Film Archive

Jahr

Starting Point

Documentary Film
Poland
2014
25 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Ewa Jastrzebska
Michał Szcześniak
Przemysław Niczyporuk
Jacek Tarasiuk, Daniel Gąsiorowski
Katarzyna Bonda, Michał Szcześniak
You grow with your tasks, they say. Aneta’s task is immense and painful. She has to confront her past every day if she wants to have a future again. When she was 19 she rebelled against everything and ended up as a murderer. Nine years later, she is allowed to leave prison occasionally to do community service in a nursing home. This is where she meets an old lady, Helena – in whom she finds a life story that ran completely counter to hers. While Aneta risked her chances and freedom, Helena grew up a rheumatic and knows the world, as she says, only through the window. Still she calls herself a realist.
Accepting the circumstances – a sense of reality, as it were – becomes the key to Aneta’s anxious hopes for forgiveness and a new beginning outside her monotonous prison life. In finely apportioned doses the film reveals the stations of her life and inner struggle, mirrored in Helena’s sincere interest. The dialogue between the composed little woman in the wheelchair, who almost disappears under her hat, and her caretaker with her emotional swings reveals more than mere sympathy – it may even be mutual fascination.
Lars Meyer

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.

When I Am a Bird

Documentary Film
Poland
2013
30 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Katarzyna Ślesicka
Monika Pawluczuk
Paweł Chorzępa
Marcin Latanik
Monika Pawluczuk
Dariusz Wancerz
She would like to return as a little bird in the next life, small enough to hide. Right now she still lives in a bird cage, at the mercy of the whims of a fate that transported her and her family from Myanmar to a refugee village in the Thai jungle. The rain drums ceaselessly on the roof. The torrential river in front of the house is as powerful as the suppressed feelings of a woman who gave birth to 12 children and lost some of them. She hasn’t chosen her husband; moreover, he sometimes flies away. Now she only hopes that her daughter will follow. Bad connections often thwart attempts to contact her by phone or receive messages via the wireless. From the outside the members of the Kayan tribe, especially the women with their heavy necklaces, look like rare specimens of a dying species you can admire in tourist show villages. But the film reveals a world no tourist ever sees. In a clear visual language that is both atmospheric and symbolic it carefully approaches the interior reality of the protagonist, withholding any prerogative interpretation. Who can look into a person’s soul, after all? And yet the strength, courage – and magic – that it takes to live this life emerge clearly.

Lars Meyer

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.