Film Archive

International Programme 2018
(M)Other Antonia Hungerland

How does the image of motherhood change when egg donation, surrogate motherhood or adoption add various alternatives to the male-female-intercourse-biology model?

(M)Other

Documentary Film
Germany
2018
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Christopher Zitterbart, Saskia Veigel, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Antonia Hungerland
Markus Zierhofer
Antonia Hungerland
Antonella Sarubbi
Antonia Hungerland
Tim Altrichter, Benedikt Ludwig, Christoph Walter, Luise Hofmann
It’s quite realistic today for a child to have three mothers: an egg donor gives her genes to a baby who is born by a surrogate mother and raised by another woman or a person who may be male and gay. The classic concept of “natural” motherhood reaches its limits here (and elsewhere).

The definition of motherhood is being contested. The general controversy about changing social norms is reflected in the debate about (good) mothers. This discussion, as “(M)Other” very clearly demonstrates, concerns everybody. Both those who have to contend with stereotypes and prejudice as “classic” mothers and those who claim the term even though they do not correspond to the established “model” that stubbornly resists all obvious changes. Antonia Hungerland shows that the seemingly personal is still (or: today more than ever) highly political.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

International Programme 2018
A Life from Death Tuuli Teelahti

Death from the perspective of the attending carers: stylised and tangible. Dying is encircled by life. Sheets are changed, candles are lighted, sheets are changed.

A Life from Death

Documentary Film
Finland
2017
20 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Paria Eskandari, Aalto University, ELO Film School Finland
Tuuli Teelahti
Max Smeds
Tuuli Teelahti, Kai Rintamaa
Tuuli Teelahti
Tarmo Pehkonen
Sound seeps away from the piano, breath from life, focus from the film. A mimesis of dying, stylised, but tangible. Death from the perspective of the attending carers: changing the sheets, holding back tears, having a coffee break, holding fading hands, lighting candles. And once more: changing the sheets, holding back tears, the coffee … life cycles.

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2018
A Transplant François Méthé

Three people are waiting for an organ donation. In delicate but nonetheless explicit images, “A Transplant” documents the miracle of the renewal of a waning life.

A Transplant

Documentary Film
Canada
2018
69 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marie-Claude Morazain
François Méthé
Joseph Marchand
Philippe St-Gelais
Sébastien Goyette
François Méthé
Cyril Bourseault
In life’s holding pattern: Shannon, a young woman, three-year-old Nolan and five-times grandmother Suzanne all need an organ donation. A race against the clock and against death, which approaches rapidly and relentlessly while they slowly move up the waiting list step by step. For patients and relatives, this time of waiting is an ever-changing mixture of the fear of loss and the hope for a future. From this existential state of insecurity, worry and hope, “A Transplant” takes us in delicate but explicit images into the operating room and into the body that is being renewed by a team of doctors and helpers – practiced and level-headed, but also aware of the risks and the responsibility weighing down every movement. A film about the, if you will, uniqueness of life. And about the miracle that occasionally and in dire need it can even escape this uniqueness.

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2018
All Creatures Welcome Sandra Trostel

A creative dive into the CCC hackers’ philosophy, which is not to bemoan the growing digitisation of life but to seize the technology to improve our life.

All Creatures Welcome

Documentary Film
Germany
2018
87 minutes
subtitles: 
German
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sandra Trostel
Sandra Trostel
Thies Mynther
Sandra Trostel, Lilli Thalgott
Sandra Trostel
Jon Frickey
Sandra Trostel, Thies Mynther
Jonas Hummel

A playful and highly informative attempt to describe the anarchic variety of creatures who regularly meet at camps and international conventions under the umbrella of Europe’s biggest hacker association, the Chaos Computer Club. Sandra Trostel looks over the shoulders of nerds, political activists, makers and “other galactic life forms” and shows, complemented by short animated sequences, what it means to regard society not as a given fact but as malleable material there to be “hacked”. Renouncing glorification but revealing a well-developed sense for inner contradictions, the film portrays a (sub)culture whose concerns have long become mainstream.



Luc-Carolin Ziemann



Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize


International Programme 2018
América Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside

The law of responsibility is uncheatable, unquestionable: three brothers from Mexico share the care for their 93-year-old grandmother. A piece of evidence for humanism.

