Film festival season is here: this week is all about DOK Leipzig, the German documentary and animated film festival – running from October 26th to November 1st.
This 63rd edition of DOK Leipzig will take place partly in cinemas throughout Leipzig and partly online – “Watch DOK wherever you want”. So, even if you’re not in town, you can enjoy on-demand films and selected films. When you’re living in Germany, you can watch every premiere film online for another 14 days after the screening.
DOK Leipzig presents a program consisting out of 150 films and XR works, of which at least 90 films are premieres, and so it has something to offer for every taste: from old-timers to upcoming directors. For this last group, DOK introduces a new award: The Silver Dove.
With such an impressive program, it can be hard to find out where to begin. So, read on to discover Fiona’s must-sees for DOK Leipzig 2020!
1. Golden competition: A Black Jesus
‘A Black Jesus’ is a documentary feature by director Luca Lucchesi. It has its world premiere at DOK Leipzig and is selected by the audience for the Golden Competition.
It tells the story of a divided religious community in his family village in Sicily (IT). The figure of Jesus Christ worshipped here is black, and always has been. However, some people cannot get used to their dark-skinned neighbors in the refugee camp – especially when one of them, Edward, wants to carry the statue of Jesus during a religious holiday. The camera follows Edward over this period and wants to show the audience that there are good nor bad guys.
2. International Competition: Children
‘Children’ by Ada Usphiz is another film that enjoys its world premiere at DOK Leipzig. Moreover, this documentary feature is in the race for a Golden Dove in the International Competition.
It is a film about Palestinian minors who participate in the fight, the Intifada, against Israel. Usphiz zooms in on the 12-year-old Dima and her family. Dime has just been released from prison after being arrested for possession of weapons and terrorist threats. The film shows these children’s relentless lives in constant tension.
3. World premiere: Vicenta
The Argentinian animated documentary ‘Vicenta’ is a world premiere at DOK Leipzig and it is a nominee in the International Competition.
This documentary is based on a legal and medical scandal that took place in Argentina, 2007. Plastic figures tell the troubled and oppressive story of a 16-year-old physically disabled girl named Laura, who has been raped by her uncle. When her mother requests and is granted a legal abortion for her daughter, she is suddenly obstructed by doctors and lawyers. The Argentinian state doesn’t allow her to abort her child.
A honorable mention goes out to:
Due to COVID-19 the festival is unable to invite filmmakers, so they asked several filmmakers to introduce their work within 3 minutes in a cinematic way. That resulted in more than 40 short movies compiled in this ‘Director’s Short Cuts’.