38° Torino Film Festival


In 1974 Werner Herzog walked from Munich to Paris, an act of faith to prevent the death of his mentor, film critic Lotte Eisner. In 2020, a young filmmaker walks following in Herzog ́s footsteps in an act of love to one of the best filmmakers of our time. A journey through villages, nature, loneliness and cold, looking for the meaning of filmmaking. Including fragments of the book Of Walking in Ice by legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog narrated by himself exclusively for the film.

Drama is intertwined with daily life in time of climate change, between the flood areas of the province of Dithmarschen, Germany, and the Brazilian Sertão’s periodical droughts. While a musician refuses to be evacuated and a firefighter enjoys the last summer before the flood, in Brazil a sunken city re-emerges from a dried-out water reservoir and three young women go swimming before they might leave their home. With associative staging and not without humour, this docu-fictional film observes, first of all, the people, and the water as a physical and metaphysical base of existence.

TFFDoc – Out of Competition. Even though we share the planet with billions of farm animals, we often consider them merely a resource to be exploited, completely ignoring their sensitivity. Gunda uses the point of view of a pig and the mooing of a cow to show that we are not the only species that is able to feel emotions, have a conscience, or want things. The encounter with a sow and her piglets, two ingenious cows, and a one-legged chicken remind us of the value of life of every animal that lives on the planet, including our own.

In the Middle East, the cactus – a symbol of resilience because of its spines and hardiness – is used for its fruit and to separate houses and villages, In 1998, Khaled Abdulwahed took a few photographs of a cactus field near his home, southwest of Damascus. In 2012, those cactus fields were destroyed by the war, creating a new landscape. On the wall in a courtyard in Berlin, Abdulwahed deconstructs and reconstructs the photographs: between the deformation of the field and that of the image, between the original and the copy, his movie rewrites his memory.

A former military game designer was spotted in a video game competition organized by the army. Before going to war, he made video game scenarios that prepared soldiers to cultural shocks and healed trauma. Once back from the war, his relationship with his identity, with life and with the video game radically changed.

On April 2nd, 1787, Wolfgang von Goethe arrived in Palermo during a journey that lasted forty days, which he then described in Italian Journey. Peter Stein, a stage and opera director, retraces the footsteps of the German poet, in the company of a film crew. In Sicily, Goethe sought and found classicism, and so does Stein, as he travels to the origins of European culture. After his impressive production of Faust, the high point of Stein’s reflections on Goethe, this new journey helps the director compare late-18th-century Sicily to today’s, showing unexpected differences and surprising similarities.