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.
ISLAND SOLDIER (USA 2017, Nathan Fitch, DOK.guest). ISLAND SOLDIER takes a look at the Pacific island state of Micronesia after the end of the US occupation in 1983. Still dependent today on US financial aid, Micronesia functions as a “recruiter’s paradise” for the US armed forces – for many inhabitants it offers them the only possibility to earn an income.
JAAR LAMENT OF IMAGES – JAAR EL LAMENTO DE LAS IMÁGENES (Chile 2017, Paula Rodriguez Sickert, DOK.panorama). Art as an act of resistance. Art as a last bastion of freedom in a society that has become immune to images. This is the first film ever made about the work and art of the Chilean Alfredo Jaar, one of the most important contemporary artists.
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.
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?”
LAND OF THE FREE (Dänemark, Finnland 2017, Camilla Magid, DOK.guest). Instead of prevention and rehabilitation, the American justice system is focussed on one thing above all: punishment. Three ex-prisoners can still sense this when they return to life on the outside. Only the Monday meetings at a Christian church give them hope. A sensitive film about the tough social reality in South Central Los Angeles.
LAST DAYS IN SHIBATI – DERNIERS JOURS A SHIBATI (Frankreich 2017, Hendrick Dusollier, DOK.panorama). In the shadows of a Chinese metropolis lies the old quarter of Shibati, which is due to be demolished. The remaining inhabitants are astonished that a European filmmaker is taking interest in their disappearing world.
LAST SHIP HOME (Deutschland 2017, Michael Weber, Christian Ebert, DOK.panorama). 27000 miles across the oceans – a race around the world. A crew defeated right from the start, living at close quarters for months on end amid storms and lulls. An impressive reconstruction of a great adventure using old Super-8 footage.
LES DEUX VISAGES D'UNE FEMME BAMILEKE – THE TWO FACES OF A BAMILEKE WOMAN (Belgien, Kamerun 2016, Mbakam Rosine, DOK.special). After seven years in Belgium, Rosine Mbakam goes back to her homeland of Cameroon to make a film. As a filmmaker living abroad she succeeds in taking both a detached and inquisitive look at traditional family set-ups and roles.
LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE (Spanien 2017, Gustavo Salmeron, Best of Fests). “A chaotic family makes chaotic decisions in a chaotic way.” This sentence by one family member sums up their clan rather well. The eccentric but lovable Julita, mother of the filmmaker Gustavo Salmerón, pulls the strings. An intoxicating docu-comedy.
LOVE IS POTATOES – LIEFDE IS AARDAPPELEN (Niederlande 2017, Aliona van der Horst, DOK.panorama). How can a family history be reconstructed when communication is not possible? After the death of her mother, the filmmaker travels to her home village in Russia and tells not only the story of her family through personal found footage but also that of the Stalin era.
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.