Film Archive

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Camagroga

Camagroga
Alfonso Amador
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Spain
2019
111 minutes
Catalan,
Spanish
subtitles: 
English

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Alfonso Amador
Xavier Crespo
Alfonso Amador
Alfonso Amador
Alfonso Amador
Sergi Dies
Jorge Salvà
José Serrador
Carles Dènia
Pep Gimeno
Miquel Gil

The Huerta Valenciana is a unique cultural landscape of fields and plantations. For generations this region, mainly planted with perennially rotating crops of tigernuts, artichokes and onions, was regarded as the vegetable garden of Spain. “Camagroga” is a filmic elegy about peasant pride and how it is inscribed in the physiognomies, gestures and postures of the people behind these agricultural products.

Tardor, as autumn is called in the Valencian regional language, is the season when the tigernut straw is burned on the fields to make the winter harvest of the nut-sized bulbs easier. Antonio Ramon and his daughter Inma run a farm of just under four hectares north of Valencia – hardly a profitable size nowadays. And yet they apply a surfeit of care and traditional knowledge to their products, seemingly following the impulses of their vegetative nerve system rather than a deliberate programme. Ever since their fields were also identified as prime real estate in the development plan of the expanding provincial capital, however, they have known that the battle zone has already reached their barn door.
Ralph Eue
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
#
Natur in Bearbeitung
Rural vs. Urban
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Children

Yeladim
Ada Ushpiz
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Israel
2020
128 minutes
Arabic
subtitles: 
English

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Ada Ushpiz
Ada Ushpiz
Philippa Kowarsky
Philippa Kowarsky
Channel 8
NFCT
Danor Glazer
Bilal Saed
Neta Braun
Aviv Aldema
Avi Balleli

There are children, too, among the Palestinian insurgents. For some time now, the Israeli side has observed minors who take an active part in an Intifada, especially with knives. They are harshly dealt with: prison, hardly any judiciary support. Ada Ushpiz, filmmaker and journalist, comes surprisingly close to some of the Palestinian families concerned. She has accompanied the dubious insurgents over several years and witnessed terrible pressure.

Freshly released from prison, 12-year-old Dima encounters a crowd of television people. A few months ago, she was caught with a knife. The attack was said to be aimed at Jewish Israelis. Now, in a frenzy of camera flashes, her mother stands close by her side. But instead of offering protection she assumes the role of an agitator, demanding that her daughter report how she was treated by the Israelis. But Dima remains silent. Her family describes the pubescent girl as mentally handicapped. Dareen is younger than Dima and lives with her brothers, father and a few snakes in the immediate vicinity of their Israeli neighbours. Soldiers stalk the house, sometimes stones fly, Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service, is allegedly involved. In her astonishing film, Ushpiz shows a life in constant tension. Her approach is unapologetic and familiar.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
#
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Zustand der Welt
Family Ties
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International Competition 2020
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Considering the Ends Elsa Maury
Shepherdess Nathalie learns what it means to kill with one’s own hands. Her process of development turns out to be a holistic learning experience: about responsibility, care and knives.
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Considering the Ends

Nous la mangerons, c’est la moindre des choses
Elsa Maury
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Belgium,
France
2020
67 minutes
French
subtitles: 
English, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

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Elsa Maury
Cyril Bibas
Luc Reder
Olivier Burlet
Javier Packer-Comyn
Philippe Cotte
Marc Siffert
Mathieu Cauville
Loïc Villiot
Galaad Germa
Willy Boutet
Christian Tessier
Elsa Maury
Geoffroy Cernaix
Pauline Piris-Nury
Martin Flament
Elsa Maury
Nathalie Savalois

The vultures are circling over the Cevennes, the south-eastern part of the French Massif Central. They are part of the holistic cycle of becoming and passing away which shepherdess Nathalie seeks to come closer to. Because the vultures are gnawing at the remains of her beloved animals. She considers herself responsible not only for their lives, but also for their death. Elsa Maury’s film is an unequivocal testimony to what it means to wield the fatal knife oneself.

