigrants. Right-wing populists use them as scapegoats to be made political examples of. Despite the warm-hearted helpers whose friendship with Salcuta’s family is real, everyday racism and antiziganism are clearly apparent, just like the shift to the right of the past few years which has changed the social climate in France. Nonetheless Salcuta grows from a shy, single widow to a confident matriarch who fights for her rights. In France she finds a voice she never had as a Romani in her home country of Romania.

Sirkka Möller


Nominated for Filmprize "Leipziger Ring"
International Programme 2017
95 and 6 to Go Kimi Takesue

Looking for the title of a script and finding a grandpa. A home movie style, warmhearted and humorous look: at the grandfather, the family history and the ancestors’ landscapes.

95 and 6 to Go

Documentary Film
USA
2016
85 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Kimi Takesue, Richard Beenen
Kimi Takesue
Paul Brill
Kimi Takesue
Kimi Takesue
Jeff Seelye
The filmmaker Kimi Takesue and her widowed grandfather Tom have big plans: first of all, Tom’s house must be cleared out. A lot of things have accumulated here since grandmother died, who didn’t really share Tom’s passion for film and television. Then there’s Kimi’s unfinished script which has been waiting for completion for years and really needs a new title. The spry pensioner comes up with many – sometimes corny – ideas which, unfortunately, do not always meet with much sympathy. And on top of it all his inquisitive granddaughter is trying to unravel her family history with the help of Tom’s memories. This yields insights into the living conditions of their ancestors, who tried to build a life as Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. The grandparents’ love story, too, is very interesting, especially the question how the two actually met and whether it was really love at first sight.

Shot like a home movie and intercut with archive material and shots of the Hawaiian landscape, Takesue takes a loving and humorous look at her grandfather and her roots. She may not get a new title for her script out of this, but it’s an enchanting way to get closer to her grandfather.

Kim Busch
International Programme 2017
A Marriage Story Helena Třeštíková

Helena Třeštíková observed the seemingly ordinary marriage of Ivana and Václav for more than three decades. Until we realise that “ordinary” exists only for the casual observer.

A Marriage Story

Documentary Film
Czech Republic
2017
102 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Kateřina Černá, Pavel Strnad
Helena Třeštíková
David Cysař, Vlastimil Hamerník, Jan Malíř, Miroslav Souček, Ervín Sanders, Jiří Chod, Robert Novák, Antonín Kutík
Jakub Hejna
Helena Třeštíková
Richard Müller
Helena Třeštíková from Prague has filmed marriage stories since the early 1980s, which yielded several long-term documentaries. Ivana and Václav’s holy bond of matrimony is the subject of observation in this instalment, which takes us from the day before wedding day to the present day. At the time, in December 1980, Ivana was 21 years old and Václav 24. They were both studying architecture and married “because we like each other. And other things. Things we shouldn’t talk about.” Their first child was born shortly after the wedding: Honza.

Helena Třeštíková’s film “René” won the Golden Dove in Leipzig in 2008; a piece about a hopeless but charming amoralist who was drawn again and again to the same place: prison. It seems as if Třeštíková, too, is attracted by certain places, but even more so by people and the way they try to give their life a meaningful direction. This “marriage story”, for example, reveals an incredible desire for enlargement and growth that shows in an accumulation of objects, children and responsibilities – one of the inner motives of the Strnads which unfolds over 35 years together.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for MDR Film Prize
International Programme 2017
A Memory in Khaki Alfoz Tanjour

Khaki is the colour found in every Syrian, they say. This thesis is repeated in variations, soaring through art and ideas, while Alfoz Tanjour finds the right images to illustrate it.

A Memory in Khaki

Documentary Film
Qatar
2016
108 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Louai Haffar
Alfoz Tanjour
Kinan Azmeh
Ahmad Dakroub
Alfoz Tanjour
Alfoz Tanjour, Louai Haffar
“My blood is made of this city, of its stones, its neighbourhoods, its shops, its people and its mornings … My blood may be made of the smell of diesel in it.” Alfoz Tanjour visited the Syrian writer Ibrahim Samuel in Damascus in 2009 and filmed him sitting at his desk in an Adidas sweater, with coffee and cigarettes, in front of his manuscript. When Tanjour went to Moldavia to study film in the 1990s, a short story by Samuel was his first material. And this time, too, the intellectual inspires a work which despite its inherent weight is like a graceful flight. “A Memory in Khaki” shares the art and thoughts of people deeply marked by the oppressive Syrian regime – including a colour and its symbolism: khaki.

Carolin Weidner
International Programme 2017
Accordion Class Zuqiang Peng

The image of China as a music nation is dominated by drilled masses and exceptional instrumentalists. This accordion class, however, presents a different image.

Accordion Class

Documentary Film
China
2016
20 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Zuqiang Peng
Zuqiang Peng
Zuqiang Peng
Zuqiang Peng
Zuqiang Peng
The image of China as a music nation is dominated by drilled masses and exceptional instrumentalists. This accordion class, however, presents a different image: wrapped in down anoraks, children practice “Hänschen klein”. During the Cultural Revolution, the piano and violin were frowned upon as “bourgeois”, unlike the accordion – its performative qualities were well suited to propaganda. Today the heart-warming squeezing looks almost like a gesture of resistance against the state-promoted virtuoso culture.

