Film Archive

Sections (Film Archive)

Arid Zone

Documentary Film
Brazil
2019
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Antônio Junior, Fernanda Pessoa
Fernanda Pessoa
Pedro Santiago
Rodrigo Levy
Germano de Oliveira, Mari Moraga
Fernanda Pessoa
Daniel Turini
Mesa, Arizona, east of Phoenix and about 200 kilometres from the Mexican border, is said to be the most conservative city in the U.S. In 2001, Fernanda Pessoa was an exchange student in Mesa. She was 15 years old at the time. 15 years later she returned, in the weeks before the presidential election won by Donald Trump. Starting with numerous photos of that earlier time, Pessoa searches out people she met as a teenager. She finds a new approach to the United States, is more aware of everything she experiences; after all, she has grown up in the meantime. She conducts an inner dialogue with her former self as she rediscovers this country whose inhabitants are so proud of the fact that it’s theirs: America. The land of firearms and peculiar sports, the land that invented the shopping mall and the Western movie.

Pessoa quotes the philosopher Baudrillard, to whom America seemed like a fiction. With her film, she turns it into an experience of reality that ultimately makes her understand more about her own country: “Our cultural colonialism came to collect the bill.” “Arid Zone” (Arizona) opposes that colonialism with the gentle resistance of precise observation.

Bert Rebhandl



Honorable Mention in the Next Masters Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film.

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Army

Documentary Film
South Korea
2018
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Junho Park
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, David Park
Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Hein Seok
Paulo Vivacqua
Woochul’s face is running with sweat. Another one of those countless parades during which one is supposed to let the gun in one’s hand dance, following a strict choreography. Eternal drill. Permanent exercises. It’s hot and Woochul’s eyes flash with effort and nerves. The military training that’s compulsory for all young South Koreans lasts two years. Director Kelvin Kyung Kun Park himself is haunted until today by his traumatic time as a recruit. In his film, Woochul turns into an alter ego he uses to reflect on himself and Korean society, including the military system.

Ufos play a role, since these are seen with inordinate frequency by soldiers, a fact Park interprets as the expression of a specific mental state. Religion, too. In “Army”, a Christian K-Pop girl band performs no less than twice to frenetic cheering, calling upon their emotionally softened audience to write to them. How many men may actually do this and hope for an answer? Last, but not least, “Army” is about depression, from which both, director and protagonist, suffer in the course of their service. Kelvin Kyung Kun Park reports (and stays silent) in a basic tone of dry empathy. The film is dedicated to all those who lost their lives during military service.

Carolin Weidner

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Next Masters Wettbewerb
Deep Waters Alice Heit

An opulent film essay celebrating autonomous female sexuality. Its attitude and style playfully take up the feminist departure of the 1970s, but are firmly aimed at the present.

Deep Waters

Documentary Film
France
2019
53 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
Alice Heit
In the early 1970s, countless women in Western Europe and the U.S. fervently set out to explore their own bodies in self-help groups. Alice Heit’s film draws on this historic space of experience, opening on the sound level with personal reports of female sexuality affirming itself. Soon, a wide-ranging visual journey rich in associations develops, exploring and celebrating the physical phenomenon of female ejaculation suppressed in popular images of sexiness. Vulva-shaped sculptures and small statues of ancient mother goddesses lead the way to the spiritual emanations of the sexual and to creation myths in ancient India and Anatolia.

The shimmering Super 8 images, manually developed by the filmmaker (and looking beautifully homemade on all levels!) spread retro feelings on the formal level, too. Stop motion animations of crawling starfish evoke the surrealist film avant-garde. Other ingredients of this sex film of a different kind overflowing with motifs: lots of seawater. Dark snakes on pale skin. Trance-like chanting. And (with a title banner raised by two female divers underwater) perhaps the most poetic opening credits in the history of cinema.

Silvia Hallensleben

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Next Masters Wettbewerb
Guaicurus Street João Borges

A red-light district in Belo Horizonte. The camera is admitted into a “running house”. Love for sale looks like a routine, dreary assembly line exercise here, sometimes almost like a comedy.