The sounds made by a ewe when a lamb is born seem almost human. And when a little later the newborn turns out to be unwilling to live it seems as if one could detect pain in the mother’s eyes. The shepherdess Nathalie’s empathic look at her flock was transferred directly to the viewer. Each animal here has its own name, each has a biography that Nathalie knows by heart. And it’s ultimately up to her to finally decide when the end of a sheep is near. In diary-like sequences we learn about her feelings, take part in a difficult process of development which results in new self-confidence, perhaps even new wisdom. Elsa Maury shows a perennial school of killing and death. She leaves the events uncommented, but achieves an intensity through images and editing that stays with us for a long time.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
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Natur in Bearbeitung
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Rural vs. Urban
Small Worlds, Big People
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Downstream to Kinshasa

En route pour le milliard
Dieudo Hamadi
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Belgium,
DR Congo,
France
2020
90 minutes
Lingala,
Swahili
subtitles: 
English

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Dieudo Hamadi
Quentin Laurent
Frédéric Féraud
Dieudo Hamadi
Aurelien Bodinaux
Stephan Riguet
Dieudo Hamadi
Hélène Ballis
Catherine Catella
Sylvain Aketi
Dieudo Hamadi
Les Zombies de Kisangani

In the summer of 2000 Ugandan and Rwandan troops fought a devastating battle in Kisangani. The International Court of Justice sentenced Uganda to pay one billion U.S. dollars to the civilian victims. After almost twenty years of waiting in vain, some of them set out for Kinshasa to enforce their legal claim. The physical and theatrical power of their mission both drives and radiates from this film.

Dieudo Hamadi has given the women and men he is about to follow down the Congo a visually confident and assured exposition. Gathered on an inky black stage, they look at us and sing: of blood spilled, of money forgotten. Then the march of the maimed sets itself in motion, on crutches, with prostheses, past the nearby pits of the dead and out into the country. Every metre covered is an act of rebellion. When the procession of beggars, who rightly won’t tolerate this designation, finally climbs the stairs of the National Parliament, iconic scenes of Soviet revolutionary cinema seem to shine through. But the crowd that is moving here is different. Its individual bodies push back with all their weight both against the casual shrug of the shoulders of political routine and the carelessly rounded calculations of loss and equivalent value of the arithmetic of war.
Sylvia Görke
#
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Rural vs. Urban
Small Worlds, Big People
Zustand der Welt
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International Competition 2020
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Girls/Museum Shelly Silver
Girls in an exhibition: visitors aged between seven and nineteen contemplate individual works in the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts and offer spontaneous interpretations.
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Girls/Museum

Girls/Museum
Shelly Silver
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2020
74 minutes
German,
Dari
subtitles: 
English, German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Richard Schnupp
Oranotha Erway
Johanna M. Beyer
Clara Wieck
Annemarie Riemer

Art is in the eye of the beholder, they say. Shelly Silver’s beholders range in age from seven to nineteen years. They focus their attention on artworks in the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts. Their spontaneous interpretations of the works allow for resonances: both, the paintings as well as their young reviewers, reveal different things about themselves, depending on the point of view.

“Shit that I’m not a boy”, a teenager exclaims as she stands in front of the painting of a rich young man who lived centuries before her, perhaps in the Netherlands. Because boys are allowed much more, she says. Playing basketball outside, for example. Shelly Silver’s hypothesis is as simple as it is fruitful: The outside perspective will always lead back to one’s own perspective. The director’s questions and suggestions are not revealed. But she picks out details of the paintings to substantiate and illustrate statements – or put them up for discussion again. Silver’s finesse lies in the montage. Meanwhile, the timeline of the exploration runs from the past to the present, from the pierced feet of Jesus Christ via a reclining naked nymph by Lucas Cranach the Elder to the more recent photography of the Swedish artist Arvida Byström.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize, DEFA Sponsoring Prize, Young Eyes Film Award
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Small Worlds, Big People
Regional (Heeme)
Zustand der Welt
Umverteilen und Mitreden
International Competition 2020
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Joy Daria Slyusarenko
Bliss and misery are close together in the travelling circus. Full of wit and tragedy, “Joy” tells of ambitious clowns, painful relationships and the rough life behind the scenes.
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Joy

