Film Archive

Sections (Film Archive)

A Sister’s Song

Documentary Film
Canada,
Israel
2018
91 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Danae Elon, Paul Cadieux
Danae Elon
Peter Venne
Danae Elon, Itamar Mendes Flohr
Vincent Guignard, Alexandre Leblanc
Danae Elon
Benoît Dame
Marina and Tatiana moved from Russia to Israel with their family as children. Being immigrants, their arrival in the new country wasn’t easy. This back story resonates in their search for models and identity. The narrative focuses on Marina. As an adolescent her younger sister Tatiana followed her spiritual father to a strict Orthodox convent in Greece. That was twenty years ago. They last saw each other four years ago. Since then, Marina has more and more gained the impression that her sister is unhappy there, and she wants to get her back. But is she responsible for Tatiana’s happiness? How can you understand a close person’s decision that’s in conflict with your own position?

The Canada-based award-winning Israeli director and cinematographer Danae Elon returns once more to her home country for this film. Discretely and yet very much present, she watches the two sisters’ encounter, included only occasionally – but almost like an accomplice – in the protagonists’ conversation. Her tale of the sisters Marina and Tatiana is dramaturgically outstanding and innovative. “A Sister’s Song” – a film about love and loss and the art of following one’s inner voice.

Annina Wettstein

A Strange New Beauty

Documentary Film
USA
2017
51 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver
Shelly Silver, Mike Degen
Entering the comfort zone of a luxury estate in Silicon Valley, inhabited but empty. The first impression: an illusion of Arcadia. A painstakingly created and maintained claim. Though the travails that went into the magnificent appearance of the garden were masterfully concealed and silenced too. Only the things and plants that make up this Arcadia know of its violence. And they have the power to tell us about it! But only those who look and listen closely will hear their ghostly-real voices and the eerie noise behind the silence. From the mouths of ghosts … Thus we learn of the world behind the appearances. A world ruled by dominance and submission. By strategies to overcome fear. And by the antagonism between the “natural” pursuit of happiness of a very few and the collateral damages produced in the process. Because ultimately this film by Shelly Silver is a narrative of barbarianism and how, brilliantly refined, it manages to present itself as strangely new and beautiful – “a strange new beauty” indeed.

Ralph Eue
International Competition (from 2015) 2016
A Young Girl in Her Nineties Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Yann Coridian

Blanche is vegetating in a nursing home, a victim of Alzheimer’s disease – until the choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang wakes this sleeping beauty through dance and she falls in love … enchanting and tender.

A Young Girl in Her Nineties

Documentary Film
France
2016
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marie Balducchi
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Yann Coridian
Hélène Louvart, Yann Coridian
Anne Weil
François Waledisch
Like many old people in nursing homes she seems to have drawn a curtain between herself and the world. Without relatives, in the company of other Alzheimer patients, she hardly remembers her melodious name: Blanche Moreau. But then choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang arrives at the hospital. Thierry incorporates the patients’ movements, gestures and words in his dance and doubly animates them: their bodies and their souls. Among the murmurs of French chansons which, of course, talk of the adventure of love, Blanche awakes from her enchanted sleep. And more than that. “Parlez-moi d’amour” and the handsome, attentive stranger open a space for her in which she can once more get lost – or find herself – in the ecstasy of being in love. For Thierry, visibly moved by this development, the task is to create the right balance through dance.

Holding and trusting each other – that also describes the careful attitude of the director towards the dancers: a successful actress and feature film director, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, in collaboration with Yann Coridian, now delivers a sensitive debut documentary. We learn only what is revealed by the place and situation about the patients’ lives. But in any case the film makes us sense that memories are less about one’s CV than about a reservoir of emotions.

Lars Meyer



Prize of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique 2016

A157

Documentary Film
Iran
2015
70 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Behrouz Nouranipour (Soureh Documentary Centre)
Behrouz Nouranipour
Mehdi Azadi
Behrouz Nooranipour, Kamran Jahedi
Behnam Sheikhahmadi
One of the most horrifying Isis operations was the physical and cultural genocide of the Yezidi Kurds in Iraq. After conquering the Shingal region west of Mossul the terrorist militia began to systematically kill the male population while thousands of children, girls and women were kidnapped, enslaved, forced into marriage or raped. Very few of them managed to escape and the survivors are marked for the rest of their lives. Like the sister Hailin and Roken and their friend Soolaf who live in a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border in the UNHCR tent number 157. A miserable place, cold, rainy and oppressive, like the suffering etched deeply into the girls’ faces.

