DOCUMENTA MADRID presents the first titles of the Official Selection.16/04/13
The Oscar nominated documentary “The Gatekeepers”, the best European documentary “Winter Nomads”, the winner of Panorama Berlin “The Act of Killing” and the sequel to the famous hit “The Staircase” directed by the Oscar-winning Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, shall take us in a fantastic voyage from political cinema to the beautiful descriptions of local customs and manners, without leaving CINETECA.
The 10th Edition of the International Festival of Documentary Cinema DOCUMENTA MADRID shall open next 5th of May, 2013. The contest shall have an Official Selection with 15 films, fourteen within the competitive section and a last film, out of contest, which shall be screened at the closing ceremony. All the films of the competitive section will be screened at CINETECA.
This year´s Official Selection puts a special emphasis on the excellence of its productions, all of them absolute premieres in Spain and which will be attended by their directors.
As a starting event, opening the competitive section, we shall screen “The Gatekeepers”, the controversial documentary film which was nominated to the Oscar Awards this year, featuring the Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic secret service agency. The film shows for the first time the inside operations of the agency, through the
testimonies of six of its former directors. To introduce the film, the festival will host its director Dror Moreh.
With a completely different perspective and also in the competitive section, “Winters
Nomads” is a beautifully filmed documentary which tells the everyday life of the last Swiss shepherds. The tape has won, amongst many others, the 2012 Best Documentary Film European Award. Its director, Manuel Von Struler, shall attend the Spanish capital city to present and talk about his film with the audience of CINETECA.
“The Act of Killing” is the documentary film winner of the Panorama Berlin 2013, and of the First Prize at the CPH 2012 (Copenhagen´s Documentary Cinema Festival) and shall be another of the competitive section selection. The film was directed by Joshua Oppenheimer together with Christine Cynn and an anonymous co-director, and tells the story of the atrocities committed by the sinister paramilitary groups in Indonesia during the 1960s, which ended up with the extermination of more than a million people. The film´s originality is that the story is told by the assassins themselves, who appear in it as if they were cinema starlets.
To round up the festival, the 2001 Oscar winner Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, will present out of the competitive section his last work: “The Staircase 2. The Last Chance”. The film is the follow-up of the enthralling documentary series THE STAIRCASE which feature the trial of the writer Michael Peterson, charged with killing his wife, a case which was never solved. This new documentary film gives a turn to the story, reconsidering the basis of the approved sentence.
The complete list of features will be published during the following weeks, as well as details regarding the international jury which shall decide the awards given by Documenta Madrid to the best documentary film.
THE GATEKEEPERS - Belgium/Germany/Israel/France. 2012. 96 min. - OPENING
Director: Dror Moreh
For the first time ever, six former heads of Israel´s domestic secret service agency, the Shin Bet, share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. Since
the Six Day War in 1967, Israel has failed to transform its crushing military victory into a lasting peace. Throughout that entire period, these heads of the Shin Bet stood at the center of Israel´s decision-making process in all matters pertaining to security. They worked closely with every Israeli prime minister, and their assessments and insights had –and continue to have- a profound impact on Israeli policy.
“The gatekeepers” offers an exclusive account of the sum of their successes and
failures. In the process it sheds light on the controversy surrounding the Occupation in the aftermath of the Six Day War.
WINTER NOMADS - Switzerland. 2012. 90 min. http://hivernomade.ch/en/
Director: Manuel von Stürler
Pascal, 53, and Carole, 28, are shepherds. In the month of November 2010, they embark on their long winter transhumance: four months during which they will have to cover 600 km in the Swiss-French region, accompanied by three donkeys, four dogs and a eight hundred sheep. An exceptional adventure is about to begin: they brave the cold and the bad weather day in day out, with a canvas cover and animal skins as their only
shelter at night. This saga reveals a tough and exacting profession requiring constant improvisation and unflinching attention to nature, the animals and the cosmos.
An odyssey through a region undergoing profound changes that render this kind of
expedition more difficult every year, particularly when the grass for the sheep has to be found between villas, railroad tracks and industrial areas. An eventful journey with surprise encounters, moving reunions with farmer friends, nostalgic figures of country life that is shrinking away fast.
A film dominated by the strong personalities of Pascal and Carole, whose relationship and joie de vivre transform this transhumance into a magnificent hymn to freedom, at opposite extremes of our comfortable reality.
Winter Nomads is an adventure film, a contemporary road movie, a reflection of our
current world, which takes us back to our roots and our inner questions.
THE ACT OF KILLING - Denmark. 2012. 115 min. http://theactofkilling.com
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer, codirected by Christine Cynn
& anonymous associate
When the government of Indonesia was overthrown by the military in 1965, more than
one million people were killed in less than a year. Anwar and his friends were promoted from ticket scalpers to death squad leaders, and Anwar killed hundreds of people with his own hands. In The Act of Killing, Anwar and his friends agree to tell us the story of the killings. But their idea of being in a movie is not to provide testimony for a documentary: they want to be stars in their favourite film genres - gangster, western, musical. They write the scripts. They play themselves. And they play their victims. The Act of Killing is a nightmarish vision - a journey into the memories and
imaginations of the unrepentant perpetrators and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.
THE STAIRCASE 2. THE LAST CHANCE - France, 2012, color, 130 min. – CLOSING FILM – out of competition
Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
'This is the sequel to the documentary thriller The Staircase, an eight-part miniseries from 2004 that meticulously reported events inside and outside the courtroom following the mysterious death of Kathleen Peterson. Were her injuries caused by falling down the stairs, as her husband Michael claimed, or was there foul play involved? The six-hour miniseries ended with the sentencing of Michael Peterson to life imprisonment for premeditated murder. In this sequel, the makers pick up the thread when Peterson files his appeal, after doubts have been raised about the reliability of expert witness testimony.
Eight years after his conviction, there is a glimmer of hope that Michael Peterson will be released. But while his sons and adopted daughters remain as loyal to him as ever, his stepdaughter Caitlin has lost faith in his innocence. In addition to showing the ups and downs within the family, the film provides insight into the U.S. justice system, where often self-proclaimed “experts” play a crucial role in the interpretation of evidence. The Staircase 2 adds a new and revealing chapter to this thrilling epic.
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