DocHouse

THE YES MEN

Dir: Chris Smith & Sarah Price & Dan Ollman

As the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO are aiming to develop a common approach to world economic policies called the 'coherence agenda', The Yes Men have an agenda of their own. The Yes Men gain worldwide notoriety for impersonating the World Trade Organization on TV and at business conferences around the world, amazingly without being discovered. The bizarre story begins with activists Andy and Mike setting up a website that mimics the WTO, which is mistaken for the real thing - they soon find themselves invited to important functions as WTO representatives. Delighted to speak as the organisation they oppose, Andy and Mike don cheap suits and set out to see how far they can push it - with darkly comic satires featuring the worst aspects of global free trade.

SUITS AND SAVAGES

Dir: Zoe Young & Dylan Howitt

This film travels between one remote tribe in India and another, far more powerful, in Washington DC, to uncover a story of misunderstanding and bureaucratic arrogance that achieves the opposite of the World Bank's GEF paper promise.

SURPLUS

Dir: Erik Gandini

Surplus explores the destructive nature of consumer culture. Against a backdrop of cynical world leaders, corporate captains and Microsoft fanatics the film puts the controversial anti-globalisation guru John Zerzan, whose call for property damage has inspired many to take to the streets. An intense visual odyssey filmed over three years in eight countries, finding links between the explosive anti-globalisation riots of Genoa, $7000 sex dolls to George W's infamous "just keep shopping" speech. Twenty per cent of the world is gobbling up 80% of its resources. The stunning editing and cinematography turns the statistics into an unforgettable emotional experience.

THE FOURTH WORLD WAR

Dir: Big Noise Films

In the First World War is primarily a spectacle - sensational footage, military briefings, carefully edited news presentations. The Fourth Word War shows a different kind of war - without battlefields, without a clear enemy, that is economic and cultural as well as military. It shows footage from the frontlines of neglected struggles in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Palestine, Korea, and finds a connection with the WTO protests of Seattle and Genoa, and the so-called 'War on Terror'. Directed by the award winning New York-based Big Noise Films, with Tony Award winner Suheir Hammad and singer Michael Franti from Spearhead, it is a radical story of hope and human connection in the face of a war that shatters and divides.

PUTIN'S MAMA

Dir: Ineke Smits

Vera Putina at 77 years of age is typical of the Russian women of her generation. What makes her different is that in 1999, she recognized President Vladimir Putin as the son she thought was lost forever. Did Vera's son really become the President of Russia?

PUTIN: LEAP YEAR

Dir: Vitalij Manskij

As Russian Head of State, Vladimir Putin is one of the most powerful men in the world. An ex-KGB Officer, he became Acting President in 1999, taking over from a sick Boris Yeltsin and was elected President in 2000. Award winning filmmaker Vitalij Manskij's film starts off as straightforward reportage but then, Putin seems to take a leaf out of Clinton's book in his willingness to be open to the camera, and the film succeeds in giving us not only a unique insight into Russian political life but also a surprisingly intimate portrait of this secretive and complex central figure.

HEARTS AND MINDS

Dir: Peter Davis

Director Peter Davis assembles newsreels, interviews and footage shot in Vietnam and the US to create a searing and incisive thesis that carefully balances both the American and the Vietnamese experiences of the war. 

PRISONER OF THE CAUCASUS

Dir: Yuri Khashchavatski

A searing anti-war essay on the Russian-Chechen war - one of the most brutal yet under-reported of current conflicts. A collection of graphic footage from freelance camera people is interwoven with Tolstoy's writings, penned during his own stint in the Russian army, fighting Chechnya 150 years ago. Tolstoy asks 'why they are fighting'. The answer seems no clearer now than it was then. All that's changed, it seems, is the level of brutality.

SHTO NOVOVO: AN ELEGY FOR THE UNION

Dir: George Fitzherbert

The winds of change blow through a remote community living in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. This beautifully observed film looks at life since the Russians have left the country, and the once modest rural economy is now steered towards market capitalism. However while the rural areas suffer from the loss of subsidies, the fortune of those living in the city is very different. Market forces have also brought change there, but mostly for the better. The film offers unique insight into this universal dilemma.

SHTO NOVOVO: AN ELEGY FOR THE UNION

Dir: George Fitzherbert

The winds of change blow through a remote community living in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. This beautifully observed film looks at life since the Russians have left the country, and the once modest rural economy is now steered towards market capitalism. However while the rural areas suffer from the loss of subsidies, the fortune of those living in the city is very different. Market forces have also brought change there, but mostly for the better. The film offers unique insight into this universal dilemma.

BATTLE HOSPITAL

Dir: Olly Lambert

Nobody wants to be at the Battle Hospital. The giant tented camp close to the Iraqi border is run by Britain's Territorial Army, and was sent out in advance of the allied invasion of 2003 to provide crucial trauma care to coalition soldiers...

OLD BELIEVERS

Dir: Jana Ševcíková

Old Believers documents a strongly religious community where time seems to stand still, but does it? During the 17th century, Russian immigrants of a minority faith settled in a remote area of Romania's Danube Delta, allowing them to preserve their original language and beliefs, but yet the people enjoy modern conveniences.

NO REGRETS

Dir: Theodora Remundová

This feature debut by scriptwriter and director Theodora Remundová is made up of two independent stories oscillating between documentary and fiction. The first,Standard, began life as the author's graduation film at FAMU and describes the painful relationships between three women bound by close family ties – the seventy-five-year-old mother Irena, her widowed fifty-year-old daughter Masha and her twenty-seven-year-old granddaughter Patricia.The protagonist of the second half, No Regrets, is seventy-one-year-old Danuše Pánková, who experienced not only happiness and success in her life, but whose relationship to life and the people around her is in sharp contrast to the suffocating relationships in the preceding family. Marriage, motherhood, family life – these intimate and very concrete themes become the starting point for thoughts about the meaning of human existence. 

JAZZ WAR

Dir: Vít Klusák

The director Vít Klusák is shooting a film about his father, the well-known composer Emil Viklický, but the latter wants nothing to do with it. This creates a portrait without portraiture, since the director places a double in the role of his father, whom he finds through an advertisement published in newspapers.What is interesting is that Klusák does not know his real father personally, but only meets him (or fails to meet him) for the second time in his life while filming ...y meets him (or fails to meet him) for the second time in his life while filming.