Guaicurus Street

Documentary Film
Brazil
2019
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
João Borges, Thais Mol (Yara Filmes), Mariana Andrade
João Borges
Lucas Oscilloid, Pedro Durães
Lucas Barbi
Fabian Remy
João Borges
Lucas Oscilloid, Marcel Dadalto, Pedro Durães, Victor Brandão
A red light district in Belo Horizonte. The brothels are soliciting customers in all the colours of the night. The windows here are usually open, there is at most a guy in a plastic chair sitting in front of the door. The camera is admitted into one of the “running houses”. We see a long shot, almost like on a surveillance monitor, of men in a stark corridor scurrying from woman to woman. But suddenly we’re really close to some negotiations (“3 positions for 25 Real”) and at some point there’s an “impossible” cut: a reverse shot from the other side of the door, out of the woman’s room. We see sex workers tidying up, hanging around, and gossiping. They talk about violence, of pretend and real orgasms. But we also see sex scenes, played by actors, in which love for sale sometimes looks like a practiced, dreary assembly line exercise, sometimes almost like a comedy.

If this film systematically blurs the boundaries between the documentary and the fictional gaze, it has to do with the wish to leave the women their dignity and to avoid all-too-familiar images of misery. But it also has to do with the fact that sex can never be separated from fictions and projections.

Lukas Foerster

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Next Masters Wettbewerb
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

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

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

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

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

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Sicherheit123

Documentary Film
Austria,
Italy
2019
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Julia Gutweniger, Florian Kofler
Julia Gutweniger, Florian Kofler
Edgars Rubenis
Julia Gutweniger
Julia Gutweniger, Florian Kofler
Florian Kofler
The Alps. Nowadays there’s hardly a mountain left untouched. We have long conquered the lofty peaks and developed even the high mountain ranges as recreational landscapes. The fact that there is practically no limit to exploiting the Alps should not be taken for granted: The whole region is covered by a nearly invisible safety system. Well-camouflaged protective precautions against falling rocks and avalanches are there to ensure accessibility and habitability without fear. On the other hand, concrete fortifications around isolated farms or sculptural curved walls on the slopes to secure a whole village look conspicuous and almost surreal.

“Safety123” captures these constructions and the work that’s usually done in the background in breathtaking images. Quiet sequences show impressively how many-layered this safety system is: The landscape is ceaselessly surveyed and emergencies are simulated, whether in computer models, test facilities or large-scale disaster exercises. This observational documentary attentively follows the sometimes mysterious-looking activities and preparations to portray the human struggle against the forces of nature which are unstoppable despite precision technology.

Annina Wettstein



Awarded with a Golden Dove in the Next Masters Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film.

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

The Diviners

Documentary Film
Ukraine
2019
58 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Roman Bordun
Roman Bordun
Roman Bordun
Roman Bordun
Roman Bordun
Daryna Rudokvas
A kaleidoscopic portrait of contemporary Ukraine. Documentary facets of the life of city dwellers in Kiev, Odessa and Lviv. Symmetrical image associations of the finds in the editing: yellow, yellow, yellow. Pink pipes, spheres and circles. Parade and catwalk. Forms and plays with colours and, in between, deadly serious, the current political conflicts of Ukraine in the people’s voice: should the Russians be squashed like flies? Who has the power? Adolescent drinking games degenerate into ugly brawls. Girls are silly and playful. Young couples kissing mechanically while guarding their mobile phones. Naked people on the beach have crosses on their thighs. Dogs are abused with affection.

The tableau is of life itself, in its “humanity and cruelty, charity and indifference”. A portrait of all of us: “the righteous, the merciless, the funny, the naïve, the honest”. The director has dedicated his film to his Russian colleague Aleksandr Rastorguyev, who died in the Central African Republic during investigative research into a corrupt Russian military corporation.

Saskia Walker

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Next Masters Wettbewerb
The Ebb Tide Renu Savant

Men, fish and a dying occupation at the coast of India. The director explores her homeland and portrays the village of Mirya in documentary and re-staged close-up and long-distance views.

The Ebb Tide

Documentary Film
India
2019
60 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Public Service Broadcasting Trust
Renu Savant
Sunayana Singh
Rikhav Desai
Renu Savant
Ved Madesia, Sidardh Ramesh
Even in the Indian coastal town of Mirya, about 300 kilometres south of Mumbai, fishing is a dying occupation. The younger fishermen have high school diplomas but can’t find work – blame it on Prime Minister Modi. Buying a boat is being considered, even though the marine animals are becoming increasingly scarce. The big market is far away and selling locally is hardly worthwhile because prices are too high. A young woman follows a man, committed despite everything to catching crabs, into the dark and swampy mangrove forest.

