Are leopards patriarchal or matriarchal

Film festival "insights into women's worlds" 2004

Short descriptions of the 2004 films

Feature films

Blue Gate Crossing
by Yee Chih-Yen

Taiwan 2002, 85 min., Fiction film, 35 mm, color, OV with english st

A beautifully poetic film from Taiwan. Three teenagers experience their first love and discover themselves in the process. One of them has to muster up a lot of courage to stand by their otherness ...

Awarded at the Bratislava International Film Festival 2002.


Casa de los babies
by John Sayles

USA / Mexico 2003, 96 min., Fictional film, 35 mm, color, English / Spanish with English subtitles

The director John Sayles, known for his socially critical films, observes with a precise eye the clash of different cultures and worlds in the primeval human phenomenon of “motherhood” and “adoption”. This takes on bizarre, tragicomic facets within the globalized world and the enormous wealth gap between the north and the south.


Cautiva (Cauptive)
by Gastón Birabén

Argentina 2003, 115 min., Fiction film, 35 mm, color, OV with english st

A political-psychological drama about the darkest chapter of Argentine history: 15-year-old Cristina is suddenly confronted with the fact that she is the daughter of murdered political activists and has lived with the perpetrators for 15 years. The idea is that of the Tübingen woman who was murdered in Argentina in 1977 Dedicated to Elisabeth Käsemann.

Awarded the best Latin American film at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in 2003.

Director present
Introduction by Jeanine Meerapfel


El Kotbia - (The Bookstore)
by Nawfel Saheb-Ettaba

Tunisia 2002, 103 min., Fiction film, 35 mm, color, OV with english st

A small, dusty bookstore becomes the center of the great emotions of Tunisian women from two generations who are in danger of being crushed between tradition and breaking out of convention. A rousing and closely watched film by the Tunisian director Nawfel Saheb-Ettaba, which was named best African film at the Montreal Film Festival.

Director present


En garde
by Ayse Polat

Germany 2004, 94 min., Fictional film, 35 mm, color, DF

16-year-old Alice, who was deported by her mother, and the young Kurdish Berivan get to know each other in a Catholic reformatory. The gradually developing friendship between the two is put to the test when Berivan falls in love with Ilir and Alice reacts jealously.

Silver leopard for the best film and a gold leopard each for the two leading actresses at the Locarno International Film Festival 2004.

Director present


by Sylke Enders

Germany 2003, 92 min., Fictional film, 35 mm, color, DF

The life of the 17-year-old Berliner Kroko changes precipitously when she runs into a cyclist and is sentenced to community service in a shared flat for the disabled. Her "uncool" occupation puts her at a distance from the old clique and her friend Eddi - on the other hand, she begins to get closer to her new roommates. But she also fails to adapt to the new environment. However, for them there is no way back, only forward.

German Silver Film Award 2004.


Le truc de Konaté
by Fanta Régina Nacro

Burkina Faso 1998, 31 min., Fiction film, 35 mm, color, OV with english st

A funny film about a serious topic: AIDS. Djénéba brings her husband Konaté a packet of condoms from town, where her cousin told her about the "scourge of the present". But Konaté doesn't want to hear about these crazy ideas until his wives refuse him sex.

Awarded at the Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television Festival 1999.



Mama Africa

Two of the six stories about modern Africa will be shown at the film festival. They were made by six of the most talented and imaginative African filmmakers. Each story shows a completely different perspective and reality of the continent. However, what they all have in common is that they portray the comical, tragic and passionate side of modern life in Africa.

The following two films from the series will be shown:

A close-up on Bintou
by Fanta Régina Nacro

Burkina Faso / France 2001, 26 min., Short film, video, color, OV with english st

The portrait of a courageous and resourceful woman who, driven by the desire to enable her daughter to go to school, is setting up her own small business. In doing so, she overcomes the stones that the male world puts in her way with female cunning.

Awarded as best short film 2001 at the Amiens and Marrakech International Film Festival.


by Zulfah Otto-Sallies

South Africa 2001, 26 min., Fictional film, 35 mm, color, EF

A film about the difficult restart after serving a prison sentence, about the problems of getting closer to loved ones who have been left behind and of trying to leave one's own criminal past behind. Raya struggles with all these difficulties, but she really wants to make it, not least because of her daughter Yasmin. In the end, she even gets help from an unexpected source.


