Leipzig flirts with death

Docu, toon fest reaps grim harvest of pics

BERLIN — Death and its impact on the living will be an overriding theme at this year’s Intl. Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, which runs Oct. 30-Nov. 5.

The fest is also showcasing Arab productions as part of its special program.

Among the pics unspooling in the fest’s national and international competition sections are Swiss helmer Heidi Specogna’s “The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez,” about a Guatamalan immigrant who became the first U.S. soldier to die in the war in Iraq; Dutch entry “Forever,” Heddy Honigmann’s look at the significance Paris’ Pere-Lachaise cemetery has for the living; and Sonja Linden’s Finnish film “No Man is an Island,” which chronicles a man’s attempts to sort out his life before his death.

Part of its special program, “A Thousand and One Images: Arab Documentary Film on the Rise” offers a showcase of recent Arab docs from various countries.

The fest will kick off with Ulrike Franke and Michael Loeken’s national competition screener “Verlieren und Gewinnen” (Losing and Winning), about the downside of globalization and its affects on a German factory.

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