50 Shades of White

An endless white cover silencing the body of a mountain landscape. Dangerous to humans, the snow mass is penetrated only by the trails and breath of its animal inhabitants. Laughter, children’s cries and frozen faces of the lovers of winter joys. Sport matches, official celebrations and rituals in the most popular places of winter tourism. How many forms can a landscape have? How many shades of white does it take?

Our current documentary selection introduces various shades of the typical colour of winter as well as various film genres and cinematic approaches taking the viewers to various latitudes. The comic genre is represented by the playful film about skiing SNOW CRAZY by Latvian director Laila Pakalnina. Despite Latvia’s being a northern country, with the inherent notion of winter and frost, it does not abound in high mountains. However, it does abound with winter sports fans. What is the result of an equation of a single low hill and a multitude of eager downhillers? A silent, existential counterpart of merry skiing is represented by two films by respected Russian documentarist Sergei Loznitsa. Shot on black-and-white 35mm film, the lyrical essays LANDSCAPE and ARTEL turn images of remote everyday life in a Russian landscape into a work of art. Rendering life in the American North from a perspective different from the Russian one, HOW TO SAVE A FISH FROM DROWNING captures three old men as they delve into memories lively depicting the death of traditional rural environment. The phenomenon of winter tourism and trade with traditional folklore are critically assessed in the documentary BEING A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN HOUSE capturing the unsuccessful attempt to turn Russia‘s Chukotka region into a new treasure of snow tourism. Experimental film approaches are employed in the short 16mm collage MOUNTAIN TRIP creating patterns from Austrian mountain postcards as well as the performance-like author’s trip across Japan by French director Nicolas Gerber UN MONDE ARGENTE. The selection is wrapped up by the traditional narrative documentary BEAR ISLANDS set in a remote Russian natural preserve and by the famous Canadian contribution to the history of cinema THE SNOWSHOERS representing one of the first “direct cinema” documentaries.

Explore all shades of white with DAFilms.com from January 6 to 12 for free!

Films for the event

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Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.