yesterday, 07th may 2015 the 30th international documentary film festival opened the doors in Munich. More than 1.200 guests came to the Deutsche Theater for gratulations of the festivals birthday.
THE CIRCUS DYNASTY, Anders Riis-Hansen (Denemark 2014, 90 Min), was the opening film. It is about a love history in the world of circus.
A big thank got Gudrun Geyer and Dr. Hermanan Barth, who were the festival manager in the past. They did such a great job so that nowadays the DOK.fest is known worldwide.
Dr. Klaus-Peter Potthast, Ministerialdirigent of the Bayerischen Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft und Medien, Energie und Technologie, Bürgermeister Josef Schmid. DOK.fest-Manager Daniel Sponsel indroduced the program of the festival this year.
the Festival will take place until 17th of May 2015. 140 documental films will be in the program. Also there is a lot of events around like dancing, openair parties, discussions and a birthday party in the german theater on the 9th of May. More than 100 filmmakers as guests from all over the world will be there to present their films to you.
108 WORRIES (Deutschland 2014, Markus Wulf, Filmschool festival). “Buddha doesn’t create any worries; therefore, we call him: Buddha. We, living beings keep creating worries; therefore, we are called: living beings.” Everyone has worries: the woman in the shop has depression; the man is anxious about his job; the schoolgirl is nervous before a test. The modern world is busy, hectic and full of worries. In contrast, there is Buddhism, which aims to give order to worries and overcome them. Incidentally, a monk also has worries.
15 CORNERS OF THE WORLD (Poland 2014, Zuzanna Solakiewicz, DOK.panorama). Analogies, metaphors, parables! In this film we see music and hear images. 83 year-old Eugeniusz Rudnik is a Polish pioneer of electro-acoustic music and still creates auditory artworks in his recording studio today. “Silence being distorted” is what he calls his music.
16 YEARS TILL SUMMER (Schottland 2015, Lou McLoughlan, DOK.international). Starting over again. After 16 years in prison, Uisdean returns to his village in the Scottish highlands. His attempt to start a new life leads him to run the gauntlet of his past.
A GLOBAL JOY (Deutschland 2015, Bruno Fritzsche, DOK.music – Open Air). A road trip through Europe in search of arguably one of the most beautiful creative passions. Two filmmakers plunge into the world of busking in Europe and meet uncompromising, bohemian free thinkers. A film for globetrotters who like to dance through the streets.
A QUIEN CONMIGO VA – THOSE WHO GO WITH ME (Deutschland, Spanien 2014, Amparo Mejias, DOK.money). A house bought for 140,000 Euro, debts of 240,000 Euro and no roof over their heads: that is the balance sheet of the financial crisis in Spain for Lola and her family. Despite facing eviction and having the bank on their back, this film’s formidable protagonist stands up to those in power.
ABDO (Deutschland 2015, Jakob Gross, Münchner Premieren). In post-revolutionary Cairo, chaotic situations still prevail. In the midst of them is young Abdo –a revolutionary himself and an ultra football fan. Under the most difficult circumstances, he tries to find himself and his place in a tumultuous society.
ABOVE & BELOW (Schweiz, Deutschland 2015, Nicolas Steiner, DOK.special). A hermit in the Nevada desert, a couple in the sewage system under Las Vegas and astronauts in the red desert. This film allows the outcasts to have their say. Their otherness is fascinating and through their stories it becomes clear that there are completely understandable reasons for them being outsiders.
AGORÁ – AGORÁ – FROM DEMOCRACY TO THE MARKET (Griechenland, Deutschland, Katar 2014, Yorgos Avgeropoulos, DOK.money). Greece is facing bankruptcy and has to implement the most drastic austerity programme in history – with fatal consequences for its people. Over four years the film follows what happened during the debt crisis from Greece’s point of view.
ALLE 28 TAGE – EVERY 28 DAYS (Deutschland 2015, Ina Borrmann, Münchner Premieren). Ina and Marc have been a couple for years. Ina never saw herself as a mother but one day the desire to have children was there. What should you do if nature is not cooperating? The film shows first hand the significance of a desire to have children and its influence on relationships and everyday life.
ALWAYS TOGETHER (Tschechische Republik 2014, Eva Tomanová, DOK.panorama). An unconventional life in a forest clearing in the middle of nowhere. A family of outsiders have completely turned their back on modern society and ostensibly live in their own little paradise in the Czech Republic. A social experiment.
ANDERMATT – GLOBAL VILLAGE (Schweiz 2014, Leonidas Bieri, Co-Regie: Robin Burgauer, DOK.international). Ski lifts with heated seats, a golf course, and an exclusive residential area – that is Andermatt’s future. Over the course of seven years, the film chronicles the transformation of the Swiss alpine village into a luxury resort. The locals have mixed feelings about the impact on their home – yes, there may be a profit but at what cost?
ATTENTION: A LIFE IN EXTREMES (Österreich 2014, Sascha Köllnreitner, DOK.panorama). Basejumping, freediving, long-distance cycling – some people would do anything to escape the uniformity of everyday life. Seldom are the agonies and dangers that they take on experienced so sensuously as in this film. A deep insight into the soul of a society that seems to be increasingly losing its human dimension.
AUFROLLEN – DEFEAT YOUR DEMONS (Deutschland 2014, Alexander Menkö, Filmschool festival). “On 13th December 2003 my best friend Philipp leapt to his death – my childhood also died with him. Since that day we – his old clique – stand by his grave every year and ask ourselves, ‘Did we miss something? Could we have prevented his suicide?’” In search of answers we accompany the old friends to the grave.
AUGUST: A MOMENT BEFORE THE ERUPTION (Frankreich, Israel 2002, Avi Mograbi, Retrospektive). August is the cruellest month. This snapshot of an Israeli summer month takes us into the thick of daily conflicts: racism, fear and despair. A self-deprecating and courageous statement on the state of a nation.
AUS DEM ABSEITS – FROM THE SIDELINE (Deutschland 2015, Simon Brückner, DOK.deutsch). The filmmaker, Simon Brückner, goes in search of his long-deceased father, one of the central figures of the German students’ movement. A picture of a multi-faceted character emerges and a piece of German history is retold.
BALAGAN (Frankreich, Deutschland 1993, Andres Veiel, DOK.special). An explosive stage production against the Holocaust. Three Israeli actors: Khaled, the Palestinian; Madi, the Jew; and Moni, the child of Israeli Jews and himself a practising othodox Jew. Using highly vivid images they face up to their history – going right up to the pain barrier.
