#docoftheday

In order to make staying at home a little more interesting, we start a "Doc of the Day" series in which we recommend one outstanding, online available documentary per day.

On this news page we present a new film recommendation every day. At the top are the newest suggestions, below the older ones. We also keep you up to date on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Keep well and have fun browsing!

Director: Jos de Putter

Country & year of production: Netherlands | 2014

Length: 89'

Language: Original with English subtitles

Watch the film online

Recommendation on April 9, 2020:

Solo - Out of a Dream

In 1994, 11 year-old Leonardo, was portrayed in the award-winning documentary SOLO - THE LAW OF THE FAVELA. His dream was to become soccer players, to escape the poverty and violence of the slum in Rio de Janeiro.

As a result of the film, Leonardo was invited to join Dutch topclub Feyenoord at the age of 14. He made his dream come true and became a professional player for Feyenoord and Ajax, and in his later days went on to play in Austria, Hungary and Germany. Now 31, rich and famous, he travels back to Rio de Janeiro to meet old friends, against the background of the world championships in Brasil. SOLO - OUT OF A DREAM tells the story of a life that was was destined by the camera.

Director: Sudabeh Mortezai

Country & year of production: Austria, Germany | 2010

Length: 84'

Language: Original with English subtitles

Watch the film online

Recommendation on April 8, 2020:

In the Bazaar of the Sexes

A lonesome middle-aged bachelor, a divorced single mother and a jovial young mullah are the protagonists of this intimate account of gender relations in Iran. Their stories revolve around temporary marriage, also called lust-marriage, a Shia practice that allows a man and a woman to legally marry for a fixed period of time ranging from one hour to 99 years. Religiously sanctified prostitution or a loophole for couples to have a relationship within the rigid Islamic laws?

Religious dogma meets macho sentimentality meets female realities. A relentlessly honest, eye-opening and sometimes funny account of Islamic sexual and gender politics.

Director: Mohsin Abbas

Country & year of production: Canada, Pakistan | 2014

Length: 60'

Language: Original with English subtitles

Watcht the film online

Recommendation on April 7, 2020:

Malala: A Girl From Paradise

Malala Yousafzai is a resilient and articulate girl from Pakistan's Swat Valley.
When she was shot in the head, the 16-year-old schoolgirl turned into a symbol of hope for the millions of children in Pakistan who are illiterate and have little chance of an education.

The Taliban thought they would silence the girl's campaign to educate Pakistani children.
They were wrong. Malala survived, her activism is stronger than ever and she is the youngest Nobel Peace prize winner ever.

MALALA: A GIRL FROM PARADISE tries to give a better understanding of Malala's home country.

Director: Lotte Mik-Meyer

Year of production: 2017

Length: 78'

Language: English

Watch the film online

Recommendation on April 6, 2020:

Return of a President

Brutally forced out of Madagascar by a military coup d’état, now exiled in South Africa, Madagascar’s democratically elected president Marc Ravalomanana turns to the international community to help mediate a diplomatic solution – and suddenly finds himself navigating a political minefield. There are many other interests at play than simply reinstalling democracy in his country.

The exil president is determined to peacefully win back his homeland from the coup leader Rajoelina. RETURN OF A PRESIDENT tells the inside story of the five-year battle to bring Ravalomanana home and reinstall democracy in Madagascar.

Director: Mimi Chakarova

Country & year of production: USA, United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Moldova, Turkey | 2011

Length: 73’

Language: Original with English subtitles

Watch the Film online

Recommendation on April 5, 2020:

The Price of Sex

A documentary about young Eastern European women who've been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse. It is a story told by survivors; a film that gives a voice to women who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and intimidation.

Director Mimi Chakarova takes us on a personal, investigative journey into the shadowy world of sex trafficking from Eastern Europe to Turkey, Dubai and Greece. Told through undercover footage and the personal accounts of trafficked women, this film exposes the root causes of why women continue to be sold into prostitution against their will and examines what can be done to stop it.

