DON'T BLINK – ROBERT FRANK (Frankreich, USA 2015, Laura Israel, DOK.panorama). Robert Frank’s classic 1958 publication, THE AMERICANS, established him as a photo artist far beyond USA. In his younger days the Swiss native had emigrated to New York. His work to date is an indispensable part of art history. A worthy portrait of a living photo art legend.
EVA HESSE (USA, Deutschland 2015, Marcie Begleiter, DOK.special). The artist Eva Hesse had to fight many battles in her life – with herself, for her work and, in the end, for her life. In the 60s, the German Jew became a star of the New York art scene. The film portrays the short life of a remarkable personality.
HOMO SAPIENS (Österreich, Deutschland 2016, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, DOK.deutsch). What would a world without people look like? The wind whistles through derelict abbatoirs, shopping centres lie idle and very gently the snow covers the concrete. HOMO SAPIENS is a documentary journey into this world.
JHERONIMUS BOSCH, TOUCHED BY THE DEVIL (Niederlande 2015, Pieter van Huystee, DOK.special). On the 500th anniversary of Hieronymus Bosch’s death a group of museums dedicate extensive special exhibitions to the work of the Dutch painter. The film chronicles their years of preparations and the detective work and negotiating skills of the art historians. It is, above all, a feast for the eyes.
KANDAHAR JOURNALS (Kanada, USA, Afghanistan 2015, Louie Palu, Devin Gallagher, DOK.international). Photojournalist, Louie Palu, witnessed a suicide attack in Afghanistan. From 2006 to 2010 he continued to work in the Kandahar region, filming and photographing on the front line and experiencing the horrors of war up close. A psychological self portrait – brutal and disturbing.
KOUDELKA SHOOTING HOLY LAND – KOUDELKA SHOOTING HOLY LAND (Deutschland, Tschechische Republik 2015, Gilad Baram, DOK.guest). Gilad Baram offers us backstage access to a world-famous photo journalist and, at the same time, subtly and through the formal sobriety of Josef Koudelka’s images, shows us the absurdity of drawing a boundary between Israel and Palestine.
LA FIN D'HOMÈRE – HOMER, A HUNTER'S FATE (Schweiz 2015, Zahra Vargas, Student Award). There are mistakes that we pay for with our life. When Homer, the hunter, and a rare bearded vulture meet, the story ends in tragedy - for both of them. A Kafkaesque exploration of reality and reconstruction.
LAUF DER DINGE – THE WAY THINGS GO (Deutschland 2015, Iuri Maia Jost, Student Award). A box of letters. Inside is the detailed description of the failure of a marriage. From fragments of this correspondence the film weaves an intimate and gentle picture of a relationship caught between hope and doubt. A cine-poem.
MAN FALLING – MAND FALDER (Dänemark 2015, Anne Regitze Wivel, DOK.panorama). More than a portrait of the world-renowned Danish artist, Per Kirkeby. After an accident, the painter started again from the beginning. Existential questions now dictate the life he manages with self-irony and a great deal of support from his wife and friends.
MASTER AND TATYANA – MEISTRAS IR TATJANA (Litauen 2014, Giedre Zickyte, DOK.panorama). Intense black and white images recreate the poignant life of the Lithuanian photographer, Vitus Luckus, which came to a dramatic end with his suicide. His lover, Tatyana, and his closest artist friends draw a fractured portrait.
MODERATION (Griechenland, Italien, Ägypten, Großbritannien 2015, Anja Kirschner, DOK.special). MODERATION, set in Egypt, Greece and Italy, revolves around a female horror director and her collaborators, whose latest project is haunted by encounters with its ‘raw material’. Horror traverses the realities of their lives on and off screen. MODERATION was commissioned by the curator Nadja Argyropoulou for Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative (GR), co-produced by Beirut (EG) and Nomas Foundation (IT) and supported by the Elephant Trust (UK) and the Greek Film Centre (GR).
OUR BODY IS A WEAPON – NOTRE CORPS EST UNE ARME (Frankreich, Türkei, Mexiko 2011, Clarisse Hahn, DOK.special). In her three-part video series, Hahn documents instances such as a protests of peasants in Mexico City or the hunger strike of two Kurdish women emprisoned in Turkey – in which bodies act as tools of resistance against exploitation and expropriation.
THE GREAT WHITE WAY, 22 MILES, 9 YEARS, 1 STREET (USA 2001, William Pope L., DOK.special). To be on the ground, to be horizontal in a „vertical society“, to crawl in the filth of the street: it is with this simple, yet imposing gesture that William Pope L.'s Crawl performances operate as a symbolic analogy to the conditions of class difference. Departing from the standpoint that racism is not an outcome of race, but race one of racism, the work of Pope L., who also calls himself „the friendliest black artist of America“, hauls ideological constructions of 'whiteness' and 'blackness' into the larger arena of social class and its signifiers.