Slices of life, insights and perspectives: the films of the international competition open doors into new worlds. They compete for the VIKTOR Main Competition, worth 10,000 Euros, sponsored by Bayerischer Rundfunk.
16 YEARS TILL SUMMER (Schottland 2015, Lou McLoughlan). Starting again. A middle-aged man returns to the Scottish Highlands after 16 years in prison to nurse his father but brings a dangerous mix of troubled past and big ambition with him. Set in a remote, achingly beautiful church-going village, the film follows the redeeming relationships Uisdean builds with his father, Calum and lover, Audrey - both excited by the 'new start' Uisdean promises to share with them.
DEMOCRATS (Dänemark 2014, Camilla Nielsson). 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.
DIE HÄLFTE DER STADT – HALF THE TOWN (Deutschland 2015, Pawel Siczek). 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.
DREAMCATCHER (Großbritannien, USA 2015, Kim Longinotto). 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.
FOR THE LOST – LES TOURMENTÉS (Belgien, Frankreich 2014, Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd). 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.
JE SUIS LE PEUPLE – I AM THE PEOPLE (Frankreich 2014, Anna Roussillon). “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.
KRIEGER VATER KÖNIG – WARRIOR FATHER KING (Deutschland 2015, Julian Reich). 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.
LA BUENA VIDA – THE GODD LIFE (Deutschland, Schweiz 2015, Jens Schanze). 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.
OF MEN AND WAR (Frankreich, Schweiz 2014, Laurent Bécue-Renard). 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.
SOMETHING BETTER TO COME (Dänemark, Polen 2014, Hanna Polak). 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.
THE CIRCUS DYNASTY – Cirkusdynastiet (Dänemark 2014, Anders Riis-Hansen). 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!