Film Archive

Sections (Film Archive)

Jahr

Corta

Documentary Film
Argentina,
Colombia,
France
2012
69 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Felipe Guerrero, mutokino
Felipe Guerrero
Iannis Xenakis
Andrés Pineda
Felipe Guerrero
Roberta Ainstein - Lena Esquenazi
At first the sugar cane field looks like a huge green wall, a wall that will take the workers days to overcome. The sugar cane cutters begin their day by sharpening their machetes before they start to work. Blow by blow. The camera keeps its distance as it observes their smooth movements. Soon every sense of time is lost, the sugar cane cutters’ rhythmic movements develop their own choreography, and time seems to expand. The more sugar cane they cut the brighter the screen. The sky, the hill and the green landscape surrounding the field emerge.
This flow is interrupted by a black screen like the end of a reel. Then the process begins again. The rhythm of the machetes and the workers’ steps on the dry leaves merge with the conceptual music of this film. Felipe Guerrero refrains from any sociological discourse about the cutters’ situation and working conditions. It’s the abstraction that brings out the exploitative element of this archaic labour all the more clearly.

– Paulo de Carvalho
Focus Latin America 2012
Daughter María Paz González

A mother and a daughter on a trip across Chile. One of them is looking for her lost sister, the other for the truth about her father. A quiet, intense road movie.

Daughter

Documentary Film
Chile
2011
83 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Flor Rubina, Chile Doc; Franciso Hervé, Maria Paz Gonzáles
María Paz González
Fernando Milagros
David Bravo
Brian Jacobs, Danielle Fillios
Francisco Hervé, María Paz González
Juan Pablo Manríquez
A mother and daughter travel across Chile in search of their identity. While the mother wants to learn about the fate of her vanished sister, the daughter, director María Paz González, wants to find out the truth about her biological father at last. On their 2000 km journey the two women are forced to confront each other– and their stories and illusions, deceptions and lies.
María Paz González embarks on a frank and courageous quest for her true origins and real father, who is bound to exist somewhere behind her mother’s florid stories. In her documentary road movie, “journey” also refers to a movement in time and an approach to the truth. Gradually the insecurities and simmering conflicts between the two women give way to a feeling of attachment, making room for humour, intimacy and honest exchange. As in many road movies, the question whether the initial goal of the journey will be reached is beside the point. The stillness of the images and the silence between the women suggest that they have bonded.

– Paulo de Carvalho
Focus Latin America 2012
Drought Everardo González

A cattle farm in the dry Northeast of Mexico: man and animal fighting for survival against the drought, until the rain falls... An archaic cycle in impressive images.

Drought

Documentary Film
Mexico
2011
84 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Martha Orozco, Cienega Docs S.A. de C.V.; Foprocine
Everardo González
Everardo González
Felipe Gómez, Clementina Mantellini
Everardo González
Pablo Tamez, Sound Design: Matias Barberis
“Cuates de Australia” doesn’t sound very Mexican, though it’s the name of a cattle farm in the dry Northeast of the country. A place that’s isolated from the world, without electricity, paved roads or fresh drinking water. The present inhabitants don’t know where the name came from. Life at “Cuates de Australia” is hard and the drought comes earlier every year, threatening to destroy the farmers’ livelihood. They endure until the springs dry up, the first animals die of thirst and the coyotes sneak closer and closer to the herd. Only then do the people and animals leave the village. A long caravan sets out in search of pasture and water, a place where they can wait for the rain while the daily chores must continue even now. Everardo González takes a calm look at the work of these men, women, old people and children and finds impressive images for man’s struggle for survival. When at last the first rain drops fall, the atmosphere suddenly changes: new colours arise, birdsong drives away the silence and a mood of departure spreads among the people. The old cycle of life resumes and hope returns to “Cuates de Australia” and its people. Sustained by a quiet rhythm, this film is a monument to an archaic lifestyle whose end is foreseeable.

– Paulo de Carvalho

Magic Words (to Break a Spell)

Documentary Film
Guatemala,
Mexico,
Nicaragua
2012
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jorge Sanchéz, Amaranta SA de CV
Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez
Leoncio Lara Bon
Carlos R. Rossini y Cuco Villarías
Mercedes Cantero
Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez
Lena Esquenazi
On 19 June 1979, the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua triumphed over the Somoza regime. This moment of upheaval in Nicaraguan society made an deep impression on eight-year-old Mercedes Moncada – even though she was still a child, it shaped her political consciousness. Three decades later the filmmaker takes a very personal and emotional look at the revolution by going in search of what’s left of Sandino’s promise in Managua. The growing disappointment at the path chosen by the Sandinistas is gradually revealed in observations, flashbacks and reflections. What started out with the aim of creating a “new man” ended in a system of political wangling and personal power and class interests. The revolutionary movement is slowly turning into a new authoritarian regime. Mercedes Moncada Rodriguez’s political and courageous film does not seek the moral high ground but presents a critical self-examination whose implications go far beyond the political developments in Nicaragua.

Paulo de Carvalho
Focus Latin America 2012
Papirosen Gastón Solnicki

Flight, a new beginning and the social rise of a Jewish family in Argentina. The home movie genre transcended in a gripping family epic that encompasses four generations.

Papirosen

Documentary Film
Argentina
2012
74 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Pablo Chernov, Filmy Wiktoria
Gastón Solnicki
Gastón Solnicki
Andrea Kleinman
Jason Candler
It all started ten years ago when he filmed the birth of his nephew Mateo. Since then, Gastón Solnicki has taken his camera to all family reunions – whether it’s everyday meetings, a family vacation or a high Jewish holiday. The film revolves around his father Victor, the patriarch who earned the wealth of this newly rich Argentine middle class family and now, at old age, is forced to watch his daughter’s marriage fail and his family’s social status crumble.
The familiarity makes a protagonist of Solnicki’s camera and allows the audience to experience moments of intimacy as intensely as arguments and family crises. In this complex and unadorned portrait of his family, the director also narrates a story of flight, a new start and rise in society. Gastón Solnicki cleverly combines his own material with old Super 8 and video material from the family archive and transcends the genre of the home movie in a gripping family epic encompassing four generations, overshadowed by the Holocaust even today.

– Paulo de Carvalho
Focus Latin America 2012
Stretcher Marcel Beltrán

An old man on a painstaking journey through the Cuban Sierra Maestra. An atmospheric look at a world where time seems to have stopped.

Stretcher

Documentary Film
Cuba
2010
13 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Marcel Beltrán, Pablo García Barbán, Carlos Y. Rodríguez
Marcel Beltrán
Marcel Beltrán
Marcel Beltrán
Marcel Beltrán
Morning in the lonely mountains of the Cuban Sierra Maestra. An old man sets out to purchase rice for his daily meal. He packs a few belongings to offer them to his neighbours to buy or exchange for food. As he is walking, the poverty and lack of the simplest necessities of life in this remote region are revealed with every step. The neighbours have no use for what he has to sell and nothing to give away. So he takes the bus to try his luck in the valley. When the bus breaks down halfway to the valley, the man continues on foot. Suddenly the call “Parihuela!” is heard from somewhere in the wilderness. People emerge from the forest carrying a sick man on a traditional stretcher. The old man helps and for a second becomes part of a community... The talented young Cuban director Marcel Beltrán manages to create an atmospheric view of a world where time seems to have stopped.

– Paulo de Carvalho
Focus Latin America 2012
The Calm Fernando Vílchez Rodríguez

A man who narrowly survived an earthquake caught in the din of the clearing up efforts, and his agonising desire to find stability again.

The Calm

Documentary Film
Peru
2011
20 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Intro Films S.R.L.
Fernando Vílchez Rodríguez
Rauf Neme
Gisella Barthé, Fernando Vílchez Rodríguez
Fernando Vílchez Rodríguez
Fernando Vílchez Rodríguez
Paula Chávez
The sound of waves on the beach, the sun mirrored in the water, a head wind and the wide horizon produce a peaceful feeling. But this peace is deceptive. The man in the frame has survived an earthquake. His village was destroyed completely. Dramatic news images show the situation right after the quake, desperate screams everywhere and a body under the rubble. It’s the protagonist, dug out by helpers with their bare hands. A race against time, a battle of life and death.
Weeks later the air is filled with machine noise. They are trying to bring order to chaos. Dense dust settles on the ruins. The survivor longs for peace. Does life still make sense? Perhaps he should leave this place and make a fresh start somewhere else? Will his memories keep haunting him there? Will he have peace at last?

– Paulo de Carvalho

The Employment

Animated Film
Argentina
2008
6 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Patricio Gabriel Plaza
Santiago "Bou" Grasso
Santiago "Bou" Grasso, Patricio Gabriel Plaza
Santiago "Bou" Grasso, Patricio Gabriel Plaza
Santiago "Bou" Grasso, Patricio Gabriel Plaza
A man on his usual trip to work, immersed in a system in which the use of people as objects is part of everyday life.
Focus Latin America 2012
The Flowers of my Family Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe

An adult daughter wants to move her mother out of the shared apartment to start her own life. Urgent questions of responsibility, guilt, and the right to individuality.

The Flowers of my Family

Documentary Film
Uruguay
2012
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe, Hoppefilms
Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe
Bach and Mozart by Cristina García Banegas and DeProfundis choir
Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe
Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe, Guillermo Rocamora
Juan Ignacio Fernández Hoppe
Daniel Yafalian
There are moments in life when we have to take decisions that will have a deep impact on the lives of the people close to us. This is the situation the director’s mother Alicia finds herself in when a new relationship makes her decide to move her mother Nivia from their shared apartment to a new home. The two women’s daily symbiosis gradually turns into a simmering conflict warily observed by grandson and filmmaker Juan. At first grandmother Nivia sticks to her old habits: she takes care of her plants and the pigeons on the balcony and philosophises about the nature of human existence. The longer it takes to find a suitable home for her, the stronger the tensions between the two women grow. Both mother and grandmother occasionally try to draw their son and grandson behind the camera into the conflict and make him their ally. But Juan Ignacio Fernández manages not to transgress the invisible boundary between filmmaker and family member. He remains a highly sensitive silent witness who captures the intimacy of the family and the process of separation in quiet images. What seems like a film about a family affair at first glance achieves a universal quality through the daughter’s painful process of disengagement and the issues of responsibility, guilt and the right to individual freedom raised by it.

– Paulo de Carvalho
Focus Latin America 2012
The Lifeguard Maite Alberdi

Two lifeguards, two attitudes. The tumultuous life on a beach as a microcosm of Chilean society – pushing the boundaries of the documentary.

The Lifeguard

Documentary Film
Chile
2011
64 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Paola Castilla, Errante Productions
Maite Alberdi
Pablo Valdés
Alejandro Fernández
Maite Alberdi, Sebastián Brahm
Mario Puerto, Roberto Espinoza
In the early morning, Mauricio the lifeguard meticulously prepares for his job. It’s quiet now, but soon crowds of people will take the beach by storm. Mauricio himself avoids entering the water. Instead he tirelessly tries to enforce order and safety regulations on the beach. His motto is “prevention is better than rescue”. His colleague Jean Pierre has quite a different idea of the job. Prevention, responsibility, or maybe even dedication don’t seem to be his strong suit. He’s late, lives for the day and has a fondness for flinging his muscular body into the waves – after all, there is always an audience. One job and two attitudes. But who will be there when a swimmer really gets in trouble in the Pacific surf?
This rich, poignant and funny film is the remarkable debut of director Maite Alberdi, who pushes the boundaries of the documentary as she compresses the tumultuous life on this holiday beach into a microcosm of Chilean society. What seems a light summer film at first glance ultimately raises universal issues of freedom, guilt, and responsibility.

– Paulo de Carvalho
Focus Latin America 2012
With my Heart in Yambo Fernanda Restrepo

In 1988 the director’s brothers were killed by the Ecuadorian police. Her search for the truth and a look at a survivors’ family who are fighting against forgetting.

With my Heart in Yambo

Documentary Film
Ecuador
2011
136 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Fernanda Restrepo
Fernanda Restrepo
Iván Mora Manzano
Francois Laso, Cristina Salazar
Iván Mora Manzano, Carla Valencia
Jorge de los Santos, La que Cruza
María Fernanda Restrepo
Esteban Brauer
In January 1988, the director’s two older brothers disappeared after a police check. Maria Fernanda Restrepo was ten years old. Her brothers were probably killed and thrown into Lake Yambo by the police. For more than twenty years, her father has gone to the city of Quito every week to protest against forgetting this case. Solving this crime, which is part of a long tradition of human rights violations in the history of Ecuador, has become the family’s sole purpose in life.
Maria Fernanda, the daughter, also sets out to find the perpetrators. Armed with a camera and microphone she defies policemen, secret service agents and once even a former president to confront them with the truth. Even though she hits a wall of silence or is mislead by false information and fake clues again and again, she gradually comes closer to the truth. Intelligent questions, bitter comments and angry humour are the tools the director uses to expose cowardice and lies, while her off-screen voice sets important accents in a traditional narrative.
The film makes us feel how every member of the family bears their disappointments, hopes and frustrations deep inside and how hard it is for them to share these feelings. And yet they stand together and draw incredible strength from their fight against forgetting. Their courage gives “Con mi corazón en Yambo” its powerful intensity.

– Paulo de Carvalho