The Political Film of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation has been awarding prizes to socially engaged cinema since 2013. Documentaries and feature films in the »Veto!« section compete for the prize money of 5,000 euros. The prize is awarded for the best directorial work.
In the Review, Director: Maciek Hamela
»All nominees are worthy of an award from the jury’s point of view. The films in the section are extremely diverse, sometimes formally strict, sometimes wildly sprawling, documentaries and feature films, topical and historical, sometimes deadly serious, sometimes comical. They are about surveillance and oppression, about exploitation and anti-feminism, but also about revolt, solidarity and resistance. Nevertheless, one film stood out from the selection. It was shot under the most difficult conditions, with a single camera, in a single, narrow room. Every now and then, the view through the window goes outside and shows images that we have all seen on television in a similar way, images of destruction. But now we see them from the perspective of those whose world has just come apart at the seams. We look into their faces and hear what they say, often seeming amazingly impassive, sometimes overtly traumatised, always succinct, always moving. Although the camera looks directly into their faces, as if in the rear-view mirror, it never seems voyeuristic. The people tell short and precise excerpts of their stories, as densely as a screenplay could hardly do. Often they unexpectedly turn from the seemingly banal to the horrific. In only 84 minutes, the audience gets to know dozens of people: Women, men, children, old people, locals and newcomers.In the car in which the whole film takes place, they are united by the same fate: they are on the flight. A man tells of his experience of torture, a little girl is silenced, another helps her to find speech again, a family leaves her father behind, a boy misses his grandmother, a life-threateningly injured woman tells of her plans for the future, a farmer’s wife wistfully remembers her omnivorous cow. The man at the wheel of the car is also the director of the film, sometimes asking cautious questions, sometimes suddenly having to change direction because there are mines on the road in the dark, or because a bridge no longer exists. The genre of anti-war film is dominated by films in which men wage war. This film is a real anti-war film because it is told entirely from the point of view of the victims. The film is a beacon against habituation, it makes visible those whose lives are directly shaken by this war against Ukraine. Thus, the people in this work tell vicariously and universally of war and flight, everywhere. This great film deserves a great audience.«
2022 How To Blow Up A Pipeline, Director: Daniel Goldhaber
2021 La Civil Directed by Teodora Ana Mihai