Movie newbie perspective, Honeyland
"Honeyland" at DOK Leipzig. Film still © Tamara Kotevska

Movie newbie impressions of DOK Leipzig films

in Film festival/Movies/Reviews

I spent two days at DOK Leipzig 2019 watching as many movies as I could, and recommend that you do the same if you have the time. Here are some of my impressions of the films I’ve been able to catch so far. Just note that I am by no means a movie expert and would never consider myself a cinephile (maybe this will change). So, these “reviews” are only the honest and humble opinion of a movie newbie.

You can find a lot of them in one evening: The block Short Animated Films 1 at Passage Kinos this Friday.

DOK Leipzig movie newbie
Photo: Susann Jehnichen

Guilt

Marcjanna Urbańska, Poland, 2019

This animated film may be short, but I spent the whole day thinking about it. Guilt shows the nuances of the troubled life of an alcoholic mother and a daughter who tries (in her own messed up ways) to cope with that. It is a movie about the perfection of mother-daughter love, from two imperfect people in an imperfect world. It hits hard and it hits good.

International Competition Short Film
Passage Kinos Astoria
01/11/2019 / 22:00
Tickets


Sometimes Two Herons

Carla Melo Gampert, Colombia, 2018

This one is tricky for me. The art in this animated short is beautiful, and so are the sound effects. The story is confusing though. I don’t know if I lack cultural or artistic understanding. It started out blurry but had a promise to capture my attention. Two minutes later I was thinking about all the things I did wrong when I was a teenager. I don’t know why. It had nothing to do with anything, except for the fact that I could not bring myself to understand the storyline or what the film maker was trying to convey. A miss for me.

International Competition Short Film
Passage Kinos Astoria
01/11/2019 / 22:00
Tickets


Symbiosis

Nadja Andrasev, France, Hungary, 2019

A woman finds out her husband had been cheating on her with several other women. Instead of confronting him, she becomes obsessed with these women. She does what they do, goes where they go. Instead of finding it creepy, we are compelled to side with her and her obsessive pain.

International Competition Short Film
Passage Kinos Astoria
01/11/2019 / 22:00
Tickets

Symbiosis movie
© Nadja Andrasev

Deep Love

Mykyta Lyskov, Ukraine, 2019

A plastic bag that turns into a commercial plane, that turns into a war jet that turns into the bald eagle (animal of the United Sates of America). The bald eagle lays an egg that falls from the sky, the nuclear explosion freezes and turns into mushrooms. This is the most hilarious social critique you will ever watch. It helps if you understand contemporary Ukranian culture, but it is just as entertaining if you are like me and don’t know anything about it. Definitely worth a watch.

Next Masters Competition Short Film
Passage Kinos Astoria
01/11/2019 / 22:00
Passage Kinos Astoria
03/11/2019 / 19:30
Tickets


Hydebank

Ross McClean, Ireland, 2019

Ryan, a prisoner at Hydebank Prison in Belfast, takes care of sheep as a way of rehabilitation. Neither his crimes nor the time that he has to stay in prison are disclosed. It is also not important. What we learn is that he has done something horrible. McClean shows us a side of a person who, due to his history, should be feared but who, instead, takes care of defenseless animals with the utmost tenderness.

Next Masters Competition Short Film
More info


There Were Four of Us

Cassie Shao, USA, 2019

The film is too much. Too much color, too much sound effect, too much unnecessary movement. It is so much information, I could not pay attention to the story line or the scene. I kept on thinking I was wasting my time being there, though it was only 6 minutes long. Weird and avoidable.

Next Masters Competition Short Film
Passage Kinos Astoria
01/11/2019 / 22:00
Tickets


Mate

Chaerin Lin, USA, 2019

Longest 4 minutes of my life. Took me a while to understand what I was looking at until I realized they were grey dancing penises. The frames were constantly repeated to the point that I thought it looked like a GIF. Maybe I don’t understand art. That was too much for me.

International Programme Short Film
Passage Kinos Astoria
01/11/2019 / 22:00
Tickets


Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves

Chintis Lundgren, Estonia, Croatia, France, 2019

This short film should be a long one. With real people and a Hollywood budget. That is how much I love this. I laughed from beginning to end, everyone in the room did. It is mixture of dark and sexual humor with serious social criticism. A definite must-watch.

International Programme Short Film
Passage Kinos Astoria
01/11/2019 / 22:00
Tickets

Toomas Beneath the Valley DOK Leipzig
© Chintis Lundgren

Honeyland

Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov, North Macedonia, 2019

A delightful and catchy documentary that felt so organic I kept on asking myself how they managed to produce something so raw. Haditze, the protagonist, is a beekeeper who takes care of her sick mother in an abandoned village. It’s just the two of them until a family of gypsies shows up to – mostly – brighten up Haditze’s days. The movie is a beautiful capture of all things that are simple, modest and honest. A definite favorite for me.

Late Harvest
CineStar 4
02/11/2019 / 19:00
CineStar 7
03/11/2019 / 10:30
Tickets


The Last Autumn

Yrsa Roca Fannberg, Iceland, 2019

This movie reminded me of my grandfather. The way the protagonist treats and talks to his animals, the way he teaches his grandchildren and the way they play around the farm without a care in the world. This all reminded me of my childhood and the weeks I would spend my summer holidays milking cows, picking fruits directly from the trees and swimming in the rivers. Of course, that wasn’t Iceland. But the essence was there and is there anywhere in the world. For me, the biggest takeaway from the movie is that farm life is just as important as city life. We cannot and should not forget about those who carry knowledge about nature, animals, skies and seas. They are essential to our society. Thank you, Yrsa, for reminding me of that.

International Programme
More info


Arid Zone

Fernanda Pessoa, Brazil, 2019

Fernanda returns to Mesa, Arizona, after 15 years. She was an exchange student there as a teenager. The reason for her return? Mesa had been considered the most conservative city in the USA. She wanted to see how the people from her first international experience were faring. The film is structured as a letter to her 15-year-old self. We see pictures and interviews. But the feeling of the entire movie stays: Whoever is not from there is an alien.

Next Masters Competition
Passage Kinos Astoria
01/11/2019 / 19:30
Schauburg
02/11/2019 / 17:00
Tickets

DOK Leipzig Arid Zone
© Fernanda Pessoa

LeipGlo’s coverage of DOK Leipzig will continue on our website and social media channels. The festival runs until Monday, November 4th.

Check out the DOK Leipzig Film Finder

A Brazilian girl that used to live in China, who is now studying American Studies in Leipzig and interning for LeipGlo. Has an interest in everything and anything, especially unconventional life stories. Here she will share her view of the world, encounters, and opinions

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