The most interesting documentaries of the last season, presented and awarded at the most at the world’s major film festivals, but also debuts and premieres.
The best film in this section will be chosen by the festival goers.
STORIES WE TELL, dir. Sarah Polley, Canada, 2012, 108 min
Writers Guild of America 2014 – Best Documentary Screenplay
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 2014 – Best Documentary/Non-fiction Film
A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers. Oscar-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets kept by her own family. She playfully interviews and interrogates friends and relatives. Each of them relates their version of the family mythology, giving away only glimpses of her mother, who departed too soon, leaving a trail of unanswered questions. Stories We Tell explores the elusive nature of truth and memory.
THE ACT OF KILLIG, dir. Joshua Oppenheimer, Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, 2012, 115 min
BAFTA Awards 2014 – Best Documentary
Berlin IFF 2013 – Panorama Audience Award
Academy Awards 2014 – Best Documentary Nomination
A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. The Act of Killing is about killers who have won, and the sort of society they have built. Unlike ageing Nazis or Rwandan génocidaires, Anwar and his friends have not been forced by history to admit they participated in crimes against humanity. Instead, they have written their own triumphant history, becoming role models for millions of young
paramilitaries. The Act of Killing is a journey into the memories and imaginations of the perpetrators, offering insight into the minds of mass killers. And The Act of Killing is a nightmarish vision of a frighteningly banal culture of impunity in which killers can joke about crimes against humanity on television chat shows, and celebrate moral disaster with the ease and grace of a soft shoe dance number.
TITO ON ICE dir. Helena Ahonen, Max Andersson, Germany, Sweden, 2013, 76 min
To promote their book “Bosnian flat dog”, Swedish comics artists Max Andersson and Lars Sjunnesson tour the countries of former Yugoslavia with a mummyfied Marshal Tito in a refrigerator. Watching border controls turn into improvised snapshot sessions, admiring mutant iron-curtain Disney toys, buying souvenir grenade shell handicrafts and discovering sniper art in blown-out apartments, they find that truth may indeed be stranger than fiction. Max Andersson’s feature film debut operates on multiple levels to achieve a rare synthesis of form and content. The combination of animated crumbling, fragmentary garbage characters and grainy black and white super 8 mixed with documentary MiniDV looks like nothing else but seems perfectly natural. A roller coaster ride through a parallel universe where all borders are disintegrating – at the same time tragic, poetic and hilariously funny.