Iranian filmmaker Behrouz Nouranipour approaches the fate of his protagonists by reducing the visual level almost exclusively to the interior of the tent. This is where the girls huddle day after day, without expectations, alone, without protection. Their memories of the old life and its dreams, of parents and siblings who are lost or dead, and the depictions of the atrocities inflicted on them by the Jihadists evoke an image of dehumanisation that’s deeply harrowing. Who could close their heart to this suffering?

Matthias Heeder


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award

Architektur der Unendlichkeit

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2018
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Brigitte Hofer, Cornelia Seitler
Christoph Schaub
Jojo Mayer
Ramon Giger
Marina Wernli
William Crook
Christoph Schaub, Samuel Ammann
Jan Illing, Jacques Kieffer, Reto Stamm
In Japanese aesthetics, Wabi-Sabi describes a continuous cycle of becoming and passing away. Temporality and age are inherent in every object and creature and, depending on one’s outlook, may transcend to infinity. How can this be imagined? What goes beyond it? The filmmaker Christoph Schaub starts his very personal journey through time and space in his childhood, when his fascination with sacred buildings began – and his wonder at beginnings and ends.

Architecture helps separate the finite and the infinite. It offers protection from what is boundless, at the same time creating a sense of vastness, the narrator claims. Together with architects and artists he explores the magic of sacred spaces, defined here as far more than church buildings. The artist James Turrell, known, among other things, for his “Skyspaces”, reflects on who owns spirituality – fundamental for this film which follows “spiritual life” in architecture and the fine arts, but also in nature, and literally lifts it over and above the limits of thinking. A slightly floating camera immerses us in other-worldly, somnambulistic images, takes us on a sensual and sensing journey through vast spaces, and guides our eye towards the infinity of the starry sky and the depths of the ocean. Past and present, primeval times and light years, it’s all there.

Annina Wettstein

Austerlitz

Documentary Film
Germany
2016
94 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Imperativ Film
Sergei Loznitsa
Sergei Loznitsa, Jesse Mazuch
Danielius Kokanauskis
Sergei Loznitsa
Vladimir Golovnitski
Is this still memorial or already event culture? All those slogans on T-shirts we see every day, from “Cool Story, Bro” to “This Is Your Lucky Day” – what do they stand for when the context is a visit to a concentration camp? Are these misguided messages, errant people? And is “Work Makes You Free” just another slogan that calls for a pose with the selfie stick, either before or behind the gate?

Sergei Loznitsa’s camera is firmly set up at the place where ever new hosts of tourists stream through the site like through a theme park, neither stopping nor trying to connect to their environment. In carefully framed black and white tableaux he gives us, in proven fashion, the time necessary to become aware of every detail within the frame. The camera records several memorial sites (including Sachsenhausen and Dachau) like a single place that reveals nothing, a de-historicised and ultimately nameless sightseeing destination. Even the title of the film refers to the exchangeability of the content. At its centre are the visitors and with them the big issue of our identity and localisation in history. Nonetheless, individual speakers detach themselves from the murmur of the soundtrack; individual faces stand out of the crowd and invite us to take a closer look at the dynamics between the masses and the individual.

Lars Meyer



Golden Dove International Competition 2016

Cahier Africain

Documentary Film
Germany,
Switzerland
2016
119 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

PS Film GmbH, Filmpunkt GmbH
Heidi Specogna
Peter Scherer
Johann Feindt
Kaya Inan
Heidi Specogna
Karsten Höfer, Thomas Lüdemann, Florian Hoffmann, Andreas Turnwald
A film carried by the sad beauty of its images and the deep personal empathy the director feels with her protagonists’ fates. During a research trip to the Central African Republic Heidi Specogna comes across an exercise book. Its contents: photos and statements of 300 women who were raped by Congolese rebels in 2002 – a homemade piece of evidence that forms the starting point of this seven year observation.

In a spectacular operation the book, now the centre of the film, finds its way to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The women’s paths are different. Specogna follows Amzine, a young Muslim, and her 12-year-old daughter Fane, and Arlette, a Christian girl whose knee was shot to pieces by the rebels. The originally planned project to follow the woman on their difficult path back to a kind of normal life is changed when Islamic and Christian militias reappear out of thin air across the country, looting and killing. Once more Amzine, Fane and Arlette, who had just worked their way towards a bit of stability and safety, are forced to flee. As a viewer one must be prepared for this film which offers no comfort, only the women’s incredible will to survive in the face of the fragility of their existence.

