Kurzfilmtournee 2019

Joe Boots

Germany 2017 • Documentary • English • 30 min.
Nomination in the Category for Documentary Films with a Running Time of up to 30 Minutes
Director: Florian Baron
Production Design: Johannes Waltermann
Editor: Maja Tennstedt
Sound Design: Jana Irmert
Protagonist: Joe Boots

Under the impression of the terrorist attacks of September 11, Joe decides to join the military. At this time he is 17 years old and leaves high school with great dreams for the future. When he returns from basic training, his friends nickname him Joe Boots. A short time later he is sent to Iraq. After his return to his hometown Pittsburgh he has to realize that his wartime experience will never let him go. Joe tells without shyness about his trauma: How he lost control over his life and searches in vain for help. For his wounds are invisible.

Jury statement:
Joe Boots, a young American from the working class, suffers after his experiences as a soldier in the third Gulf War from a post-traumatic stress disorder, against which the military doctors have nothing more to offer him than pills. When he stops taking his medication because it aggravates his depression, he forfeits his entitlement to a disability pension. The fact that Joe Boots is not one of the 22 war veterans who take their lives everyday in the United States may be due to the disease of multiple sclerosis, which has changed his life. Florian Baron presents us with a sick man as the result and image of a no less sick western society, confronting the story of Joe Boots, which he himself tells us very forcefully, with seemingly innocent, outstandingly composed images, thus showing us not only a touching individual fate, but at the same time a manifesto of civilisation highly worth seeing.

Florian Baron

Florian Baron was born in Berlin in 1984. During his school days he made his first documentary film. From 2004 to 2006 Florian Baron lived in Japan, where he realised various film projects. From 2007-2012 Florian Baron studied film and television directing at the Film University Potsdam-Babelsberg and graduated with a diploma (with distinction). During his studies he realised the films RADIO TAXI for ARTE, as well as his graduation film THE FINAL CALL (Competition Max-Ophüls-Preis 2012). In 2014 he received a "Scholarship for Artistic Further Education" from the DAAD for the University of Pittsburgh, USA, to research young war veterans for his film project. In 2015 he founded the production company Machnitzky Filmproduktion for the realization of the project Joe Boots on behalf of ZDF/3Sat, as well as the cinema documentary STRESS (in postproduction).