BEAVERLAND – LOS CASTORES (Chile 2014, Nicolás Molina, DOK.panorama). They come in the night and no one sees them. They have completely transformed 50,000 hectares of Tierra del Fuego. Beavers: 50 of them – a colony originally set up for fur production. Full of black humour, this mystery film about the battle between man and beast tells of the hegemony within nature.
BEING BRUNO BANANI (Deutschland 2014, Susann Wentzlaff, DOK.panorama). At the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi an athlete from Tonga took part for the first time. His name was Bruno Banani and he was competing in the luge. BEING BRUNO BANANI is an accomplished sporting drama and a shrewd piece of marketing: a feel good movie that takes us from the South Seas to the ice tracks of Sochi.
BEYOND PUNISHMENT (Deutschland 2015, Hubertus Siegert, DOK.panorama). What happens when murderers and the bereaved meet each other? BEYOND PUNISHMENT is the story of three families and three perpetrators dealing with their tragic past.
BOSTERI UNTERM RAD – BOSTERI BENEATH THE WHEEL (Deutschland 2014, Levin Hübner, Filmschool festival). An old man and his horse stand in the middle of the Kazakh Steppe. Behind them looms a Ferris wheel that goes round for only two months a year. We see the locals who are left behind in this leisure park as it lays idle and they wait for the next tourists to arrive.
CAMP 14 – TOTAL CONTROL ZONE (Deutschland, Südkorea 2012, Marc Wiese, DOK.special). He watched as his mother was hanged and his brother was shot. He himself had betrayed them. Shin Dong-Hyuk grew up in North Korea in Camp 14. In 2005 he managed to escape but in freedom he cannot find peace. The cold disregard for human dignity in the camp will make you gasp.
CE QU’IL RESTE DE LA FOLIE – REMNANCE OF MADNESS (Frankreich, Senegal 2014, Joris Lachaise, DOK.horizonte). A psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Dakar: who gets cured here and by whom? The psychiatrists consult with traditional healers. An intelligent, visually elaborate investigation of insanity and approaches towards it in postcolonial society.
CITIZENFOUR (USA, Deutschland 2014, Laura Poitras, DOK.special). NSA, Tempora, Prism, Merkelgate. Since the revelations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the digital world has been transformed. In her Oscar-winning film, director, Laura Poitras, follows the scandal around national surveillance programmes and portrays a young man who has the uncompromising courage to stand up for his beliefs.
CORINNES GEHEIMNIS (Deutschland 2014, Maike Conway, Münchner Premieren). Corinne is no totally normal teenager. Infected since birth with HIV, she cannot confide in anyone. A film about an adolescence marked by a conflict between confrontation and hiding oneself away.
DANCING WITH STYLE (Niederlande 2013, Xander de Boer, DOK.education). Eugene ist ein seltener Name in Holland und Eugenes Hobby kommt seinen Klassenkameraden auch sehr merkwürdig vor: BallroomDancing. Der Dokumentarfilm gewährt uns Einblick in das Leben des 14-jährigen Jungen, der seit seinem sechsten Lebensjahr professionell tanzt, und nimmt uns mit auf eine stilvolle Reise aus der Mobbingspirale.
DARK STAR – HR GIGERS WELT (Schweiz 2014, Belinda Sallin, DOK.panorama). Giger’s art is a symbiosis of dream and trauma. The terrifying worlds that he created were strongly influenced by personal experiences. Belinda Sallin draws a sensitive portrait of the controversial Oscar winner and creates a last manifesto for the man who gave birth to the Alien.
DAS DUNKLE GEN (Deutschland, Schweiz 2014, Miriam Jakobs, Gerhard Schick, Münchner Premieren). Footballers, actors, and average Joes: these days the topic of depression is in the headlines more than ever before. Using his own experience as a starting point, Frank S. questions the cause of the illness and sets off on a journey that becomes much more than a personal quest.
DAS ERSTE MEER – THE FIRST SEA (Deutschland 2013, Clara Trischler, Filmschool festival). Palestinian children speak about their expectations. How does Israel present itself? How about the Israelis? And what does the sea look like? We accompany the children on their first trip to the sea and, while they are overjoyed to finally be able to see it, the question still remains why it has to be so difficult to get there.
DAS GOLDDORF (Deutschland 2014, Carolin Genreith, DOK.deutsch). Looking for a home in the heartlands of Bavaria. Refugees from all over the world bring world politics to Chiemgau, an area rich in provincial traditions. A culture-clash tragicomedy that explores the meaning of home.
DAS RADIKALE LEBEN DES RUPERT NEUDECK (Deutschland 2015, Johannes Rosenstein, DOK.special). Rupert Neudeck, the founder of Cap Anamur, is compelled to help other people. Once a war refugee himself, he has saved the lives of many thousands of people over the past 35 years together with his wife Christel and made it possible for them to find new homes after being forced to leave theirs behind. Neudeck’s motto,“radical humanity,” sends a clear message to the world.
DE SCHNUUF – THE BREATH (Schweiz 2014, Fabian Kaiser, Filmschool festival). Rescue service personnel train for emergency situations. They run through narrow strobe-lit tunnels, they climb up ladders in all their gear – in protective clothes that look like spacesuits. DE SCHNUUFF is documentary science fiction that nonetheless depicts real working conditions.
DEATH & THE MAIDEN (Israel, Deutschland 2014, Yael Lotem, Filmschool festival). Shortly after the Second World War, over 1000 pictures were found in a cellar in the south of France. The pictures were painted by the young Jewish artist, Charlotte Salomon. Is it her life story? Part of it? Or not? The film sets off in search of Charlotte. On the one hand, it follows the narrative within the pictures and at the same time it investigates her actual story.
DEMOCRATS (Dänemark 2014, Camilla Nielsson, DOK.international). From 2009 to 2012 Camilla Nielsson followed the process of constitutional reform in Zimbabwe. She has not only drawn a sympathetic portrait of the two politicians in charge but also offers a unique look behind the scenes of the political system.
DESERT HAZE (Belgien 2014, Sofie Benoot, DOK.panorama). Diverse stories of human life in the US desert: Native Americans, pioneers, environmental destruction, tourism… Dramatically refined and visually sophisticated, the film questions man’s intrusion into nature without making judgements.
DIARIES OF A FLYING DOG – YAWMAT KALB TA’R (Libanon, Vereinigte Arabische Emirate 2014, Bassem Fayad, DOK.horizonte). War, childhood, family. For the Lebanese filmmaker, Bassem Fayad, making his diary documentary, DIARIES OF A FLYING DOG, was also like going to therapy. Why do he and his mother suffer from anxiety disorders? Why does his dog not leave the family property? A humorous self-evaluation.