Matthias Heeder



Silver Dove International Competition 2016, Prize of the Interreligious Jury 2016;
Nominated for Goethe-Institute Documentary Film Prize 2016

Call Me Tony

Documentary Film
Poland
2017
63 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Klaudiusz Chrostowski, Michał Łuka
Klaudiusz Chrostowski
Wojtek Frycz
Michał Łuka
Sebastian Mialik
Klaudiusz Chrostowski
Olga Pasternak
Al Pacino, Robert De Niro or Dustin Hoffmann – these are the eccentrics, the non-conformists, in Konrad’s opinion. Men with exceptional style and intellect, which is why people can’t help giving them their whole attention. The young Pole feels especially close to Tony Montana, Al Pacino’s character in “Scarface”. At the start of the film he shaves the typical scar into one of his eyebrows. And if he can’t afford a white suite for the closing night ball, he can at least wear a blue one. He also spoons up food supplements, because Konrad is preparing for a bodybuilding competition. He wants to show the world that he’s special, too, that he can do something that will not be lost in the crowd. Konrad wants to stand out and he has clear visions.

Just like Klaudiusz Chrostowski, who frames him with no fear of poses, makes abrupt cuts and by this blows Konrad up to big screen format. When his look over the shoulder after the competition meets the camera, when the bronze makeup runs from his muscles under the shower or when he stands in front of the coffee machine in his leather jacket we see larger-than-life images that Konrad knows how to fill, despite everything.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award, MDR Film Prize
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Camagroga

Documentary Film
Spain
2019
111 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alfonso Amador
Xavier Crespo
Alfonso Amador
Xavier Crespo
Xavier Crespo
Alfonso Amador
Alfonso Amador
Sergi Dies
Jorge Salvà
José Serrador
Carles Dènia
Pep Gimeno
Miquel Gil
The Huerta of Valencia is a privileged spot for Mediterranean agriculture. It has survived to this day, yet in the last decades, it has undergone a process of deterioration.
“The Huerta is dying”, the farmers claim. One of the last farmers is Antonio Ramon. Camagroga follows his and his daughter’s work through a whole year. The film is an elegy of work, land, heritage, and resistance.

Charleroi, the Land of 60 Mountains

Documentary Film
Belgium
2018
126 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Cyril Bibas
Guy-Marc Hianant
Vincent Pinckaers
Simon Arazi
Dominique Goblet
Laszlo Umbreit
Charleroi, former centre of the Western European coal and steel industry. Once also a stronghold of plate glass production. For a long time this was a city on the sidelines, but now it has arrived in the middle of structural change, which, however, as the term suggests, is only provisional again. How is the spirit of community expressed today? Is it articulated on a temporal or spatial level? Horizontal or vertical? Is it athletic or rather artistic? Does it live in the built environment or in the faces and bodies of its inhabitants? Perhaps it’s just a complicated mixture? Or a complicated simplicity?

The Belgian writer, publisher, music producer and filmmaker Guy-Marc Hinant is a professed native “Carolorégien.” And he has set out to compose a complex portrait of his city. Poetic local knowledge with an enormous wingspan. Great events and tiny blind spots, and sometimes one in the other. All in all, an itinerary in the form of an essay along the director’s personal mythology.

Ralph Eue
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Children

Documentary Film
Israel
2020
128 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ada Ushpiz
Ada Ushpiz
Philippa Kowarsky
Philippa Kowarsky
Channel 8
NFCT
Danor Glazer
Bilal Saed
Neta Braun
Aviv Aldema
Avi Balleli
Ada Ushpiz
Ada Ushpiz
The Israeli long occupation from the point of view of Palestinian children: the painful personal stories of three girls and two boys, age 7 to 17, from East Jerusalem and Hebron, open a window to the world of Palestinian minors, trapped in a daily reality of violence, humiliation, and confrontation with soldiers and settlers, and yet remain children in every way. Each child finds their own way to cope and to construct their emotional and political world in an impossible situation of war.
The film combines the intimate experiences of those children. One of them was involved in the “Knife Intifada”, with the constant soundtrack of their lives on TV and social media, conversations at home, and their schools’ educational programs. A portrait of the third generation of occupation.


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Considering the Ends

Documentary Film
Belgium,
France
2020
67 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Elsa Maury
Cyril Bibas
Luc Reder
Olivier Burlet
Javier Packer-Comyn
Philippe Cotte
Philippe Cotte
Marc Siffert
Mathieu Cauville
Loïc Villiot
Galaad Germa
Willy Boutet
Christian Tessier
Elsa Maury
Geoffroy Cernaix
Pauline Piris-Nury
Philippe Cotte
Martin Flament
Elsa Maury
Nathalie Savalois
Nathalie, a shepherdess in the foothills of the Cévennes, learns how to kill her animals. The film follows the gestures of a farmer who loves and eats her sheep with care. She is caught up in a relentless questioning about how to die well for these beings who make us live. What does tenderness taste like?

