School & Education

If Only I Could Hibernate
Zoljargal Purevdash
Mongolia
98′
A poor but prideful teenager, Ulzii, lives in the yurt area of Ulaanbaatar with his family. He is a physics genius and is determined to win a science competition to earn a scholarship. When his mother finds a job in the countryside, she leaves him and his younger siblings to face a harsh winter by themselves. Ulzii will have to take a risky job to look after them all and keep his home heated.
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The Driven Ones
Piet Baumgartner
Switzerland
93′
They are the world’s next CEOs: students of the Master's programme "Strategy and International Management" at the University of St. Gallen (HSG). Those who succeed here are practically already part of the future business elite – like Feifei, Sara, Tobias, Frederic and David. Over the course of seven years, the documentary accompanies the five young men and women, who come from very different countries, from their studies to the first years of their careers. They have different backgrounds, dreams and values. But they all have the same goal: professional success as quickly as possible. The five, who are disarmingly outspoken, are willing to make sacrifices, to subordinate their personal lives to professional advancement. They experience exhilarating triumphs as well as bitter defeats – and repeatedly question many things. Our economy is closely linked to politics, international corporations influence our consumption and our behavior. Decisions made by CEOs shape our society; they influence how we live, how we work and also which regions of the world benefit economically and which do not. Who makes it to the top? What values do these people represent? And are they aware of their social responsibility? Director Piet Baumgartner starts with these questions and delves deep into the world of CEOs and consultants. His documentary captivates with strong images, is excellently made, insightful and nuanced.
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Bratsch – Ein Dorf macht Schule
Norbert Wiedmer
Switzerland
91′
Bratsch, located in the Leuk mountains, is an Upper Valais village with a magnificent view of the Rhone Valley. Just one hundred people still lived in the village in 2015. Since the municipality merger with Gampel down in the valley, the school building has stood empty. Something was about to change. The film documents the development and changes in the village from the reopening of the school in autumn 2016 to the present.
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Nachbarn
Mano Khalil
Switzerland
124′
A small village on the Syrian-Turkish border in the early 1980s: The six-year-old Kurdish boy Sero experiences his first school year in an Arab school and has to watch his small world being radically changed in the course of an absurd nationalism. Humorous yet serious, the film tells of a childhood that also finds its light moments between dictatorship and dark drama.
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Digitalkarma
Mark Olexa and Francesca Scalisi
Switzerland
78′
In a remote village nestled in the foggy hills of northern Bangladesh, Rupa fights against a predetermined destiny. With only a bike, a camera and her knowledge, she defies traditions and tries to make a place for herself in her community. When a twist of fate hits her family, Rupa’s freedom is threatened. Will she be able to maintain the fragile balance between the expectations of her loved ones and her own dreams?
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Lunana - A Yak in the Classroom
Pawo Choyning Dorji
Bhutan
109′
Struggling with his profession as a teacher, Ugyen is sent to Lunana in northern Bhutan for his final year of training. With a warm welcome, the local children try to win him over but they do not have much time...
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with bonus
Bal - honey
Semih Kaplanoglu
Turkey
100′
Six-year-old Yusuf has just begun attending primary school where he is learning how to read and write. His father, Yakup, is a beekeeper. He goes about his trade deep inside the woods where he hangs up his bee hives in the treetops of the highest trees. The mountain forest is a place of deep mystery to Yusuf and he derives great pleasure from accompanying his father there. One morning Yusuf tells his father about a dream he had the night before. Yakup turns on him curtly telling him never to share his dreams with others. The same day, Yusuf is asked to read out a text in front of the class. He suddenly begins to stutter and he is laughed at by the rest of the class. One day the bees suddenly disappear, throwing into question the family’s means of earning a living. Yakup decides to set off for the remote mountains. But no sooner has he left, than Yusuf stops speaking. His mother Zehra, who works on a tea plantation, suffers a great deal on ac count of her son’s sudden loss of speech, but is unable to persuade him to speak. The days pass - and still Yakup does not return. Mother and son begin to worry. Yusuf goes to his grandmother’s place in a neighbouring village where he spends the magical night during which the prophet’s arrival is celebrated. When he hears the story of the prophet he is convinced that his father, with whom he identifies the holy man, will come home again. Yusuf and his mother set off on a fruitless search for signs of his father’s whereabouts after which Yusuf decides to continue the search for his father on his own. His is a journey into the unknown. Will the dream he had be - come reality?
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Hexenkinder
Edwin Beeler
Switzerland
97′
The movie recalls children who suffered mental and physical harm both during the last century, particularly in religious orphanages, and during the time of early modernperiod witch-hunts. It shows that the mindsets and behavioural patterns of both time periods are more alike than one might think.
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Liyana
Aaron & Amanda Kopp
Swaziland
76′
LIYANA is a story born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in the Kingdom of Swaziland. The film follows the children, Zweli, Sibusiso, Phumlani, Mkhuleko, and Nomcebo, as they collaborate to tell the original tale of Liyana, a fictional character whose early life bears remarkable similarities to their own. The world that the children imagine for Liyana is brought to life in an innovative style of animated artwork. This hybrid film weaves documentary scenes together with the animated adventure. LIYANA is executive produced by British-Zimbabwean actress, Thandie Newton, with artwork from rising Nigerian talent, Shofela Coker. Under the guidance of acclaimed South African storyteller, Gcina Mhlophe, the children transform their darkest memories and brightest dreams into fuel for their fairytale. After an idyllic early childhood, Liyana’s world is shattered when her father contracts HIV and both of her parents die. Inspired by a recent real-life robbery, the children decide that there will be a frightening attack at Liyana’s family homestead. In the aftermath of this terrible night, the girl and her trusty sidekick, the family bull, embark on a dangerous, beautiful, and often humorous quest into the wilderness. Hunger, wild animals, and treacherous terrain stand between Liyana and an uncertain fate. As our young storytellers move their fictional character forward through trial and temptation, we periodically return to intimate documentary scenes of the children’s lives in Swaziland - nightly rituals, herding cattle, and a trip to a local clinic for an HIV test. The children’s creative journey is echoed throughout the film by allegorical scenes of the group hiking down a steep ravine in search of a mysterious river. These intertwining narrative strands work together to draw connections between Liyana and the children. As the real and imagined worlds begin to converge the children must choose what kind of story they will tell - in fiction, and in their own lives.
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You Will Die At 20
Amjad Abu Alala
Sudan
102′
Sudan, province of Aljazira, nowadays - When Muzamil was born, a prophecy by the holy man of the village predicts that he will die when he is 20 years old. Muzamil’s father cannot stand the doom and travels away from home. Sakina, as a single mother, raises her son with over protection. One day, Muzamil turns 19.
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Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
Frederick Wiseman
United States
197′
A documentary about how a dominant cultural and demographic institution both sustains their traditional activities and adapts to the digital revolution.
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Acorda Brasil – The Violin Teacher
Sérgio Machado
Brazil
102′
The movie tells the story of Laerte (Lázaro Ramos), a talented violinist who after failing to be admitted into the OSESP Orchestra is forced to give music classes to teenagers in a public school at Heliopolis. His path is full of difficulties, but the transforming power of music and the friendship arising between the teacher and the students open the door into a new world.
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Detachment
Tony Kaye
United States
98′
A chronicle of three weeks in the lives of several high school teachers, administrators and students through the eyes of substitute teacher, Henry Barthes. Henry roams from school to school, imparting modes of knowledge, but never staying long enough to form any semblance of sentient attachment.
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