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A Black Jesus

A Black Jesus
Luca Lucchesi
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2020
92 minutes
English,
French,
Italian
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Luca Lucchesi
Léa Germain
Wim Wenders
Eric Friedler
Silke Schütze
Christa Auderlitzky
Eric Friedler
Nordmedia
Francesco Vitaliti
Roy Paci
Luca Lucchesi
Luca Lucchesi
Edoardo Morabito
Hella Wenders
Luca Lucchesi

In Siculiana, a small Sicilian town full of flaking facades, religiosity is lived out as a matter of course. And of course the figure of Jesus Christ worshipped here is black, and always has been. However, some people cannot get used to their dark-skinned neighbours in the refugee camp. The camera accompanies locals and stranded people along their paths, which often lead to the church, but not necessarily together, and draws a kind of map of the city in black-on-black contrasts.

It’s become quiet in Siculiana, a local says. He’s not referring to the loud demonstrations against the Villa Sikania, now converted into a refugee reception camp. And certainly not to the colourful flurry of activity that grips the city every year as the faithful prepare for the feast of the Finding of the Cross. That’s when they hang up the “Benvenuti” sign. But who exactly is welcomed here? The pomp and circumstance of the festivities are at the centre of this filmic portrait of a community in which the alleged common ground is disintegrating into voice and skin tones: between the black people from abroad and the black man on the cross who – according to an elderly lady – was forced to “darken” himself in order to incorporate human sins. Between an aging city stylised to the point of becoming scenery and God’s newly arrived children who promise a future and who could bring new life into the alleys.
Sylvia Görke
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize
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Sense and Being
Rural vs. Urban
State of the World
Redistribution and Having a Say
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A New Shift

Nová šichta
Jindřich Andrš
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Czech Republic
2020
90 minutes
Czech
subtitles: 
German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing, English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jindřich Andrš
Miloš Lochman
Augustina Micková
Studio Bystrouška
Czech Television
Tomáš Frkal
Jindřich Andrš
Lukáš Janičík
Šimon Herrmann
Eliška Cílková

For Tomáš the mine is the centre of his life, along with soccer, his kids and the cosy after-work beer. The 44-year-old has worked as a miner for 21 years, until the mine was closed down for economic reasons. Tomáš then re-trains as a coder in the appropriately named educational programme “New Shift”. What he doesn’t know yet is that his new skills alone won’t get him out of the crisis. A film about a tug-of-war with fate and the employment market.

In the constant ups and downs of looking for a job Tomáš shows impressive stamina, despite critical voices around him. His hopeful attitude repeatedly gets him in the local news as a positive example of successful reintegration – long before success is even remotely on the horizon. Jindřich Andrš’ first feature-length film is an equally quiet and thrilling observation. He gently follows his loveable protagonist and manages to present the tricky job situation with dignity and empathy. What emerges clearly is that unemployment and lack of jobs have long ceased to be phenomena that only occur on the fringes of our societies. They are part of a normality that the majority of people must cope with.
Kim Busch
Nominated for MDR Film Prize
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Redistribution and Having a Say
State of the World
Small Worlds, Big People
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Areum Married

Parkkangareum gyeolhonhada
Areum Parkkang
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
South Korea
2019
86 minutes
English,
French,
Korean
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Areum Parkkang
Moonkyung Kim
Areum Parkkang
Seong Heo
Areum Parkkang
Moonkyung Kim
Areum Parkkang
Areum Parkkang
Nayoon Lim
Lang Lee
De_bong

Trailer DOK Leipzig Logo

A few years after her marriage to Seongman, Areum decides to go to France to study and finally make the kind of films that are not possible in Korea. Seongman, however, has nothing to do in France and, as he doesn’t understand French, is sliding into depression. A joint project is to help against homesickness. They open the one-table restaurant “Oegil” to provide South Korean expats with culinary memories of home.

Of course, this means that Areum has no time left for filmmaking. When she gets pregnant, massive chaos is looming. After the birth she finally focuses on her studies and Seongman takes over as house husband – a role that overwhelms him so much that he goes on strike. In this challenging everyday life, she must assert herself as a woman, artist, mother and spouse. The feminist narrative determines the point of view from which Areum Parkkang, in this second part of her autobiographical film project, examines her own life, its comedy, tragedy and planning uncertainty. The tone is charming throughout, and the energy of her reflective self-observation is infectious. Areum lets us participate head-on in her back and forth as an independent filmmaker between festival pitchings, homesickness and the baby change unit.
Lina Dinkla
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Redistribution and Having a Say
Witty
Family Ties
Love/Without Love
Small Worlds, Big People
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Bulletproof

Bulletproof
Todd Chandler
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
USA
2020
83 minutes
English
subtitles: 
German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Todd Chandler
Danielle Varga
Todd Chandler
Emily Topper
Todd Chandler
Shannon Kennedy
Ryan Billia
Troy Herion

At American high schools, the threat of school shootings has become omnipresent. In addition to regular drills of how to act in case of assault, security forces and metal detectors are now part of everyday life in the schools. In the name of security, a whole industry is busy developing bulletproof hoodies and blackboards, arming teachers and installing ever more surveillance devices. Is this prevention? Or a self-fulfilling prophecy?

