Film Archive

Countries (Film Archive)

Next Masters Competition 2019
Never Whistle Alone Marco Ferrari

A cool and therefore all the more breathtaking study of corruption and truth that presents courageous whistleblowers from the “back benches”. Political, abysmal, activating.

Never Whistle Alone

Documentary Film
Italy
2019
74 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Priscilla Robledo, Francesco Crespi
Marco Ferrari
Francesco Leali, Alessandro Branca
Stefano Govi
Neil Devetti
Syd Golding
Marco Ferrari
Vito Martinelli
Ever since Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden everyone knows what a whistleblower is. Betraying secrets for a good cause brings a lot of honour to those who dare expose criminal systems. But becoming a whistleblower also means you lose your (former) life, risk mobbing, persecution and exile.

Director Marco Ferrari talks to seven people from his home country Italy who took this decision, asking them about their motives and the consequences – on a personal level as well as with regard to the crimes they denounced. Even if each of the interviewees worked up the individual courage to denounce system failures, their stories are uncannily similar: Anyone who gets out and does the right thing is immediately faced with aggression, intimidation, corruption, harassment and isolation. The police and judiciary seem not even close to being able to protect whistleblowers adequately respectively deal with their information sensibly. Ferrari doesn’t emphasize the individual characteristics but shows, by means of deliberately exaggerated stagings, what universal patterns of intimidation, cover-ups and thoughtlessness corrupt organisations are founded on. An important, tense film, whose protagonists seem like a blueprint for more moral courage at the desk.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Next Masters Competition 2019
Night Has Come Peter Van Goethem

Film snippets from the Royal Belgian Film Archive – combined into a fascinating monologic discourse about individual and collective loss of memory and transience.

Night Has Come

Documentary Film
Belgium
2019
56 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Peter Krüger
Peter Van Goethem
Guy Van Nueten
Peter Van Goethem
Peter Van Goethem, Peter Verhelst
Frederik Van de Moortel, Guy De Bièvre, Aiko Devriendt
According to recent medical findings, viruses can also cause a weakening or even loss of memory. Such an epidemic is the speculative narrative foundation of this film. The suspicion is uttered by the sonorous voice of an old man, who wakes up after having lost his memory in an unspecified incident and goes on a mental journey into his childhood. But the perspective soon widens to include collective life and conspiracy theories directed against the government – even questions about the last things.

The images illustrating this narrative were made between 1927 and 1998 and are now restored digital copies in the holdings of the Royal Belgian Film Archive. They cover a spectrum from home movies on the beach to the central iconic events of Brussels history, for example the Nazi deportations or the big fire in the “À l’innovation” department store in 1967. But art films, science films and documents of industrial history are also interwoven – with film aesthetics so homogenised that they are, out of their original contexts, convincingly integrated into the suggestively proposed new narrative logic, while always referencing the past, too.

Silvia Hallensleben
Next Masters Competition 2019
Nothing to Be Afraid Of Silva Khnkanosian

Ever since the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, the still disputed territory is contaminated by landmines. This cautious documentary follows five female de-miners on their risky job.

Nothing to Be Afraid Of

Documentary Film
Armenia,
France
2019
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Stéphane Jourdain
Silva Khnkanosian
Vahagn Ter-Habobyan
Justine Hiriart
Paruyr Baghyan
Five women plod their way through a steep forest: They are defusing landmines for an NGO. Ever since the war in Nagorno-Karabakh at the beginning of the 1990s, the still disputed region is contaminated. Care and patience are imperative in this work, the effects of habituation their enemy. Speed would be a category with fatal consequences here: Every booby trap they overlook can cost a human life.

This observational documentary adapts its narrative rhythm to the slowness and meticulousness of the risky job. The women’s eyes are directed to the ground where they patiently search every square inch and dig up suspicious spots. The camera observes their activities with the same attention, frequently focusing on details. Gradually, the systematics of the processes are revealed. Only the beeping of the metal detectors and an occasional whistle disturb the silence. The forest seems silent after the long years of war. But then we are startled by the controlled detonation of a detected mine. What a relief for everyone to spend the evening in their shared accommodation in a relaxed atmosphere! Cooking and eating together brings some ease. The ever-present fear is left behind in the forest for a moment.

Annina Wettstein