52nd Hof International Film Festival – Documentary Films

22documentary films will be in this year’s program at the 52nd Hof International Film Festival. The focus is on humanity, in all of its facets – as an emotional, vulnerable individual and as a political, self-important resident of a planet whose rapid social and ecological developments are questioned. They deal with questions of how one can follow one’s own dreams into old age and what these dreams are made of. These observations are made within the intimate framework of the family structure as well as in a comprehensive, global context.

We would like to present a selection of the documentary films in the program:

#WIDERSTAND
by Britta Schoening
Helene (19) lives in solidarity with 400 refugees in the occupied Hotel City Plaza in Athens. Ingrid (23) is a follower of the right-wing Identities movement in Vienna which propagates against mass immigration and Islamization. Aicha (18) is a Muslim Poetry Slammer in the club “i.Slam” and broaches everyday discrimination in her texts. All three women are searching for identity and belonging and find it in respectively different extremes.

A BRIGHT LIGHT – KAREN AND THE PROCESS
by Emmanuelle Antille
In the footsteps of cult singer Karen Dalton, the film takes us on a frantic and mesmerizing road trip across the USA. In search of one of the 60’s most astonishing voices, who enjoyed short-lived success in the New York scene and was admired by such colleagues as Bob Dylan, but remained unknown to the general public, until now.

BEYOND THE WAVES
by Alain de Halleux
If Taro Yamamoto can suddenly wake up to the situation, so can others too! Taro was an actor and well known for his appearances in television talk shows. He led an easy life – until the day in March 2011 when the tsunami woke him up and changed the world. With 666,000 votes, he was elected as a senator, but it became clear to him that nothing was being done for the victims of Fukushima, so he wrote a letter to the Emperor. A huge scandal! This is forbidden in Japan!

DE CHAQUE INSTANT
by Nicolas Philibert
Every year, thousands of students in France begin training in nursing care. The film accompanies the ups and downs of such an education in which often very young people are confronted at an early age with human fragility, suffering, disease, and the weaknesses of body and soul.

DER ILLEGALE FILM
by Martin Baer and Claus Wischmann
Since the beginning of time, mankind has been using images to create a picture of the world around us. Today, we take more photographs than ever before. Two billion images are uploaded onto the Internet every day. By the year 2020, over 45 million cameras will be documenting our lives and the world. How do we deal with it when the world and our own portrayal become one?

FAIR TRADERS
by Nino Jacusso
Three players in the free market take on ethical responsibility for their actions and the following generations: they engage in sustainable production. The film charts the careers of successful entrepreneurs at various stages, who operate locally, nationally and internationally and manage to combine both the market and morality.

FINDING THE BEAUTY
by Lennart Brede
The film is a contemporary document and allows us to participate in the creative process and careers of the protagonists who work in the fields of art, music, film and fashion design, from the early 1990s to the present day in the two megacities Berlin and New York City. Everything revolves around the figurative question of beauty, revealing the fundamental values of truth, love and simplicity as the three constants in the search for beauty.

FOLLOW THE RIVER – SEARCHING FOR FREEDOM IN ALASKA
by Tilo Mahn
In the Alaskan wilderness, Mike and Nate Turner want to realize their dream. Far away from civilization, in the isolation and vastness of the north, father and son try to live a self-sufficient life with their families, in tune with nature, as trappers and hunters. The river is their only path to civilization: with the hydroplane or by boat, days away from the next city.

FRIEDKIN UNCUT
by Francesco Zippel
The film offers an introspective insight into the life and artistic journey of William Friedkin, an extraordinary and offbeat director of cult films such as THE FRENCH CONNECTION, THE EXORCIST, SORCERER, CRUISING, TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. and KILLER JOE. Thanks to an ‘all-star’ cast of friends and collaborators (including, among others, Francis Ford Coppola, Quentin Tarantino, Willem Dafoe, Wes Anderson, Matthew McConaughey, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Shannon and Juno Temple), we discover what it means to be an artist.

HORST
by Lisa Bühl
In the late 1970s, Lisa Bühl’s uncle Horst followed his heart and moved from a small suburb of Dortmund to New York City. A young, gay man with no money, no job and very little command of the English language, but with a strong will. A will to make a new life for himself in an unknown world, where he hoped to feel independent and carefree.