While cheerleaders rehearse, basketball teams play and homecoming queens are crowned, adults in the background prepare for the emergency: What to do if a school is attacked – from inside or outside? Behaviour and meditation training to prevent violence in the first place are one thing. More money, however, is spent on armament. The so-called security industry has long entered the school market. Todd Chandler’s restrained observation takes a look at the arms and service industries and the media, at social psychologists as well as teachers. He cleverly focuses not on individual schools and incidents but rather on how a whole system responds to a threat.
Marie Kloos
Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award
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State of the World
Redistribution and Having a Say
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Eine einsame Stadt

Eine einsame Stadt
Nicola Graef
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2019
90 minutes
German
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nicola Graef
Susanne Brand
Nicola Graef
ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH
SWR Südwestrundfunk
Gudrun Hanke-El Ghomri
Catherine Le Goff
Simon Hückstädt
George Kochbeck
Matthias Kreitschmann
Carsten Kramer
Luc Brocker
Alexey Fedorov
Oliver Drüppel
Zora Butzke
Kai Minierski
Alexander Rott
Philip Koepsell

Loneliness has many faces in Berlin. Young and old are afflicted by it, men, women, single and married people. It’s normal. Nonetheless there’s a stigma attached to this mixture of emotions that makes sufferers stay silent. Director Nicola Graef tries a different approach in her film: She lets the lonely inhabitants of the capital city speak, listens. The result is varied and quite often surprising.

Berlin is a city for extroverts, Tessa thinks. The young woman’s mind, however, is on the opposite site. The consequence is loneliness and that “is quite draining”, she says. 85-year-old Efraim, a photographer and flaneur, has found a confident way to deal with those nagging feelings: He’s “not the type for marriage” anyway. Artist Thomas, on the other hand, suffers from the end of a long-term love affair and wonders whether “the icing sugar is all kissed away by the age of 50”, but also says: “There is a market for everything, even for broken cars.” Poised and affectionate, we move through the expanses of the city in Graef’s film, where stories sprout like weeds between the cobblestones. From the corner pub to the artist’s studio, from the parks to the sports club and, time and again, into the silent flats – she encounters her witnesses to emptiness everywhere. Their reports are moving, but they never make us feel hopeless.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, Gedanken Aufschluss Prize
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Sense and Being
Love/Without Love
Small Worlds, Big People
State of the World
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Faith and Branko

Faith and Branko
Catherine Harte
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Serbia,
UK
2020
82 minutes
English,
Serbian
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Catherine Harte
Snezana Van Houwelingen
Catherine Harte
Film Center Serbia
Catherine Harte
Dragan Von Petrovic
Ljubodrag Starovlah
Zoran Maksimovic

It begins like a classic “girl meets boy” story: Faith, a charismatic accordion player from Great Britain, travels to Serbia to learn about Roma folk music. She meets the violinist Branko, who is instantly smitten. They quickly marry and form a band. But with musical success their love dwindles. A turbulent story of expectations, disappointments and the dream of happiness.

Faith enters into Branko’s life in an almost disturbingly casual way. She doesn’t seem to be bothered by the new country, the sceptical family and the cultural differences. Branko on the other hand adores his new wife and boldly enters a new world. They are a big hit as a duo – travelling around the world and playing bigger and bigger venues. But while Faith feels as happy as a lark, Branko seems like an uprooted tree. Instead of dealing with their differences they keep moving on rapidly, until one ruthless step follows the next. Catherine Harte has produced a captivating and very intimate portrait of this contradictory couple. Relentlessly close and yet compassionate, the film develops an impressive pull you don’t want to resist.
Kim Busch
Nominated for MDR Film Prize
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Small Worlds, Big People
Love/Without Love
Rural vs. Urban
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Forgotten Lands

Les Blanches Terres
Amélie Cabocel
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
France
2019
93 minutes
French
subtitles: 
English, German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Amélie Cabocel
Milana Christitch
Gautier Gumpper
Gautier Gumpper
Grégory Pernet
Nicolas Rhode
Vivien Roche
Martin Sadoux
Jérémy Vernerey
Pascal Doumange

Trailer DOK Leipzig Logo

Michelle, 86 years old, is an equally obstinate and touching widow and filmmaker Amélie Cabocel’s grandmother. Michelle lives alone in a big house in a lonely area of Lorraine and is probably completely unaware that with every fibre of her existence she bears witness to a vanishing age. But when Amélie tries to persuade her to take part in a photographic and exhibition project, she resolutely makes it her own.

