Nicolas Philibert

Written 18-01-2019 12:55:07 by Tue Steen Mller

Nicolas Philibert

Filmkommentaren has written much about Nicolas Philibert, French master of documentaries. (

I missed his new film at IDFA, but I will catch up asap with a review. In the meantime I have enjoyed reading an interview with the director that came out today in Variety, link below. He talks about documentaries en general, cinema-documentaries and tv-documentaries in connection with his new film, “Each and Every Moment”. The headline of the interview, made by Ben Croll, is „A Director Driven to make a statement can not make Cinema“.

Here is a quote from the interview:

Do you feel like your filmmaking approach has changed over the years?

I’d like to say yes and no. Yes, because each film required a new approach and a method tailored to the world I was exploring. No, because my methods still have a few invariables. I try not to prepare or research much before I start shooting. I need to save my appetite and curiosity for the actual shoot. If I knew too much going in, I wouldn’t want to make the film. Shooting is a process of learning and discovery, of confronting an unknown world. And so I don’t make films from a perch of knowledge, but rather one of ignorance. I don’t try to tell my audience how to think or how to feel, because I don’t know much more than they do. And that’s never changed…

Variety, link

Categories: DVD, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DocsBarcelona The War Room

Written 17-01-2019 12:21:11 by Tue Steen Mller

DocsBarcelona The War Room

Well, it was quite friendly but of course there were – and should be – discussions about which films should be taken for the DocsBarcelona 2019 edition in May. On the photo you see the selection group except for the man, who took the photo, Joan Gonzalez, Director of the festival and CEO and founder of Parallel 40. At the end of the table me, Head of Programming, from left Daniel Jariod, filmmaker and teacher, Martina Rogers, visual artist and involved in DocsBarcelona for many years, as is Pol Roig Turró, filmmaker and the most important person for this meeting having coordinated the process, giving the 3 days a good flow, and Diego Mas Trelles, Head of Industry, producer and director.

The process? All members of the group had watched films in beforehand and made their priorities. During the three days 15 films had to be selected for the Panorama section, 8 for the Latitud and 5 for the What the Doc, that is for more daring and innovative documentaries. All of them in competitive sections. On top of that some films were put for special screenings, often with a debate attached. In the coming weeks the staff of DocsBarcelona will contact those whose films have been taken.

A lot more about DocsBarcelona is to be found on

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Nikolaus Geyrhalter: The Border Fence

Written 15-01-2019 07:57:24 by Tue Steen Mller

Nikolaus Geyrhalter: The Border Fence

This review is written by Georg Zeller, film director & cameraman, Bolzano Italy.

I start my review with a spoiler, the last scene of Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s newest documentary: A group of policemen opens a container full of rolls of wire fence. One of them steps in, everything ok. The officer smiles and says: „This is the famous border fence, we have to inspect it but we hope it will continue to lie here forever.“

In the end, the fence hasn’t been built.  And even policemen appreciate. Maybe because the numbers of people wanting to cross this border on their way to Germany or Sweden were much lower than expected. Maybe because even the politicians planning it, understood that a fence in this very point of Europe would be a strange, if not dangerous sign.

The film examines the atmosphere and reactions when in 2016/17 the idea of building a new fence along

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Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Messi 400

Written 14-01-2019 09:13:37 by Tue Steen Mller

Messi 400

I was there when Andres Iniesta stopped at FC Barcelona, last year – and I was there when Leo Messi made his goal number 400 for Barca. Yesterday. At Camp Nou. The first one, his first goal, was made at 17 years of age May 1st 2005 – you can see it on Youtube, as I did this morning, and you will also be able to enjoy the one and only Ronaldinho, the mentor of Messi, what a player he was and what a player Messi is.

As always I was there invited by Joan Gonzalez, on the Sunday before four days of selection work for the 2019 DocsBarcelona. A bit into the second half, I said to Joan “is Messi playing tonight”, he had been quite passive walking around on the middle of the pitch… it was as if the now bearded football star heard the ironic comment; moments later in a typical Barca tiqui-taca sequence he scored, and we 65.000 (Joan’s estimate) spectators got up from the chairs exploding in the cry of joy MESSI!

The photo is taken just after the match by Joan Gonzalez with my i-phone.

Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Gabrielle Brady: Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Written 13-01-2019 10:03:19 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Gabrielle Brady: Island of the Hungry Ghosts




Hun er bekymret, denne i alle måder smukke kvinde på fotografiet fra en scene i filmen, hun er nedtrykt, hun hedder Poh Lin Lee og hun holder mig fast i det filmen handler om, så den i en lyrisk form blidt og tålmodigt som hun i sit væsen indkredser øens genius loci. Men trods sin stilfærdighed er Gabrielle Bradys film en etisk og politisk pamflet som kunne bære overskriften j’accuse. Jeg er ikke i tvivl om mod hvad og mod hvem anklagen rettes. Styrken ved anklagen er ikke juridisk præcision, ikke overbevisende statistik, ikke kyndig antropologisk redegørelse, styrken er ved siden af disse berettigede og nødvendige fagligheder som må komme frem i festivalens samtale, dens talk-del, styrken ved anklagen er filmens cinematografi, dens inderlige skriven sin egen overbevisende research i sin egen fagligheds skrift, i en kunstnerisk indsigt i og forståelse af sin location, sit steds ånd og så her altså overgrebene mod den.


