2019

Welcome to the 17th edition of Document Film Festival – Scotland’s only human rights film festival!

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Mental Health Focus: Haydee and the Flying Fish

Haydee has been seeking justice for victims of human rights violations for 40 years, but today she faces her most intimate battle, the end of a long trial that condemns her torturers, the murderers of the son she carried in her womb. Along the way, health problems will bring back memories of her darkest days.

The film will be followed by a discussion on the representation of trauma in cinema. Participants include Dr Leshu Torchin from University of St Andrews Department of Film Studies , Fiona Crombie of Freedom from Torture / Freedom from Torture – Glasgow group, and Dr Alison Hauenstein Swan and Dr Kirsten Atherton from the Glasgow Psychological Trauma Service.

EUROPEAN PREMIERE

This screening will be captioned for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences and the post-film discussion will be BSL interpreted.
Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI.

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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Our Voice of Earth, Memory and Future

This digital restoration of Marta Rodríguez’ and Jorge Silva’s 1981 feature honours an important work of Latin American political cinema, one that doesn’t posit indigenous culture in romantic contrast to modernity, but rather recognizes in it an aesthetic of resistance.

The dominant subject of Rodríguez and Silva’s films is the centuries-long oppression of farmers and indigenous peoples in Colombia, and their equally long resistance. Nuestra voz de tierra, memoria y futuro is a film that would not exist without the critical participation of the indigenous farmers of Coconuco. Images no longer function as argumentative proof for eyewitness accounts, but rather form a tightly woven system of signs: furrows in the landscape, the backs of animals, the gestures of monuments, the myths and masks of the people and the breath that brings musical instruments to life.

UK PREMIERE (RESTORATION)

Presented in collaboration with IberoDocs

This screening will be captioned for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences.
Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI.

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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Present. Perfect.

The Western circuit of vloggers and YouTubers is dwarfed by live-streaming in China, which in a short time has become an industry worth billions. More than 422 million Chinese regularly shared streamed films in 2017. The strange and extreme are especially popular: a boy who eats live worms or two wrestlers dipped in wet paint. Viewers comment in the form of ‘bullets’ and reward the ‘anchors’ with virtual gifts that can be cashed in the real world.

Artist Zhu Shengze spent ten months following anchors with more marginal followings, editing more than 800 hours of footage to fashion a collective portrait of a generation for whom the online and offline worlds are tightly interwoven.

Supported by the Confucius Institute

SCOTTISH PREMIERE

 

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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The Rest

Ai Weiwei’s newest is a film about refugees who fled war and persecution and arrived in Europe, the world’s bastion of human rights, yet have not found the safe havens of their dreams. Instead, they now live in limbo within a disintegrating humanitarian aid system, no longer the center of media attention, yet unable to move forward with their lives. The Rest is not only an accumulation of refugees’ stories but also a mirror of the European political zeitgeist, demonstrating how pan-European values of liberalism and democracy have largely failed in practice and betrayed those most in need of help.

Supported by Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)

This screening will be preceded by a screening of short films made following our DOCMA workshop on Wednesday 23/10. For more details, see the event page.

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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Cemetery

Carlos Casas’ deeply sensory film Cemetery follows an elephant, a mahout and the poachers in their pursuit as they move toward the mythical place known as the elephant graveyard. As the journey transitions from the jungle through stages of death, images begin to fall away, opening onto a rich sonic landscape.

Ten years in the making, Cemetery weaves together field recordings from around the globe. Finding a striking juncture between nature documentary, experimental film, road movie and soundscape, the film opens up questions about life cycles and memory, colonialism and extinction, conservation and the environment and interspecies relationships.

SCOTTISH PREMIERE

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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Who is Europe?

Who Is Europe? is a documentary in three acts, commissioned by CoHERE. Shot in Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Serbia and the UK the film questions what Europe is, who ‘belongs’, and what the significance of the past is for contemporary social and political realities. It uses a split-screen technique to explore contrasts and dissonances through a poetics of juxtaposition that highlights the tensions between and contests over the different cultures, experiences and understandings of Europe today.

Followed by an in-conversation event touching on European identity, media representation of migration, and the border zone with filmmaker Ian McDonald, Teresa Piacentini (University of Glasgow), researcher, teacher and activist and Pinar Aksu, human rights activist and Development Officer at Maryhill Integration Network.

This screening will be captioned for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences and the post-film discussion will be BSL interpreted.
Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI.

