DOK Leipzig 29 October – 4 November 2018
61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Burka Songs 2.0

Burka Songs 2.0

After a nationwide debate wearing a face veil was legally banned in France in 2011. The supporters argued that the veil was opposed to the values of the republic: equality of the sexes and freedom from religious oppression. The Swedish filmmaker Hanna Högstedt believes that this is populist symbolic politics and decides to act in a performance on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées that she has recorded on film: dressed in a black burka she sings the French national anthem at the top of her voice.

The reactions are not as expected. “Burka Songs 2.0” is Högstedt’s way of coming to terms with what happened during the filming and what reflections this triggered. She describes how difficult it is to find an attitude towards a political rhetoric regarded as dishonest and courting the masses without being drawn into the maelstrom of attributions herself. She realises that she won’t find satisfactory answers to her questions and decides to make her perplexity the starting point of this film. Högsted’s perspective is changed by talking to people who experience racism – with no intention to provoke – in their daily life. The Swedish filmmaker works her way through the ambivalence of her subject and at last reaches the conclusion that her own actions were – and are – not without presumption either.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann


Original Title: Burka Songs 2.0
Country: Sweden
Year: 2017
Language: English, French, Swedish
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 45 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Hanna Högstedt
Producer: Hanna Högstedt, Archana Khanna
Cinematographer: Annika Busch, Maja Kekonius
Editor: Hanna Högstedt, Annika Ivarsson
Sound: Gustaf Berger
Script: Hanna Högstedt

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.