DIE BEFREIER – The Liberators – Why We Fought (Deutschland, USA 2015, Emanuel Rotstein, DOK.special). On April 29, 1945, allied troops liberated the nearby Munich located concentration camp Dachau. This HISTORY-production devotes itself to that story from the American point of view.
DIE BÖHMS – ARCHITEKTUR EINER FAMILIE (Schweiz 2014, Maurizius Staerkle Drux, DOK.special). A world famous patriarch, a love that is no more and a common passion: to create architecture for all the senses. Maurizius Staerkle-Drux’s family portrait of the “Böhms” is much more than a pure study of architecture: it is a tender appreciation of love, inspiration and a lust for life in old age.
DIE BUCHT – THE COVE (USA 2009, Louie Psihoyos, DOK.special). A covert investigation, specialist Hollywood cameras and a collective mission: to document the bloody acts in Taiji’s “Dolphin Cove” for the first time. Louie Psihoyos’ alarming mix of nature documentary, action film and political thriller is deeply disturbing: afterwards no one will want to watch “Flipper” again.
DIE GEWÄHLTEN – ELECTED (Deutschland 2015, Nancy Brandt, DOK.deutsch). “It is always the men who wish to mark their territory,” teases one of the two female protagonists during their first period of election in the German parliament. The elevated world of Berlin politics is not only a battleground of opinions but also one of gender, beyond party divisions.
DIE HÄLFTE DER STADT – HALF THE TOWN (Deutschland 2015, Pawel Siczek, DOK.international). What connects a photograph, the Second World War and a young couple? Set in the town of Kozienice, which was divided between the Polish and the Germans, the film follows Jewish photographer, Chaim Berman, through his family history, political persecution and work.
DO YOU KNOW AKANE OKAI? (Schweiz 2014, Raphaël Harari, Filmschool festival). The filmmaker is travelling in a foreign land – to the Japanese village of Tawara to be precise – and is looking for someone he can film. He makes a valiant effort and talks to many locals, even though he hardly knows any Japanese and they can’t really speak English. Finally he meets a young woman who shares a part of her life with him.
DREAMCATCHER (Großbritannien, USA 2015, Kim Longinotto, DOK.international). Brenda, a former prostitute, has made it her business to give young women in Chicago a better future. She tirelessly fights with the Dreamcatcher Foundation for victims of violence and prostitution. She never denounces them but instead gives the women what they need: love and hope.
DRONE (Norwegen 2014, Tonje Hessen Schei, DOK.panorama). In a barrack in the USA, young men sit with joysticks and kill people. On the other side of the world the young and the old, men and women are dying. DRONE is an impressive document that speaks out against drone and robot wars that have already become part of our everyday lives.
EL HOGAR AL REVÉS – UPSIDE DOWN HOME (Mexiko 2014, Itzel Martínez del Cañizo, DOK.horizonte). Over the course of a year, the filmmaker followed a group of young people in a modern working-class housing estate in Tijuana. The parents are absent; they work day and night to pay their debts. The children’s loneliness is the price they pay for the dream of having their own home.
ELECTROBOY (Schweiz 2014, Marcel Gisler, DOK.deutsch). The story of Florian Burkhardt is one of an incredible self-made man: a pro snowboarder, world famous top model, internet pioneer, designer, musician and writer. What he didn’t manage in all these years was to find himself. A multi-faceted portrait with deep insight into a familial void.
ELEPHANT’S DREAM (Belgien 2014, Kristof Bilsen, DOK.horizonte). A postal worker, a fireman and a railway employee in a strange vacuum in the middle of the vibrant city of Kinshasa. The poetic yet never sugar-coated images that Kristof Bilsen has created around his protagonists draw a never before seen picture of the Democratic Republic of the Congo beyond war, dictatorship and violence.
ENTR’ART (Deutschland 2014, Zsazsa von Ammon, Filmschool festival). Four students from the Akademie der bildenden Künste Nürnberg are coming to the end of their studies. How long have they been making art, how do they make art and how will they continue in the future? The film not only brings the art closer to us but in particular the people who make it. You don’t have to have millions but it would help. Despite a lack of money, the four are imperturbable: they will follow their path.
FALCIANI UND DER BANKENSKANDAL – FALCIANI’S LIST (Deutschland, Spanien 2014, Ben Lewis, DOK.money). Hervé Falciani’s enormous data theft of 2008 left the world’s banks trembling. His “list” was a key moment in recent economic history and triggered thousands of self-disclosures of incomplete tax declarations in Germany alone. Ben Lewis tells the incredible story of the Edward Snowden of the financial world.
FAMILY BUSINESS (Deutschland 2014, Christiane Büchner, DOK.deutsch). Anna is a somewhat grumpy, frail old lady who requires care that her daughter can no longer provide. Jowita is the Polish elderly care nurse who is meant to look after her. A case study of a topic that will become more and more important in the future.
FANG DEN HAIDER – Catching Haider (Österreich 2015, Nathalie Borgers, DOK.deutsch). How can it be that, despite the corruption scandals he has been associated with, Jörg Haider is portrayed as a hero after his accidental death? Nathalie Borgers goes to investigate in Carinthia. Her discoveries range from the comically bizarre to the strangely vexing.
FASSBINDER (Deutschland 2015, Annekatrin Hendel, DOK.special). Like no other, the name Fassbinder is synonymous with the New German Cinema of the 1970s. Who was the man whose films and theatre plays polarise opinion to this day? This documentary gained access to previously unseen material from the archive of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation.
FINDING FELA (USA 2014, Alex Gibney, DOK.music – Open Air). In the glamorous seventies, Fela Kuti was a world-famous musical icon and anticolonial activist for pan-African liberation. His sexual excesses were almost as legendary as his afrobeat music. Alex Gibney’s biopic shows that the revolution has rhythm!
FLOTEL EUROPA (Dänemark, Serbien 2015, Vladimir Tomic, DOK.panorama). FLOTEL EUROPA was a container ship that accommodated hundreds of war refugees from Sarajevo in Copenhagen in 1992. For Vladimir, his mother and older brother, it was their new home, too. A touching portrait of a refugee and, at the same time, an amusing coming of age story in VHS images.
FOR THE LOST – LES TOURMENTÉS (Belgien, Frankreich 2014, Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd, DOK.international). The wild seclusion of the Languedoc countryside. A shepherd (or is it a shepherdess?) drives his herd over the elevated karstic plateaux and touches base with the lost, the forgotten and the insane. FOR THE LOST is a visually powerful meditation on forgetting and memory.