América

Documentary Film
USA
2018
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside
Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside
Erick Stoll
Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside
Christian Giraud
The outer layer consists of kissing and touching. A film wrapped in tenderness, surrounded by gestures of intimacy, sensitivity and warmth. Diego and his two brothers have returned to Colima in Western Mexico to take care of their 93-year-old grandmother. América is the name of this old woman with dreaming eyes and a warm smile, who is bedded and blanketed by the brothers at night, washed and dressed by them in the morning, cosseted, protected, surrounded by them at noon. The brothers’ father is in prison, their economic situation is precarious and the workload boundless. But human dignity and the law of responsibility are unquestionable, uncheatable. Never – whatever the cost, be it money, time, strength or a brawl – would Diego, Rodrigo and Bruno take their grandmother to a nursing home.

The US directors Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside followed the family for a period of three years and are now presenting an intimate debut film that is more than a document of the ethics of responsibility. It’s, and this is what one should call it, a piece of evidence for humanism.

Lukas Stern
International Programme 2018
And Arnaud Thomas Damas

What’s wrong with Arnaud, Thomas Damas wonders, as he is making a film with and about his alcoholic brother. The camera is meant to help him point out things. But what if it suddenly points back?

And Arnaud

Documentary Film
Belgium
2018
25 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sébastien Andres
Thomas Damas
Caroline Marin
Léo Nguyen
Jérôme Swales
Thomas Damas
Louis Martin
A film as an occasion to get closer to someone. In this case, that someone is the director’s brother, Arnaud, who seems to have gotten on the wrong track quite a while ago and has developed an alcohol problem. It affects everything from gay parties with friends to getting pissed on his own in public, on the riverbank, through to lonely sessions in the flat. “We do a thing about me, but what about you?” Arnaud once asks in a drunken stupor.

Carolin Weidner
International Programme 2018
Appalachian Holler Matthias Lawetzky

The end of coal-mining has left the Appalachians with environmental destruction and unemployment. Making music together gives the people something to hold on to and some dignity.

Appalachian Holler

Documentary Film
Germany,
USA
2018
29 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Matthias Lawetzky (Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main)
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
Matthias Lawetzky
You don’t get rich in the Appalachian Mountains. “They’re trying to get thataway, but they usually die before they do,” they say here. The end of coal mining left the inhabitants with its consequential problems, environmental destruction and unemployment. Making music together – if only with spoons – gives the people in one of the remotest spots of the US something to hold on to and some dignity.

Fabian Tietke
International Programme 2018
Ash and Ember Manon Ott, Grégory Cohen

A banlieue film outside of hackneyed stereotypes in which we meet remarkable people. A confident statement on the history of European labour in the past half-century.

Ash and Ember

Documentary Film
France
2018
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Céline Loiseau
Manon Ott, Grégory Cohen
Akosh Szelevényi
Manon Ott, Grégory Cohen
Pascale Hannoyer
Manon Ott, Grégory Cohen
A waking city, presented in majestic black and white and equally sparse and elaborate percussion sounds. Les Mureaux is a banlieue west of Paris, built in the 1960s to house the people coming from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb as close as possible to the great Renault production facility in Flins-sur-Seine. At the time, the formerly state-owned car manufacturer’s hunger for labour was insatiable. You could, if not live well, at least work well here as a labourer. Later, in May 1968, Flins was the site of one of the longest-running factory occupations ever to take place in France.

Today Les Mureaux is ruled by a strange synchronicity of traditions and breaks. Manon Ott and Grégory Cohen meet their protagonists, who exist as contemporary pragmatists, on equal terms, thus bringing out their individual vitality. And what an ear! Testimonies, stories, statements that want to be more than just information, want to be sound, or let’s say: life as lived. Their film creates a collective discourse on the critique of daily life, from the labour struggles of the past to the social insecurity of the modern slaves, unemployed and temporary workers, which is at the same time a condensed testimony on the European social and labour history of the past half-century.

Ralph Eue


Nominated for the Healthy Workplaces Film Award

International Programme 2018
Atmahaú Pakmát Cameron Quevedo

A poetic and political film about border demarcations and their consequences, the struggle for survival of adobe brick makers in the Mexican-US border region and the magic of a river.