Dzhoy
Daria Slyusarenko
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Russia
2020
63 minutes
Russian
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Daria Slyusarenko
Marina Razbezhkina
Daria Slyusarenko
Daria Slyusarenko
Daria Slyusarenko
Daria Slyusarenko
Daria Slyusarenko

The Russian travelling circus “Joy” promises joy to the outside world – and not just in name. Behind the scenes the tone is rather harsh, unless there’s a party going on: life is dominated by jealousies, small and bigger cruelties. In a debut film full of wit and tragedy, Daria Slyusarenko portrays great artistic dreams in a small tent and four people who, each in their own way, cope with life in the circus.

Their permanent tour takes them through small towns where only a few kids are still enthusiastic about snakes, parrots and clown acts. Otherwise the tiers remain mostly empty. The tent is run-down, the animals are tired, “Joy” has seen better days. The nomadic life isn’t easy for the artists either: putting the tent up and down, in pouring rain and stormy weather, the only retreat is the mobile home and money is tight at every turn. The show still goes on, without artistic compromises. When Yana turns up, after many years of working in Europe, and becomes clown Valeriy’s new partner, enthusiasm spreads. While the two rehearse ambitiously, the animal dressage couple struggles to keep up the status quo and the stars of the ring together. A portrait of bittersweet circus life that comes amazingly close to its characters.
Marie Kloos
Nominated for MDR Film Prize, Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
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Small Worlds, Big People
Family Ties
Liebe/ ohne Liebe
Sinn und Sein
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Roman’s Childhood

Romano vaikystė
Linas Mikuta
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Lithuania
2020
50 minutes
Lithuanian,
Russian
subtitles: 
English, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

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Linas Mikuta
Linas Mikuta
Kristina Sereikaitė
Linas Mikuta
Linas Mikuta
Jonas Maksvytis
Jonas Zagorskas
David Hilowitz

Romanas, his parents Aivaras and Diana and their little dog live in a cramped place in the Lithuanian harbour town of Klaipėda. Linas Mikuta takes an unprejudiced look at a loving family structure where dreams are interpreted, worries are shared and news negotiated over cigarettes and cake, while at the same time the narrative of a timeless childhood summer full of headstands by the side of the road, somersaults on the beach and afternoons in box houses unfolds.

With his friends Romanas roams through ruins, neighbourhoods and along the coast. The eight-year-old conquers his own worlds, lives in his own time. The result is a portrait of a wealth of relationships and resilience at a precarious place that’s completely of the moment. Everyday rituals, care and community are captured in humorous, warm tableaus and light-drenched exterior shots. This film knows about the great love in small things. It knows about pop songs that hit you right in the heart, about tears you are not left alone with, and that playing with the waves between the green sea and the white sand means all the world.
Djamila Grandits
Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award, Prize of the Interreligious Jury, MDR Film Prize, FIPRESCI Prize
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Family Ties
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Small Worlds, Big People
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International Competition 2020
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The Annotated Field Guide of Ulysses S. Grant Jim Finn
The American Civil War dissected: a distinctive 16mm film and animated war board games reveal a divided nation full of rebels.
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The Annotated Field Guide of Ulysses S. Grant

The Annotated Field Guide of Ulysses S. Grant
Jim Finn
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
USA
2020
61 minutes
English
subtitles: 
None

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jim Finn
Cat Mazza
Jim Finn
Jim Finn
Jim Finn
Dean De Matteis
Jim Finn
Alexander Panos
Jesse Stiles
Colleen Burke

Numerous films deal with the American Civil War, which raged between the northern Union States and the southern Confederate States from 1861 to 1865. One general who rose to become a war icon and the 18th president of the United States was Ulysses S. Grant. Director Jim Finn uses board games to reconstruct the battles and documents a divided nation full of rebellious factions.