LE GRAND BAL
by Laetitia Carton
This is the story of a dance event. One of the biggest there is. Every summer, more than 2000 people come together from all over Europe to a little town in France. Seven days and eight nights long, they dance, nonstop – losing all feeling for time, they defy their own fatigue and bodies. Everyone spinning, laughing, whirling around, howling and singing. And life pulsates.

MEETING JIM
by Ece Ger
This documentary is a journey back to the lifetime of Jim Haynes, an extraordinary 83-year-old man. Haynes embodied the spirit of the 60s. This journey becomes also a physical one when he takes a train from the city of Paris, where he lives, to London and Edinburgh.

NOSSA CHAPE – UNSER TEAM
by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist
In November 2016, the soccer club of the small Brazilian town of Chapecó is on its way to the greatest highlight in the club’s history, the finals of the Copa Sudamericana. But there is a tragic accident during the flight to Colombia – just eight miles from the airport, with the team, the coaching staff, the manager and journalists on board, the plane crashes. Only six people survive.

RAUS
by Matthias Wilfert
Jenny lives with her father in a little house in Lower Bavaria. Her contract as a cattle prod at the slaughterhouse has just been terminated, and with it, her dreams of foreign countries and a driver’s license. “Home is the place where I don’t have to explain myself.” But Jenny’s world looks different. She has to explain herself everyday. Everyday she has to fight for herself and a place to call home.

SCALA ADIEU – VON WINDELN VERWEHT
by Douglas Wolfsperger
In 2017 in the city of Constance on Lake Constance, Europe’s largest chain of drugstores opened the city’s fifth branch store in what used to be the former “Scala Film Palace”. The filmmaker becomes witness to the final rebellion of a dying art house cinema. Inner cities and cultural concepts change – in Constance and everywhere else. But who decides how and for whom?

STAMMTISCH
by Constantin Hatz
The regulars’ table is a place for passions, desires, fears and political discourse. A place where you can spend your free time and a place that offers people space for the imagination of their own happiness. Whether in a clubhouse, a hunting lodge or a living room, deep passions dwell at these meeting places and intense connections develop between the people who come together there.

SUBITO
by Peter Volkart
The ingenious inventor Edwin Land made the impossible possible in 1947: the instant image. The bold camera beguiled generations of artists and photographers to photographic escapades and unpredictable adventures. Today, with the demise of analog photography, the instant image is experiencing a renaissance and quenching our desire for that unique, real moment.

SUNSET OVER HOLLYWOOD
by Uli Gaulke
Hidden away, at the end of Mulholland Drive, north of Los Angeles, lies the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the retirement home of the US film industry. The spry seniors – former filmmakers like actors, directors, screenwriters, editors, cinematographers, sound technicians, lighting technicians, and make-up artists – were once the backbone of the American show business. In their own little studio, they still hold on to their passion and continue to shoot short films and remain creative. The film accompanies them during all stages and recounts their dreams and hopes, far away from the limelight.

THE HAENDEL VARIATIONS
by Christine Jezior
What remains at the end of one’s life which has been dedicated to music? When the epochs of one’s own virtuoso violin music belong to the past? When one’s one fingers no longer make it possible to play the beloved instrument? The film accompanies the artist Ida Haendel during a phase of life which is often avoided in many biographies: namely, old age.

VON MUSLIM ZU MUSLIM
by Niko Apel
The Muslims aren’t doing anything about the increasing radicalization of their fellow believers? Sure they are. Mustapha Lamjahdi from Frankfurt and Ron Weber from Berlin are putting up a fight. Every single day they fight against the radicalization process in schools and mosque communities. The film offers insight into the inner-Islamic discussion to which the German society remains sealed off from.

WEAPON OF CHOICE
by Fritz Ofner and Eva Hausberger
It’s infallible, reliable and state-of-the-art: the Glock pistol. The film recounts the rapid ascent of the Austrian handgun to become a worldwide bestseller and cult object. The investigative journey takes the directors to the USA, into the world of gangster rap with its Glock-riddled lyrics, to Iraq and into the supposedly intact world of the picturesque Lake Wörthersee.

WHO I AM
by Agnese Grieco and Lucia Chiarla
Behind every name there is a person. Upon arriving in a foreign country, what is it that one wants to share about oneself? How and what can you say about yourself? For six months, the directors spoke with a group of unaccompanied, underage refugees in a theater about the topic of identity, developing and discussing improvisations.