Goethe Toronto Kicks Off PEAK German Docs

Forget Me Not
Courtesy of the Goethe-Institute

By Pat Mullen

Get your passports in order for a trip to Germany! If you liked the recent string of Hot Docs titles covered at POV by Jutta Brendemühl, the Goethe-Institute presents a series of recently acclaimed German documentaries in the new programme PEAK German Docs running today through May 23 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. POV is proud to co-present this series, which offers three recent winners of the Goethe Documentary Prize at DOK Leipzig Festival and highlights the greater international currents of documentary form.

The docs screening in the series are:


Dir. Hannes Lang | Germany | 2011 | 95 min. Thursday, May 11 at TIFF Bell Lightbox at 6:30 PM

Synopsis: Skiing! One of the most popular leisure activities in the winter: perfect powder snow, sound, mountains, fresh air and après ski. Over the course of one year Peak follows the building and production processes around winter tourism in the Alps and unveils what is otherwise hidden under a thick blanket of artificial snow. The film shows the modification of whole areas and the traces left behind by these man-made interventions. Peak challenges the relation between nature and technology. How artificial can a region be, or how artificial does it have to be in order to satisfy our vocational desires for fun and recreation?

Land in Sight

Dir. Judith Keil and Antje Kruska | Germany | 2012 | 97 min.
Friday, May 19 at TIFF Bell Lightbox at 6:30 PM

Synopsis: “Three open-ended fates which the two directors accompany with their usual thoroughness over the course of a year in their fourth film together as they attempt to understand the wordings of the employment agency and the red tape jungle, and to find a German wife, if need be. Preferably one who doesn’t just guarantee a right of residence but also knows how to cook. Bad Belzig turns out to be a stroke of luck for the film, since the East German province shows a lot of comic potential in its touching attempts to help the foreigners. The intercultural misunderstandings in particular highlight our German “paradise”, which is founded solely on paper.” – Cornelia Klauß, DOK Leipzig

Forget Me Not

Dir. David Sieveking | Germany | 2013 | 88 min. Tuesday, May 26 at TIFF Bell Lightbox at 6:30 PM

Synopsis: “Filmmaker David Sieveking introduces us with astonishing candour to the life of his mother Gretel, an Alzheimer’s patient. His father Malte has been taking care of Gretel ever since he retired. The still youthful mathematics professor had imagined life after university a little differently, because it takes a lot of strength and time to care constantly for a person who forgets everything. Wants to go home even though she is at home. Refuses to co-operate and prefers to stay in bed. The son moves back home for a few weeks with a small film crew to relieve his father and document daily life with a dementia patient from up close. Sieveking uses the chance to get closer to his mother again. The more Gretel takes her leave from this world, the more Sieveking finds out about her and her past. Leftist revolutionary groups, an “open relationship”, women’s circles. Malte decides to read his wife’s diaries. The son talks to his father, his mother’s lover and her female friends. A biography gradually takes shape….” – Antje Stamer, DOK Leipzig

Visit PEAK German Docs for more information.