Film Archive

Jahr

Countries (Film Archive)

Lisa, Go Home!

Documentary Film
Estonia,
Lithuania
2012
27 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Uljana Kim, Studio Uljana Kim
Oksana Buraja
Kristina Sereikaite
Oksana Buraja
Oksana Buraja
Giedrius Aleknavicius
Liza has a secret. It will be there, that place somewhere high above where nobody hurts anybody, where everything is beautiful. “That’s where we will live, my family and I.” Liza whispers to herself when she expresses her feelings, which are the focus of Oksana Buraja’s fairly provocative film. Her mother “counts to three”, then the tears must be wiped off and “commands to be merry” are issued. “Standing in the corner” is also part of the daily routine. The girl regularly runs away from home, away from this world of subalterns which is depicted as so deficient, disgusting and horrible that it feels like more than borderline voyeurism. But the focus is always on Liza. We watch her mother and a friend on their tipsy, smoky dancing parties (with men who are barely good enough for partying) from her perspective. Her child’s eyes create idyllic counter-worlds – from the Virgin Mary to a babbling brook. Liza walks barefoot, Liza sings. Liza whispers. Pure innocence. A child. It’s almost a miracle (but then again perhaps not) that she wants to have her family with her “up there” where it’s so nice.

– Barbara Wurm

Little Afghanistan

Documentary Film
Afghanistan
2011
28 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Stéphane Jourdain, La Huit Production
Basir Seerat
Basir Seerat
Laurence Attali
Nasim Karawan, Reza Sahel, Mirwais Wahja, Zahra Sadat, Taj Mohammad Bakhtari
Afghanistan, the never-ending story? Tired of embedded reports about the hardships of the allied professional soldiers’ mission in treacherous enemy country? If the answer is yes, have a look at Qala-e Wahid Street in Kabul – a microcosm that reflects all the misery of this tormented country. Supported by the French Atelier Varant film school, which provides funding for young filmmakers to delve deeply into the social life of their country, Afghan director Basir Seerat observes the daily hardships suffered by ordinary people – in this case the coachmen of the last horse-drawn carriages in Kabul. They are fighting on many fronts: against the growing flood of cars; against shop owners who are sick and tired of the smell of horse piss; against pedestrians, stray dogs, idle local politicians, frequently against each other, and all together against the potholes yawning everywhere. For Qala-e Wahid can only be called a street because it runs between two rows of houses. In reality it’s a rough unpaved dust track in summer and a sludgy mud path in winter. Basir Seerat takes an ambivalent look at this busy Little Afghanistan so ill-suited to the Western modernity prescribed from above: on the one hand there is a great sympathy for the people, their worries, occasionally filthy jokes and rough manners. On the other hand we feel a deep melancholy at the barbarisation of a country whose social structures have dissolved in the chaos left by the war. Afghanistan, so we hear, is standing there with its pants down and its neighbour is a thief. Its people – embedded in permanent crisis.

– Matthias Heeder