CPH DOX 2019

CPH:DOX 2019

From March 20- 31 an ambitious programme of 200 films and documentaries from around the world centered on the hottest current issues of contemporary society. All this and much more is the CPH:DOX. Art, music, politics, justice and rights, science. This year’s edition of the CPH:DOX is devoted to women. The festival kicks off with the world premiere “The Reformists” of Marie Skovgaard. The story of the Europe first mosques led by female imams.

43 world premieres, 18 international premieres and 5 European premieres, five competitions: DOX:AWARD, NEW VISION, NEXT WAVE, NORDIC:DOX, F:ACT AWARD. Among the non-competitive sections: DANISH DOX, INTERACTIVE, HIGHLIGHTS, SCIENCE DOX, ARTISTS AND AUTEURS.


GeoMovies Highlights 


NEXT:WAVE AWARD – Up-and-coming filmmakers

KABUL CITY IN THE WIND by Aboozar Amini – A poetic well-crafted film from a city where life runs against all odds. An impressive dip, into the chaos of Kabul, into its energy, its contradictions, its proud. Abas is fighting every day to keep his worn-out bus alive in the midst of traffic chaos. Afshin must take over the role of father for his brother as their father exiled in Iran. Kabul is still covered by the dust of countless years of conflict, but life continues for its inhabitants who wait for the wind to turn.


F:ACT AWARD – Documentary filmmaking and investigative journalism.

DEMOCRACY LTD by Robert Schabus – A challenging snapshot of Europe in the year 2019. The crisis of democracy, the erosion of social cohesion and the rising nationalism. An engaging film which cuts from country to country and from one poin of view to another. The large masses are back and have become unpredictable more than ever.

DARK SUN by Julien Elie – A hugely impressive film on the epidemic wave of violence against women in Mexico. An anthropological look into the deepest causes of the phenomenon : drug trafficking, misogynous culture, black economy, curruption. A film of great political urgency.

FAVELA FRONTLINES by Renato Martins – There are no winners in the war that is being fought between the favela’s drugs smugglers and the police forces in Rio de Janeiro. The first scene opens in the middle of a crossfire between the two sides of the drug war. A war causing 60,000 murders every year and one police officer’s death every day. Journalists, historians, judges give an insight into the structural causes that are deeply anchored to the country’s traumatic past of slavery and military dictatorship.

ON THE PRESIDENT’S ORDERS by James Jones e Olivier Sarbil – An investigative docufilm to see into the drug war of the Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte, who gave the police free hand to crack down on anyone who is suspected of selling drugs. That is virtually anyone who lives in the slums of Manila. Thousands of young have been killed without trial. People from the slums describe the president’s war as a class struggle and a diversion from the country’s real problems.

SEA OF SHADOW by Richard Ladkani – In Mexico’s Sea of Cortez drug cartels and Chinese traffickers have joined forces to exploit  the rare totoaba fish threatening to destroy all marine life in the region, including the mysterious whale species known as the vaquita. A group of brilliant scientists, high-tech activists, investigative journalists and courageous undercover agents attempt to rescue the endangered whale and bring the vicious international crime to justice.

THE GOOD TERRORIST by Robert Oey – Jason Walters is a former Jihadi terrorist who in 2004 was captured while planning to commit an attack. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. he was catpured just few days after the terrible killing of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Today Walters is a firmly convinced advocate of tolerance. The film gives an inspiring and evenhanded snapshot of the causes of the dark radicalisation whose deep causes are often more banal than the religion or ideology try to motivate.

WAR OF ART by Tommy Gulliksen – An investigative film, shot with both artistic and journalistic method that manages to be an eye-opening work. A group of European artists travel to North Korea for art and cultural exchange. What impressively emerges is the intact idealism on both sides.

THE REST by Ai Weiwei – Over 900 hours of footage selected to document the situation among many refugees who live in a limbo in Europe. An individual’s story is the hope amidst hopelessness. A chronicle of human resistance and human defence.



THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY by Petra Costa – Under the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva 20 million Brazilians were lifted out of poverty. In 2010, Lula passed the presidential baton to the former female guerrilla Dilma Rousseff. Behind the official celebration people rage against the institutional corruption much of it abetted by a partisan judge who fed news outlets sensational, deeply flawed corruption reports that targeted Lula and Dilma Rousseff. The Edge of Democracy carries a potent warning against the present Brazil’s political crisis, allegedly fomented by Western superpowers. 

ON THE SIDE OF A MILITARY DICTATORSHIP by Karen Stokkendal Poulsen – Myanmar’s tragedy portrayed in its complexity. The military is still heavily in power, although it has come to terms with their old enemy number one: Aung San Suu Kyi. When Nobel Prize winning was released after 20 years of house arrest, she had been for long time the symbol of hope itself. Her heritage has been tainted by the massacre of Rohingya, things changed as old enemies ended up closer to each other.

WATERGATE OR HOW WE LEARNT TO STOP AN OUT OF CONTROL PRESIDENT by Charles Ferguson – ‘The interests of America first’ were the words Richard Nixon said after his resignation in 1974, after two years of slow revelations about a barely imaginable network of criminal machinations culminating the break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in a building complex called ‘Watergate’. Charles Ferguson reconstruct the case in its entirety with this four-hour montage of TV excerpts, interviews with contemporaries and re-enactments of tape recordings from the Oval Office. An almost Shakespearean web of intrigue, lies and betrayal, conducted by a man who was not prepared to lose and who deeply despised the establishment. 