Esther Buss

Adolescence

Documentary Film
Puerto Rico,
USA
2017
10 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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José Fernando Rodríguez, Guillermo Zouain
José Fernando Rodríguez
José Fernando Rodríguez
José Fernando Rodríguez, Guillermo Zouain
José Fernando Rodríguez
Alain Muñiz, José Fernando Rodríguez
A girl in the pool, close to the lens. She’s asking for a towel. White noise. A boy pretending to be a chicken hops through the room, picking at the mattress with his head. José Fernando Rodríguez reconstructs the states of his youth in “Adolescence”, using residual images of past times, hybrid images: excessive hormone boosts and the first fears of death, a girl in the pool and a dry run in the children’s rooms. The images in-between are missing. There’s only white noise.

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2017
Advantage Mohammad Kart

A man yet or still a boy? This is the pivotal decision in a home for addicts in Tehran, where you have to face up to your dependencies if you want to get off the streets for good.

Advantage

Documentary Film
Iran
2016
68 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Mohammad Kart, Aban Askari
Mohammad Kart
Saba Neda’ee
Javad Razzaqizadeh
Esma’il Alizadeh
Mohammad Kart
Mehdi Kart
There is a place in Tehran where you learn whether you’re a man or still a boy. At least that’s how a member of the staff at a home where several dozens of men have found shelter to escape life on the street describes it. They all share a problem with addiction, injected heroin and cocaine, lived on garbage and left their families. In the home they want to get back on their feet, detoxify and learn to lead abstinent lives. Mohammad Kart is there when Hossein is admitted, a young man who has been mainlining for two years and promises to obey the rules. “I’ll remind you in 3 days.” Cold turkey comes next. Hossein and several others squirm in a room, sweat, have spasms. At last he is welcomed in a festive ceremony. He is even asked to play in the home’s football team, who are preparing for a prominent opponent.

Kart combines light episodes of community and hope with individual trips to nocturnal shelters on the outskirts of the Iranian capital. Images of misery alternate with images of sunrays shining into the dormitory in the morning, while bracing music is to lend support at the start of a new day.

Carolin Weidner

Alien

Documentary Film
Turkey
2017
14 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Sareh Molahoseini, Morteza Atabaki
Morteza Atabaki
Morteza Atabaki
Ehsan Vaseghi
Hasan Mahdavi
And from silence and darkness awakes … an all-moving, all-turning being. White, yellow and golden spindles in vigorous synchronised rotation. Twirling in shiny pirouettes in an old workshop full of nooks and crannies, they spin the big thread, sacrificing themselves. In the midst of the heat and noise of the historic machine souls a hunched old man is working, sometimes a cog, sometimes the conductor.

André Eckardt



Honorary Mention Healthy Workplaces Film Award

International Programme 2017
An Echoing Memory of a Tongue Arash Akhgari

In his films the painter, draftsman and animation filmmaker Arash Akhgari keeps returning to a radical inner perspective.

An Echoing Memory of a Tongue

Animated Film
Canada
2017
2 minutes
subtitles: 
VO_English

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Arash Akhgari (Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema)
Arash Akhgari
Ashkan Behzadi
Arash Akhgari
Arash Akhgari
Arash Akhgari
In his films the painter, draftsman and animation filmmaker Arash Akhgari keeps returning to a radical inner perspective, for example in the “insomniac thoughts of a fearful mind”. This film is about the experience of an involuntarily fragmented act of speech: stuttering. Expressionist drawings, string instruments and broken repetitions of sounds illustrate the struggle of finding one’s language.

Esther Buss
International Programme 2017
An Unforgettable Farewell Cláudio de Oliveira Marques

Dark thoughts lie over this film like fog over a city. You can’t look through them, you can’t touch them. Suicide and the life that led up to it, the grief that follows and the suicide note read aloud

An Unforgettable Farewell

Documentary Film
Netherlands
2017
23 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Denise van den Hoek, Bente Mars
Cláudio de Oliveira Marques
Maryna Boiko
Michel Rosendaal
Nikki Gorissen
Ruben Dekker, Karlijn Hendriksen
Dark thoughts lie over this film like fog over a city. You can’t look through them, you can’t touch them. Suicide and the life that led up to it, the grief that follows and the suicide note read aloud – in intimate conversations with concerned persons and surviving friends and family members, Cláudio de Oliveira Marques looks for ways to make such extremes communicable. Could they have known? Should they have known? And, most of all: would they have wanted to know?

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2017
Anne Clark – I’ll Walk Out Into Tomorrow Claus Withopf

An eloquent and visually stunning look at the life and work of the New Wave icon whose songs fill the dance floors until today – even if you would probably overlook her if you met her in the street.

