What are some of the deepest documentaries
No special effects, no fake ..., really doing it. "This is what the director Francis Ford Coppola raves about" Sorcerer ", the film by his colleague William Friedkin. Everything real, nothing staged, that was the attraction of the documentary for a long time. It was has always been an assertion unique selling point - but also a corset. Today re-enactments, trick technology and all possible forms of staging have become a matter of course in documentaries. Nevertheless, the core remains the found reality, which can give the films a special impact and urgency. The 34th Documentary Film Festival Munich - in short: Dok-Fest - shows 159 films from 51 countries until May 19, which are like shop windows into often strange worlds. In a "different reality", as one of the films is titled. The retrospective is dedicated to the Peruvian-Dutch director Heddy Honigmann, this year's guest country is Russia. Here are some recommendations for the festival that starts on Thursday.
Another Reality, Noël Dernesch, Olli Waldhauer
The question of a way out is what keeps the film moving. Noël Dernesch and Olli Waldhauer accompany men from criminal family clans to the parallel society of major German cities. It is a world of big cars and dreams of advancement, spanned by a web of family relationships with dozens of cousins, in which the taste of fast money is addicting and the path to crime is less a decision than a consequence - quicksand without a rope, as one gangster says . A look into their everyday life confirms many clichés and gradually crumbles them. The filmmakers are close to these men. They tell of their dreams and the struggle with themselves ("the greatest jihad"), of strife with their identity and the search for legal business (kiosk, gangster rap, car rental). At the best of times it has a touching joke. "I feel German," says someone in the neon light of his kiosk refrigerator, "but what does Petra, my neighbor, think when she sees me with my hair licked?" Annett Scheffel
Monrovia, Indiana, Frederick Wiseman
If the US has that cultural divide that separates two worlds, the small town of Monrovia and filmmaker Frederick Wiseman are definitely on different sides of it. Wiseman ties his films to places, often to institutions. But actually it's always about people and how they function in the community. For "Monrovia, Indiana" he filmed ten weeks in the deepest Trump country, Indiana is the home of Vice President Pence. It's never about national politics, not in the arms business, not in the diner or at the village festival, as if the people didn't understand what politics had to do with them. But in the local council meetings you can hear where the rift is, how the hope for new jobs and young people in an aging city meets the fear of change. Wiseman thus composes the picture of a world in which everything seems to be drifting towards its end in slow motion. Susan Vahabzadeh
A Thousand Girls Like Me, Sahra Mani
Women's rights in Afghanistan, the courage of desperation: Khatera already has a daughter who is also her sister; when she becomes pregnant again, she manages to report her father. Her father had abused her regularly since she was a teenager, Khatera suspects that thousands of girls in her country feel the same way, but she is the first to bring such a case to the public and to court. The director Sahra Mani is Afghan herself, grew up in Iran and studied in London. She accompanies Kathera in her fight against a corrupt system - a system in which men have power and protect other men. The presenter on television urges her why she did not seek help earlier, and in court she is accused of lying. If Kathera's father is acquitted, she could go to jail herself for her illegitimate children. Martina Knoben
Mission Lifeline, M. Weinberg, L. Baumgarten
A dinghy sinking, air bubbles up under the keel. 200 people in fear of death. Libyan coast guards who open fire and act like a pirate heap, kindly helped by the EU, who pays them for the petrol. In the middle of this brutal chaos, die Lifeline, a small ship trying to save people from drowning. Markus Weinberg and Luise Baumgarten have the crew of the Lifeline accompanied for two years and their work with stations of the European foreclosure policy cut back since 2015. It's a matter of life and death in front of the camera. About Pegida demonstrations at which "drowning" is chanted. And with that the question of what this Europe should actually be when in the end the captain of the ship is brought to justice because he has helped. Alex Rühle
Putin's Witnesses, Vitaly Mansky
Get out now and have a beer, just like in the past. Or like later, when he, Vladimir Putin, will no longer be president, but just a "simple citizen". Because one day, ponders Russia's newly crowned ruler in the back seat of the modest service limousine, one day the power will be over. That sounds almost wistful, but it can also be one of the tricks Putin tricked everyone with, making everyone into his accomplices, including the Russian filmmaker Vitaly Mansky. As head of documentary for a state broadcaster, Mansky had fantastic access back in 2000: to Boris Yeltsin, who never reveals when he understands who exactly he has put into office with Putin. To Mikhail Gorbachev, who dines with old comrades - sidelined, but thoroughly cheerful. And about Putin. Today Mansky lives in exile. His film is an attempt to bear witness, a confession. And yet it seems less like a penance, that too, it is not just an attempt to explain the genesis of the autocrat Putin - wasn't everything already laid out, recognizable? - as an étude about power, its loss, its security, its inescapable consequences for all who come too close to it. This look is intimate and worldly at the same time and sometimes, when it falls on Yeltsin, lurching like a tanker in distress, or on its pale, eager, unfinished successor, surprisingly touching. Sonja Zekri
Friedkin Uncut, Francesco Zippel
A young savage in Hollywood, William Friedkin. He made some of the fastest movies of the seventies, "French Connection" and "The Exorcist", the explosive "Sorcerer" (remake of "Lohn der Angst") and "Cruising", a black thriller from the S&M scene. The first two were huge successes, the third flopped, the fourth was heavily attacked because it discriminated against gays. In "Friedkin Uncut", Francesco Zippel lets Friedkin actors, employees and colleagues - from Walter Hill to Tarantino - have their say, Friedkin himself is also allowed to present himself eccentrically. Rehearse a scene, he says, it's for wimps, for dummies. I am for spontaneity. One take, no waiting for perfection. He was always there when filming, was in the car in the legendary chase in "French Connection" in Brooklyn. Francis Ford Coppola, himself jungle-tested, praises the "Sorcerer": "No special effects, no fake ... really doing it." Fritz Goettler
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