Director: Janus Metz, Sine Plambech

Country & year of production: Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand | 2018

Length: 90'

Language: Original with English subtitles

Watch the Film online


Recommendation on April 4, 2020:

Heartbound: A Different Kind of Love Story

In the small northern region of Jutland, Denmark, over 900 Thai women are married to Danish men: a trend that started 25 years ago when a former sex worker from Northeastern Thailand married a Jutland native. Since then she has helped lonely local men and impoverished women from her village find someone to marry and share life with.

HEARTBOUND follows four of these Thai-Danish couples over ten years in an intimate chronicle that explores universal questions of love and romance, dreams and everyday hardship, life and death, and the very nature of family.

Director: Anne Poiret

Country & year of production: various (e. g. France, Greece, Jordan, Kenya, Tanzania, Switzerland) | 2016

Length: 71'

Language: Original with English subtitles

Watch the Film online

Recommendation on April 3, 2020:

Welcome to Refugeestan

Almost seventeen million people worldwide - refugees, displaced people and migrants - live in camps which, taken together, could be equivalent to a virtual country the size of the Netherlands. And yet the names of these places do not appear on any map. The ways that have been developed to run the camps are both: efficient and absurd.

WELCOME TO REFUGEESTAN explores this "land of camps", from Kenya to Tanzania, Jordan and the Greece/Macedonia border as well as at the UNHCR’s headquarters in Geneva. It reveals an immense system that combines humanitarian concerns with the management of the undesirable who rich countries want to keep out, whatever the cost.

Director: Fredrik Gertten

Country & year of production: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, USA, UK | 2011

Length: 90'

Language: English & Swedish with English Subtitles

Watch the film online

Recommendation on April 2, 2020:

Big Boys Gone Bananas!*

What is a big corporation capable of in order to protect its brand? BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* has been called a classic David Vs Goliath story - but it is more about freedom of speech and what happens to a documentary filmmaker when he goes up against a large corporation such as Dole Foods.

How far will Dole go to shift the focus off of them and onto the filmmaker even after their own CEO has admitted wrong doing in a court of law which has been captured on film? Media spin, dirty tricks and PR tactics, lawsuits and corporate bullying come into play to try to destroy the filmmaker.  A cautionary tale, a real life-lesson learning experience - and a tribute to the importance of criticizing grievances despite everything.

#Docoftheday special: interview with director included

Director: Askold Kurov

Country & year of production: Russia | 2018

Length: 75'

Language:  Russian with English Subtitles

Watch the film online

Recommendation on April 1, 2020:

Novaya

Laudatee Willy-Brandt-Documentary Award for Freedom and Human Rights  2019

“Novaya Gazeta” is one of the first independent newspaper of post-Soviet Russia – and one of the last remaining today. It specializes in investigative reports and is a three times Nobel Prize nominee. Since 2000, five journalists and a lawyer of the editorial board have been murdered. NOVAYA is a peephole into the daily work of their colleagues, giving us front row seats during one of the hardest period of the paper‘s life.

How will they respond to the kidnapping of one of their editors? How far will these journalists go in their search for truth, potentially endanging their own lives or the lives of their loved ones?

Interview with director Askold Kurov

Director: Peter Kerekes

Country & year of production: Slovakia | 2009

Length: 88'

Language:  Original with English Subtitles

Watch the film online

Recommendation on March 31, 2020:

Cooking History

Who would have imagined that wars could also be fought with pots, pans, and pepper shakers? In contrast with classic documentaries recalling war memories, the Slovakian film director focuses on one particular aspect: the sensual element of war. Military chefs have a unique, and until now, unshared influence on the battlefield. “A hungry soldier doesn’t feel safe,” explains a sausage-wielding army cook.
Feeding troops is a tactical strategy used to truly astounding results in major European conflicts of the 20th century. Six wars, 10 recipes, and 60,361,024 dead – Cooking History is a fascinating retelling of the past.

Director: Josh Fox

Country & year of production: USA | 2010

Length: 107'

Language:  English

Watch the film online


Recommendation on March 30, 2020:

Gasland

In May 2008, filmmaker and director Josh Fox is offered $100,000 to allow drilling for gas exploration in his garden. Surprised by the tempting offer, he tries to find out what the consequences might be for him to accept it. This question sends him on a journey with frightening and astonishing results, all the way to a family who can set their tap water on fire.

Oscar nominee GASLAND is the shocking story about a practice that is understudied and inadequately regulated and changes our perception of fraking.

