Our picks from CPH:DOX 2024

Martin Lange & Rachel Sheary
April 9, 2024

We are an organisation of documentary film fanatics - so naturally we have some favourites from our favourite film festival!

Here are our top picks from CPH:DOX 2024:

Silent Trees

Agnieszka Zwiefka

As a geopolitical ploy the dictator of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, lets all refugees have a tourist visa so they can reach the Polish border and enter Europe. A Kurdish family, five children and their parents, take the chance with thousands of other migrants and refugees. But the Polish border is shut and they are now stuck in a freezing forest, slowly dying of hypothermia. We follow Runa, a teenager and the only daughter in the family, as she takes on the responsibility for her siblings, and navigates the difficult maze of migration regulations, all in a language that is completely new to her.

The Flats

Alessandra Celesia

This film was the overall winner of the festival, and for good reason. We have seen many films documenting the violence and bloodshed of the war in Northern Ireland in the late 60’s and early 70’s, but few portrayals of the trauma that continues to endure years later amongst the residents of the areas most affected by the conflict. ‘The Flats’ gives us an insight into the trauma that the children of today’s conflicts may suffer when the fighting ends and the internal battle begins.

Daughter of Genghis

Kristoffer Juel Poulsen & Christian Als

The story of Gerel, a single mother raising her child in present day Mongolia. The country is under increasing influence from Chinese investment which fuels Gerel’s ultra-nationalism. She wears a swastika and is the leader of a gang but she is also a tender mother struggling with raising her son. The film explores identity, nationalism, freedom and love, showing the universal human desire for purpose and belonging. Journeying alongside Gerel and her son over the span of seven years is a moving and enlightening experience, highlighting the complexities of human beliefs and wishes.


Sissel Morell Dargis

This adventurous story reveals the inner workings of an unbelievable Brazilian subculture in which crews of ‘baloeiros’ spend years cutting and gluing together huge hot air balloons, up to 70 meters tall, launching them into the night from secret locations and finally chasing down the balloons to claim them when they fall down, which can be several hundreds of kilometers away. This is all done in secret as manufacturing and launching balloons is punishable with up to 3-years jail time in Brazil. The practice was outlawed in 1998 because of the danger it poses to the public. So why do it? For the beauty and thrill of it. The baloeiro craft is a unique type of street art that is spurred on by competition between crews, to see who can build the biggest and best looking balloon, which turns into an adrenaline fuelled sport when the hunt for the balloons sets in. The film is well-developed over several years by filmmaker Sissel Morell Dargis, who manages to bring the viewer right into the backyards and workshops of this secret world of artists.


Hasan Oswald

A masterfully crafted film that immerses the viewer in the life of Mediha, a Yazidi teenage girl who is rescued after three years of ISIS captivity. She and her two younger brothers are the only ones in her family to return to their village in Iraq, where they try to deal with the trauma and put their lives back together. Meanwhile ‘rescuers’ work intensely to locate and bring home the rest of their family. A powerful recognition of the victims of one of the biggest atrocities in recent history, and a spotlight on the 3000 still missing Yazidis.

A Poem for Little People

Ivan Sautkin

“A Poem for Little People” is a beautiful and tender film about the evacuation of elderly and sick citizens stuck in their homes on the frontline in Ukraine. The filmmaker, Ivan Sautkin, successfully shows the pain of living in a war, the sorrow of losing your home and the importance of symbolism, art, faith, and community. The compassion and patience of the voluntary evacuation workers is deeply touching to see.

For information on where to watch the films, go to cphdox.dk.

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