Two DocNomads films in DOKLeipzig
Juliette Menthonnex´s graduation film Tale of the Three Flames will have its world premiere in the International Documentary Competition, and Daryna Mamaisur’s graduation film Smoke of the Fire will be screened in the Panorama: Central and Eastern Europe section at the 66th edition of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film held from 8 to 15 October.
AS TRÊS CHAMAS
By Juliette Menthonnex (Switzerland) • 21' • 2023
“See you next year!” a Portuguese fire warden says as he dismantles his control equipment at the end of the season. Humans and nature in southern Europe may be used to forest fires, but that does not change the facts: The ever more massive conflagrations are caused by climate change. We have long been living in the age of fire.
In the Portuguese interior, a forest fire has just devastated a large area. Wounded nature is silent, not a single bird is heard, only the wind that makes the charred tree trunks rustle. But the vegetation recovers astonishingly fast. Where all life seemed to be gone, greenery soon sprouts from the ruined trees. The residents of the affected region are engaged in the reconstruction with great respect for their natural environment. Because plants, too, are sentient creatures. In quiet, almost melancholic, but also hopeful images, the film pays tribute to the strength of the trees and illustrates how essential it would be for humanity to learn to live in harmony with nature again.
Annina Wettstein, in DOKLeipzig catalogue
O FUMO DO FOGO
By Daryna Mamaisur (Ukraine) • 22' • 2023
Learning a foreign language is like creating another self. How can you speak it without losing your own sound, without dissolving completely in it – and still be heard and noticed? This film is a charming and intellectually fastidious attempt to navigate the complexities of language, identity and trauma.
To do this, the filmmaker resorts to her own biography. Because Russia invaded Ukraine when Daryna Mamaisur, who comes from Kyiv, was in Portugal for a Doc Nomads graduate course. Home and the search for it became the defining factors of this work, as well as the traumatic situation of only being able to “witness” the difficult situation from a distance. She, the Ukrainian in Portugal, learns Portuguese. She lets the new words for “war,” “explosion” and “attack” roll off her tongue. She compares them with the soft, intimate sound of her native language, with the sound of Kyiv. Friends send audio and visual recordings from Ukraine which, combined with animations, become a multilayered essay and finally a testimony – for the resilience of language and culture, no matter where they are spoken and lived, and not least for the power of the artistic documentary, which can make speech and sound possible.
Victoria Leshchenko, in DOKLeipzig catalogue