Helsinki Documentary Film Festival
January 25 - 30, 2011
Helsinki / Finland
Established in 2002, DocPoint presents a variety of sections dedicated to a particular theme, documentary genre or country. This year, the festival offer includes a selection of ten memorable Finnish docs; retrospectives and screenings dedicated to Pekka Lehto, Eino Mäkinen, Jean Painlevé and Stefan Jarl; special screenings; films blending documentary and fiction; Congo in the spotlight; new Finnish docs; documentaries from northern latitudes; student films; people who do not fit in; docs on arts; festival winners; and longitudinal docs.
Section: North by Northeast
Kawalek lata , Poland, 2010, 24 min, Digi Beta, Portrait
It is the last days of the summer holidays. A grandfather, who works in Bieszczady Mountains, awaits the arrival of his grandson. Surrounded by wild nature they try to reach an understanding of each other. The camera keenly observes, with slow and subtle pace, a developing relationship to one another and to the world that envelopes them.
Ģimenes lietas , Latvia, 2010, 58 min, HD, Drama doc, Portrait, Social Issues
"Family Instinct" is a film about incest - an illegal act, social taboo and a violation of religious norms. Zanda is a 28-year-old woman, worn out by hard work. Surrounded by poverty and despair, she is trying to survive with her two children in a god-forsaken Latvian village. Her hardships can be traced back to living in a relationship with her brother Valdis. When Valdis is put in jail, the local community forces her to make a difficult choice: to stay with him or with her children. Despite her ill fortune, she manages to express her love for the children, still hoping to save her family. The film offers a tragicomic but highly authentic insight into the bleak reality of Latvian countryside today.
Inwentaryzacja , Poland, 2010, 9 min
Paweł Łoziński’s documentary is a short, metaphoric story, undertaking a problem of memory, identity, searching for traces of the recent past. Here, on thirty hectares in the city centre, the inventory is being made – it is to lead to reconstruction of a lost city. The camera focuses on details, showing fingers touching an obliterated inscription or a laborious process of decoding letters excavated from the ground, because each of them means something.
Kihnu Kosjad , Estonia, 2009, 59 min, Anthropology, Arts and Culture
In the middle of the Gulf of Riga sits the small island of Kihnu, known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant traditions. Kihnu women wear their national costumes even when going about their daily chores. When Meelis and Raili decide to get married, the whole village joins in. Everything starting from a proper proposal is done “according to custom”. During the winter people gather to make colourful skirts, mittens, socks and ribbons, to prepare drinks and fish dishes and to sing. Meelis brings logs from the woods, and on those logs the dance floor will be built come summer.
Kihnu Pulm , Estonia, 2009, 97 min, Anthropology, Arts and Culture
Watching this amazing film is like watching a play. Everything is based on a sense of community on a small island, on the desire to contribute to documenting an enduring tradition and on the will to make the experience enjoyable. The wedding, 13 years in the waiting, lasts for three days with 300 guests – over half of the island’s inhabitants – taking part. The festivities occur simultaneously at the homes of both the bride and the groom. Vigilantly and flexibly the camera captures the familiar customs and rollicking games. Yet an element of fresh improvisation is constantly present. Vodka and home-brew are served and jokes cracked.
Deklaracja nieśmiertelności , Poland, 2010, 29 min, Beta, Personal View, Portrait
In his new film Marcin Koszałka returns to a forgotten genre, namely a mountain film. The protagonist of his story is Piotr “Mad” Korczak, somewhere in the background there is his rival Andrzej Marcisz. The director focuses on the decline of the career of the great master, provoking his reflection on his future life, when he will no longer be able to climb mountains. It’s a moving story about inability to come to terms with old age and about desire of immortality.
Section: A Life in the Arts
Przełamując mury , Poland, 2009, 27 min, Digi Beta, Arts and Culture, Reportage
A funny story about three contact-improvisation dancers: Danya from Israel, Renata from Poland and Marcus from Germany who arrive to Jerusalem wanting to express their views on the most important issues by dancing. They perform anywhere - in the streets, in parks and gardens. Will the inhabitants of this multicultural and colorful city appreciate their efforts? Do they need them? The dancers will learn this - but only if they learn to communicate between themselves.
Lumea vazuta de Ion B. , Romania, 2009, 60 min, HD, Arts and Culture, Portrait
Ion B. is a 62 year-old homeless man. His bed is a filthy foam mattress at the bottom of a garbage chute. Ion sorts through the daily household garbage of the block, avidly reading the books, magazines and newspapers he finds. Since the 70s he has been creating collages from them that he calls "my films".
Zvuky pod sluncem , Latvia, 2010, 62 min, HD, Arts and Culture, Music
The question – How music is created? – forms the bases of the film "Sounds Under the Sun". Investigating the world of sonic creation, the film takes a number of world famous contemporary music composers into an inner and outer journey, finally gathering them in Riga, Latvia, the place where their music comes to life performed by one of the world’s best youth choirs.
Katka , Czech Republic, 2010, 90 min, 35 mm, HD, Creative, Longitudinal, Portrait
Helena Třeštíková's film is a remarkable documentary tracing fourteen years in the life of a young junkie and her futile battle with drug addiction. Why did she start taking drugs? She claims she wanted to be different. The year is 1996 and 19-year-old Katka lives in the Sananim therapy community in the town of Němčice with hope for a normal life – she dreams of having a boyfriend and even a family, some day. But there's no happy ending. The director records Katka's descent over the years into a spiral of theft, prostitution, physical and psychological deterioration – a spiral that is broken only by brief flashes of hope and resolutions to stop taking drugs. Katka's desire is sincere, but in the end drugs always win. Will Katka finally find the strength when she becomes pregnant and motherhood offers her life-sustaining motivation?
DocPoint takes place January 25 - 30, 2011.
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