Atmahaú Pakmát

Documentary Film
Mexico,
USA
2017
24 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Cameron Quevedo
Jesús Gerdel
Jim Hickcox
Cameron Quevedo
Will Harrell
Everybody’s talking about the planned wall between the US and Mexico, but what’s often overlooked is that this borderline is in itself a construct. In the mid-19th century, Mexico had to accept a massive loss of territory to its powerful northern neighbour. The demarcation line has followed the Rio Grande ever since. A poetic and political film about border demarcations and their consequences, the struggle for survival of adobe brick makers in the Mexican-US border region and the magic of a river.

Annina Wettstein
International Programme 2018
Bay of Plenty Milva Stutz

Yellow, living mass meets on a platform in the ocean. Its primary and secondary sexual characteristics turn out to be transformative. A strange erotic game begins.

Bay of Plenty

Animated Film
Switzerland
2018
12 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Milva Stutz
Milva Stutz
Lucia Cadotsch, Ludwig Wandinger
Milva Stutz, David Schlatter
Milva Stutz, David Schlatter
Milva Stutz
Lucia Cadotsch, Ludwig Wandinger
The tiny island in the ocean becomes a meeting place for two strange yellow figures. They shake their bums and stretch their breasts, sexual characteristics shift, dissolve, re-grow. A continuous transformation that also seems to produce new creatures. Suddenly all are in an ecstasy of love, cuddling and sucking a variety of protuberances, a great amalgamation seems imminent. Equally sexy and bizarre.

Carolin Weidner
International Programme 2018
Carlotta’s Face Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld

Carlotta’s schooldays were like an endless nightmarish labyrinth in search of the right classroom. A drawn animation about facial blindness and the role of art.

Carlotta’s Face

Animated Film
Germany
2018
5 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Fabian Driehorst
Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld
Simon Bastian
Frédéric Schuld
Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld
Frédéric Schuld
Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld
Simon Bastian
Carlotta’s schooldays were like an endless nightmarish labyrinth in search of the right classroom. It was her lonely fate to find it both disturbing and natural to look into the mirror and not be able to recognise her own face. This drawn animation by neuroscientist and filmmaker Valentin Riedl, animated and filmed by co-director Frédéric Schuld, shows how she managed to make her own face recognisable to herself despite a rare disease.

Nadja Rademacher



Awarded with the Mephisto 97.6 Audience Award

International Programme 2018
Chez Jolie Coiffure Rosine Mbakam

The “Jolie” hairdresser’s shop in the Brussels Matonge quarter is a meeting place for African women. They come here to have their hair cut, but also to organise and discuss things and to flirt.

Chez Jolie Coiffure

Documentary Film
Belgium
2018
70 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Geoffroy Cernaix, Rosine Mbakam
Rosine Mbakam
Rosine Mbakam
Geoffroy Cernaix
Rosine Mbakam, Loïc Villiot
Have Rosine come in and don’t let her leave her stuff outside – people really behave like junkies. Rosine follows the invitation, enters and is now an official guest of the tiny “Jolie” hairdressing salon in the Matonge district of Brussels. The women who work and are served here come from Africa. They tell stories of fake passports and escape routes via Libya, Syria or Greece, of families left behind, Belgian men and complicated relationships. The place is like an aquarium. Coloured and dark strands of hair that resemble octopuses are brushed and braided. The shop has glass walls, the sounds of the shopping mall frequently drift in, the door opens and there’s a brief flirtation with a man. In between, the eyelash lengthening glue burns on the lid and a Tontine named “The Glowworms” is founded, a widespread financial tool of solidarity-based economy. The Salon serves as a real and metaphorical link between Africa and Europe. At the same time it is a protective space and a home. Rosine Mbakam, a native of Cameroon herself, came to Belgium in 2007 to study film. This is her second feature-length film as a director.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for the Healthy Workplaces Film Award

Chris the Swiss

Documentary Film
Croatia,
Finland,
Germany,
Switzerland
2018
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Samir (Dschoint Ventschr), Siniša Juričić (Nukleus Film), Heino Deckert (Ma.ja.de.), Iikka Vehkalahti (IV Films Ltd / p.s.72 productions)
Anja Kofmel
Marcel Vaid
Simon Guy Fässler
Stefan Kälin
Simon Eltz
Anja Kofmel
Daniel Hobi, Marco Teufen, Hrvoje Petek
Christian Würtenberg died in Croatia in 1992. Even though the young Swiss had come as a journalist, he was wearing the uniform of an international militia that fought on the Croatian side in the civil war. Why he took up arms has long remained a mystery. His cousin, the filmmaker Anja Kofmel, has confronted the question.