FRAGMENTE – ALTO FRAGILE (Italien 2013, Benjamin Thum, Filmschool festival). An expressive journey composed of individual scenes, fragments, words. Always restless and on the move. A very old woman, a child that cries, travelling with the train, walking through the city. The images drift in and out of focus and back again. There is a prehistoric man on the ice, being photographed with an iPad; Dildos; a summit cross; masturbation; boxing; prayers. Fragments of a completely subjective characterisation of a landscape that will captivate the audience.
FREEDOM BUS (Deutschland 2013, Fatima Abdollahyan, DOK.special). How does freedom work? Mubarak’s authoritarian rule lasted almost 30 years. There is a long way to go between its end and a functioning democracy. FREEDOM BUS traces this journey with all its promises and setbacks.
FREIFALL (Deutschland 2014, Felix Heinisch, Helge Navrota, Filmschool festival). Marco, Ulli and Jukka meet almost every weekend in their winged suits to prepare for the next international skydiving competition. Their common passion brings them together and seals their friendship. What attracts them to it? The rush of speed? The joint choreography in the sky? The film succeeds in making the audience also forget what is up and what is down and it is just then that we can really understand the trio.
FREIFALL – EINE LIEBESGESCHICHTE – FREEFALLING – A LOVE STORY (Schweiz, Deutschland 2014, Mirjam von Arx, DOK.deutsch). Herbert is Mirjam von Arx’s new long-awaited life partner. This is a love story that begins on the internet and ends prematurely on the face of a rock. Herbert was a basejumper and Mirjam is left with the question of why someone would risk their life so frivolously.
FROM BUSINESS TO BEING (Deutschland 2015, Julian Wildgruber, Hanna Henigin, DOK.money). These days, employees find themselves under enormous pressure. Disorders such as burn-out and depression are not uncommon. A manager, a mediation coach and a quantum physicist offer their approaches to counteract this trend.
GLEICHGEWICHT (Österreich 2014, Bernhard Wenger, Filmschool festival). Denise goes to Vienna’s Prater nearly every day and there, among the neon lights, she talks about her difficult childhood. The amusement park makes her feel welcome. Her favourite thing to do is to stand in the middle of the tagada, which effectively presses people against its wall as it spins around and easily finds balance.
HANS IM GLÜCK – DREI VERSUCHE, DAS RAUCHEN LOSZUWERDEN (Schweiz 2003, Peter Liechti, DOK.special). In order to overcome the addiction of smoking, Swiss filmmaker Peter Liechti goes on three pilgrimmages through his country.The initial purpose takes a backseat all too soon as his hikes become ways of cognition. A film about Happiness, Life, and Switzerland. And smoking.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. MOGRABI (Frankreich, Israel 1999, Avi Mograbi, Retrospektive). Israel’s 50th anniversary becomes the starting point for a wide variety of stories. With Mograbi’s own birthday approaching and the Israelis celebrating the founding of a nation, the Palestinians mark the “catastrophe” of Israel. A film about the impossibility of making a film in the face of chaos.
HELIKOPTER HAUSARREST (Deutschland 2014, Constantin Hatz, Filmschool festival). Held captive in his mother’s house with a shackle on his leg, 27-year-old Benjamin serves a ten-month custodial sentence. The small house in the outskirts of Vienna is cramped. Benjamin makes music, lifts weights and flies his helicopter. His mother works, folds laundry and makes phone calls. Then in the evening they eat together. The distance that has built up between them over the years gradually gets smaller again. A totally different kind of family reunion.
HINTERWELTEN – HINTERLAND (Deutschland 2014, Lion Bischof, Jonas Heldt, Felicitas Sonvilla, Filmschool festival). Racing through the streets of the small town on a little moped to the employment agency to ask for a job. Two metal thieves, who scrounge from disused factories to make money. A mother and a daughter speak of the desolation arising from the lack of people here, especially the lack of some sensible men. Wunsiedel on the border to Czech Republic is over, or isn’t it?
HOW I LEARNED TO OVERCOME MY FEAR AND LOVE ARIK SHARON (Israel 1997, Avi Mograbi, Retrospektive). What begins as the portrait of a political adversary ends in unwitting admiration: the left-wing intellectual arm in arm with a right-wing general. Perceptive analysis of the art of persuasion and semi-fictional tomfoolery rolled into one.
I WANT TO BE A KING (Iran 2014, Mehdi Ganji, DOK.horizonte). Abbas lives with his wife and three children in picturesque southern Iran. He dreams of creating a tourism empire: his own new “historical nomad village.” But his family don’t share his dream. A comical, yet sad film about a startup mogul.
I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER (Deutschland 2014, Hannes Lang, DOK.money). “After one look at the planet, a visitor from outer space would say: I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER.” From lithium mines in the salt deserts of Bolivia via a squatted high-rise building in Caracas to the overcrowded metropolis of Beijing, the film travels to seven different settings that demonstrate the changes brought about by globalisation.
IF MAMA AIN’T HAPPY, NOBODY’S HAPPY (Niederlande 2014, Mae De Jong, Filmschool festival). “If you want to make a film about independent women, shouldn’t you make one about our family?” That is, four generations of women, three of which have managed without men. Tradition? Heredity? The daughter scrutinises her life. Is her destiny predetermined by her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother?
IL GESTO DELLE MANI – HAND GESTURES (Italien 2015, Francesco Clerici, DOK.panorama). An ancient craft in a symphony of images, sounds and gestures: In IL GESTO DELLE MANI the genesis of a bronze sculpture is sensuously and intuitively captured on screen.
INTIMATE DISTANCE (Deutschland 2014, Steffen Köhn, Filmschool festival). Berlin is connected to Istanbul, Moscow and South America. The world has become smaller because technology can bring us close to each other. Around the world relatives and friends are scattered. A couple resolve the distance between them with Skype. You can even sleep together – a webcam makes it possible.
JE SUIS LE PEUPLE – I AM THE PEOPLE (Frankreich 2014, Anna Roussillon, DOK.international). “Your definition of democracy isn’t the same as mine,” the smallholder, Farraj, explains to the filmmaker, “I want justice for the world.” “If only we could have democracy for breakfast. And for dinner.” The Egyptian revolution seen through the eyes of the rural population.
JOCKO 23 (Deutschland 2014, Bettina Timm, DOK.education). Der 23-jährige Jocko lebt in einem fast menschenleeren Plattenbau in einer kleinen ostdeutschen Stadt nahe der polnischen Grenze. Junge Erwachsene gibt es dort fast keine mehr. Einsamkeit und Zukunftslosigkeit machen ihm zu schaffen. Nach dem Tod seiner Mutter mag er den Vater nicht allein zurücklassen. Gleichzeitig wächst sein Hunger auf Zukunft. In ausdrucksstarken Bildern und mit feinem Blick porträtiert der Dokumentarfilm einen jungen Menschen und dessen Entscheidungen für sein zukünftiges Leben.