Anne Clark – I’ll Walk Out Into Tomorrow

Documentary Film
Germany
2017
81 minutes
subtitles: 
German

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Gerd Haag (TAG/TRAUM Filmproduktion), Mike Beilfuss (Kinescope Film), Torsten Frehse (Neue Visionen Filmproduktion), Claus Withopf (Claus Withopf Filmproduktion)
Claus Withopf
Nina Werth, Daniel Meinl, Claus Withopf
Christopher Tworuschka, Claus Withopf
Claus Withopf
Michel Klöfkorn, Johannes Grehl, Hagen Röhrig
Anne Clark eludes all categories and stereotypes. She sees herself as a poet and spoken word artist while she is celebrated around the world as a pioneer of electronic music and New Wave and regarded by many as one of the trailblazers of Techno. Having grown up with the DIY punk ethics of the late 1970s, she became active early on, even though it wasn’t always easy to make her way in the male-dominated music industry. Her very first singles, “Sleeper in Metropolis” and “Our Darkness” became classics that influenced generations of musicians.

Despite her cult following, the film shows Clark as an approachable and likeable person who allows deep insights into her work and comments with great lucidity on social political issues. Mixing interviews, archival footage and concert recordings, the film uses graphics to make language itself the focus of attention. The distinct characteristics of Clark’s works are gradually unfolded: an oeuvre that is absolutely unique in both music and literature without ever getting lost in l’art pour l’art. This portrait, which invites the audience to (re-)discover Anne Clark as an extraordinary artist, is also a powerful plea for remaining true to oneself as a person and as an artist.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize
International Programme 2017
Before the Bridge Lewis Wilcox

Clear views from a driving car of post-apocalyptic scenarios: ruined factory buildings, dilapidated houses, heavy air. A fleeting glance at Trump’s America – and the future of the economy.

Before the Bridge

Documentary Film
USA
2017
18 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Savannah Mark
Lewis Wilcox
Arthur King & The Night Sea
Lewis Wilcox
Lewis Wilcox
David Carson
Jesse Herrera
Clear views from a driving car of post-apocalyptic scenarios: ruined factory buildings, dilapidated houses, heavy air. Then: dust-free shots of huge storehouses, robot arms, forklifts. A catalogue of disaster images meets a science fiction fantasy. No Hollywood superlativism but the effects of the automation and robotisation of the working world. The example: Indiana. A fleeting glance at Trump’s America – and the future of the economy.

Lukas Stern



Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2017

Body of Crime

Documentary Film
Brazil
2017
73 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Pedro Rocha, Diego Hoefel
Pedro Rocha
Juliane Peixoto
Frederico Benevides
Diego Hoefel
Paulo Ribeiro
One manifestation of Ivan’s burden is strapped around his leg: an electronic anklet that monitors his location. The critical moments come at night when he ought to be with his family, is under a curfew, but hears voices whispering ideas that seem realisable only outside the house – and therefore outside the law. Ivan is a tiger behind bars whose stride becomes more restless every day. He’s also plagued by an imaginary scenario: he knows men who got rid of the beeping devices and are now free. And he knows others whose attempts to free themselves failed. The consequence: back to prison. Ivan balances between Scylla and Charybdis – an excitement that has long become resentment and calls for a solution.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award

Bohemia, IA

Documentary Film
Germany,
USA
2017
30 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Angelo Wemmje (Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln)
Angelo Wemmje
Angelo Wemmje
Angelo Wemmje
Angelo Wemmje
90 per cent of the “Corn State” Iowa are used for agriculture. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the “natives” this film focuses on are naive hillbillies. They make music and take Polaroid pictures, watch lectures on quantum physics on YouTube or discuss whether Elvis or Picasso is more “goth”. Buddy Holly’s “Listen to Me” drifts over from a cornfield – and Iowa’s other attribute of “Swing State” suddenly takes on a different meaning.

Esther Buss
International Programme 2017
Burka Songs 2.0 Hanna Högstedt

A performance against the French ban on face veils becomes the starting point of a multifaceted examination of (structural) racism and (activist) arrogance.

Burka Songs 2.0

Documentary Film
Sweden
2017
45 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Hanna Högstedt, Archana Khanna
Hanna Högstedt
Annika Busch, Maja Kekonius
Hanna Högstedt, Annika Ivarsson
Hanna Högstedt
Gustaf Berger
After a nationwide debate wearing a face veil was legally banned in France in 2011. The supporters argued that the veil was opposed to the values of the republic: equality of the sexes and freedom from religious oppression. The Swedish filmmaker Hanna Högstedt believes that this is populist symbolic politics and decides to act in a performance on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées that she has recorded on film: dressed in a black burka she sings the French national anthem at the top of her voice.

The reactions are not as expected. “Burka Songs 2.0” is Högstedt’s way of coming to terms with what happened during the filming and what reflections this triggered. She describes how difficult it is to find an attitude towards a political rhetoric regarded as dishonest and courting the masses without being drawn into the maelstrom of attributions herself. She realises that she won’t find satisfactory answers to her questions and decides to make her perplexity the starting point of this film. Högsted’s perspective is changed by talking to people who experience racism – with no intention to provoke – in their daily life. The Swedish filmmaker works her way through the ambivalence of her subject and at last reaches the conclusion that her own actions were – and are – not without presumption either.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann