Hinoki Farm

After their retire­ment about 15 years ago, Mrs. and Mr. Kikuchi left Tokyo and start­ed a new life in the rural and moun­tain­ous region on the island of Kyushu in south­ern Japan. Here, they found­ed HINOKI FARM, where they built the build­ings and began tend­ing the fields and a garden on their own. The doc­u­men­tary HINOKI FARM is a study of their daily work and the simple things in life. It tells the story of the way life goes in old age, taking us on a visual jour­ney into ancient meth­ods, slow­ing down our every­day hustle. The com•position of the film and the smooth camera flows have an almost cathar­tic impact on the viewer. 


Is this a dream palace, a temple of excess or some­thing total­ly dif­fer­ent? SOLARIS expos­es the clos­ing hours and the night-time heart­beat of Tallinn’s Solaris shop­ping mall – a place built to enter­tain and mirror the world. The ambi­gu­i­ty of the camera’s gaze and the immer­sive sound­scape con­front the viewer with the raw mate­ri­al­i­ty of fleet­ing encoun­ters, cir­cu­la­to­ry sys­tems and a grad­u­al­ly trans­form­ing atmos­phere. Between neglect­ed con­sumer goods and the rhythm of an ongo­ing system, SOLARIS cre­ates an excep­tion­al and almost sur­re­al view on the world of things. (Pavel Borecký)

Strange Beasts

Set on the out­skirts of the Bow­land Fells, North York­shire, this film con­tains no dia­logue, but is instead a sen­so­ry explo­ration into the realms of an Eng­lish dairy farm. Paired with the exper­i­men­tal use of sound­scape and con­tact micro­phone record­ings, the camera is a quiet wit­ness as the parlor bus­tles with a sea of pied cows, the land­scape hums with the sound of elec­tric wire and a calf is pulled into exis­tence with the tug of a rope.


We con­sist of frag­ment­ed infor­ma­tion, frag­ment­ed sto­ries. What parts of us derive from our ances­tors? Do we repeat their pat­terns? What is left of our family his­to­ry? Their sto­ries are gone in a moment, in a wink of an eye. Could our roots be lost, or are they only hidden? UP-ROOTED is an exper­i­men­tal sen­so­ry ethnog­ra­phy with super-8 film that touch­es on three young women’s rela­tion­ship with migra­tion and ancestry.

People, Moves, Places

How do you doc­u­ment or cap­ture the par­tic­u­lar “tone” of local inhab­i­tants living in their every­day sur­round­ings? And how do you get each of them to express their own per­son­al­i­ty with such an authen­tic­i­ty that their por­traits might even reveal some­thing that they didn’t knew about them­selves? This chore­o­graph­ic doc­u­men­tary shows a series of inter­re­la­tion­al field record­ings from Siglufjörður on the north­ern coast of Ice­land. Through an art­less con­cept of rep­e­ti­tions and bodily ges­tures, an anthro­po­log­i­cal por­trait of the inhab­i­tants in this small fish­ing vil­lage grad­u­al­ly emerges. Each of them is artic­u­lat­ing their own person – not in the dimen­sion of lin­gual com­mu­ni­ca­tion, but simply through the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences that only the viewer is able to com­pre­hend. (Troels Prim­dahl)

Three Times Piparsod: Life in an Indian Village

It all began with the idea to ini­ti­ate a cul­tur­al exchange: Two film­mak­ers, an Indian and a French­man, were to create their own per­son­al take on the same sub­ject. Both were given the same time­frame and the same tech­ni­cal con­di­tions for the project. As an out­sider, the view of the French­man remains on the sur­face of things: he por­trays his ini­tial impres­sion of exter­nal appear­ances with­out prepa­ra­tion, with­out knowl­edge of the lan­guage. The camera becomes the instru­ment of this dis­cov­ery and its “naïve” pre­sen­ta­tion. Ray­mond Depar­don, reporter, pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and great film­mak­er of the cinema direct is able to pull off this very dif­fi­cult feat. His Indian coun­ter­part is Saeed A. Mirza, who is famil­iar with the real­i­ties of life in India and has made a name for him­self as a social­ly engaged filmmaker.


The future of India lies in its vil­lages,” Nehru once said. The vil­lage of Pipar­sod had already been researched for more than twenty years by the eth­nol­o­gist Jean-Luc Cham­bard, whose KALAVATI, shot in 1961, became an ini­tia­tive part of this tril­o­gy. Cham­bard pub­lished the book Atlas d’un vil­lage indien – Pipar­sod, Madhya Pradesh in 1980, and the pho­tog­ra­ph­er Marie-Laure de Decker was also involved in this inter­dis­ci­pli­nary project. The three parts of the tril­o­gy are not screened chrono­log­i­cal­ly, but in a move­ment from out­side to inside. First a dis­cov­ery with­out words, then a jump into social actu­al­i­ty and final­ly, like remem­ber­ing, the ethno­graph­ic backstory.



Indien, Frankre­ich 1961 / 35 Min. / Beta­cam­SP (von16mm) / OF

Regie, Kamera, Ton: Jean-Luc Cham­bard; Schnitt: Philippe Luzuy

KALAVATI fol­lows the life of women, a life that con­sists mostly of work: fetch­ing water, wash­ing laun­dry, braid­ing each other’s hair, col­lect­ing fruit, and prepar­ing food. They patch  a house with clay, give the walls and court­yard a smooth coat­ing, and art­ful­ly dec­o­rate the  floor with white orna­ments. The last third of the film doc­u­ments two major cel­e­bra­tions in which women play an impor­tant role: the Holi fes­ti­val and a ser­vice in the honor of a goddess.

The fish market and the fish

This film shows pic­tures of daily life in the Por­tuguese fish­ing vil­lage Ses­im­bra, south of Lisbon, during Salazar’s dic­ta­tor­ship in 1964. Mau’s pho­tographs of fish dis­played in geo­met­ric pat­terns and Fichte’s spoken text com­ple­ment one anoth­er. The latter seems like notes of an inter­view with a typ­i­cal young fish­er­man who goes out to sea at night, lives in a two-room apart­ment with his par­ents and sib­lings, per­haps has a fiancée he can’t afford to marry, and has to serve his mil­i­tary duty soon or has just returned from serv­ing in Angola. Yes, some people are tor­tured. Yes, there are spies every­where. These two remarks offset the oth­er­wise harm­less descrip­tions. The list of all the names of fish that enable the vil­lage to sur­vive in col­lec­tive pover­ty is long.

The day of a casual dock worker

He gets up around five, when the man who is writ­ing about him goes to bed.” This is how the author Hubert Fichte begins his story about the “casual dock worker.”

Leonore Mau, a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, orig­i­nal­ly did not know much about photofilms, but she learned quick­ly. Rough­ly 500 pho­tographs were needed for 20 min­utes of film. Mau had gotten to know the dock worker in the Palette bar. She fol­lowed him with her camera, pho­tograph­ing him at home with his family, on his way to work, to the “Admi” (where jobs are assigned), to the launch­es, to the boat hatch­es, and later to his reg­u­lar bar around the corner. At the end of the day, each docker had moved 660 bags, equal­ing 30 tons. The spoken text and images, which are inter­spersed with short film sequences in a kind of tele­vi­sion format, create a pre­cise report about life on the docks.

First Contact

The Aus­tralian broth­ers Michael, Dan, and James Leahy were the first white people to go on an expe­di­tion from 1930 to 1934 to the unchart­ed moun­tain­ous area of New Guinea, look­ing for gold. Unlike other adven­tur­ers, they had a camera with them. 50 years later, Bob Con­nol­ly and Robin Ander­son fol­lowed in the foot­steps of these “con­quis­ta­dors” in this movie in which they show orig­i­nal film mate­r­i­al togeth­er with state­ments by sur­viv­ing indige­nous people who remem­ber the Leahys. Much has hap­pened in the years between when the first images were record­ed by the Leahy broth­ers and these new scenes. Colo­nial­ism, his­to­ry, and accul­tur­a­tion occur between the images and are only vis­i­ble in the dis­crep­an­cy between then and now. (see Die Frem­den sehen, Trick­ster Verlag 1984)

The Papuans tell how they thought the white men were their ances­tors, bleached by the sun and returned from the dead. They were amazed at the arti­facts of 20th cen­tu­ry life such as tin cans, phono­graphs and air­planes. When shown their younger, inno­cent selves in the found footage, they recall the darker side of their rela­tion­ship with these mys­te­ri­ous beings with dev­as­tat­ing weapons”. (…) FIRST CONTACT is one of those rare films that holds an audi­ence spell­bound. Humor and pathos are com­bined in this clas­sic story of colo­nial­ism, told by the people who were there.” (Doc­u­men­tary Edu­ca­tion­al Resources)

The Exiles

Like many others of her gen­er­a­tion of Native Amer­i­cans, Yvonne grew up in a reser­va­tion before moving to Los Ange­les. She shares a two-room apart­ment with her hus­band Homer and five other young Indi­ans. Since Yvonne got preg­nant, her thoughts have been con­stant­ly revolv­ing around the future, her own and that of her baby. The men, on the other hand, live from the fleet­ing kicks that they find in the rest­less nights on the streets of down­town and in the main street bars. After research­ing in the Native Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty in Los Ange­les for years, Kent Macken­zie began work­ing with his pro­tag­o­nists on The Exiles in 1957. The film, which was com­plet­ed three years later, is one of the first – and still very few – films about young Indi­ans in the big city. For his empa­thet­ic obser­va­tions, Macken­zie found poetic forms far from any kind of roman­ti­ciz­ing. His graph­ic sense for noc­tur­nal Los Ange­les, the use of inter­views with the actors as the inner mono­logues of the pro­tag­o­nists, and the sound­track of the rock ’n’ roll band “The Revels” from radios and juke­box­es make The Exiles a mas­ter­piece of great beauty and integri­ty. Its restora­tion closes anoth­er gap in the his­to­ry of inde­pen­dent cinema.