KRIEGER VATER KÖNIG – WARRIOR FATHER KING (Deutschland 2015, Julian Reich, DOK.international). They are two young, masculine migrants who live for mixed martial arts. This portrait of the two fighters succeeds in showing how they balance their brutal sport with the vulnerable world of emotions. A documentary that provides a refreshingly different perspective.
L’ABRI – THE SHELTER (Schweiz 2014, Fernand Melgar, DOK.panorama). Outside the entrance to the “Bunker” in Lausanne the same scenes play out night after night: jostling crowds, desperation and anger. Only a lucky 50 are allowed into the emergency homeless shelter. Following on from LA FORTERESSE and VOL SPÉCIAL, Fernand Melgar completes his trilogy. Highly emotional, dramatic and contentious.
LA BUENA VIDA – THE GODD LIFE (Deutschland, Schweiz 2015, Jens Schanze, DOK.international). The indigenous population of the North Columbian village of Tamaquito is standing in the way of a coalmine and must be relocated. This impressive documentary shows how global capitalism critically changes people’s lives.
LA MORT DU DIEU SERPENT – DEATH OF THE SERPENT GOD (Frankreich 2014, Damien Froidevaux, DOK.horizonte). 20 year-old Koumba is thrown out of France. She has to go back to Senegal, a land that she doesn’t know – she was just two years old when she and her parents left for Paris. In this sensational long-term observation, LA MORT DU DIEU SERPENT depicts what can happen after deportation.
LA SELVA INFLADA – THE INFLATED JUNGLE (Kolumbien, Spanien 2015, Alejandro Naranjo, DOK.horizonte). A series of suicides among youths who had to travel far from home to go to school, shocked their indigenous community in the Columbian Amazon. THE INFLATED JUNGLE is a poetic and atmospheric film, which does not deliver any simple explanations but relies on intuitive insights.
LA SIRÈNE DE FASO FANI – THE SIREN OF FASO FANI (Frankreich, Burkina Faso, Deutschland, Katar 2015, Michel K. Zongo, DOK.horizonte). The Faso Fani textile factory in Koudougou, Burkina Faso was an economic success story until it fell victim to a neo-liberal economic policy in 2001. The filmmaker doesn’t settle with the victim mentality though but mobilises the weavers from then and now to take their fate into their own hands.
LEBE SCHON LANGE HIER (Deutschland 2014, Sobo Swobodnik, DOK.deutsch). A city, an image, a sound. It all belongs together but at the same time somehow it doesn’t. For over more than a year, LEBE SCHON LANGE HIER looks out of the window and observes the goings on at a Berlin crossroads. In the most beautiful black and white images and with a poetic commentary.
LITTLE PEOPLE BIG DREAMS (Singapur, China 2014, Chun Kit Mak, DOK.guest). A theme park where people of short stature live in their own dwarf world – it sounds like something from the 19th Century. In the Chinese “Dwarves Empire,” a place that is simultaneously a ghetto, a spectacle and a sanctuary, it is a cynical reality.
MADGERMANES (Deutschland 2014, Malte Wandel, Filmschool festival). It has already been almost 25 years, but since then the so-called Madgermanes have been holding demonstrations in Mosambique’s capital, Maputo. They want their money back; money that they earned in the 1980s as contract workers in the GDR. The Mozambican government withheld an estimated 100 million dollars of salary and social insurance transfers from Germany. Alongside their collective struggle against injustice, they are also united by their memories of the time in Germany.
MAMMON – PER ANHALTER DURCH DAS GELDSYSTEM – MONEY – A CONFUSED USER’S GUIDE (Deutschland 2014, Philipp Enders, DOK.money). Guided by a mobile app, Philipp Enders sets off on a (fictitious) search for his money and ends up not only at the ECB and the stock exchange but also on an abandoned Spanish building site. With cheeky wink, MAMMON recounts the mechanisms behind the root of all evil.
MAN ON WIRE (Großbritannien, USA 2008, James Marsh, DOK.special). “It’s impossible, that’s sure. So let’s start working!” In the early hours of 7th August 1974, Philippe Petit pulled off an enormous coup, putting his life on the line. For 45 minutes he balanced between the towers of the World Trade Center. It is an image that epitomises the last century. James Marsh’s breezy biopic is about a man who reaches for the stars and risks everything for his dreams.
MATCH ME! – HOW TO FIND LOVE IN MODERN TIMES (Deutschland 2014, Lia Jaspers, Münchner Premieren). Love in the age of self-fulfilment. This entertaining film shows what an individual’s search for a partner can be like today – far beyond the well-known dating portals. It is amusing, exciting and astonishing to accompany Sarah, Johanna and Sampsa on their path to find love.
MICHAEL S., VERSAMMELT (Österreich 2014, Steven Swirko, Filmschool festival). Michael collects films: Super 8 versions of feature films to be precise. He has built himself a cinema in his cellar. His wife has left him. “Collecting is just a male domain,” he argues as he peeks out from behind his films.
MINERS SHOT DOWN (Südafrika 2014, Rehad Desai, DOK.panorama). The massacre of the striking Marikana miners in August 2012 ruptured the young democracy of South Africa. Filmmaker and activist, Rehad Desai, attempts to illuminate the political machinations that led to the tragic end of an initially peaceful workers’ strike.
MISSION CONTROL TEXAS (Deutschland 2014, Ralf Bücheler, Münchner Premieren). For 17 years the independent television show, “The Atheist Experience,” has been broadcasted from Texas. Its presenters discuss questions of belief, politics, abortion and creationism with Christian callers, maintaining their sense of humour throughout. It is not always easy to be an atheist in the bible belt.
MOON RIDER (Dänemark 2012, Daniel Dencik, DOK.special). The young Danish cyclist Rasmus Christian Quaade had a long and hard journey to become runner up in the world 2011 time trial. Daniel Dencik creates a vivid and visually stunning account of the interminable loneliness and endless hardships that the sportsman frequently exposes himself to in aid of success.
MOTHERS (China 2013, Xu Huijing, DOK.guest). Rong Rong, a prospective teacher who lives in the Chinese countryside refuses to be sterilised. She is pursued by a committee, 90% of which are men. The film is a captivating account of the cynical implementation of Chinese demographic policy in rural areas.
