Festival Report: IDFA Doclab 2022

    As one of the continent's longest-running programmes exploring new media and interactivity, #IDFA Doclab has steadily grown in size and scope, parallel to much...

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    PHOTOGRAPHY: Three women and a war seen through their eyes.

    RUSSIA / Holidays (dir: Antoine Cattin) The authoritarian stranglehold of the Kremlin closes in across national holidays in contemporary Russia.
    JOURNALISM / The Etilaat Roz (dir: Abbas Rezaie) Following the team behind the most widely circulated daily newspaper in Kabul as it is recaptured by the Taliban.
    FALKLANDS WAR / Port Desire (dir: Juan Manuel Bugarín) You can take the soldier out of a war, but not the war out of the soldier.
    BIOGRAPHY / Merkel (dir: Eva Weber) One of the longest-serving German chancellors ever, Angela Merkel's eventful tenure as a woman in a bastion of masculinity made her an anchor for Europe.
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    RACISM / Racist Trees (dir: Sara Newens, …) A row of tamarisk trees along a huge golf course in Palm Springs begs the question, can a tree be racist?
    IRAN / Silent House (dir: Farnaz Jurabchian, …) The fortunes of three generations of an upper-middle-class Iranian family tracked across forty years of turbulent Iranian history.
    ECONOMICS / The Return Of Inflation - The Gravy Days Are Gone (dir: Matthias Heeder) Inflation rears its ugly head after 40 years at bay.
    BIOGRAPHY / Elfriede Jelinek - Language Unleashed (dir: Claudia Müller) By focusing on her artistic approach to language, the complex and multi-layered Nobel laureate also reveals the deep contradictions of her native Austria.
    LEBANON / Letters From South Lebanon (dir: Simon Gade Olsen) Young Norwegian soldiers sent to into Israel's 1978 invasion of Lebanon received little recognition for their work and PTSD from a conflict they didn't quite understand.
    LEGENDS / Shangri-La, Paradise Under Construction (dir: Mirka Duijn, …) Does Shangri-La really exist? From the mountains of Tibet to global archives, filmmaker Mirka Duijn seeks the answers.
    YEMEN / Stockholm Agreement (dir: Tanja Holm) With the mainstream Western media's infatuation with Ukraine, wars raging across other parts of the world are forgotten, the devastation in Yemen primary among them.
    JOURNALISM / Journalist at War (dir: Morten Offerdal, …) How do the stories we hear and see come from the conflict zone to our pages and screens? Through the fall of IS, Journalist at War seeks to find out.
    IDENTITY / All You See (dir: Niki Padidar) Encounters with three other «new comers» to the Netherlands, the IDFA opening film turns the spotlight on all of us as it ponders questions of belonging, who gets exclusion, and the constant reaffirmation of outsider status.
    GENDER / Hidden Letters (dir: Violet Du Feng) The unique written language made as a vent for Chinese women who were not allowed to read or write.
    ANIMALS / A Taste of a Whale (dir: Vincent Kelner) Activists and locals clash during the traditional Faroe Islands pilot whale hunt.
    IDENTITY / Anhell69 (dir: Theo Montoya) For the young, queer community of Medellín, the injustices of colonial heritage consistently intertwine with the brutality of today's global liberal capitalism.
    IDFA / Prosecution of filmmakers spreads «like a pandemic» ICFR addresses a growing political prosecution and incarceration of filmmakers.
    ENVIRONMENT / Volker Schlöndorff – Full of hope for Africa «It's about changing mindsets», says Volker Schlöndorff. Jokingly, the German veteran director refers to his new documentary on agronomist Tony Rinaudo's reforestation projects in Africa as propaganda.
    IDFA / «You can feel the confidence and lack of compromise in the filmmaking» Modern Times Review speaks head programmers Laura van Halsema and Joost Daamen on the breakdown of programming such a vast selection of films, how to maintain a balanced lineup, the reasoning behind its 2022 focus programmes, and more.
    MOVIES ON WAR / «We are a festival that tries to make a difference and to uncover injustice» Modern Times Review spoke with Festival Director Øystein Egge on the nature and mission of the festival, the importance of presenting a balanced programme, and, the highlight films throughout.
    NORDISCHE FILMTAGE LüBECK / «Every festival should be keen to offer a good platform for young filmmaking» Artistic Director Thomas Hailer on the festival's unique communal approach, evolution, programming philosophy, and more.
    RETROSPECTIVE / «We, the Revolution»
    Porto/Post/Doc offers a thematic retrospection on the idea of «revolution».
    UKRAINE / The road to war
    Two films screening at Norway's Movies on War Film Festival look at the lead-up to the February 24th Russian invasion of Ukraine.
    ETHICS / Ulrich Seidl's Sparta and the question of ethics in filmmaking
    The first season of Ji.hlava's IDFF Conference of Ethics in Filmmaking was a necessary conversation around the need for common ethical principles in documentary filmmaking.
    CINEMA / Jean-Luc Godard: Death was waiting
    Four films and two books – can they capture something about this newly dead legend of cinema? Let me try, especially with Godard’s intellectual autobiography and two new films about him.
    ENVIRONMENT / On the Emergence of an Ecological Class (auth: Bruno Latour, …) The productivity of nature as such must include other species, ecosystems, soils, the atmosphere and the ocean.
    DISTRIBUTION / The Documentary Distribution Toolkit How to Get Out, Get Seen, and Get an Audience (auth: Rachel Gordon) A comprehensive map through the diverse landscape of modern documentary distribution.
    FILMMAKING / The Uncertainty (auth: Mikael Opstrup) Controlling the uncertainty of the character driven narrative.
    TECHNOLOGY / Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention—and How to Think Deeply Again (auth: Johann Hari) How society's increased lack of attention has been imposed on us by powerful external forces.
    TECH / The Circle of the Snake. Nostalgia and Utopia in the Age of Big Tech (auth: Grafton Tanner) As society suffers from increased digital anxiety and ecological collapse, Big Tech continues to push its nostalgia-based feedback loop of utopian myth.
    SOCIETY / The Web of Meaning (auth: Jeremy Lent) I am because you are – a book that offers a coherent and integrated worldview based on interconnectedness
    JUSTICE / The Secret power: Why they want to destroy Julian Assange and WikiLeaks (Il potere segreto: Perché vogliono distruggere Julian Assange e WikiLeaks) (auth: Stefania Maurizi) With the US appeal on extradition ongoing, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange continues to face abuses and irregularities in nothing less than the fight for democracy and journalistic integrity.
    EDITORIAL / Order in Chaos – Storytelling and Editing in Documentary Film (auth: Niels Pagh Andersen) After 40 years as film editor, Niels Pagh Andersen now has written an inspiring book combined with video interviews with 8 filmmakers. What did he learn on this long voyage?