Michelle spends her leisurely days reading the obituaries in the local weekly regularly and with great concentration, making long phone calls to the few surviving “cousins” and leafing patiently through the carefully guarded photo albums in which her memories are preserved. Beyond her private life, these albums and folders are also an eloquent fund of an everyday culture about to disappear. When Michelle’s granddaughter wants to produce a film and an exhibition based on this material, the old lady catches the bug and, with her headstrong personality, adds fuel to an already challenging enterprise. “Forgotten Lands” is the moving portrait of a grandmother from the familiar perspective of her granddaughter, but also an intelligent reflection on the unique ability of photography to record echoes of a life lived.
Ralph Eue
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Rural vs. Urban
Small Worlds, Big People
Family Ties
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Robin’s Hood

Robin’s Hood
Jasmin Baumgartner
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Austria
2020
93 minutes
German,
English,
Serbian
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jasmin Baumgartner
Jasmin Baumgartner
Dominic Spitaler
Anna Hawliczek
Olga Kosanovic
Matthias Writze
Lee Niederkofler
Nvie Motho

Fluctuation at the Vienna football club RSV is high. Coach Robin, who once hosted parties at the Prater sauna, sees his club as a political project, too: Players from various birth nations come together in his “dirty rotten bunch”. Athletic highlights are quite often followed by relegation, discipline and excess are cheek by jowl at RSV. Director Jasmin Baumgartner has followed Robin and his team over several years.

“My players are like my kids”, Robin says. And kids can be exhausting. They are caught with joints by the police on their way to the Slovenian training camp or prefer to go to the casino instead of completing their training units. But even president Robin isn’t averse to parties. On the sidelines of the amateur league it can get boozy and often rough: Opposing fans insult and discriminate against black athletes in particular. A behaviour for which Robin has no patience at all. He sees it this way: “If we integrate the super sweet Muslim fraction in our club, with our Serbian nationalists, uneducated Austrians and our Muslim-hating Congolese players, then we’ll not only be promoted to the fourth division. We’ll even stop the rise of the right-wing nationalists.”
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Gedanken Aufschluss Prize
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State of the World
Rural vs. Urban
Redistribution and Having a Say
Small Worlds, Big People
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The Blunder of Love

The Blunder of Love
Rocco Di Mento
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Germany
2020
84 minutes
English,
Italian
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Rocco Di Mento
Valeria Venturelli
Sabine Panossian
Antonella Sarubbi
Valentina Cicogna
Rocco Di Mento
Jerome Huber
Franziska May

Trailer DOK Leipzig Logo

A young man meets a young woman and both fall for each other. A house is built, children are born, the fairy tale story of boundless love takes its course. A grandson sets out to explore the myth of his grandparents’ romance and tries to honour his deceased grandfather on film, assisted by all the surviving relatives. Not an easy undertaking when things may not have been exactly as the family tradition would have it …

In his search Rocco Di Mento unearths old 8mm home movies, an unpublished novel, various love letters and a whole host of long-suppressed feelings. It’s hardly surprising that this mixture begins to develop a dynamic of its own. Suddenly the issue is no longer only the search for the love of one’s life but also the questions of what holds people together above and beyond their relationship status and degree of kinship and how forgiveness is possible even though you have long since lost faith in it. An ingeniously constructed family constellation full of Italian temperament, in which tension, emotion and truthfulness are inextricably linked. Because: “Even if you leave you will always be part of your family.”
Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize
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Love/Without Love
Family Ties
Small Worlds, Big People
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Competition for the Audience Award 2020
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The Painting Andrés Sanz Vicente
Are we looking at a painting or is it looking back at us? Velázquez’s larger-than-life painting “Las Meninas” sparks captivating digressions about curiosity and penetrating gazes.
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The Painting

El cuadro
Andrés Sanz Vicente
Competition for the Audience Award 2020
Documentary Film
Spain
2019
107 minutes
English,
Spanish
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Andrés Sanz Vicente
Antonio Gómez-Olea
Javier Ruiz Gómez
Andrés Sanz Vicente
Andrés Sanz Vicente
Andrés Sanz Vicente
Micky López
Santiago Rapallo

It has been said that the baroque artist Diego Velázquez didn’t paint figures, but the air and light between them. And one could say about this film that it is not Velázquez’s larger-than-life painting “Las Meninas” that is the subject, but the penetrating gaze with which it looks back at his viewers. Among the many clever minds that discuss the artist and the intricate structure of this painting’s composition, it is curiosity itself that somnambulates here.

“Paintings aren’t movies, they’re paintings”, insists art critic and historian Svetlana Alpers. She’s right, of course – and then again, she isn’t. She’s one of the renowned talking heads interrogated by director Andrés Sanz Vicente to solve a crime. But who or what actually died? Perhaps our ability to see, as Alpers claims? For around 400 years, Diego Velázquez’ painting has been exposed to the eyes of its public, the analyses of its scientifically advanced critics who have racked their brains over who on the canvas enters through which door and why. “The Painting” is a continuation of this painting-eye-encounter with the means of cinema. The air and the light between the concrete thing and its passionately glowing aura are captured. In this, but only in this, a painting can be a movie after all.
Sylvia Görke
#
Poetry and Crossing Boundaries
Sense and Being
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