MUCHACHAS (Schweiz 2014, Juliana Fanjul, Filmschool festival). The death of her grandmother leads the filmmaker to her birthplace, Mexico City. There the granddaughter opens her eyes for the first time to the domestic workers: the benevolent spirits who bring up the children, cook the meals and live under the same roof as familes for years and yet remain mostly unseen. Remedios, Guadalupe and Dolores – we find out how they live, where they come from and what they have experienced. And naturally we ask ourselves why they have not been asked these questions long before.
NADESHDA (Deutschland 2015, Anna Frances Ewert, Falk Müller, Filmschool festival). Nadeshda is one of Bulgaria’s biggest Roma ghettos: a closed town within a town. The place has its own particular rules and problems and there are few chances to escape. We follow three children, Misho, Zorka and Tsveti, on a journey through the ghetto, learning to play the violin in a music project or somehow coming to terms with living in a garage. Yet they dream of a future beyond the ghetto and most of all beyond ostracism and prejudice.
NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC – NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC (USA 2014, One 9, DOK.music – Open Air). The 1994 debut album by the New York rapper, Nas, ILLMATIC, is a milestone in Afro-American music history. Just 20 years old at the time, he rapped about violence, drugs, and racism and was signed by a major label. A music film about his background, his rise to fame and his success in the hip hop scene. A piece of pop culture with phat sounds!
NATASCHA (Deutschland 2015, Katharina Köster, Münchner Premieren). Where does help end and control begin? The young mother to be, Natascha, is mentally handicapped and fiercely determined to bring up her child herself together with its father. Then unexpected events turn everything on their head.
NEIGHBOURHOOD H. – BUURT H. (Niederlande 2014, Biserka Suran, Filmschool festival). Three experimental arrangements in one residential building: 1. A chair and some questions, 2. Communal planting in the courtyard, 3. A laid table, which the residents are invited to. Does it succeed in bringing together this involuntary community and establishing connections within it? The film is a social experiment, a performative documentation about living alongside others and ways to approach it.
NICHT ALLES SCHLUCKEN – DON’T SWALLOW EVERYTHING (Deutschland 2015, Jana Kalms, Piet Stolz, Sebastian Winkels, DOK.deutsch). “None of the psycho-pharmaceutical drugs have a healing approach. They subdue symptoms.” NICHT ALLES SCHLUCKEN highlights the eternal stigma of mental illness, the power of medicine and questions our perceptions of normality and mental health.
NIEUW – ALLES NEU! (Niederlande 2014, Eefje Blankevoort, DOK.education). Der achtjährige Tanans aus Uganda kommt als Flüchtlingskind in den Niederlanden an. Der beobachtende Dokumentarfilm lässt uns mit seinen Augen den europäischen Alltag neu entdecken. Das erste Mal ein Fahrrad zu sehen, das erste Mal in einem Bett zu schlafen – alles ist neu. Vorsichtig nimmt Tanans Kontakt auf zu den Kindern der Nachbarn und im gemeinsamen Spiel öffnen sich Horizonte für beide Seiten.
NORTH EAST HARD WEST – NOORD OOST HARD WEST (Niederlande 2014, Bart van den Aardweg, Filmschool festival). Kickboxers in Amsterdam West and their motivation, which lies somewhere between escape, education and aggression. The central location is a gym where youths and young men meet to box. Group dynamics, hierarchies, violence, self-discovery and self-assertion – the harsh reality of the street becomes increasingly blurred with that in the fitness studio.
OF MEN AND WAR (Frankreich, Schweiz 2014, Laurent Bécue-Renard, DOK.international). The Pathway Home is a facility for soldiers who have served in Iraq and have post-traumatic stress disorder. Blighted by anxiety, aggression and relationship problems, they speak of their bloody experiences of war in group therapy sessions. Bécue-Renard closely observes their difficult journey back to civilian life.
ON IMAGES – ÜBER BILDER – 10 VIEWS (Deutschland 2014, Heiner Stadler, DOK.special). Our appropriation of the world is increasingly based on worlds of images that then in turn create their own new worlds. This documentary introduces us to different people who work with imaging technology. A sensual film that shows us how things are and, in doing so, incidentally questions our future.
ONCE I ENTERED A GARDEN (Israel, Frankreich, Schweiz 2012, Avi Mograbi, Retrospektive). Two incongruous friends, Avi und Ali – an Israeli and a Palestinian – talk about their family backgrounds. The Israeli’s family originates from Syria; the Palestinian’s from Gaililee. What could the future hold for Yasmine, Ali’s Jewish-Palestinian daughter?
OUR TERRIBLE COUNTRY – BALADNA ALRAHEEB (Syrien, Libanon 2014, Mohammad Ali Atassi, Ziad Homsi, DOK.horizonte). The prominent intellectual, Saleh, and a young photographer fight for revolution in Syria, each in their own individual way, and, in doing so, descend deeper and deeper into existential crisis. In exile in Istanbul, they are safe, while their relatives are in mortal danger and their land in ruins.
OWAMI – I AM … (Deutschland 2014, Diana Menestrey S., Filmschool festival). Why do we have names? What do they say about the people who carry them? In northern Namibia every forename is unique. The names tell stories, they are reminders of individual families, of a whole country, about war and colonisation; they tell of beliefs, lifestyles and family traditions. If you ask a person their name, you don’t just find out how to address them, but, at the same time, whom you are addressing.
PADRONE E SOTTO (Schweiz 2014, Michele Cirigliano, Filmschool festival). We find ourselves in a small town in Italy in an unpleasantly neon-lit run down bar. A circle of men are playing the card and drinking game, Padrone e Sotto. Those who drink win. The director tries to understand the game himself. Where exactly are the boundaries between game and reality? Sometimes the group of men also leaves the bar, for example to go hunting boar.
PIXADORES – TUULEN SIEPPAAIAT (Finnland, Dänemark, Schweden 2014, Amir Escandari, DOK.panorama). They are a gang. They are armed with colours. They fight injustices in Brazilian society. The “Pixadores” from São Paulo bring radical graffiti art to the facades of high-rise buildings. When they are invited to Berlin for the Biennale, a veritable culture clash ensues.
POEMA DEL DIA – POEM OF THE DAY (Deutschland 2015, Youdid Kahveci, Filmschool festival). In a poor area of Medellín, Columbia, 12 year-old Kevin sells poems and reads them aloud. He doesn’t feel comfortable at home and that is why he often escapes to visit a friend, Amelia, an old woman who wears a cap and lives in a small house on the hillside. There she talks about her life, her family and her dreams. He reads her her letters. But life is not always so simple: Amelia has money troubles.
