The festival’s line-up includes three recent documentaries: Gaël Metroz’s Nomad’s Land - Sur les traces de Nicolas Bouvier (“Nomad’s Land: Retracing the Journey of Nicolas Bouvier”, Tipi’mage) and Kevin Merz’s Glorious Exit (Amka Film), which both screened in international premiere at the Hof Film Days; and Juan José Lozano’s Unwanted Witness (Intermezzo Film), which was presented at the 33rd Toronto Film Festival.
Nomad’s Land traces the journey of its young director, as he sets out to discover the Orient described by Swiss writer Bouvier in "The Way of the World". The title has garnered 15,000 admissions after five weeks on release in French-speaking Switzerland
Winner of the Grand Prize at the Ourense Film Festival, Glorious Exit follows the filmmaker’s half-brother – a Swiss-Nigerian actor based in Los Angeles – who goes to Africa to organise his father’s funeral.
Unveiled at the Visions du Réel Documentary Film Festival in Nyon (Switzerland), where it won an award, Unwanted Witness looks at the battle of Colombian journalist Hollman Morris against disinformation in a country ravaged by an undocumented civil war. Rather than singing the praises of this hero of free speech, the film instead explores his doubts and the price he has to pay for leading such a campaign.
Two Swiss documentaries made in 2003 also feature on the Leipzig programme. Peter Liechti’s Lucky Jack: Three Attempts to Stop Smoking (Liechti Filmproduktion GmbH) will screen in the Rauchen/Nichtrauchen? section and Swedish director Joakim Demmer’s Tarifa Traffic: Death in the Straits of Gibraltar (Dschoint Ventschr) will be shown in the Best of TV section.
Mathieu Loewer cineuropa.org