21st DokuFest – Asian Presence 2022

We present the Asian films that will be screened at the DokuFest – International Documentary and Short Film Festival which will take place from August 5 – 13, 2022 in Prizren, Kosovo.

International Feature DOX

A Thousand Fires by Saeed Taji Farouky
France, Netherlands, Palestine, Switzerland | 2021 – 90 minutes

In the Magway region of Myanmar, a country home to one of the oldest petroleum industries in the world, live husband and wife Thein Shwe and Htwe Tin. Running an unregulated oil field, they produce a barrel every few days. They wish above all else to see their youngest son succeed, to break the cycle of poverty. A kettle boils. Mud slicked hands work sputtering machines. The ambient sound of a football match hums from a nearby television. “These days passed quickly”, Htwe says. (DokuFest 2022)


All That Breathes by Shaunak Sen – India, UK, USA | 2022 – 97 minutes

In one of the world’s most populated cities, cows, rats, monkeys, frogs, and hogs jostle cheek-by-jowl with people. Here, two brothers fall in love with a bird – the black kite. From their makeshift bird hospital in their tiny basement, the “kite brothers” care for thousands of these mesmeric creatures that drop daily from New Delhi’s smog-choked skies. As environmental toxicity and civil unrest escalate, the relationship between this Muslim family and the neglected kite forms a poetic chronicle of the city’s collapsing ecology and rising social tensions. (DokuFest 2022)


International Shorts

Duka Lara by Nuryn Adryana – Singapore | 2022 – 14 minutes

Due to an unknown circumstance, Erik, who has been working and living on a floating fish farm for a few years, is unable to return home as intended. When the other workers leave the farm for a night out, Erik chooses to stay on the farm. His loneliness manifests his consciousness in the form of a Sea Spirit named Cinta, who tries to make him confront his own self-pity. (DokuFest 2022)

Lili Alone by Zou Jing – China | 2021 – 22 minutes

Lili, a young mother, lives with her gambler husband in a remote part of Sichuan. Lonely and poor, she heads for the city in a bid to earn enough money to save her dying father. (DokuFest 2022)


Lori – Melancholy of my Mother’s Lullaby by Abinash Bikram Shah – Nepal | 2022 – 14 minutes

A mother sings lullabies to her 12-years-old daughter in order to calm her down. But, when the lullabies end, and the daughter comes to her senses, the reality turns out to be much grimmer, and life-altering. (DokuFest 2022)

Sandstorm by Seemab Gul – Pakistan | 2021 – 20 minutes

Zara, a schoolgirl in Karachi (Pakistan), shares a sensual dance video with her virtual boyfriend, who then blackmails her. Caught between his manipulative behaviour and the desire to experience love on her own terms, Zara searches for the strength to reject the confines of a patriarchal society. (DokuFest 2022)


Sound of the Night by Kongkea Vann, Chanrado Sok – Cambodia | 2021 – 20 minutes

Vibol and his brother Kea sell noodles on a motorized cart every night on the streets of Phnom Penh. They often face troublesome threats from gangsters and thieves, even if these very people are their only customers. As the city is growing around them, they consider their unstable income and imagine a different future. (DokuFest 2022)


The Eternal Melody by Niranjan Raj Bhetwal – Nepal | 2022 – 13 minutes

In her dreams, a devout woman is visited by her deceased husband, stranded in the liminal space between death and the afterlife. With her son, she embarks on a mystic errand to help him on his quest for salvation.

Religion, spirituality, and the universal human condition are intricately woven in this tale about the agony of accepting loss, while navigating the dissonance between letting go and holding onto that which has passed. (DokuFest 2022)


Children of the Mist by Ha Le Diem – Vietnam | 2021 – 90 minutes

Children of the Mist follows the story of Di, a 13-year-old Hmong girl with a dream to escape the destiny of many teenage girls of her ethnic group. Di is fortunate that she belongs to the first generation of children in the village with the opportunity to continue studying into high school. Most of the village women, including Di’s mother, didn’t have this chance. Di’s mother is 34 years old, already a grandmother, completely illiterate, and speaks very little Vietnamese. Di has a chance to avoid this fate by passing the high school entrance exam to continue her education. But if she fails, she may be trapped in the village her entire life…“like a frog in a well.” (DokuFest 2022)


Human Rights DOX

Myanmar Diaries by The Myanmar Film Collective
Netherlands, Myanmar, Norway | 2022 – 70 minutes

Hidden from the world’s TV cameras, life under Myanmar’s junta of terror in the aftermath of last year’s military coup has been largely invisible. As an act of creative resistance, the anonymous Myanmar Film Collective composed this feature-length film by blurring reality and fiction, all segments from their first-person perspective, woven together with blood chilling eye-witness footage in the form of citizen journalism. Berlinale’s artistic director Carlo Chatrian highlighted the film in recent interviews as being “very politically relevant.” (DokuFest 2022)


Green DOX

I’m so Sorry by Zhao Liang – France, Hong Kong, Netherlands | 2021 – 96 minutes

Anchored by a man whose quest humanizes global changes, this film traces the historical events and present situation of nuclear disaster across human society. Every nuclear site he revisits represents a specific temporality – Fukushima, Japan, as the ongoing present; Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, as the concealed past; Chernobyl, Ukraine, as the forever alienated present, and Onkalo, Finland, as the future of the future. The narrative created through deconstruction and reconstruction of histories provides a new space to reflect on nuclear issues. In this space, a panorama of global apocalyptic landscapes after nuclear disaster as well as the daily lives of humans on these land is brought to life. The film, visually futuristic yet close to cyberpunk science fiction, seeks to create a human allegory in the present. (DokuFest 2022)


View from The World

A night of Knowing Nothing by Payal Kapadia – France, India | 2021 – 96 minutes

L, a university student in India, writes letters to her estranged lover, while he is away. Through these letters, we get a glimpse into the drastic changes taking place around her. Merging reality with fiction, dreams, memories, fantasies and anxieties, an amorphous narrative unfolds. (DokuFest 2022)


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