DOXA Documentary Film Festival



28.04.2023 - Article

DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Western Canada’s largest documentary film festival, returns to present the 22nd edition, screening in theatres May 4 through May 14, 2023.

The following German co-productions will be screened as part of the film festival:

La Singla

Spain | Germany, 2023

When Antonia Singla graced the stage, she did so without hearing the music. Born deaf to a Romani family in the suburbs of Barcelona, La Singla—as she would affectionately come to be called—rose to international acclaim by the age of 17. Quite literally moving to the beat of her own drum, La Singla’s pistol-like percussions were nothing short of revolutionary, gripping the world of flamenco with a dynamism never before experienced. But at the height of her fame, La Singla disappeared from the dance stage, leaving in her wake a scattered archival legacy of the world’s best bailaora.

Fifty years later, a young woman begins her search for Antonia, only to discover the seething roots of La Singla’s passion. Paloma Zapata’s hybrid film stunningly weaves the past and present together, expertly layering archival footage with passionate music and sound. A rapturous portrait of Antonia’s life, crystallized by the gaze of her admirers, La Singla is a riveting exploration of dance as expression, movement as experiment, and performance as rage. 

Notes on Displacement 

Palestine | Germany | Qatar, 2022

Notes on Displacement opens with a quote from critic John Berger that reads: “Ours is the century of enforced travel ... of people helplessly seeing others, who were close to them, disappear over the horizon.” For Nadira, who left Palestine in her girlhood and must migrate again in the twilight of her life, the horizon is constantly moving. She embarks on a gruelling journey from Syria to Greece over water; along the highways of Bulgaria on foot and by bus; through Hungary, where conditions at refugee camps are horrendous; and further still towards the German border, where her family might finally find rest. 

Filmmaker Khaled Jarrar is Nadira’s constant companion, accompanying her and her adult children as they navigate relentless adversities alongside so many other migrants. Jarrar advocates for their safety, security and comfort with what little privilege his status as a working filmmaker affords him, but the dangers of language barriers, racism, aggressive authorities and precarious geography are incessant and unyielding. 

How to Save a Dead Friend

Sweden | Norway | France | Germany, 2022

Marusya is a teenager in post-Soviet Russia, lacking a way forward. She sleeps all day, struggles to eat and lives in a state of hopelessness as friends around her die from suicide. She considers her own fate—until she meets her soulmate, Kimi. Kimi understands Marusya’s pain. He helps her to laugh, and shares with her an honest look at the joys and miseries of their oppressive and violent world.
Filmed over 12 years, How to Save a Dead Friend depicts a lost generation growing up in poverty. Marusya, Kimi and their friends are creative and rebellious, ecstatic and depressed. As they mature, Marusya and Kimi’s paths diverge—Kimi struggles with drug addiction, moving in and out of rehab centres, while Marusya immerses herself in the underground art scene. As the totalitarian state closes in around them, the couple separates, and the film becomes an elegy to the love, irreverence and joy they shared for over a decade. 


Colombia | Romania | France | Germany, 2022
In the metropolis of Medellín, Colombia, filmmaker Theo Montoya turns his camera on a unique and creative group of queer friends rebelling against their increasingly dystopian surroundings. Montoya plans to create an allegorical film of speculative fiction in which these young rebels fall in love with ghosts—and face persecution for their lifestyle. However, Montoya’s project changes abruptly when tragedy strikes and a number of his friends’ lives are lost to suicide and overdose (including the charismatic Camilo Najar, who was intended for the film’s starring role). 

What takes the place of Montoya’s dramatic film is a startling and unusual hybrid documentary. Haunted by the film that never was, Montoya constructs an elegy for his queer community, commemorating its anarchic splendour. As Montoya traverses the shadowy streets of the city in a hearse, he attempts to process loss and grief through his hypnotic narrative. Anhell69 is an achingly poignant tribute to the precarity of youth and the uncertainty of the future that nonetheless inspires hope through the film’s liminal beauty. 

Top of page