DOK Leipzig 2015/ 2/ The Programme

If you click the link below you will find an overview of the programme for the DOK Leipzig 2015 festival that starts tonight, see post below. There is the Official Selection, the Special Programmes, Discussions and Events. There is so much you could highlight, let me put the focus on the main competition for feature docs and animated films and first – see photo – mention the film by Andreas Voigt, ”Time Will Tell” that is the sixth part of the Leipzig Cycle. The Head of the festival programme Grit Lemche writes about it, a long quote:

“When Andreas Voigt and Sebastian Richter were shooting in Leipzig in 1996, the skinhead Sven wanted to marry and settle down. The former punk Isabel tried to lead a middle-class life in Stuttgart. And the journalist Renate wanted to come to terms with her past as an IM (informal collaborator) of the Stasi and start a new life.

The Leipzig cycle reaches as far back as 1986. The sixth part is structured by images of the run-down industrial quarter of Plagwitz which casually provide a

visual context, especially for Renate’s tragic story, that makes understanding possible. The film does not only show the qualities of the DEFA documentary school, such as recording social contexts through precise framing and an emphatic closeness to its protagonists, it’s also a masterpiece of editing. Voigt masterfully combines material from the 25th year after the German reunification with images of the lethargy of the East, the departure of 89 and the arrival in the post-reunification age. Which was different from what the mainstream media narrative would have us believe…”

I will be in Leipzig from wednesday afternoon and will give you my impressions of what I see, including Voigt’s film that is very appealing. It is one of twelve in competition, I have already written about Wojciech Staron’s ”Brothers”, ”Lampedusa in Winter” by Jakob Brossmann and I have seen Greek Marianna Economou’s ”The Longest Run” that is such a timely and well made and touching documentary on two refugees from Iraq and Syria.

Of course I expect a lot from master of archive, Sergei Loznitsa’s ”The Event” and look forward to watch Sokurov’s ”Francofonia” in a version that I can understand better than the Russian one I saw in St. Petersburg recently. Or what do you think of this quote (by Matthia Heeder) from the website about ”The Wolfpack”, an American film:

“Get ready for the Angulo brothers who spent their whole young lives in a shabby council flat on the Lower East Side. Their Hare Krishna-damaged father, for whom evil began at his doorstep, forbade any contact with the outside world. No school, no friends. The six brothers were virtually never allowed to go outside. Instead they were home-schooled and had more than 5,000 feature films on DVD, their only window on the world. They retrieved it by creating their own cinema, re-enacting the films for their video camera – faithful to the script, with homemade costumes and props. This made them feel alive…”

Much much more will follow – the German competition should be good, there is (Bravo!) a Next Master’s Competition etc. etc.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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