She interviews companions, complementing the documentary footage with dark, pared-down animated sequences which form the film’s narrative structure. Diving deeply into the political turmoil, the film portrays Chris’s path towards joining a group of nationalist mercenaries supported by Opus Dei. A politically explosive film even today, a visually impressive thriller that shows how quickly a person’s attitude can be devastated by war.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize and the MDR Film Prize; Swiss Film Award 2019: Best Documentary, Best Score, Best Editing

International Programme 2018
Curiosity and Control Albin Biblom

People are fascinated by wild beasts. The modes of presenting them cover a spectrum from artfully designed dioramas in museums to more modern and humane zoos.

Curiosity and Control

Documentary Film
Sweden
2018
58 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Adam Marko-Nord, Sara Waldestam
Albin Biblom
Goran Kajfes, David Österberg
Albin Biblom
Bernhard Winkler
Albin Biblom
David Österberg
In the 19th century, dioramas were a kind of predecessor of the movies. Taxidermy animals from distant countries were to be presented in the most lifelike environments possible. The US scientist and sculptor Carl Akeley is considered the father of taxidermy. He created groundbreaking dioramas for the New York Museum of Natural History in the early 20th century. In the 1920s he was the first man to film mountain gorillas and changed from hunter to dedicated animal protectionist. His biography reflects both the social changes in our attitude to animals and technical progress.

Based on a portrait of the pioneering Akeley, “Curiosity and Control” addresses the different ways animals are presented in natural history museums and zoos, critically exploring various perspectives. What is man’s relation to the fauna? It’s marked by curiosity and control: the former drove early scientists to collect, own, and systematise animals since the early expeditions – and preserve them from extinction. Ownership, however, also generates dominance. Is it permissible to keep other species in cages? No matter how “natural” and humane the zoo architecture is: “You will see something that looks like an elephant. But it’s not behaving like a wild elephant,” a zoo director says. Another dilemma.

Annina Wettstein

Daughter’s Mother

Documentary Film
Hungary,
India
2018
26 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

DocNomads European Masters, NoCut Film Collective
Arya Rothe
Arya Rothe
Arya Rothe
Arya Rothe
Isabella Rinaldi, Rudolf Várhegyi, Péter Attila
Ica is still in her prime, but fading. The 65-year-old lady, witty and with a dry sense of humour, increasingly stumbles over memory gaps, though the city offers her a safe banister through daily life. Her daughter Judit patiently tries to fit Ica’s care into her working life and village idyll. Via stops at a dice game, a furniture store and the “Café Alzheimer” she looks for a shared home suited to the different needs of two closely linked women.

André Eckardt
International Programme 2018
Days of Madness Damian Nenadić

Maja and Mladen have lived and suffered through a long-term addiction to psychotropic drugs. In video diary format “Days of Madness” depicts their attempt to win back control of their lives.

Days of Madness

Documentary Film
Croatia,
Slovenia
2018
74 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Oliver Sertić
Damian Nenadić
Miro Manojlović, Filip Sertić
Maja Šćukanec, Mladen Bađun, Damian Nenadić, Srđan Kovačević
Sandra Bastašić
Martin Semenčić
Kventiax, Seroquel, Rivotril, Prazine, Normabel … When Mladen and Maja, in a mix of detachment and anger, list the psychoactive substances that determine their lives and ruin their bodies with toxic side effects, it’s as if they were talking about terribly annoying family members. On top of their long medical history full of spells in hospitals there’s the fact that the real family members, whether long buried at the local cemetery or in the shape of parents scolding them from the next room, won’t surcease them either. In close cooperation with Mladen and Maja, who portray themselves in diary-like video recordings, Damian Nenadić shows two people who were left alone by society in their distress – or whose distress was caused by the latter in the first place. Maja’s borderline personality disorder was diagnosed as a consequence of her transgender identity. Mladen, who returned from the Yugoslavian war with depression, was first sent to a priest by his parents. “Days of Madness” depicts their gradual attempts to win back a little control of a life stolen by psychiatry, family and church. “Why is BPD a disorder and nationalism is not?”

Esther Buss


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize