OPER GLITZER GLITZER (Deutschland 2019, Mila Zhluktenko, DOK.education). "Little brother, come dance with me, I'll give you my Gucci cap," Jovana rapped her new interpretation of the lines from the opera "Hansel und Gretel" into the microphone. An opera experience.
OUT OF PLACE (Deutschland 2019, Friederike Güssefeld, DOK.deutsch). The future does not really look bright for three German adolescents who are classed as “incapable of being integrated.” As part of an educational project they are sent away to Romania, made to do physical work and confront their past and future.
PUSH (Schweden 2019, Fredrik Gertten, DOK.panorama). “You’ve changed,” reads the large-scale graffiti emblazoned across many of Toronto’s apartment buildings. The madness of global gentrification seems to be never-ending but Leilani Farha, a UN Special Rapporteur, is fighting against the greed of the real estate industry.
PUTIN'S WITNESSES (Lettland, Schweiz, Tschechische Republik 2018, Vitaly Mansky, Best of Fests). On New Year’s Eve in 1999, Boris Yeltsin presented his successor on Russian television. Vitali Manski was allowed to follow Putin and his inner circle closely during the year that followed. Today, living in exile, he looks back. At what point could the return to totalitarianism have been stopped?
RECONSTRUCTING UTOYA (Schweden, Dänemark, Norwegen 2018, Carl Javer, Best of Fests). The terrorist Anders Breivik killed 69 young people on 22nd July 2011 on Utoya. Six years later in an empty film studio, four survivors reconstruct their escape from the massacre. Intense, painful and evocative memories make for essential viewing.
RESSACA – VERTIGE DE LA CHUTE (Frankreich, Brasilien 2018, Rimbaux Vincent, Patrizia Landi, DOK.international). Rio de Janeiro’s Teatro Municipal is the jewel of the nation’s opera scene but it is on the brink of collapse: the state is bankrupt and can no longer pay the employees’ salaries. The workers resist with all their might and try to save the theatre. An impressive call to arms in black and white.
ROCKABUL (Dänemark, Afghanistan, Austrialien 2018, Travis Beard, DOK.panorama). Heavy metal in Kabul? "District Unknown" was the first and only heavy metal band in Afghanistan, its members - young protagonists of a new beginning, the music - a liberation blow. "The Rise and Fall of ..." quite different.
SAKAWA (Belgien, Niederlande 2018, Ben Asamoah, Best of Fests). It is common knowledge that people can assume new identities on the internet. Yet many people are misled, for example on online dating sites. The Ghanaian protagonists in SAKAWA know how to take advantage of the widespread loneliness in the West. A film about internet scamming and global inequity.
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.
SCHOOL OF SEDUCTION (Dänemark 2019, Alina Rudnitskaya, DOK.guest). Lida, Vika und Diana, three Russian women, attend the post-feminist “School of Seduction” with the aim of marrying rich men. Their prospects of success are high. There is only one thing standing in their way: their desire for independence.
SCIENCE FAIR (USA 2018, Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, DOK.special). More than 1,700 young people from 78 countries compete against each other in the world’s biggest school science fair in Los Angeles. In their journey from the qualifying rounds to get here, they fight against all kinds of obstacles: rivalries and setbacks – and naturally their hormones.
SEA OF SHADOWS (Österreich, USA 2018, Richard Ladkani, DOK.focus humaNature). In the Golf of California in Mexico, there is a creeping ecological catastrophe: illegal fishing methods are threatening the entirety of the region’s maritime life. In a spectacular rescue action, journalists, scientists, conservationists and undercover agents try to stop the killing.
SHEEP HERO (Niederlande 2018, Ton van Zantvoort, DOK.panorama). Stijn Hilgers, one of the last roaming shepherds in the Dutch heathlands, lives in harmony with his family and his animals. But his sustainable way of working the land cannot withstand the pressure to adapt to the neo-liberal world.
SHOOTING – DISPAROS (Mexiko 2018, Elpida Nikou Rodrigo Hernández, DOK.horizonte). What can oppose violence? Images! As is shown by the young Mexican photographer, Jair Cabrera, whose work was honoured by the renowned Time Magazine. Cabrera was on the verge of success but then he had to leave his country for political reasons.