MY GRANNY FROM MARS – Моя Бабушка с Марса (Ukraine, Weißrussland, Estland 2018, Alexander Mihalkovich, DOK.panorama). Sascha’s grandmother, Zina, a Ukrainian was married to a Belorussian. After the collapse of the Soviet Union she lived in Ukraine. As a widow and a pensioner, she moved to the Crimea. But, after the Russian occupation, a visit to Grandma in the Crimea was almost as impossible for the family as a trip to Mars.
MY NAME IS DANIEL – MEU NOME É DANIEL (Brasilien 2018, Daniel Gonçalves, DOK.panorama). In a deeply personal film, a young director from Rio de Janeiro looks into the cause of his physical disability. At the same time, family videos and present-day footage recount Daniel’s life. But what kind of story would he have told if his upbringing had not been so privileged?
MY UNKNOWN SOLDIER – MUJ NEZNAMY VOJÍN (Lettland, Tschechische Republik, Slowakei 2018, Anna Kryvenko, Best of Fests). This essay-like collage blends private and public historiography: the family album of the director Anna Kryvenko, from which her great uncle, a Soviet soldier, was removed, alongside archive material, including USSR propaganda.
NEW MOON (Kenia 2018, Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann, DOK.network Africa). An investigative documentary about a giant harbour project on the coast of Kenya – that was the original idea. Yet the search for the right approach to the topic on the island of Lamu leads to a more personal exploration. Filmmaking as an existential process.
NIÑA SOLA – GIRL ALONE (Mexiko 2019, Javier Ávila, DOK.international). 19 year-old Cintia is murdered. In search of answers and the perpetrator, her mother and sister reflect on their own experiences in violent relationships. A Mexican social study and an intimate and poetic crime film.
NO BOX FOR ME. AN INTERSEX STORY (Frankreich 2018, Floriane Devigne, Best of Fests). Neither Adam nor Eve. Intersex people do not fit any gender box. As part of her studies, Deborah reflects on outdated social prejudices and begins a positive process of establishing her identity for herself and others with the same condition.
NO GOLD FOR KALSAKA – PAS D'OR POUR KALSAKA (Burkina Faso, Deutschland 2019, Michel K. Zongo, DOK.horizonte). In the great gold rush, the inhabitants of the Burkina Faso village of Kalsaka fell by the wayside. Their initial hopes, stoked by the government and multinational gold mining companies, give way to disappointment and disillusionment.
O'PFLANZT IS – 6 JAHRE GEMEINSCHAFTSGARTEN (Deutschland 2019, Mickel Rentsch, Münchner Premieren). A film about the life and the people of the “O’pflanzt is” community gardening project in Munich, which was forced to make way for a construction project at the start of 2018. A touching, personal story about a piece of nature in the city.
OBLIVION – EL OLVIDO (Niederlande 2008, Heddy Honigmann, Retrospektive). “OBLIVION doesn't scream, it whispers. OBLIVION doesn't sob; it just cries.” Heddy Honigmann’s film is a homage to her home town and, above all, the people in Lima: the so-called “little people.”
ÓLEO SOBRE VIENTO (Schweiz, Spanien 2018, Alejandro Perez, Student Award). An island in the glittering sunlight, a cabin to live in, olive trees, water and wind. A wonderfully enigmatic short film about the dream of a simple life. A cine-poem that asks the question: is less more?
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.