Film Archive

Jahr

Putin’s Witnesses

Documentary Film
Czech Republic,
Latvia,
Switzerland
2018
107 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Natalya Manskaya, Gabriela Bussmann, Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda
Vitaly Mansky
Kārlis Auzāns
Gunta Ikere
Vitaly Mansky
Anrijs Krenbergs
“The state is like a garden,” says Putin’s old form teacher’s husband, “you have to destroy the weed so that something worthwhile grows.” “We’ll do just that,” the lifetime president-to-be answers almost shyly and leaves his teacher’s flat, which he visited to shoot an advertising clip directed by Vitaly Mansky who, as the country’s leading documentary filmmaker, was allowed to follow and record the campaign. After 18 years of concrete rule by the little man with the strong hands, the long-emigrated director looks back at the fateful year of 2000 and reviews his footage. What he discovers is breathtaking and has the emotionalising power of an almost intimate home video. The Mansky family already dread the new Mao while Yeltsin’s clan is jubilant at first and ex-Tsar Boris even sees his successor Vladimir as the guarantee of real media freedom –later he disgustedly calls the pivotal turn-back “krasnenko” (reddish). Putin himself talks about reasons of state and an autocratic life which he intends to avoid at all costs. Finally, the question whether it was right to reanimate the old Soviet hymn with quasi new lyrics becomes a bone of contention in the duel Putin vs. Mansky. The sad conclusion is that nobody was just a “witness”. Everybody played a part in the many compromises made in hopes of a “better life.”

Barbara Wurm

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.

Touch Me Not

Documentary Film
Bulgaria,
Czech Republic,
France,
Germany,
Romania
2018
123 minutes
subtitles: 
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Bianca Oana, Philippe Avril, Adina Pintilie
Adina Pintilie
Ivo Paunov
George Chiper-Lillemark
Adina Pintilie
Adina Pintilie
Veselin Zografov, Dominik Dolejší, Marek Poledna
The Einstürzende Neubauten are playing “Mela-Mela-Melancholia”, questioning the state of the nation. Between the somnambulistic scenes played out in the border area between documentary and fiction, deep-seated intimacies that concern us all are addressed. The project – the winner of this year’s Golden Bear – is experimental: many of the protagonists are “real”, play themselves; others, like Laura Benson and her fellow actor Tómas Lemarquis, pick up on scripted sketches but let their roles come so close that they penetrate their own lives. They talk about and perform sex, about inhibitions and visions, fears and ways to overcome them. Their goal, the goal of this unusual film: (self) liberation.

The director enters the frame occasionally, sits on the couch with Christian Bayerlein, the “kissability” blogger, or with the transsexual Hanna Hofmann, letting us know that she is taking part, looking at things but resisting voyeurism as the camera floats above a group BDSM session or follows a touch therapy workshop, some of whose participants are physically severely disabled, at close range. She speaks, too, about her own boundaries of shame, far removed from the “Likes”-obsessed narcissistic Social Media egos. A transgressive critique of norms, aesthetically and politically correct (which is a good thing). And extremely bold into the bargain.

Barbara Wurm

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.