Poupées d’Argile (clay dolls)
by Nouri Bouzid

Tunisia / France 2002, 90 min., Fictional film, 35 mm, color, subtitles

“Puppets made of clay” is a film that is as poetic as it is socially explosive. He tells the story of Omrane and the girls Rebeh and Feddah, both of whom he “placed” as housemaids in Tunis. “Housemaid” or “house boy” mostly means exploitation and abuse in the host families. When Rebeh runs away, the fates of the three become intertwined in an unforeseen way, and Omrane is confronted again with his past as a house boy.

Awarded at the Friborg International Film Festival 2003 and at the Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film 2002.

Director present.


by Yamina Bachir Chouikh

Algeria / France 2002, 100 min., Fictional film, 35 mm, color, subtitles

Fundamentalists are not to be trifled with. Nevertheless, Rachida refuses to give in to fear. She believes in a different Algeria than that of terror. A gripping film about moral courage and hope.

Awarded at the 2002 Amiens International Film Festival and the 2002 London Film Festival.


The Fifth Reaction
by Tahmineh Milani

Iran 2003, 106 min., Fictional film, 35 mm, color, OV with english st

Tamineh Milani, one of the most famous directors in Iran, introduces us - based on a real story - to the injustices of the Iranian legal system regarding the rights of women in an entertaining and exciting way: Fereshte has to flee in order to continue with her after the death of her husband To be able to live with children.

Grand Prize at the “Cinéma Tout Ecran” Festival in Geneva 2003.


When Maryam spoke out
by Assad Fouladkar

Lebanon 2001, 98 min., Fiction film, 35 mm, color, OV with english st

What happens when there is a conflict between one's own feelings and social norms, asks Assad Fouladkars in his film. What happens if a Lebanese woman in a loving marriage does not have children and the environment exerts pressure to get her husband to take another wife? A film that you won't soon forget thanks to its impressive leading actress.

Multiple awards at various international festivals, including the Carthage Film Festival in 2002.


by Kenny Glenaan

Great Britain 2004, 87 min., Fictional film, 35 mm, color, subtitles

Yasmin lives between the lines of Muslim patriarchal tradition and discrimination against Britain's Muslim community after September 11th. In the Pakistani community, she tries to strike a balance between Islamic tradition and Western lifestyle. The unstable equilibrium is broken under the influence of September 11th and the witch hunt on Muslim immigrants.

Awarded at the Locarno International Film Festival 2004.

Leading actress Archie Panjabi in attendance.




Algeria's daughters
by Faouzia Fékiri and Francis Fehr / ARTE / ZDF

France 2004, 50 min., Documentary, video, color, subtitles

In this documentary, Algerian women comment on the status of Algerian women in today's society. It also deals with the question of which path women (can) take when choosing between a modern life and the oppression of radical Islamism.


Daughter from Danang
by Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco

USA / Vietnam 2002, 83 min., Documentary, video, color, EF

What is it like to return to your "home" Vietnam after 22 years from the USA, which you hardly remember, and to meet a family again that is your own and yet strange? Daugther from Danang tells more than a family drama, the clash between East and West is vehemently evident.

Grand Jury Prize at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. 2003 Oscar nomination.


The power of men is the patience of Cristina Perincioli's women

Germany 1978, 76 min., Documentary fiction, video, color, DF

The first women's shelter in Germany was built in West Berlin in 1976. The film is about a woman who, together with her child, escapes from her brutal husband in a women's shelter. Thus the beginnings of this important social institution are discussed. A discussion with the leading actress Elisabeth Rubrecht and women from the Tübingen women's refuge after the performance is intended to show how the handling of domestic violence in Germany has changed in 30 years.

Main actress and co-author present


by Lisa Boerstra

Netherlands 2004, 24 min., Documentary, video, color, OmeU

An atmospheric portrait of the women of Curacao, who mostly have to assert themselves alone, by the young documentary filmmaker Lisa Boerstra.


For a Place under the Heavens
by Sabiha Sumar

Pakistan 2003, 53 min., Documentary, video, color, OmeU

Women in Pakistan today have to cope with the growing interdependence of Islam and the state. How they manage it and how it got there in the first place is shown by Sabiha Sumar's informative documentation, which, through a mixture of political analysis and interviews with representatives of both liberal and fundamentalist forces, provides deep insights into their country.


Escape to death - women burn themselves to death
by Sophie and Didier Rosengart

Germany / Afghanistan 2004, 30 min., Documentary, video, color, DF

In the province of Herat in Afghanistan, 200 women burned themselves to death last year. The example of a teacher caught on. The cycle of poor schooling, forced marriage, the quasi impossibility of divorce and, as a last resort, self-immolation are shown.

