DOK Leipzig Film Festival

The Lives of Mecca

The Lives of Mecca

This Mecca is in the West, on Coney Island Beach, Brooklyn. This is the place to which the maestros of pleasurable idling have for years made their pilgrimage to indulge in a shared passion: American handball. The men, most of them freaks of rather advanced age, take turns as players or spectators. In one scene two protagonists are arguing about the right title for the film they are part of. It should be about handball, says the first, who takes the game seriously and believes that its spirit is sacred. The second wants it to be about the fauna of characters that grows like weed around the game: the lives of Mecca.

That’s Patrick, the second one, something of a serene pantheist philosopher. Sometimes he dictates the music that booms from an old ghetto blaster, and he serves as the therapist to this friendly little spot, seconded by the boasters and the taciturn ones, children and old people, the perturbed and the unperturbed. Each of them is a gifted performer of their own story/ies. What this is really about: the diversity of the margins. The chaos of everyday life. The full energy of the sport. And the total relaxedness of this neighbourly get-together.

Ralph Eue
Original Title: The Lives of Mecca
Country: Switzerland, Italy
Year: 2015
Language: English
Subtitle: German
Runtime: 54 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Stefano Etter
Producer: Nicola Genni, Domenico Lucchini, Enrica Viola
Cinematographer: Mariangela Marletta
Editor: Amos Pellegrinelli
Sound: Nick Bedo

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.