A FLICKERING TRUTH (Neuseeland, Afghanistan 2015, Pietra Brettkelly, DOK.panorama). A dedicated archivist and a courageous cameraman recover film material from a hangar in Afghanistan. Piece by piece, as the celluloid is restored, cultural identity is reconstructed. A visual encounter with the history of a nation.
A MAID FOR EACH – MAKHDOUMIN (Norwegen, Libanon, Frankreich, Vereinigte Arabische Emirate 2016, Maher Abi Samra, DOK.horizonte). For middle-class families in Lebanon, employing a domestic worker is the norm. Agencies arrange the fresh supply of young women from Africa and Asia. Absorbing and agonizing insights into the agencies’ everyday affairs, which lie somewhere between global commerce and slavery.
HAUNTED – MASKOON (Syrien 2014, Liwaa Yazji, DOK.special). What does it mean to be forced to leave your home without a moment’s notice? HAUNTED is a raw, unembellished eyewitness account of a human catastrophe. A film that takes us to the heart of Syrian refugees’ everyday life.
HOUSES WITHOUT DOORS – MANAZIL BELA ABWAB (Syrien, Libanon 2016, Avo Kaprealian, DOK.special). For Aleppo’s Armenian population, the horror of the Syrian civil war brings back memories of the 1915 genocide. HOUSES WITHOUT DOORS documents how the war permeates everyday life and finds an echo in the terrors of Armenian film’s surreal visual worlds.
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.
ROUNDABOUT IN MY HEAD – DANS MA TETE UN ROND-POINT (Frankreich, Algerien, Qatar, Libanon, Niederlande 2015, Hassen Ferhani, DOK.horizonte). Probably the most beautiful film that has ever been filmed in an abbatoir. Francis Bacon meets Caravaggio. Algiers: the world of young and old butchers in their place of work during the football World Cup. A film about love, women and the question of a simple life.
SONITA – SONITA (Deutschland, Iran, Schweiz 2015, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, DOK.international). 18-year-old Afghan, Sonita, is a rapper. She lives “sans papiers” in Teheran and dreams of a future as a hip hop star. Yet her mother wants her to be married in Afghanistan and her bride price is supposed to pay for the wedding of her older brother.
STARLESS DREAMS – ROYAHAYE DAME SOBH (Iran 2016, Mehrdad Oskouei, DOK.horizonte). A group of girls in a young offenders institution: prostitutes, drug addicts, thieves and murderers. Raped by their uncles and tormented by their mothers - behind bars, they can be young and feel safe. Sophisticated, delicate images of an insular world.
THE IMMORTAL SERGEANT – AL-RAKIB AL-KHALED (Syrien, Libanon 2014, Ziad Kalthoum, DOK.special). By day he is a sergeant in the Syrian army. After his military service he worked on the film set of his friend, Mohamed Malas. Both lives are dictated by bombings and war. In interviews and partly experimental images, Ziad Kalthoum captures what remains of normality.
THIS IS EXILE: DIARIES OF CHILD REFUGEES (Großbritannien, Libanon, Schweiz 2015, Mani Yassir Benchelah). Over half of Syrian refugees are children. Mani Y. Benchelah spent a year in camps in Lebanon making this portrait of five girls and boys aged between 7 and 16. A raw, sensitive and sometimes horrifying look at war and exile from the point of view of children.