Das Forum

Documentary Film
Germany,
Switzerland
2019
116 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Christian Beetz, Georg Tschurtschenthaler, Karin Koch, Marcus Vetter
Marcus Vetter
Marcel Vaid
Georg Zengerling
Marcus Vetter, Ana Fernandez Rocha, Michele Gentile
Christian Beetz
Melanie Westphal, Dieter Meyer, Marco Teufen, Jonathan Schorr, Marcus Vetter
Every year in January, the Swiss village of Davos provides the backdrop for the World Economic Forum (WEF). This conference is a meeting of the global economic and political elites. It’s true, the public debates and press conferences have been streamed on the WEF website for a while now, in the spirit of a transparent, albeit suspiciously semi-official, audiovisual protocol – but never in the now 49 years of the WEF’s history was an independent filmmaker allowed any insight into the machinery of the event or behind the facades of the institution.

Over a period of three years, director Marcus Vetter observed the workings of this machinery. He cast a few but highly concentrated looks at the history of the Forum, founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, and now very confidently combines individual biographies, historical moments, logical connections and matters flitting about at the periphery to form the complex picture of a global fabric. Klaus Schwab, 79 today, is pleased with the fabric metaphor, since he himself has repeatedly said that the threads of the world may be coming together at “his” WEF, but that its knots acquire meaning and purpose only when the threads are later redistributed responsibly. This film is about no less than those threads and thus the meaning and purpose of the WEF.

Ralph Eue

Das Kongo Tribunal

Documentary Film
Germany,
Switzerland
2017
100 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Arne Birkenstock, Olivier Zobrist, Sebastian Lemke
Milo Rau
Marcel Vaid
Thomas Schneider
Katja Dringenberg
Milo Rau
Marco Teufen, Jens Baudisch
For more than 20 years, the tortuous civil war in Congo has transformed an area the size of Western Europe into hell on earth. This permanent conflict, also called World War Three because of the direct or indirect involvement of all superpowers, has killed about six million people so far. Director Milo Rau managed, for the first time in the history of this war and in the middle of the combat zone, to hold a symbolic tribunal involving many of the participating parties. His recordings from remote villages and nearly inaccessible mining areas and his factual and focused observation of the trial in a courthouse built specifically for the shooting paint a complex portrait of this exemplary economic war. This documentary examination of a global conflict is not about winning or losing but about the question of what we are willing to pay for the wealth of the First World.

Ralph Eue



Honorary Mention in the International Competition;
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, DEFA Sponsoring Prize

Die Tage wie das Jahr

Documentary Film
Austria
2018
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Othmar Schmiderer
Othmar Schmiderer
Othmar Schmiderer
Arthur Summereder
Angela Summereder, Othmar Schmiderer
Angela Summereder, Arthur Summereder, Othmar Schmiderer
A steady-handed film: a year on an organic farm in the Waldviertel in Lower Austria. Filmed from neither too close nor too far away but at the exactly right distance, portraying life and its various activities and incidents between the house and the stables. There is the ewe that sounds almost human as it gives birth to its lamb. The delicate kids skipping over the straw as if it concealed red-hot stones. The front loader whose long thin arms drive into the hay bales and skewer them. Or watching Elfie, the farmer, prepare glass bottles for labels with a glue stick. In the meantime, her husband Gottfried is setting up a small market stand. And during milking goats as well as people are entertained by historic dance music. Being present at all these processes has a meditative quality, the special rhythm created by a strong but not hectic and very regular beat communicates itself to the viewer and generates enjoyment and hope.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for the Healthy Workplaces Film Award

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Downstream to Kinshasa

Documentary Film
Belgium,
DR Congo,
France
2020
90 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Dieudo Hamadi
Quentin Laurent
Frédéric Féraud
Dieudo Hamadi
Aurelien Bodinaux
Stephan Riguet
Stephan Riguet
Stephan Riguet
Dieudo Hamadi
Hélène Ballis
Catherine Catella
Sylvain Aketi
Dieudo Hamadi
Les Zombies de Kisangani
For two decades, the victims of the Six-Day War in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been fighting in Kisangani for the recognition of this bloody conflict and demanding compensation.
Tired of unsuccessful pleas, they have finally decided to voice their claims in Kinshasa, after a long journey down the Congo River.