Daniel Kötter's Landshaft Explores Eastern Armenia

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Daniel Kötter's Landshaft Explores Eastern Armenia

LANDSHAFT, a documentary from Daniel Kötter, is shot in the form of a road movie as the director travels across Eastern Armenia in an old Lada from Lake Sevan to the Sotk gold mine. The film offers a striking contrast between the region’s peaceful-looking mountains and the voice of its passengers, its inhabitants, who live in the shadow of the threat of war. They speak about the attack on Artsakh at the hands of Azerbaijan.

The film was shot between the spring of 2021 and 2022, enlisting the help of local fixers and an Armenian ethnologist. Daniel Kötter is an international filmmaker and music theater director, whose works alternate between different media and institutional contexts and combine experimental film techniques with performative and documentary elements.

“I don’t want to tell their stories, because who am I as a German filmmaker to go there and tell their story? So, I needed to find the kind of dramaturgy that reflects my position as a visitor. This is how the road movie came up: I travel through the landscape and have encounters with these people.”

The director also shares that he initially intended to "make a film from both sides" and wanted to go to Azerbaijan to meet the people there, but eventually decided against the idea. "It's more important sometimes for my films — what is not filmed and is not seen."

LANDSHAFT had its world premiere at Visions du Réel, an internationally renowned documentary film festival held in Switzerland. Syndicado has acquired world rights for the documentary. Daniel Kötter director hopes to screen the film in Armenia soon, and is contemplating making another project in Armenia.