Director: Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Country & year of production: France | 2016

Length: 190'

Language:  Original with English Subtitles

Watch the film online


Recommendation on March 29, 2020:

Human

What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?

Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 people in 60 countries. Working with a dedicated team of translators, journalists and camera staff, Yann captures deeply personal and emotional accounts of topics that unite us all; struggles with poverty, war, homophobia, and the future of our planet mixed with moments of love and happiness.

Director: Pablo Iraburu, Migueltxo Molina

Country & year of production: Spain | 2015

Length: 80’

Language: Original with English subtitles

Watch the film online

 


Recommendation on March 28, 2020:

Walls

The world is increasingly more divided by walls. There are human beings on either side of them. The brilliant editing of WALLS connects the people living and working on the different sides of the most famous walls of our time: between Mexico and the U.S., Spain and Morocco, Israel and Palastine as well as South Africa and Zimbabwe.

A true cinematic experience not entering the geopolitical discussion but exploring WALLS as a global recurring issue.

Director: Sue Meures

Country & year of production: Switzerland | 2016

Length: 84'

Language: Persian, English & German with English or German subtitles

Watch the film online:
English subtitles
German subtitles


Recommendation on March 27, 2020:

Raving Iran

Resistance can have many faces: Anoosh and Arash are at the center of Tehran’s underground techno scene. Tired of hiding from the police and their stagnating career, they organize one last manic techno rave under dangerous circumstances in the desert. Back in Tehran they try their luck selling their illegally printed album without permission. When Anoosh is arrested, there seems to be no hope left.

But then they receive a phone call from the biggest techno festival in the world. Arriving in Switzerland, they are overwhelmed by their own dream. The haze of the instant euphoria evaporates quickly when the seriousness of the situation starts to dawn on them.

Directors: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno

Country & year of production: France, UK, USA | 2009

Length: 95'

Language: English

Watch the film online


Recommendation on March 26, 2020:

The Yes Men Fix the World

THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD is a screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and expose the people profiting from Hurricane Katrina and other shocking events. Included: one of the very few underwater ballet scenes you will ever see in a political documentary.

The reality which the Yes Men discover in the US market raises the question why we have given the market more power than any other institution to determine our direction as a society.

Director: Micha X. Peled

Country & year of production: USA | 2011

Length: 88‘

Language: English

Watch the film online

Recommendation on March 25, 2020:

Bitter Seeds

Every 30 minutes a farmer in India kills himself in despair because he can no longer provide for his family. Will Ramkrishna be next? BITTER SEEDS is the story of a cotton farmer at the epicenter of the suicide crisis region and a young woman who wants to become a journalist. Ramkrishna’s plight is her first assignment.
The film examines the high suicide rate among Indian cotton farmers, deeply in debt after switching to genetically modified seeds.

Within a gripping character-based narrative BITTER SEEDS raises the critical question of how we can allow Western companies to maximize their profits by depriving ordinary farmers of their livelihoods.

Director: Guido Hendrikx

Country & year of production: Netherlands | 2016

Length: 59‘

Language: English

Watch the film online

Recommendation on March 24, 2020:

Stranger in Paradise

"We don’t want you. We just can’t do it." In a classroom, a teacher uses math to explain to a group of refugees what their arrival will cost society. The asylum seekers try to refute the figures. They will work, won’t they, and contribute to society? The teacher shatters their illusions: half of them will never find work. In three acts, director and screenwriter Guido Hendrikx explains the European view of the refugee crisis. The man receives three groups of migrants, each time adopting a different attitude.

Hendrikx shows where the refugees’ dreams clash with reality and forces us to think hard about our own position. Is it human to categorize someone else’s life?

Director: Andreas Johnsen

Country & year of production: Denmark, China, UK | 2013

Length: 86'

Language: Mandarin & English

Watch the film online

Recommendation on march 23, 2020:

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case

After 81 days of solitary detention world famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is put under house arrest. He suffers from sleeping disorder and memory loss, 18 cameras are monitoring his studio and home, police agents follow his every move, and heavy restrictions from the Chinese authorities weigh him down.

