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Opening Film 2021
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Der Rhein fließt ins Mittelmeer Offer Avnon
After ten years in Germany, the filmmaker returns to Israel and takes stock of that time, but also looks at his homeland from a changed perspective.
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The Rhine Flows to the Mediterranean Sea

Der Rhein fließt ins Mittelmeer
Offer Avnon
Opening Film 2021
Documentary Film
95 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Offer Avnon
Offer Avnon
Offer Avnon

After ten years in Germany, where he acquired “the beautiful language of the former arch enemy”, the filmmaker returns to Haifa and takes stock of the time spent between the rivers Rhine and Neisse, but also looks at his home from a changed perspective. The result is a complex montage of images from those years: conversations, landscapes and objects, sought and found in Germany, Poland and Israel.

“The Rhine Flows to the Mediterranean Sea” attempts the Sisyphean task of a localization between philo- and anti-Semites, the anxious and the indifferent, those who remember and those who suppress. Not an image or sentence that doesn’t trigger a multitude of associations. The devil is in the detail: This film opens our eyes to this. What are the traumas that perpetuate the Holocaust, which the filmmaker, son of a Polish survivor, was unable to forget, “never, not for a single day” in all those years in Germany? What mechanisms of suppression are at work among the relatives of the perpetrators, of the victims? How is the perception, the mind, the memory of the individual shaped by belonging to a nation, a religion or political group? Offer Avnon gives fragmentary answers and each raises new questions. The search for the “uncanny” he began with his film is far from over.
Christoph Terhechte
Redistribution and Having a Say
Opening Film 2018
Meeting Gorbachev Werner Herzog, André Singer

An artist and a statesman talk freely about everything under the sun, Chernobyl and German Reunification and, last but not least, Mikhail Gorbachev and Werner Herzog.

Meeting Gorbachev

Documentary Film
91 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lucki Stipetić, Svetlana Palmer
Werner Herzog, André Singer
Nicholas Singer
Yuriy Burak, Richard Blanshard
Michael Ellis
Werner Herzog
Vladimir Rizun, Vasiliy Amochkin, Simon Bishop, Alexander Kuckuck
In terms of realpolitik, these meetings between Mikhail Gorbachev and Werner Herzog might well be termed a summit. And the meetings between the filmmaker and the former leader of the Soviet Union were indeed prepared and executed like summit meetings. Werner Herzog, André Singer and their crew visited the initiator of glasnost and perestroika in his absolute seclusion near Moscow three times over a period of six months.

It’s the first time that Herzog focuses so directly on a politician, though he makes no bones about his admiration for the now 87-year-old statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner. By the same token, it’s a first for Mikhail Gorbachev, too, to let himself be questioned by an artist who avowedly is looking for a sound that’s different from what a professional journalist wants to hear and provoke. In his latest documentary, Herzog follows significant stations of Gorbachev’s political and personal career on a new quest for ecstatic moments behind factual truths.

Ralph Eue