“Bloody Pond” or “The Flaming Forest” are the names given to places below the Mason-Dixon Line where many cruel and confusing clashes took place within a few years. Today only cemeteries, memorial plaques, wax museums and obelisks bear witness to episodes of the war that was to be of such vital importance for the shape of the USA today. Jim Finn’s 16mm shots are a detailed inspection of various stations to which he adds macabre anecdotes and trenchant descriptions. Statesmen, ideologists and warlords haunt the forests, ruins and riverbanks here – like the incidences of light which make the footage light up time and again. There is beauty in these images, in the trickling synthesizer melodies, too, or in the stop motion animations of complicated board games. This beauty has little in common with the dark underpinning of this conflict: deep-seated racism and an adamant belief in the right to own slaves.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
#
Zustand der Welt
Poesie und Grenzgänge
Rural vs. Urban
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International Competition 2020
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The Poets Visit Juana Bignozzi Laura Citarella, Mercedes Halfon
When the poet Juana Bignozzi dies, she bequeaths the intellectual property of her work to the young author Mercedes, along with prosaic but even more poetic duties.
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The Poets Visit Juana Bignozzi

Las poetas visitan a Juana Bignozzi
Laura Citarella, Mercedes Halfon
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Argentina
2019
90 minutes
Spanish
subtitles: 
English, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

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Laura Citarella
Mercedes Halfon
Ingrid Pokropek
Inés Duacastella
Agustín Mendilaharzu
Miguel de Zuviría
Alejo Moguillansky
Valeria Fernández
Marcos Canosa

A poet’s life ends and a film begins to carry on her legacy, prosaically at first. When Juana Bignozzi dies in 2015, the intellectual property rights to her work pass to the young author Mercedes Halfon – as the aged lady had decreed. But Mercedes also inherits a refrigerator and a lot of junk that must be cleared out of the orphaned apartment in Buenos Aires. Together with young filmmakers, she transforms the duty into a poetically fulfilling project.

The result is not only an unusual but actually a non-portrait of a poet – and perhaps not even a result. Rather, it is a continuously growing equation of superimposed faces, texts and images that refuses to simply work out. They look at each other as if in rear-view mirrors: Juana Bignozzi, who speaks to the young from her writings full of humble reverence, and her young female admirers who, reading, filming and browsing through Bignozzi’s legacy, feel almost embarrassed by these declarations of love. What confidence the deceased had in them! What tremendous expectations she had of those whose mother or grandmother she could have been! Their own poetic achievements seem too half-hearted to Mercedes and Laura to ever live up to such advance praise. But even as they doubt, they are already deep into it.
Sylvia Görke
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
#
Family Ties
Poesie und Grenzgänge
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Small Worlds, Big People
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Their Algeria

Leur Algérie
Lina Soualem
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Algeria,
France,
Switzerland,
Qatar
2020
70 minutes
Arabic,
French
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lina Soualem
Marie Balducchi
Karima Chouikh
Palmyre Badinier
Anna Berthollet
Gladys Joujou
Julie Tribout
Rémi Durel

After 62 years of marriage Aïcha Soualem is on her own again. Mabrouk, whom she has left, is nevertheless supplied by her daily with food and sugar cubes. Director Lina Soualem is interested in the relationship between her grandparents, who, as the last remaining Algerians in Thiers, France, look back on an eventful past. An empathic investigation all the way back to their native village of Laaouamer which leaves room for ambiguous emotions.

