Documentary films

“Namibia Crossings” (world music), Documentary film, 92 min, Peter Liechti, SUI 2005,
Courtesy Goethe Institute film catalogue

A road movie that traces emotional journeys of the members of the Hambana Sound Company as they travel through present-day Namibia. The 12 musicians, who are from Switzerland, Russia, Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia search for the origins of music in a country that is in the process of reinventing itself. Encounters with local music groups in remote provinces trigger a wide range of emotions – dramatic, euphoric and sad. Capturing archaic beauty and bizarre contradictions the film creates polyphonies of soulful landscapes inhabited by the musicians’ individual experiences.


biko flyer klein„Biko’s Children“ – Documentary film, 15 min, RSA 2007 – Discussion with filmmaker Vuyisa Breeze Yoko on the legacy of Steve Biko 

In Biko’s Children, young South African film maker Vuyisa Breeze Yoko searches for the legacy of Steve Biko. Questioning the employment of Biko as a cultural icon in contemporary pop culture, Yoko tackles issues of pop culture, politics, Black Conciousness and heritage. Two young South Africans who use Biko’s image in their work are forced by the film to make sense of his teachings and to engage in a meaningful conversation with their “father”. BIKO’S CHILDREN asks: What’s in an icon? How does Biko speak to us today? What would Biko do?

The film won the audience award at the 2007 TriContinental Film Festival and was shown at the Talent Campus of the Berlinale in the same year. The filmmaker will be present at the screening and engage with the audience afterwards. We’re looking forward to a discussion!


“Shoot Back”, Michael Trabitzsch und Katharina Kiecol, 85 min, GER 2005
Courtesy Goethe Institute film catalogue

The film’s four main protagonists live in one of the worst slums in Africa: Nairobi’s Mathare District (Kenya). Their fathers have either died from AIDS or fallen victim to violence. For their mothers, life is a daily struggle to raise them and their siblings, feed and clothe them and pay their school fees.

“Ode to Joy and Freedom”, Beate Schubert, 54 min, GER 1990, Documentary film on the history and fall of the Berlin Wall

This documentary film chronicles the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961 through its demolition in November 1989 with footage of the Leipzig demonstrations and other events preceding the fall of the Wall. With themes from Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th symphony (Ode to Joy).

“Graffiti on the Berlin Wall”, Documentary film, Axel Grote, 40 min, GER 1991,Courtesy Klaus Böhnke
“East Side Gallery”, GmbHDocumentary film, InterNationes, GER 1991

Two documentaries about mural art on the Berlin Wall – the largest canvas of the world – and on the history of the wall.


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