Sarah Joue Un Loup-Garou (CH/D 2017, Katharina Wyss) / Tesnota (RU 2017, Kantemir Balagov)

Hope you all enjoyed our homage to the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab! Today we’ll head over to UT Connewitz again and continue with two début feature films that impressed us very much, when we stumbled upon it back then:

At 8pm there’ll be the Leipzig premiere of teenage drama SARAH JOUE UN LOUP-GAROU and we’re happy to have director Katharina Wyss coming to the screening to present her film and offer a Q&A.
And at 10pm we’ll show TESNOTA by Alexander Sokurov’s student Kantemir Balagov about a Jewish-Russian community during the dawn of the Second Chechen War. Unfortunately, Balagov can’t make it to the screening today, but still it’s very much worth it to come and watch. Read more about the films below.

Mon 09 April 2018
UT Connewitz
8 PMSarah Joue Un Loup-Garou (D/CH 2017)
D: Katharina Wyss 86’ OV w/ English subtitles
10 PMTesnota / Closeness (RUS 2017)
D: Kantemir Balagov 118’ OV w/ English subtitles

following Q&A with director Katharina Wyss.


CH, D 2017, 86’, OmeU, DCP, director: Katharina Wyss, actors: Loane Balthasar, Michel Voïta, Manuela Biedermann

By the end of puberty everything is actually already over, the die is cast: the most intense experiences have been made and life now is only obligatory sequel and epilogue. After the discovery of one’s own will, there is a phase of coming to terms with the pathways which life – by chance or intentionally – is now limited to. Relationships to others constitute and preserve themselves only according to already familiar structures. Admittedly, in this kind of life, art constitutes a place for more sublime emotion and experience, but after all, as one has to admit, it stays uncoupled from one’s own life. Katharina Wyss’ debut feature SARAH PLAYS A WEREWOLF depicts such an adolecent end-time scenario. Wyss’ film is a probe into the life of a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl from a Swiss small-town. In close-ups as well as distant shots, Wyss is investigating the increasing processes of alienation and becoming-other of theatre disciple Sarah – the growing distance to her parents and siblings, the diffuseness of her sexual impulses, her teenage solipsism. In search for her own desires, Sarah departs from almost everything but herself. However, in some sequences, there seem to be exits from all the entanglements and the inexorableness of growing-up. Sarah seems to find ways of how to precisely deal with these processes. Ways where she can break away and does not have to be Sarah anymore. An atmospheric GEGEN-coming-of-age film.

After the screening, there will be a Q&A with director Katharina Wyss.


RU 2017, 118’, OmeU, DCP, director: Kantemir Balagov, actors: Darya Zhovner, Olga Dragunova, Artem Tsypin, Nazir Zhukov

1998, Nalchik, north Caucasus region. 24-year old tomboyish Ilana helps out in her father’s auto repair shop. She declines the role of the good daughter like her parents want her to be. Additionally, her status as an outsider is reinforced by the fact that she has a Kabadian boyfriend, who is not part of the Jewish community, in which her family moves about. Shortly after the wedding of her brother, the newly-wed couple is kidnapped. At that time, this was not a solitary case, says director Balakov. He grew up in Nalchik, then studied under Alexandr Sokurov, who co-produced this impressive debut feature. The script is based on first-hand experiences and stories carried together from the region. TESNOTA explores community and family dynamics, exposes trauma by its physical storytelling, all the while in wonderful images, glowing blue and yellow. The stylised realism of the film, in which just outside the current frame the next topic is always waiting, is continuously carried further by the question: how much are people willing to sacrifice themselves in order to save loved ones?