“Soualem” is the password which not only enables Lina Soualem to unlock the tiny, snow-covered village full of cousins in Algeria, which her grandparents left a long time ago. In a sense, “Soualem” is also the title of this gentle investigation of a granddaughter. And Laaouamer, that little place in Algeria, is only the final destination of a long journey which may be narrated via geographical coordinates but interweaves them closely with biographical and emotional ones. Aïcha and Mabrouk rarely talk about themselves. Instead, self-affixed wall badges speak: “The world’s best mom lives here” or “Welcome to the world’s best grandma’s”. To learn more about the couple, whose lives were shaped by French colonialism, Lina Soualem uses private photos and videos. Her investigation is full of love: persistent, but never prying.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
#
Family Ties
Rural vs. Urban
Liebe/ ohne Liebe
Small Worlds, Big People
Download Film Details PDF
International Competition 2020
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Truth or Consequences Hannah Jayanti
A privately operated spaceport in the desert of New Mexico inspires dreams of tourism to new worlds. In the nearby small town, life plans are more modest.
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Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences
Hannah Jayanti
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
USA
2020
103 minutes
English
subtitles: 
None

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hannah Jayanti
Sara Archambault
Hannah Jayanti
Alexander Porter
Alexander Porter
Hannah Jayanti
Hannah Jayanti
Scott Hirsch
Bill Frisell

Forty kilometres outside the small town of Truth or Consequences in New Mexico, in the middle of the desert, lies “Spaceport America”, the first private space mission launch centre. People there have been dreaming of tourism in space for the past decade. Hannah Jayanti observes the people of the town who live in the shadow of such great ideas. She tells of tiger bites and scrap collectors, of sparkling stones, of trailer life and how painfully the past still affects the present.

What starts out as a tale about humanity’s great plans gradually turns into one of the dreams and stumbling blocks of human beings. Step by step, the film approaches its characters and unfurls into a reflection of what remains of a life. In addition to documentary and historical footage, the director also uses virtual reality techniques. When the camera travels through 3D simulations of empty streets and houses you feel that something long gone is made tangible again – like an expedition to a ghost town, at a time when the population will have long since left the planet in spaceships. But the created images remain patchy, the objects are captured only in spots, almost as if this was a map of the stars.
Marie Kloos
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
#
Rural vs. Urban
Zustand der Welt
Poesie und Grenzgänge
Natur in Bearbeitung
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Vicenta

Vicenta
Darío Doria
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Argentina
2020
69 minutes
Spanish
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Darío Doria
Felicitas Raffo
Pamela Livia Delgado
Virginia Croatto
Darío Doria
Luis Camardella
Florencia Gattari
Darío Doria
Darío Doria
Darío Doria
Federico Esquerro
Ezequiel Menalled
Liliana Herrero

A human tragedy on the backdrop of a legal and medical scandal which in 2007 lead to legal action against the Argentinean state before the UN Human Rights Commission and a verdict of guilty in 2011. The mentally and physically handicapped 16-year-old girl Laura had been raped by her uncle in 2006. But a legal abortion which had already been officially granted at the request of her mother, Vicenta, was opposed by lawyers and doctors.

“Vicenta” conveys the details of this truly incredible imposition in the form of a fable in which plasticine figures seem rooted to the spot in a Kafkaesque nightmare. Only the camera moves through this scenery, usually in travellings across the set-up. Very occasionally excerpts of newscasts, broadcast from small monitors on the stage of this “puppet show”, authenticate the narrative. And yet the whole spectrum of conceivable feelings between being openly paralysed with shock and proud self-empowerment of the mother who stubbornly fights for justice for herself and her daughter is conveyed and made comprehensible. In the above-mentioned UN ruling, the Argentinean state was accused of having fundamentally disregarded the recognised right to freedom from inhuman, cruel and degrading treatment in the case of Laura and her mother Vicenta.
Ralph Eue
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
#
Family Ties
Umverteilen und Mitreden
Zustand der Welt
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