“The Ebb Tide” is an exploration of home and the second film about her village by the young director Renu Savant who studied at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. Savant stages the residents on the waterfront by the bay. She makes the documentary abstract, has them read texts and people play roles that are close to their lives. With this hybrid approach she also reflects on her position as a director: close-ups and long shots of a familiar region that allows itself to be captured quite openly and in all its aspects. The mysterious imagery of this film, shot during the 2018 monsoon season, opens the viewers’ eyes to an unknown life and feeds them intellectually with knowledge about the multi-layered nature of the present.

Saskia Walker

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Under the Skin

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2019
84 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Britta Rindelaub
Robin Harsch
Le Bruit.
Robin Harsch
Ana Acosta
Igor Marlot
Three transgender teenagers undergo radical physical changes caused by hormone therapy and surgery: This is the external metamorphosis that finally brings their appearance into line with their long-felt gender identity. Behind them lie desperate years in which they had to struggle not only with themselves but also with their family and school environments. This continuous experience of rejection and harassment has made them vulnerable. They long for the day when they don’t have to explain themselves all the time.

The curious and frank questions of the director, who is also the cinematographer, produce a very intimate relationship between him and those he films. What becomes clear is how difficult, complicated and all-encompassing the path of transformation is not only for the teenagers but also for their parents. What does it mean to a mother when her child, born as a girl, becomes a boy? A counselling centre supports the teenagers and their families in everything, helps them with psychological and legal issues, accompanies them to talks with teachers and medical professionals. This support is essential to give everyone concerned some orientation. And it enables the adolescents to finally arrive in their bodies, their selves.

Annina Wettstein

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Next Masters Wettbewerb
Animus Animalis (A Story About People, Animals and Things) Aistė Žegulytė

For animals killed in a hunt death is the start of an existence as objects. Mounted to look lifelike they are being exhibited – and looking at you.

Animus Animalis (A Story About People, Animals and Things)

Documentary Film
Lithuania
2018
69 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Giedrė Burokaitė
Aistė Žegulytė
Gediminas Jakubka
Vytautas Katkus
Mikas Žukauskas
Aistė Žegulytė, Titas Laucius
The trees are covered in thick snow. A peaceful group of hunters tramp through the forest. At night they celebrate their kill. A group of men sworn to their own ethics of the dignity of all creatures. It’s only in the death of the opposite they aimed at that they find respect for the existence of the killed game, for which this violent end of life is the beginning of an existence as an object. Mounted and worked on with extreme skill until they once more resemble the vibrant “before”, the carcasses are processed and made suitable for the human eye and its desire to feast on things. Former but never quite gone deer, muskrats and birds look at you.

The line between the life and death of these animals seems to get blurred in the course of the film, only to be drawn even more strongly. The adoration of the wilderness of tamed nature in rituals of presentation made for humans clearly follows different logics than the comfortable and presentable one of keeping pets. Dead eyes do not look back.

Fabian Tietke


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Next Masters Wettbewerb
Cinema Morocco Ricardo Calil

Homeless persons occupy the formerly glamorous cinema palace in São Paulo. A theatre workshop recalls the building’s past – and creates projection surfaces for broken biographies.

Cinema Morocco

Documentary Film
Brazil
2018
76 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Eliane Ferreira, Pablo Iraola
Ricardo Calil
André Namur
Loiro Cunha, Carol Quintanilha
Jordana Berg
Ricardo Calil
Flávio Guedes, Ricardo Pinta
A strange newsreel report is all that recalls the glamorous past of the Cine Marrocos in São Paulo today. We see Irene Dunne, Erich von Stroheim and Abel Gance at the International Film Festival of Brazil 1954, walking up the red carpet to the opulent cinema palace, and Fubuki Koshiji stumbling and “revealing her delicate eastern foot” (original voiceover). Forty years later the twelve-floor building was suddenly empty, for two decades. When the announced renovation didn’t happen, a community of homeless people squatted there in 2013. At times more than 2,000 people from 17 countries lived in the gutted and graffiti covered ruin.

At the initiative of the eponymous film project, films from the first festival year were screened in the re-opened cinema and a theatre workshop was founded where the actor-squatters worked on iconic film scenes, for example from “Sunset Boulevard”, “La Grande Illusion”, “Julius Caesar” and “Sawdust and Tinsel.” On the backdrop of imminent eviction, the film documents the theatre work, “co-written” by broken biographies and resulting in cinematographic re-enactments. Norma Desmond, Marc Anthony, the circus rider Anne and the fighter pilot Maréchal literally become projection surfaces – for experiences as varied as war trauma, depression, disgust of affluence and post-colonial alienation.

