12 JOURS – 12 DAYS (Frankreich 2017, Raymond Depardon, Best of Fests). Twelve days after they are compulsorily admitted to hospital psychiatric patients in France get a hearing in court. In Raymond Depardon’s sharply-focussed chamber play, the power of the institution and desperate pleas for freedom go head to head.
A YEAR OF HOPE (Dänemark, Niederlande 2017, Mikala Krogh, DOK.international). A year on a paradise island is supposed to pave the way for a better life for a group of street children from Manila. They have been severely traumatised by abuse and many have not seen their family for years. A film that is as upsetting as it is important.
CANIBA (Frankreich 2017, Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Best of Fests). A portrait of the cannibal, Issei Sagawa, who, more than 30 years ago, killed a fellow student and partially ate her. Together with his brother he lives as a free man in Japan. A formally experimental discussion about the depths and motivations of humanity.
DEMONS IN PARADISE (Frankreich, Sri Lanka 2017, Jude Ratnam, DOK.horizonte). For over 20 years a civil war raged between the Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. What brought about such an unleashing of violence? The filmmaker Jude Ratnam sets out on a journey to explore the country’s past and the memories of his family members. In the end there remains a promise to overcome fear.
DIE GENTRIFIZIERUNG BIN ICH. BEICHTE EINES FINSTERLINGS – I AM GENTRIFICATION. CONFESSIONS OF A SCOUNDREL (Schweiz 2017, Thomas Haemmerli, Best of Fests). From the expensive house that he grew up in to squats and individually owned apartments, a Swiss journalist, digital nomad and filmmaker searches São Paulo, Tbilisi, Mexico City and Zurich and discovers: I am gentrification.
FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO FIRE – PER CHI VUOLE SPARARE (Italien 2017, Pierluca Ditano, Student Award). Broad shoulders in a black anorak. A cart bearing a heavy load. As the yellow light of Turin breaks on the cobblestones of the Piazza della Repubblica, bodies and the camera are in constant movement. But the daily construction and dismantling of the market stalls is not enough to support a family. Then Peppino has a business idea.
I'M A BAD GUY (Österreich 2017, Susanne Freund, DOK.deutsch). “I want to get some distance. I don’t have any friends. I don’t believe in love!” After 40 years in prison Adolf Schandl wants just one thing: To go to Australia. To achieve this he must first break away from himself in Susanne Freund’s superb portrait film.
PRIMAS (Kanada 2017, Laura Bari, Best of Fests). The childhood of the teenagers Rocío and Aldana is marked by abuse and violence. Now the two young women are trying to overcome their traumas: by speaking about them and dealing with the past through therapy. A film about survival and life going on.
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.
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.
WALDHEIMS WALZER – THE WALDHEIM WALTZ (Österreich 2018, Ruth Beckermann, Best of Fests). “We acknowledge that he was not in the SA, only his horse was.” When the Nazi past of Kurt Waldheim came to light in 1986 the majority of Austrians saw the accusations against the Austrian People’s Party presidential candidate as an assault on the nation’s honour – and elected him anyway.