20TH CIRCUIT SUSPECTS – MOTAHAMIN DAYERE BISTOM (Iran 2017, Hesam Eslami, DOK.horizonte). Adolescence in Teheran – not so easy when you are a small-time criminal, the police are hot on your tail and your gang is falling apart. For six years the director follows his protagonist Eshan by day and night – out stealing and in court – until he finds a “new gang”: his own family.
AL GAMI'YA (Slowenien, Griechenland 2018, Reem Saleh, DOK.horizonte). Rod El Farg is a poor quarter of Cairo. The neighbourhood organises it’s own credit union. Marriages, illnesses and big purchases are financed in this way. We see the light and dark sides of a closely-knit community faced with a lack of public resources.
ALL THAT PASSES BY THROUGH A WINDOW THAT DOESN'T OPEN – ALL THAT PASSES BY THROUGH A WINDOW THAT DOESN'T OPEN (USA / Qatar 2017, Martin DiCicco, Best of Fests). Nowadays the trains just run to nowhere but soon in the Eurasian border region between Azerbaijan and Armenia prosperity will reign for all. Martin DiCicco’s fabulous railway voyage through harsh working environments and enchanted backdrops is instantly exhilarating.
AMAL (Norwegen, Ägypten, Libanon, Deutschland, Frankreich, Dänemark, Qatar 2017, Mohamed Siam, DOK.horizonte). Coming of age in Egypt. Amal is 14 years old when the revolution is at its peak. Determinedly, she fights and is dragged brutally across Tahrir Square. This long-term observation shows what it means to stand one’s ground in a world dominated by men.
ELISH'S NOTEBOOKS – HAMACHBAROT SHEL ELISH (Israel 2017, Golan Rise, DOK.panorama). After the death of their mother, the children find her diaries. One for each child, seven in all. They begin to read and travel back to their childhood in a Kibbutz in the Israel of the 50s and 60s. A mood of optimism versus maternal instincts? A film that stirs the emotions.
FLOOD (Israel 2018, Ohad Milstein, DOK.special). A settler in the desert and a Palestinian farmer. A geologist at the Dead Sea and scientists examining sunspots in the wilderness of the Golan Heights in the north of Israel. Without the eternally precious resource of water they could not survive – no one can. Politics, the environment and visions of the future converge in an intelligent essay.
INK OF YAM (Deutschland 2017, Tom Fröhlich, DOK.special). In a tattoo studio in the middle of Jerusalem people of different origins and religions meet as they get their stories inked onto their skin. During the painful sessions they talk about what they associate with Jerusalem and paint a picture of a city full of contradictions.
KISHON (Israel 2017, Eliav Lilti, DOK.special). Ephraim Kishon is among the 20th century’s most important satirists. With animations, audio recordings and private video material the film brings the Israeli writer back to life and delves into his eventful biography.
MEIN HERZ SIEHT DIE WELT SCHWARZ – EINE LIEBE IN KABUL (Deutschland 2009, Helga Reidemeister, Retrospektive). MEIN HERZ SIEHT DIE WELT SCHWARZ – EINE LIEBE IN KABUL tells the story of an impossible love: even as children Hossein and Shaima were inseparable and yet their relationship seems to be doomed to failure. Poverty, war and family honour stand in the way of a happy life for the couple.
SAND UND BLUT – SAND AND BLOOD (Österreich 2017, Matthias Krepp Angelika Spangel, Student Award). In the torrent of images on the internet, the inconceivable atrocities from the wars in Syria and Iraq are also reflected. SAND UND BLUT puts together a collage of these videos and searches for the witnesses and the stories behind them – an essential film.
SCHILDKRÖTEN PANZER (Deutschland 2017, Kaptan Tuna, Student Award). In a Munich reptile shelter the paths of those who have returned from war cross with those who are about to go. A tortoise came here in the pocket of a Syrian. A solider is practicing the handling of venomous Malian snakes.
THE OSLO DIARIES (Israel, Kanada 2018, Daniel Sivan, Mor Loushy, DOK.panorama). In the 1990s the Oslo peace process offered hope that a solution to the decades-old conflict between Israel and Palestine would be found. Archive material, interviews and re-enactments tell the inside story of what happened– a tale of great sadness but of even greater humanity.
TRACING ADDAI (Deutschland 2018, Esther Niemeier, Student Award). Friends from your childhood – there are some you still know and some you can hardly remember. And then there are some whose stories you work out piece by piece. A documentary puzzle that takes us from the war in Syria to the German penal system and the life that pulsates outside.
WHAT WALAA WANTS – WHAT WALAA WANTS (Dänemark / Kanada 2018, Christy Garland, DOK.female). 15-year-old Walaa wants to be a police officer but she is a rebellious teenager. Her family offer her hardly any support. WHAT WALAA WANTS follows the girl from the West Bank on her path to adulthood and the police academy.