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DOK Leipzig celebrates its 50th anniversary

This year, DOK Leipzig celebrates its 50th anniversary! It’s the right time to look back and experience once again the most important, disputed and beautiful films in our retrospective; the right time also to invite and celebrate with all those, who have followed and shaped the festival over the years. And it is the right time to recall experiences and events that were not in the spotlight, but took place ‘behind the scenens’. Over the past 50 years the festival saw enthusiastic as well as indignant visitors; courageous discussions and restrictive measures regarding controversial films; as well as individual encounters between the citizens of Leipzig and filmmakers from all over the world.

Film discussions often go far beyond cinema and movie-making – like in autumn 1989, when a certain Michael Moore got up and interrupted a discussion, in order to get someone to explain what was going on outside. Touching moments like the Chile-Retrospective in 1983, when Dean Reed, together with some exiled Chileans and about 1000 guests, sang “Venceremos” at the Capitol (cinema).

Who else was listening at the time?

Memorable visits such as Jane Fonda’s in 1974, when she was not only showing solidarity with Vietnam, but had to wear fur coats especially bought for her as a result of not having brought enough warm clothing. Big cinema moments like the screening of Michail Romm’s “Ordinary Fascism” in 1965, or Helke Misselwitz’ “Winter adé” in 1988, when prior to enthusiastic applause there was dead silence in the cinema hall. Floods of tears during some of the 1960’s documentary film-classics by Dziga Vertov.

Any other films, which have particularly moved our audience?

Sold out cinemas even before the programme was official, and long queues in front of the box office at dawn. Dramatic memories of the arrests of peacefully protesting students just like beautiful recollections of the non-violent and cheerful occupation of the former cinema “Casino” in 1997. Weird memories of the DT64-protest in 1991, and countless other big and small stories that happened somewhere alongside the festival and nobody knows about.

Or do they? Who does know about them and would like to tell us?

DOK Leipzig, the Leipziger Volkszeitung, and MDR FIGARO call on all visitors, readers and listeners: remember 50 times Leipzig Festival! Maybe it was at this festival that you discovered your passion for film? You may have had an unforgettable encounter, or have become contemporary witness of a particular historic event? Perhaps you have met the love of your life, or have been there, when any of the above mentioned happened?

No matter when or what – we want to know about it!

For our campaign “Flashback”, we look for all kinds of stories, photos, audio and visual material from our audiences. The most beautiful, exciting, and thrilling memories are to be published in the Leipziger Volkszeitung and broadcast at MDR FIGARO this autumn. They will also be made available at an anniversary exhibition during DOK Leipzig 2007 (29 October to 04 November 2007). Kick off is 23 June 2007, with a call in the weekend edition of the Leipziger Volkszeitung and on MDR FIGARO.


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