BOXING LIBREVILLE (Gabon 2017, Amédée Pacôme Nkoulou, DOK.network Africa). From a boxing ring to a nightclub, Amédée Pacôme Nkoulou’s account of the upcoming elections and hope for political change in Libreville, Gabon is told with great intuition. In the end everything remains the same; only the young people look for happiness elsewhere.
BRUDER JAKOB, SCHLÄFST DU NOCH? – ARE YOU SLEEPING, BROTHER JAKOB? (Österreich 2018, Stefan Bohun, Best of Fests). From the mountains of Tyrol to the Portuguese Atlantic coast. After Jakob’s suicide his four brothers set off together on a journey into the past. A personal and unexpectedly light film about mourning, saying goodbye and forging new bonds.
DER HELLSEHER – BLIND MAN WATCHING (Deutschland 2018, Fausto Molina, DOK.deutsch). Fausto Molina has a problem: his films will never be finished. It doesn’t help that he is gradually going blind. An oblique filmic reflection on life with restricted eyesight and being caught in a web of agencies, doctors and family members.
DER MOTIVATIONSTRAINER – THE MOTIVATION COACH (Deutschland 2017, Martin Rieck, Julian Amershi, DOK.panorama). Motivational speakers are the prophets of our society, which is shaped by self-improvement. Jürgen Höller is the star among them. A seminar costs several thousand Euros – some participants would walk on hot coals for this.
DIE NUMMER EINS – DEUTSCHLANDS GROSSE TORHÜTER – NUMBER ONE – GERMANY’S GREATEST GOALKEEPERS (Deutschland 2017, Gerhard Schick, Münchner Premieren). Germany’s goalkeepers have been the envy of the football world for decades. DIE NUMMER EINS lets us re-live the unforgettable moments and scandals that have made legends of Oliver Kahn, Sepp Maier, Toni Schumacher, Jens Lehmann and Manuel Neuer.
EASTERN MEMORIES (Finnland 2018, Niklas Kullström, Martti Kaartinen, DOK.panorama). A hundred years ago a Finn made his mark on the history of Mongolia. At the age of 25, Gustav John Ramstedt travelled there to study the nomad languages. He stayed most of his life and experienced the region’s transition into modernity.
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.
GOTTESZELL – EIN FRAUENGEFÄNGNIS – GOTTESZELL – A WOMEN'S PRISON (Deutschland 2000, Helga Reidemeister, Retrospektive). A moving and sensitive film about everyday life in Gotteszell, Baden-Württemberg’s only female prison. Six inmates tell of their former lives and what led them to commit their crimes.
HASTA MAÑANA, SI DIOS QUIERE – SEE YOU TOMORROW, GOD WILLING! (Spanien, Norwegen 2017, Ainara Vera, DOK.panorama). In the past when women did not get married but wanted to work they became nuns. Together these 17 nuns are over a thousand years old. They alternate seamlessly between theological philosophy and banalities and chuckle. Astute and mentally agile, they know just how to live in the moment.
KREATURA (Deutschland 2017, Viki Alexander, Student Award). A young woman is searching. She wanders through film images that could equally be dream or reality. She is looking for her brother who she thinks she doesn’t know. Or, in the end, is she searching for herself, for her creature, her creation, her being?
LA BESTIA – TRAIN OF THE UNKNOWNS (Deutschland 2018, Manuel Inacker, Student Award). In “Casa del Migrante” in Huehutoca, a suburb of Mexico City, refugees find a safe abode. At least for two days. Then they must go on with their journey towards USA in freight train carriages, which everyone here just calls “La Bestia,” the beast.
LA CONVOCAZIONE – THE CALL (Italien 2017, Enrico Maisto, DOK.panorama). What do jury members actually do? 60 candidates who have been called up by random selection to the appeal court ask themselves this. During the waiting period they discuss the potential of hearing a serious crime, family relationships, TV programmes and the question overlying everything else: “why me?”
LUCICA UND IHRE KINDER (Deutschland 2017, Bettina Braun, DOK.deutsch). Lucica, a Romanian woman, lives with her children in Germany so that they can go to school there. Funds are scarce and she barely understands the letters she receives from the authorities and electricity supplier. It is good that the filmmaker visits so often. A chronicle of an ambivalent relationship.
MAKALA (Frankreich 2017, Gras Emmanuel, DOK.horizonte). Somewhere in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A young man chops down a tree and makes charcoal, which he then transports on his bike day after day to sell in the nearest town. A minimalistic observation masterfully captured by Emmanuel Gras’ camera.