THE TRIAL OF RATKO MLADIC by Henry Singer and Rob Miller – The Bosnian War cost the lives of around 100,000 innocent people. In 2012, almost exactly 20 years after the bloody Bosnian War, whose death toll was 100,000 innocent people, the trial began of the Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladić at the Yugoslavia tribunal in The Hague accused of leading the siege of Sarajevo and murdering 7,000 Muslim men in Srebrenica. The documentary sheds light on the war from two angles, by on the one hand speaking to the public prosecutors and visiting victims and witnesses, and on the other interviewing Mladić’s lawyers, supporters and family members, who consider him a patriotic hero. Shocking, potent images in archive and news footage remind us of the cruelty of this dirty war. 

PATRIOTIC HIGHWAY by Caroline Troedsson – Judge Marie Tuma, faces her biggest challenge: a trial against Kosovo’s former minister Fatmir Limaj and symbolically against the country’s own recent history. The case has a significance for Kosovo’s path towards a sustainable future without corruption. A tale about justice, corruption and the road to a newborn nation.



FREEDOM FIELDS by Naziha Arebi – Emboldened by the Arab Spring, the Libyan women’s soccer team is dreaming of playing their first international game. However, their sport faces huge opposition in Libya. Over the course of several years while the country descends into civil war, they keep pursuing their dream experiencing disillusionment in searching new models for a new generation of girls.

KHARTOUM OFFSIDE by Marwa Zein – A snapshot of Sudan in women inspired documentary. Sara has a dream: putting together a Sudanese team for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The documentary explores a feminist universe on the outskirts of the Sudanese capital focusing on a group of young women, with and without veil, who play football defying family traditions, politics and religion.

ONE CHILD NATION by Nanfu Wang – The chilling untold history of China’s one-child policy.An investigation into the stories of millions of forced sterilizations, abandoned children, state abductions. One Child Nation reveals the relentless and terrifying propaganda that pushed many Chinese citizens to commit crimes against friends and relatives. Through interviews with both victims and their perpetrators, and with data regarding the number of abandoned or disappeared children, One Child Nation unveils decades of silence on one of the most terrible and unprecedented experiment of social manipulation ever made in the history of humanity.

MIDNIGHT TRAVELER by Hassan Fazili – A story of migration, an autobiographical story filmed by the protagonist. In 2015 the Taliban sentenced Hassan Fazili to death for his documentary Peace in Afghanistan. Following the killing of the main actor, Fazili, with his wife and sought refuge in Tajikistan. After 14 months, they were rejected back in Afghanistan. From here they started their journey across Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, running into smugglers of migrants, criminal gangs and refugees like them.

THE PANAMA PAPERS by Alex Winter – A political thriller recounts the story of the massive data leak that exposed the largest global corruption scandal in history. Hundreds of journalists around the globe worked in secret to reveal a scandal involving corrupt power brokers, elected officials, dictators and celebrities who had used the Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca to hide their money for any number of illegal reasons.



THE BRINK by Alison Klayman – The documentary follows Steve Bannon through the 2018 mid-term elections in the United States, shedding light on his efforts to mobilize and unify far-right parties in order to win seats in the May 2019 European Parliamentary elections. The disconcerting portrait of the self-appointed leader of a global populist movement.

PUTIN’S WITNESS by Vitaly Mansky – Documentary testimonies of the true causes and consequences of the operation “Successor” that began the Putin’s era. The renowned documentarist puts on screen the events that followed December 31, 1999, the day when Vladimir Putin became Russia’s president. Based on unique testimonies, the documentary features, among others, Mikhail Gorbachev e Boris Yeltsin. 

HUNGARY 2018 – Behind the scenes of democracy by Eszter Hajdú – Twenty-eight years after the fall of communism Hungary about to embark on another four years of right-wing populism, with Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party. The documentary follows his electoral campaigns alongside the one of the former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and his pro-European left-wing party.


ARTISTS AND AUTEURS – Celebrating the most original filmmakers

MEETING GORBACEV – Across a six-month period, Werner Herzog conducted three interviews with Mikhail Gorbachev. Now 87, Gorbachev speaks like a man with nothing to lose. He is respected more outside Russia than inside his country. The interviews trace Gorbachev’s rise in the Communist party, being named President of the USSR, the negotiations with Ronald Reagan to reduce nuclear weapons, the tumultuous years of glasnost.

 WHAT YOU GONNA DO WHEN THE WORLD IS ON FIRE? by Roberto Minervini – The story of a community of black people in the American South during the summer 2017, when brutal killings of black men occurred. 

ANGELS ARE MADE OF LIGHT by James Longley – An intimate on-the-ground depiction of schoolchildren struggling to survive in Kabul. In the Daqiqi Balkhi School young students and teachers trying to maintain hope in the war-torn city slowly rebuilding from past conflicts, where the streets are populated by pro-mujahideen demonstrators.

AMERICAN DHARMA by Errol Morris – A documentary on a controversial political figure, the portrait of Steve Bannon, Trump campaign manager and former presidential strategist. Unexpectedly outsted from his post, Steve Bannon is now forming a Europe-wide far-right campaign group. 

THE APOLLO OF GAZA by Nicolas Wadimoff – In 2013 a more than 2000 years old bronze statue of Apollo is found off Gaza by a Palestinian fisherman. Instantly the statue became an object of mercantile and geopolitical interests and speculations before suddenly disappeared seized by Hamas. The episode gives the opportunity to look more closely at a territory known for the long-time war and a merciless blockade that has been suffocating and isolating its inhabitants from the world outside. A trace that reconnects Gaza’s people with its cultural past.


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