Focus: IN CONTROL...of the situation

Borders (M.I.A.)
Great Britain 2015, 5', (c) Universal Music

The focus of the Dortmund | Cologne International Women's Film Festival 2017 draws on the themes of the Niki de Saint Phalle exhibition at the Museum Ostwall in the Dortmunder U. Radical criticism of aesthetic positions, women's role in society, and the desire to have control over one's own image were driving forces behind the work of Niki de Saint Phalle. The Festival addresses aspects of her work, examines its relevance today and debates our relationship to the world. Alongside recent work, the Festival presents a selection of historical films and examines parallels and differences.

All spheres of life are becoming measurable. Food, fitness, sleep, education, career – everything has to be calculable, everything is assessed. As we try to manage our lives with the help of technology, tools and tests, we allow ourselves to be watched and monitored. Data is collected, movements are followed, analyses are prepared. Our body is appropriated, our psyche gauged. But while surveillance is omnipresent and everything is under increasing control, many things in the world appear to have got out of control. New crisis zones are emerging around the globe, conflicts are intensifying, people are forced to flee their homes. World events are beginning to have a direct personal impact, isolationist movements are forming, disputes are becoming increasingly uninhibited. Pressure and challenges are causing discussions to escalate. Differences are being emphasised, boundaries drawn, common ground is being dismissed.

Who is controlling what? What is controlling whom? Is everything interconnected, or are we becoming more and more divided? Are we all in the same boat? How can we declare where we stand if it is no longer clear who stands for what or how everything is connected? How does social exclusion work and what are the reasons for it? What does community mean in a globalised world?

The section embraces films from all genres – from short video clips, silent pictures, commercials and essays to major feature films and documentaries – and also includes performances and other art forms.