Speaker present



Gender Montage, Paradigms in Post Soviet Space

“Gender Montage”, a nine-part documentary series from former Soviet republics (Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine) is the result of a three-year project on the topic of “Mass Media & Gender Policy”.
Four of the films will be shown at the film festival.
The aim of the series is to point out gender-specific problems in the political, social and economic field, which are hardly dealt with in the mass media. The respective focus is on country-specific topics.

The following films are shown:


Beauty of the Fatherland
by Jaak Kilmi and Andres Maimik

Estonia 2001, 50 min., Documentary, video, color, OmeU

An inventory of what is now Estonia: It seems that modernity, in the form of beauty contests based on the western pattern, and propaganda of old, nationalistically tinged resentments are facing each other - in the person of a supermodel and a girl scout. Based on the two protagonists, the film makes it clear that there are alarmingly more points of contact between these two camps than is commonly assumed.


Power: Feminine gender
by Nina Rudik and Vlad Gello

Ukraine 2003, 22 min., Documentary, video, color, English subtitles

POWER: FEMININE GENDER makes it clear that even in countries with matriarchal structures, women are increasingly being sidelined, especially through the formal adoption of elements from Western democracies. The procedure is as simple as it is successful: in rural areas or in the middle levels of commercial enterprises, women are left to say the word, nationally, in parliament, for example, they are almost not represented. All the more refreshing are the examples of local, sometimes quite unconventional, female domination.


Tomorrow will be better?
by Monika Juozapaviciute

Lithuania 2003, 40 min., Documentary, video, color, OmeU

Four women from different areas of Lithuanian society tell their stories in this documentary: a political scientist, a small business woman, a farmer and an actress. Each of them had to adapt in their own way to the new conditions after independence, but with varying degrees of success.


Wishing for seven sons and one daughter
by Ali-Isa Djabbarov

Azerbaijan 2002, 25 min., Documentary, video, color, OmeU

What happens in a society where women count for nothing and men rule patriarchally? In which one wishes women as many boys as possible and at most one girl for their wedding? This Azerbaijani documentary shocks, shakes up, questions and lets women speak who stand up to these “incontrovertible truths” of their culture.


Marry me! (Casate conmigo!)
by Uli Gaulke and Jeannette Eggert

Cuba / Germany 2003, 105 min., Documentary, 35 mm, color, DF

Erik from Hamburg is on fire for the Cuban Gladys, whom he met on his vacation in the Cuban. A year later the two are married and live with Glady's son Omarito in Hamburg. The problems and misunderstandings the two of them have to deal with is captured in an almost satirical way with the camera and provides a relentless insight into the complexity of the coexistence of different cultures.

Audience Award at the Aarhus Film Festival 2003.



My husband, my daughter's murderer
by Ulrike Baur

Germany 2004, 30 min., Documentary, video, color, DF

Crimes in the Name of Honor. In the middle of Germany, in the middle of us. Hanife Gashi, whose eldest daughter was murdered by her husband, breaks her silence. The film follows Hanife and her three daughters for eight months, since the first anniversary of the murder in March 2003.

ZDF "Preview ZDF film in series 37"
Director and Hanife Gashi in attendance



Mother to Child
by Jane Lipman

South Africa 2001, 40 min., Documentary, video, color, EF

Pinkie and Patience met in the self-help group for HIV positive mothers in a hospital in Soweto. Both have only recently known that they are positive. Patience is the first to give birth ... A story of waiting, fear and hope begins. An important film about the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the HI virus, which addresses the hopes and fears of the affected mothers and makes it clear how great the risk of exclusion is due to the disease.


My terrorist
by Yulie Cohen-Gerstel / ARTE / ZDF

Israel 2002, 58 min., Documentary, video, color, DF

The transformation of a staunch Israeli nationalist into a fighter for peace - the filmmaker Yulie Cohen-Gerstel delivers a convincing plea for peace with this autobiographical film.

Price of Honor
by Johan Åsard

Sweden 2003, 46 min., Documentary, video, color, EF

The Swedish public was deeply moved by the "Pela Atroshi" case, who was killed by her father for the sake of family honor. In his film, Johan Åsard traces the fate of the young Kurd and makes it clear that honor killings also take place here, in the middle of Europe.

Awarded at the New York Festivals in the television documentary category.


To die for the honor of men (Jordan)
by Lena Pettersson and Peter Löfgren / WDR

Germany / Jordan 1999, 60 min., Documentary, video, color, DF

The documentary reports on honor killings in Jordan and impressively depicts this cruel practice based on various fates. Interviews with perpetrators, surviving victims and government officials are shown and the background is explained.

Jordanian speaker present