PRACTICAL AFFAIRS – PRAKTIESE ZAKEN (Niederlande 2013, Jasmijn Schrofer, Filmschool festival). Being old is not for the fainthearted. Warmolt (76 years-old) talks about age; his children would rather stay out of it. So he writes down for them things that will be useful after his death. Things like passwords, for example, but also which urn he prefers. And what about the helium and the plastic bag? Things that can help when it comes to the end and you want to decide these things for yourself.
PULP: A FILM ABOUT LIFE, DEATH & SUPERMARKETS (Großbritannien 2014, Florian Habicht, DOK.music – Open Air). The band Pulp returns to their home town of Sheffield for a reunion concert after 25 years. The camera wanders through the streets and passers by are given the chance to speak. Thus, an unusual film emerges that puts a spotlight not only on the band but also on Sheffield and its people.
REMAKE, REMIX, RIP-OFF (Türkei, Deutschland 2014, Cem Kaya, DOK.panorama). Making a virtue out of necessity. The golden era of Turkish cinema was a riotous period of copying successful blockbusters such as Star Wars and the Exorcist. With less glamour and more physical demands a box office hit par excellence was complete! An affectionate film with magnificently compiled sequences and a great deal of self-mockery.
SASLONCH SUITE (Italien 2014, Andreas Pichler, DOK.special). What happens when some extreme sportspeople enter into a dialogue with some jazz musicians on the face of a rock? Andreas Pichler documents a project from the South Tirol jazz festival, Alto Adige, in which climbers and tightrope walkers find their own unique rhythm.
SOMETHING BETTER TO COME (Dänemark, Polen 2014, Hanna Polak, DOK.international). A totally normal life, like most people take for granted, is a long way away for Yula. She lives in Europe’s biggest landfill site, a few kilometres from Moscow. The only thing left for her is hope for a better future. Far from social romanticism and without dwelling on misery, in poetic images the film tells a present-day fairytale of humanity in an inhumane world.
SOUVENIR (Deutschland 2014, André Siegers, Filmschool festival). Mr Alfred Diebold travelled a lot, always with his camera. He was an ambassador for democracy – working, for example, as the representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Nepal and Warsaw, among other places. He was a reporter for the Berlinale and a candidate in the European elections.
SUD EAU NORD DÉPLACER – SOUTH TO NORTH (Frankreich 2014, Antoine Boutet, DOK.guest). A massive project is intended to supply the north of China with water from the south. Yet the bombastic enterprise stands in opposition to man and nature. People are displaced and the environment is destroyed. SUD EAU NORD DÉPLACER shows the absurdity of a project that epitomises an imbalanced society.
SUSHILA BY THE SEA (Deutschland 2014, Reinaldo Pinto Almeida, Filmschool festival). Sushila, an elderly woman, lives with her family in Mumbai by the sea and goes into the city day after day to work as a cook for a wealthy family. She travels between two very different worlds. Sushila has worked since she was 13 years old and her aim is to lead a happy life.
THE CIRCUS DYNASTY – Cirkusdynastiet (Dänemark 2014, Anders Riis-Hansen, DOK.international). Roll up, roll up for a tale of the circus! Merrylu Casselly and Patrick Berdino were a dream couple on stage and behind the scenes. Descended from two of the most famous circus families, they were the promise of a golden future. But does this love story have a happy ending? Atmospheric and highly emotional cinema!
THE DOG (USA 2014, Allison Berg and Mr. Frank Keraudren, DOK.panorama). The feature film, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, starring Al Pacino is based on the true story of John Wojtowicz. In 1972 John robbed a bank in Brooklyn so he could pay for his transsexual partner’s gender reassignment… Through archive material and candid interviews, this spectacular story is told once more.
THE FORECASTER (Deutschland 2015, Marcus Vetter, Karin Steinberger, DOK.money). One American economist predicted three stock market crashes with a secret formula. He was arrested and spent 12 years in an US-jail while being technically innocent. This is not science fiction but the story of Martin THE FORECASTER Armstrong.
THE GROUND BENEATH THEIR FEET (USA, Pakistan 2014, Nausheen Dadabhoy, DOK.horizonte). Ruqiya and Khalida were paralysed by the massive earthquake in North Pakistan in 2005. This touching long-term observation accompanies the two women over five years. Will they find their place in a society that in actual fact has not envisaged one for them?
THE IRON MINISTRY – 铁－道 (China, USA 2014, J.P. Sniadecki, DOK.guest). Journeys, carriages and protagonists that come and go – the train is a microcosm and a location for trade, exchange and mobility. We witness everyday occurrences, listen to intimate exchanges, both loud and quiet and follow people’s discussions. In this way the film presents us with a potpourri of impressions of China.
THE LAST MOOSE IN AOLUGUYA – HAN DA HAN (China 2014, Gu Tao, DOK.guest). Weijia is one of the Reindeer Evenkis, a minority group in northeast China. Displaced by the government and deprived of the opportunity to hunt, all they have left is alcohol and stories of days gone by. A striking film about their loss of identity and lack of agency.
THE LOOK OF SILENCE (Dänemark, Indonesien, Norwegen, Finnland, Großbritannien 2014, Joshua Oppenheimer, DOK.panorama). Indonesia 1965/66: More than a million people were murdered after the military coup. There has been no coming to terms with this since the perpetrators are still in power. Adi (44), whose brother was murdered back then, wants to make changes and confronts the culprits with their crimes.
THE NEED TO DANCE – DE NOOD AAN DANSEN (Niederlande 2014, Petra Lataster-Czisch, Peter Lataster, DOK.panorama). How is contemporary dance theatre created? We look over the shoulder of the choregrapher, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, as he goes about his intensive work.
THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM – THE FILM (Niederlande 2014, Oeke Hoogendijk, DOK.panorama). In the 21st century, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is due for a comprehensive renovation with visionary architecture – difficult when everyone wants to have their say. An amusing documentation about stumbling blocks and little artistic gems on a construction site.
THE QUEEN OF SILENCE (Polen, Deutschland 2014, Agnieszka Zwiefka, DOK.international). Denisa is partially deaf and battles her way through the tough everyday life in a Roma community somewhere in Poland. The ten-year-old has never learned to talk, yet she loves to dance and to create her own colourful and bright musical world.
THE STORM MAKERS (Frankreich, Kambodscha 2014, Guillaume Suon, DOK.horizonte). Sold as a servant and exploited as a prostitute. In Cambodia human trafficking is thriving. Alongside the fate of a young woman, who returns home traumatised, the film also sheds light on the perpetrators.
THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK (USA 1984, Robert Epstein, DOK.special). „You gotta give ’em hope!” Harvey Milk’s election speech is legendary. He was involved in the US Civil Rights movement as a gay martyr. Robert Epstein’s in depth portrait conjures up the spirit of the 1970s, when the private was also always very political.
THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING – THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING (Frankreich, USA, Deutschland, Dänemark, Niederlande 2014, Laura NIX Andy BICHLBAUM, Mike BONANNO, DOK.panorama). THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING depicts the struggle of two affable idealists against the world’s most powerful. They pose as representatives of corporate businesses and hold fake press conferences. Because publicity is everything – even for activists.
THOSE WHO FEEL THE FIRE BURNING (Niederlande 2014, Morgan Knibbe, DOK.international). A man drowns when he falls from a refugee boat but his ghost reaches Europe, wanders through the towns and observes the chaos. He sees the dark side of Europe: people who arrived with hope and are now stuck. An experiment that lies somewhere between documentary and fiction.
TOTO AND HIS SISTERS – TOTO SI SURORILE LUI (Rumänien 2014, Alexander Nanau, DOK.panorama). Three siblings on the margins of Romanian society. Toto, Ana und Andreea live among heroin addicts. Their mother is in jail. Yet they battle on, they dance and they learn. A moving and energetic drama about dreams and a childhood amid great adversity “…strong and stubborn…”
TWILIGHT OF A LIFE – AU CRÉPUSCULE D’UNE VIE (Israel, Belgien 2014, Sylvain Biegeleisen, DOK.panorama). “We wanted to talk about life, not about death!” The filmmaker’s mother has decided to live on; for two years, Sylvain accompanies her. There is an affectionate intimacy between them – and some chansons. An ode to life full of humour and poetry.
ÜBER DIE JAHRE (Österreich 2015, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, DOK.panorama). 2004: In the underdeveloped region of Waldviertel six people lose their jobs when a factory closes. For ten years this award-winning long-term documentation accompanies the protagonists on their paths through life and examines the meaning of work for individuals in the post-industrial era.
ULRICH SEIDL UND DIE BÖSEN BUBEN – ULRICH SEIDL – A DIRECTOR AT WORK (Österreich, Schweiz, Deutschland 2014, Constantin Wulff, DOK.special). The enfant terrible of Austrian cinema at work. Ulrich Seidl’s film and theatre pieces brazenly challenge taboos, gaze into the abyss and yet fascinate audiences worldwide. With a discreet approach, this portrait of Ulrich Seidl as a man and a director is a must see for fans and critics alike.
UN FIN DEL MUNDO (Italien 2013, Tiziana Poli, Filmschool festival). „This is the way the world ends … with a whimper.“ In 2012, spiritual tourists travel to Mexico from all around the world to be present at the end of the Mayan calendar. And the Mexicans? They don’t really believe in it and prefer to devote themselves to the blessed virgin, Guadalupe. Some are celebrating the end of the world, others are preparing themselves for it through meditation, and the rest is ignoring it.
UNE JEUNESSE ALLEMANDE – A GERMAN YOUTH (Frankreich, Schweiz, Deutschland 2015, Jean-Gabriel Périot, DOK.panorama). The federal republic of the 1960s and its youth: upheaval, disillusionment, politicisation, and radicalisation. Without commentary and using solely archive material, this skilfully assembled film conveys the rise and fall of the RAF with its sights always on the present.
VERSICHERUNGSVERTRETER 2 – MEHMET GÖKER MACHT WEITER (Deutschland 2015, Klaus Stern, DOK.deutsch). “Do we want to make money or do we want to make money?” Mehmet E. Göker, a self-made businessman who was already up to his tricks in the film DER VERSICHERUNGSVERTRETER, lives by this maxim. A portrait that holds a mirror up to the free market forces of capitalism.
VON CALIGARI ZU HITLER – FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER (Deutschland 2014, Rüdiger Suchsland, DOK.panorama). The great film theorist, Siegfried Kracauer’s study, VON CALIGARI ZU HITLER sets the course that Rüdiger Suchsland follows in this essay film. With a wealth of knowledge and the flair of a detective he scrutinises the screen visions of the Weimar years, dusting off the past and restaging moments that even back then were a sign of things to come.
WAS HEISST HIER ENDE? DER FILMKRITIKER MICHAEL ALTHEN – THEN IS IT THE END? THE FILM CRITIC MICHAEL ALTHEN (Deutschland 2015, Dominik Graf, DOK.special). “Happiness is something with wings. It comes and goes as it pleases. You can’t force it to stay. Even less so in the cinema.” Nobody knows this better than the film critic, Michael Althen, who died prematurely. He is the protagonist of Dominik Graf’s essay film about a passion for cinema.
Z32 (Frankreich, Israel 2008, Avi Mograbi, Retrospektive). An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. After six Israel soldiers were shot, an IDF soldier killed two innocent Palestinians. Mograbi’s “documentary musical tragedy“ poses aesthetically innovative and challenging questions about being a witness and being unable to speak out.
ZEICHNEN GEGEN DAS VERGESSEN – DRAWING AGAINST OBLIVION (Deutschland, Österreich 2014, Bärbel Jacks, Münchner Premieren). The artist, Manfred Bockelmann, achieves the impossible on our behalf. He lets us gaze into the eyes of the children of Auschwitz and, in doing so, lends them a profound dignity. This film is a congenial portrait of a sensitive painter and a journey into our dark past.
ZELIM’S CONFESSION (Deutschland 2013, Natalia Mikhaylova, Filmschool festival). At a bus stop in Ingushetia, Zelim is arrested by the police. He is accused of assaulting someone, or at least he is supposed to admit that he intended to. Five years in prison follow. Zelim won’t admit to something he hasn’t done. Today Zelim is a refugee in Oslo. His family is threatened because they have filed a suit against the police. A story of corruption and the business of terrorism.
ZOMBIE. THE RESURRECTION OF TIM ZOM (Niederlande 2014, Billy Pols, DOK.panorama). Tim Zom alias Zombie is well on his way to becoming a pro skater. His previous life was played out on the streets: brawling, stealing and vandalising and relentlessly attempting daredevil tricks. Does he finally become a hero? An unusual portrait of a sportsman.
ZÜNDFUNK RADIO SHOW (Deutschland 2014, Jörg Adolph, Gereon Wetzel, DOK.panorama). The BR2 radio programme, Zündfunk, has been a cult hit for the past 40 years. Its format offers taste and attitude – attributes that have become increasingly scarce. This film’s big achievement is showing how the team wrestles daily with topics and content of the highest quality.