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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Closing Film: Fifth Cinema

Document is excited to present the European Premiere of Nguyen Trinh Thi’s Fifth Cinema, introduced by Dr Philippa Lovatt.

Fifth Cinema begins with a quiet statement: “I am a filmmaker, as you know.” That text and what follows, by Maori filmmaker Barry Barclay, who coined the term ‘Fourth Cinema’ to distinguish Indigenous cinema from the established ‘First, Second, and Third Cinema’ framework, provides structure to Nguyen’s hybrid essay film that moves on multiple cinematic and topical terrains. Eschewing voice in favour of the written word and juxtaposing moving images of the filmmaker’s own daughter with archival images of Vietnamese women seen through the lens of the “ship’s officers”, the film slowly leads the viewer through a narrative of colonialism, indigeneity and cinematic limitations in representation.

Before we head into the last screening of Document 2019, we invite ticket holders to join us for a drink in CCA’s Atrium from 19.15, generously sponsored by Drygate Brewing Co.

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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Truambi: Land, Memory and Indigeneity

Indigenous filmmakers craft complex productions engaging with ideas around belonging, identity and territoriality. This programme of short film productions, all directed by Indigenous artists, offers a glimpse of the diversity of contemporary Latin American Indigenous film, exercising the right to self-representation and projecting narratives of migration, cultural memory, and environmental knowledge.  The programme takes its name from a thirty-minute documentary featured in the programme, directed by Embera filmmaker Mileidy Orozco Domicó. Truambi, lullaby in English, captures the initiation of a young girl into the homeland of her mother and her extended family. By way of the journey and the young child’s contact with nature and her relatives, the film invites us to question the categories and characteristics associated with indigeneity.

Viewed together, these works initiate a reflection on the thorny constitution of Indigenous film as a category, demonstrating a wide range of experiences and drawing attention to the power of audiovisual storytelling to unsettle dominant colonial narratives of indigeneity.

Join us for this exciting Latin American programme and see for yourselves the vitality of new cinematic languages from the region.

 

Curated by Dr Charlotte Gleghorn, Lecturer in Latin American Film Studies, Edinburgh University & followed by a conversation with filmmaker and screenwriter Armando Bautista. 

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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Fordlandia Malaise + Sour Lake

A film about the memory and the present of Fordlandia, the company town founded by Henry Ford in the Amazon rain forest in 1928. His aim was to break the British rubber monopoly and produce this material in Brazil for his car production in the United States. Today, the remains of construction testify to the scale of the failure of this neocolonialist endeavor that lasted less than a decade.

Today, Fordlandia is a space suspended between times, between the 20th and 21st centuries, between utopia and dystopia, between visibility and invisibility: architectural buildings of steel, glass, and masonry still remain in use while traces of indigenous life left no marks on the ground.

SCOTTISH PREMIERE

*Content warning: The opening passage of Fordlandia Malaise contains strobe lighting

Sour Lake

Andrés Dávila | 2019 | Colombia, Ecuador | 15mins

Inspired by the name of a Texas oil city, Sour Lake was the name given by Texaco in the 1960s to a small town recast in the Ecuadorian jungle, known in Spanish as Lago Agrio. This name gives origin to the framework from which the short film was made, shot from the surroundings of this city to the Colombian Andes, where the vegetation of the jungle begins to fuse with the mountains.

These geographical sites – connected with each other for centuries – are crossed by numerous economic, ecological, political and territorial issues that arose since the sixteenth century, when the Spanish conquistadors explored them in search for El Dorado. It is from these geographical, social and imaginary confluences that Sour Lake interrogates the relationship between these territories and their inhabitants.

 

Presented in collaboration with IberoDocs

 

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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Environmental Justice in Latin America – Panel Discussion

Join us for an informal, long-form panel discussion with experts in the field exploring issues stemming from the movement for environmental justice in Latin America – touching on the discourse around land rights, indigineity, colonial pathologies, and strategies of resistance.

With the destruction of the Amazon rainforest currently raising awareness of the relationship between neoliberal capitalism, climate breakdown and mass displacement, we aim to take a deeper dive into the histories and contemporary reflections of extractive practises and policies in the region and what they mean on a local and global scale.

And with 2019 designated the international Year of Indigenous Languages, we also look to explore the agency and centrality of indigenous peoples in shaping the struggle for environmental and human rights, and ways we can all look to ally in the fight.

The discussion will be chaired by Dr Julie Gibbings, Lecturer in the History of the Americas at the University of Edinburgh, and panelists include Dr Tatiana Heise, Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Glasgow.

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Posted: 3 October 2019

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