BEFORE FATHER GETS BACK – SANAM MAMA DABRUNDEBA (Georgien, Frankreich, Deutschland 2018, Mari Gulbiani, DOK.horizonte). Teenagers Iman and Eva take part in a film course at their school in a small Georgian village and document their everyday life. Meanwhile their father is far away in Syria fighting for the Islamic State. Radical transformations captured in calm sequences.
CENTURY OF SMOKE (Belgien 2018, Nicolas Graux, DOK.horizonte). In the Golden Triangle, in the mist-shrouded jungle of Laos, a family from the Akha tribe lives from opium cultivation. The women work in the fields and raise the children. The men smoke opium. It is a livelihood and a curse. In powerful images, the film depicts the vicious cycle.
CHINESE PORTRAIT – 我的镜头 (Hong Kong 2018, Xiaoshuai Wang, DOK.international). A portrait of present-day society in China created entirely without dialogue and in long takes reminiscent of moving paintings. A wonderful, extremely idiosyncratic, cinematic film.
CLOSING TIME (Schweiz, Deutschland 2018, Nicole Vögele, DOK.international). Sleepless in Taipei – but not hungry. A late-night café under the motorway and its clientele: Tattooists, gamblers, couples. As peaceful as it is philosophical. Soup, vegetables and a warm bowl of rice help get them through the night.
HEARTBOUND – HJERTELANDET (Dänemark, Niederlande, Schweden 2018, Janus Metz, Sine Plambech, Best of Fests). In the past 25 years, more and more Thai women have been drawn to northern Denmark by lonely men – in the hope of a better life. Four of these couples and their families are followed over ten years. An epic intercultural drama.
HOW BIG IS THE GALAXY – KHOZYAIN OLENEI (Estland, Russland 2018, Ksenia Elyan, DOK.guest). Before us, the endless vastness of the tundra. Reindeer in the twilight. A hard cut and we find ourselves in the narrow camp of the Zharkovs. The seven-year-old Zakhar connects these two extremes with his curious questions. Faraway Siberia seems amazingly close.
LES VAGUES DU PLAT PAYS (Schweiz 2018, Yan Sterckx, Student Award). Pui is a modest man. He belongs to the Urak Lawoi, an indigenous people of sea nomads. As the owner of a boat he lives from fishing and the boom of Thai tourism. At night, when the others celebrate, he is there - at the other end of the world - for his children.
MURGHAB (Deutschland 2019, Martin Saxer, Daler Kaziev, Marlen Elders, Münchner Premieren). In the Tajik mountain town of Murghab, much has changed since Socialism. Surrounded by windswept plains, the strong-willed inhabitants cope with the sparcity of everyday life. An ethnographic portrayal of rugged mountain area.
SATYA – ROUGH CUTS OF LIFE (Deutschland 2018, Karuna A. Fuchs, Elisa Maria Nadal, Student Award). Our life is just a rough cut. A journey from Nepal to Europe produces a dazzling filmic kaleidoscope of fleeting encounters. A film about people’s loss and longing and the search for “satya,” a truthful life.
THE CHINESE WILL COME (Serbien 2018, Tanja Brzakovic, DOK.panorama). Chinese migrants are hardly noticed in Serbia. They work in agriculture and trade, supplying the population with cheap everyday products. But a state visit by the Chinese president promises future-oriented changes.