Tribute to Hubert Sauper at 17th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

Bildschirmfoto 2015-03-14 um 11.21.33


The 17th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (March 13-22, 2015) pays tribute to Hubert Sauper’s work. The programme includes five titles.

Austrian filmmaker Hubert Sauper has become internationally famous for his political documentaries set in Africa, in which he records its present-day wounds and denounces the cynical exploitation of that continent by the West, as well as the tragic consequences of this new colonialism. These films, often shot under difficult conditions, using a small film crew, are characterized by the immediacy of cinema verite, and convey the expressivity of the situations and people filmed. Through these films, Sauper gives voice to the voiceless and speaks with the perpetrators, by approaching them not like evildoers to be judged, but as people caught up in a corrupt system. His ultimate goal is to raise our awareness; to give a face to things that are common knowledge but which we choose not to deal with; to share his unique experiences; and to provide vital space to filmgoers, so that they can draw their own conclusions.

In the heart-rending Kisangani Diary (1998), Sauper comes in contact with refugees who have fled Rwanda into the jungle of Congo, and brings to light their tragedy, by filming shocking images of the ill, the starving and the dying Hutu. In the allegorical Darwin’s Nightmare (2004), he presents the social and environmental consequences of the breeding of the perch of the Nile in Lake Victoria, Tanzania. In this film, the director demonstrates an example of how the system works in global capitalism, where western prosperity and consumerism require the starvation and impoverishment of local communities. Finally, in We Come as Friends (2014), Sauper portrays the face of modern-day colonization in Africa through the splitting of Sudan into two separate countries and the draining of its wealthproducing resources, while at the same time he reveals the thoughts and dreams of the people involved in this conflict.

​The tribute to Hubert Sauper’s work also includes two lesser known documentaries:On the Road with Emil (1993), a poetic and melancholy portrait of the life of a traveling circus in Austria, and Alone with Our Stories (2001), about the physical and emotional domestic violence against women in France. In this way, the Festival’s audiences will have the chance to gain a comprehensive view of this great filmmaker.

Film list :

Screenings & Events :

Saturday, March 14, 2015
13:00, Olympion (Darwin’s Nightmare)

Monday, March 16, 2015
13:00, Olympion (We Come as Friends)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
13:00, Olympion (Alone with Our Stories)
13:00, Olympion (On the Road with Emil)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
13:00, Olympion (Kisangani Diary)

Thursday, March 19, 2015
18:15, Pavlos Zannas (Darwin’s Nightmare)
23:15, Pavlos Zannas (Kisangani Diary)

Friday, March 20, 2015
13:30, Pavlos Zannas Theater,
Open Discussion with Hubert Sauper

The acclaimed Austrian director Hubert Sauper will have an open discussion with the public of Thessaloniki, where he will describe his approach to documentary filmmaking and his experience from his travels to Africa. Moderator: Dimitris Kerkinos (more information →)

15:30, Pavlos Zannas (Alone with Our Stories)
15:30, Pavlos Zannas (On the Road with Emil)
20:30, Olympion (We Come as Friends)