Ai Weiwei is shaken, but during the year on probation he steadily finds new ways to provoke and challenge the Chinese authorities in his fight for human rights. Ai Weiwei strongly believes that China is ready for change. And he will do everything to make it happen.

Director: Udo Maurer

Country & year of production: Luxembourg | 2007

Length: 82‘

Language: English with English or German subtitles

Watch the film online

Recommendation on World Water Day (March 23, 2020):

About Water

Two-thirds of the earth's surface is covered with water, 94 percent of which comes from the oceans, 4 percent from groundwater, and 1. 7 percent from the ice masses at the North and South Poles. Only a very small part of the fresh water resources is accessible to humans. 2 billion people worldwide have no access to clean drinking water.

“Despite water, without water, with water" – these could be the headlines for the three episodes of ABOUT WATER, in which director Udo Maurer confronts the viewer with impressions of people in extreme situations.

Director: Franny Armstrong

Year of production: 2008

Length: 88‘

Language: English

Watch the film online


Recommendation on March 21, 2020:

The Age of Stupid

It's the year 2055 and the world has been destroyed and ravaged by climate change. London is underwater, Sydney is on fire and nuclear war has turned India into a wasteland. An archivist looks back at old footage from the year 2008 to understand why humankind failed to address climate change.

Starring Pete Postlethwaite, this bold, provocative film warns of the dire consequences of our failure to stop climate change.

Director: Gini Reticker

Year of production: 2008

Length: 72‘

Language: English

Watch the film online

 

Recommendation on March 20, 2020:

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL chronicles the remarkable story of the brave and visionary Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country. Armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions they came together to a silent protest outside of the Presidential Palace and prayed for peace. Their actions made a decisive contribution to restarting the stalled peace negotiations.

PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL honors the strength and perseverance of the women of Liberia and is a compelling testimony of how activism can alter the history of nations.

Director: Anna Kersting (with "Power to the Children" at #HRFFB2019)

Country & year of production: Germany | 2017

Length: 87'

Language: Tamil with subtitles (German or English)

Watch the film online


Recommendation on March 19, 2020:

Power to the Children

POWER TO THE CHILDREN tells the story of children in India who take their lives into their own hands. In order to counter social wrongs and environmental pollution, they form children's parliaments, elect their own ministers and fight for respect for their rights. In doing so, they not only change their own lives for the better, but those of the entire village community.

The film tells from the perspective of children about their challenges and actions in a society in which children are expected to follow the example of adults. But these children are taking a new path - with determination, courage and creativity.

Director: Pamela Yates

Year of production: 2011

Length: 94'

Language: Englisch

Watch the film online

Recommendation on March 18, 2020:

Granito: How To Nail a Dictator

"Granito: How to Nail a Dictator" is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala's past, and how a documentary film, intertwined with a nation's turbulent history, emerges as an active player in the present. In Granito, characters sift for clues buried in archives of mind and place and historical memory, seeking to uncover a narrative that could unlock the past and settle matters of life and death.

GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR tells of wrongs done and justice sought - and how a documentary from former times plays a key role in the trial of the dictator.

Director: Rehad Desai (with "Everything Must Fall" at #HRFFB2019)

Country & year of production: Südafrika | 2014

Length: 86'

Subtitles: English

Watch the film online


Recommendation on March 17, 2020:

Miners Shot Down

In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to violently suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. The police insisted that they shot in self- defense.

MINERS SHOT DOWN tells a different story, a tragedy that arises out of the deep fault lines in South Africa’s nascent democracy, of enduring poverty and a twenty year old, unfulfilled promise of a better life for all.

Director: Fredrik Gertten

Country and year of production: Sweden | 2015

Length: 87'

Subtitles: different languages (e. g. German & English)

Watch the film online


Recommendation on March 16, 2020:

Bikes vs. Cars

BIKES VS. CARS shows an aspect of the climate crisis that is rarely talked about, but absolutely should be talked about: cities where the entire surface is consumed by the car. Noisy and dirty traffic chaos is growing steadily. The bike is a great tool for change, but the powerful interests who benefits from the private car invest billions each year on lobbying and advertising to protect their business.

In the film we meet activists and thought leaders who fight for better cities and refuse to stop riding despite the increasing number killed in traffic.

 

 

9. APRIL 2020