FUNERAL DIARIES – MATUSEPÄEVIKUD (Estland 2019, Marko Raat, DOK.panorama). Comforting words, last rites. In their exile communities in Canada, three Estonian priests spend a lot of time in cemeteries. With subtlety and an aptitude for quiet serenity, Marki Raat examines faith, home and identity in communities that are growing ever smaller.
GODS OF MOLENBEEK – AATOS JA AMINE (Finnland, Belgien, Deutschland 2019, Reetta Huhtanen, DOK.international). Friends, Amine and Aatos, live in the same apartment block. Their world revolves around spiders, the search for god and, one day, terror, which changes everything in their district of Molenbeek. A contemporary childhood study that goes beyond clichés.
GREETINGS FROM FREE FORESTS (Slowenien, USA, Kroatien 2018, Ian Soroka, Best of Fests). Which traces do people leave behind in nature? That is the opening question for an associative journey through Slovenia’s forests. An intelligent and complex essay about the relationship between past and present, forgetting and collective memory.
GRUPPE SPUR – DIE MALER DER ZUKUNFT (Deutschland 2018, Sabine Zimmer, DOK.special). At the beginning of the 60s, the artist collective, SPUR, shook Munich up – artistically and politically. They caused offence wherever they went. A break with the past and a new beginning: SPUR played its part in Europe’s political and cultural awakenings.
HÁLITO AZUL – BLUE BREATH (Portugal, Finnland, Frankreich 2018, Rodrigo Areias, DOK.panorama). The Ribeira Quente parish in the Azores is fighting for survival. The fish that the people live on is becoming more and more scarce. With a poetic eye, Rodrigo Areias accompanies them as they face an uncertain future.
HAMADA (Schweden 2018, Eloy Dominguez Serén, DOK.horizonte). The Sahrawis: a forgotten people. 40 years ago they were driven from their homes in the Western Sahara by the Moroccan government. Today they still live in refugee camps in Algeria. Among them are Sidahmed, Zaara and Taher, three young Sahrawis whose existence and attitudes towards life are captured in magnificent images.
HARRY GRUYAERT – PHOTOGRAPHER (Belgien 2018, Gerrit Messiaen, DOK.panorama). The Belgian photographer Harry Gruyaert was a pioneer of European colour photography. He has worked around the globe for over 50 years. Since 1981, he has been a member of the legendary Magnum agency. A filmic portrait of a remarkable man.
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.
HÖHENFLÜGE – HIGHFLYERS (Deutschland 2019, Lena Leonhardt, DOK.deutsch). Several hundred thousand euros for a pigeon: a price many super rich in Dubai or China are willing to pay because especially in China betting on pigeon races has become a million-dollar business. HIGHFLYERS talks about winners and losers in a game ruled by the new powers of global economy.
HOME GAMES – DOMASHNI IGRI (Ukraine, Frankreich, Polen 2018, Alisa Kovalenko, Best of Fests). Alina is on the verge of playing for the Ukrainian national team. Then her mother dies and she is left alone with two small siblings. Will her dream of playing professional football withstand this new challenge?
HONEYLAND (Nordmazedonien 2019, Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, Best of Fests). 55-year-old Hatidze is one of Europe’s last bee hunters. The Macedonian lives a solitary life in harmony with nature. A touching portrait in breathtakingly beautiful images.
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.
I AM ANASTASIA – ICH BIN ANASTASIA (Deutschland 2019, Thomas Ladenburger, DOK.deutsch). Anastasia is dedicated to her role as a Commanding Officer in the German armed forces and is the first transgender to hold this position. She feels just as comfortable in olive green as she does under the rainbow flag and faces any misgivings with charm, candour and passion.
IN MEINER HAUT – IN MY SKIN (Deutschland 2018, Anna-Sophia Richard, Student Award). Violence in a relationship is taboo. Our knee-jerk response – why doesn’t she just leave? – has a fatal catch: it puts blame on the victims as well. With her film, Anna-Sophia Richard changes perspective and offers only women’s point of view.
ISIS, TOMORROW. THE LOST SOULS OF MOSUL (Italien, Deutschland 2018, Francesca Mannocchi, Alessio Romenzi, DOK.international). Half a million children lived in Iraqi Mossul during the three-year occupation by the "Islamic State". Some of them, severely traumatized, talk about life in the city, which now lies in ruins: yesterday and today. What will be tomorrow? A shocking document.