Films from documenta X is a film and video programme that features a unique event in the history of the festival held in Kassel every five years: the creation of its own audiovisual programme, consisting of a group of fiction films and documentaries conceived and created at the behest of the documenta festival. This date on the art calendar has a long history, going back to 1955 when Arnold Bode, the exhibition founder, used the so-called Bode Plan to express his desire to present “foreign and national films in Kassel”. Accordingly, the first documenta featured 40 Years of Film Documents, while the series Happenings and Fluxus accompanied documenta 5. In addition to a selection of videos and an experimental film series, documenta 6 featured Cinema of the 1970s, and Parsifal (1982) by Hans Jürgen Syberberg (Nossendorf, 1935) was screened at the opening session of documenta 7. Finally, the film sequence Jazz-Boxing-Baseball formed part of documenta 9.
On the occasion of documenta X, to encourage new productions, the conscious decision was taken to turn away from a safe festival of existing films, even if that meant the risk of unforeseen results. The artistic director Catherine David commissioned new works from six filmmakers. Charles Burnett (Vicksburg, 1944), Harun Farocki (Nový Jičín, 1944), Raoul Peck (Port-au-Prince, 1953), Abderrahmane Sissako (Kiffa, 1961) and Alexander Sokurov (Podorvikha, 1951) were chosen on this occasion to make documentaries and fiction films co-produced by documenta and various television broadcasters.
The geographic dimension of these movies is larger, from Haiti to Russia, from California to Angola and Berlin. Their thematic focuses range from the loss of one’s homeland, the compulsive vagabond, expatriation, flight and impoverishment to the view and creation of images.
Brigitte Kramer was the producer responsible for all of the film projects at documenta X, and the films and videos will be shown on different television stations and film outlets once the 100-day exhibition comes to an end.