DOK Leipzig Film Festival

The Wait

The Wait

It’s a “rite of passage” of a different kind: reporting for a prison sentence. There are many documentations of life behind bars. But what happens just before, in the period between the verdict and the start of the prison sentence, during which people must take leave from the whole of their former life and are facing a step into the unknown? At first even this intermediate period is uncertain until the precise date of imprisonment is communicated. The convicts have minimal time to prepare for this new chapter in their lives. The psychological stress is a heavy burden.

“The Wait” follows three protagonists through this period. They develop different strategies: Vitali, father of a family and business owner, immerses himself in organisational matters. Jürgen, who was in prison before, clears out his flat and gets a tattoo, hoping to be able to delay his prison sentence with the help of a medical certificate. Guang, who comes from Taiwan, looks for a higher meaning. Prison must be part of the scheme of life the universe has planned for her. She finds this hard to accept, since she’s suffering from anxiety attacks. She gets help via Skype conversations with her Buddhist master. After his release he’s going to write a self-help book, Vitali jokes. To make it easier for others.

Annina Wettstein

Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize

Original Title: Die Frist
Country: Germany
Year: 2018
Language: Chinese, German, Russian
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 78 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Karin Becker
Producer: Philipp Schall, Johanna Teichmann
Cinematographer: Franz Kastner, Fabio Stoll, Carla Muresan
Editor: Elisabeth Raßbach
Music: Dimitrios Ntontis, Sebastian Fillenberg
Sound: Hagen von Sayn-Wittgenstein
Script: Karin Becker, Silvia Wolkan

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.