Esther Buss



Golden Dove in the Next Masters Competition Long Film

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Next Masters Wettbewerb
Denisa, a Story of a Friend Mária Brnušáková

All Denisa really wants is love. She’s been looking for it in men ever since she was a teenager. Mária Brnušáková has filmed her friend over a couple of years – the portrait is rough.

Denisa, a Story of a Friend

Documentary Film
Slovakia
2017
53 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Academy of Performing Arts – Film and Television Faculty
Mária Brnušáková
Mária Brnušáková
Mária Brnušáková, Tomáš Holocsy
Mária Brnušáková
Mária Brnušáková
There’s not only love but also the craving for love. Denisa, a young Slovak woman, is craving it, as she explains right at the start: “I want love. Not money, cash, bucks … Just love, that’s it.” Denisa wants to be in a relationship with a man at all costs, and she has very precise ideas of what he should look and be like: one of them resembled a member of the Kelly Family, before she fixated on police officers. All her relationships are bumpy. The first also produced a little boy whom Denisa loses sight of after separating from his father. Mária Brnušáková’s long term portrait is rough and unadorned. While we first meet Denisa as a giddy teenager who considers cooking for her husband a fun way to pass the time, the young woman’s attitude changes over the years. A special sense of humour and a certain indomitable air stay the same, though: at first Denisa struggles to win the men’s love, but the focus of her fight later shifts to re-establishing contact with her son.

Carolin Weidner


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Homo Botanicus

Documentary Film
Colombia,
France
2018
88 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Nicolás Van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf, Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun, Guillermo Quintero
Guillermo Quintero
Violeta Cruz
Guillermo Quintero
Julie Borvon, Guillermo Quintero
Guillermo Quintero
Marc-Olivier Brullé
A professor and his master student set out to explore the untouched tropical Andes Mountains. The eminent botanist Julio Betancur has already collected more than 19,000 species of plants and archived them in a giant herbarium in Bogotá that he keeps expanding, assisted at the moment by his young follower Cristian. The director, Guillermo Quintero, was a student of Betancur more than fifteen years ago before he studied philosophy in Paris and later turned to filmmaking. He still feels respect for his former mentor today, and fascination for the seemingly anachronistic and romantic scientist’s view of the rich flora. The filmmaker follows the unusual pair, commenting events from offscreen as an outside observer. We detect admiration for their passion, but also doubt about their meticulous collecting. Is this kind of classification of nature still in keeping with the times?

In his debut film Quintero allows himself to be pulled into the eddying timelessness of the tropical forest. Varied and artful shots of the fauna show a surprisingly different and mystic view of Colombia, communicating the image of a country with a budding film industry whose authors devote themselves predominantly to political or personal conflicts.

Annina Wettstein

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Nijolė

Documentary Film
Italy,
Lithuania
2018
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė, Max Chicco
Sandro Bozzolo
Lina Lapelytė
Sandro Bozzolo
Silvija Vilkaitė, María Cecilia Reyes
Maria Cecilia Reyes, Sandro Bozzolo
Vytis Puronas
Antanas Mockus was Mayor of Bogotá, several times Colombian presidential candidate, and voted into the senate in 2018. But this film is not about the politician, but about his 88-year-old mother, the idiosyncratic artist Nijolė Šivickas. She has consistently protected her private life from the public eye, agreeing only reluctantly to media interviews. Even her son knew almost nothing about her Lithuanian childhood. In her artistic practice, but also emotionally, she had turned her back on her homeland.

Now Nijolė has been invited to give a workshop on the occasion of a great retrospective in Vilnius. The film follows her and Antanas on this journey. It’s basically a son’s look at a mother whose independence and critical social spirit were his constant inspiration. Sandro Bozzolo and his team approach their protagonists with restraint, adapt the montage to their rhythm and focus on the rooms of their creative work, on Nijolė’s meetings with Antanas and their journey home together, which moves both deeply. The son takes his mother by the hand, as does this story of an outer and inner journey with the audience. Which events continue to shape one’s life and which had better be forgotten?

Annina Wettstein


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize

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