Jeg ser Poh Lin Lee og hendes mands og deres børns respektfulde skildringer stedets gamle kultur, først af rituelle afbrændinger af symbolske papirrester efter de døde. Det handler om sjæl og legeme om ånd og materie, og moderen forklarer det til børnene: ”De første indvandrere kom til øen fra Kina for 100 år siden. De fik ikke en rigtig begravelse nogen af dem. Så vi som lever nu er nødt til at bede for dem. I en måned er de blandt de levende. De er the hungry ghosts. Hvis du på vejen ser en hvid skygge passere er det antagelig en vandrende ånd som går over.” Afbrændingen gælder, må jeg tro, de dødes menneskelighed så deres evighedshungrende ånd kan udvandre fra skyggetilværelsen til frihedens land. Og den lille familie besøger gravstenene over de første kinesiske migranter på øen og børnene lærer om monumenternes betydning for et steds historie og kultur. Jeg læser ikke filmen som analogi, læser ikke dens enkeltelementer som symboler. Jeg ser et voksende anklageskrifts konkrete passus akkumulere.

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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Danish Bodil Nominations

Written 11-01-2019 17:25:17 by Tue Steen Mller

Danish Bodil Nominations

The Danish film critics have made their choice and nominated the Best Danish film, the best male and female performance etc. etc. AND nominated five documentaries for that category. On filmkommentaren we have reviewed 4 of them, links attached

Bobbi Jene (Elvira Lind)

Fanget i de fries land (Land of the Free) (Camilla Magid)

Hjertelandet (Janus Metz & Sine Plambech)

Olegs krig – en barndom i krigens skygge (The Distant Barking of Dogs)  (Simon Lereng Wilmont)

Skjold & Isabel (Emil Næsby Hansen)

The Bodil is named after two great Danish actresses: Bodil Ipsen and Bodil Kjer.

The Association of Danish film critics have 50 members.

Categories: Articles/Reviews ENGLISH


Written 09-01-2019 09:59:49 by Allan Berg Nielsen



Daughters of foreign fighters from Georgia, flood-affected islanders in Kiribati and Australia's hermetically sealed asylum centres. This year, we will once again travel far and wide at the third annual Docs & Talks film and research festival from January 31st to February 6th. The festival is organized by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and Cinemateket.

With its combination of both proximity and a larger social perspective, documentary film is an ideal point of departure for research dissemination and debate. Docs & Talks offers a total of eight film events, in which researchers from DIIS and scholars from other leading international research institutes, filmmakers and practitioners discuss and put into perspective the different themes of the films - and we invite the audience to participate in the debate.

This year, three of the films will focus on the fate of children in war: in eastern Ukraine, we experience the war through the eyes of ten-year-old Oleg; in the Idlib province of Syria, al-Nusra fighters raise their sons to join the armed struggle in a society where violence is breeding violence; and in Georgia, two young teenage girls are deeply marked by the absence of their fathers, who have left to fight for the Islamic State.

Two films in the program touch upon the issues of poverty, health, inequality and climate change, and we host a special event where we scrutinize the visual narratives that dominate the development world and the communication of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Where nothing else is mentioned, the debates are in Danish.

Sara Thelle og Mira Bach Hansen / Forum for Film og Formidling

Anne Blaabjerg, Troels Jensen og Sine Plambech / DIIS

Rasmus Brendstrup, programredaktør / Cinemateket



THURS 31/01 16:30


Gabrielle Brady, 2018 / Eng. subtitles / 94 min. / 145 min. incl. debate

We open the festival with Gabrielle Brady's poetic and visually striking work on the nature of migration with the Australian asylum system as backdrop. The scenic and mysterious Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean is not just home of the red crab, which migrates by thousands from the jungle to the sea every year, and to a local population marked by Asian migrant culture. The island also houses one of three Australian detention centres where asylum seekers are detained and isolated indefinitely. Trauma therapist Poh Lin Lee tries to work with the detainees on their war traumas and the psychological consequences of their hopeless confinement - but her work is gradually becoming more difficult as the asylum seekers suddenly disappear without explanation from the authorities.

EVENT After the film, DIIS Senior Researcher Ninna Nyberg Sørensen and PhD Nikolas Feith Tan, researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and Aarhus University, discuss asylum policies in Australia and Europe. The debate is in English.


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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Viviane Candas: A Possible Algeria

Written 07-01-2019 16:09:28 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Viviane Candas: A Possible Algeria


Viviane Candas: A Possible Algeria 

by Allan Berg Nielsen / Filmkommentaren, le 4.2.2018 / Docs & Talks 2018 / translation into English: Sara Thelle


The film is built upon the voice, the director of the film's own voice. It tells the story. I always like that, it is honest, it is literary, closer to writing. And Viviane Candas’ voice makes me feel safe and makes me listen, even though what it tells me is horrifying. Next, her film builds on the archive material, a rare collection of historical footage edited together with a private archive. I almost always like that too, at least when it is done in a poetic construction like it is here, and not as a pedantic communication of a curriculum. In Candas’ work, this material is the very connection between the history of the world, the history of Algeria, the history of France and the biography of Yves Mathieu. He was Viviane Candas' father, French as she, but deeply connected with Algeria in the country's fateful hour. The narrative of the film is embedded in the two lines of the title, A Possible Algeria: The Revolution of Yves Mathieu, and in the contrast between society/nation/people and the individual lies the existential drama and the reflection on the nature of identity. Finally, the film is built on Candas' uniquely sensitive and honest interviews with a few of the story's key figures, which in the literary spirit of the film are more searching conversations than factual question/answer scenes. The heterogeneity of this material testifies to a long-standing collection of footage for the film, and it is linked by vignettes from the research travels in a reconstruction that has a fixed visual uniformity which works as a refuge for reflection. But curiously, these vignettes do not function as the “now” of the story. The present of the film is the voice of Candas narrating, and the protagonists leading the conversation in the interview scenes, where the director's voice is usually cut out, and yet in a strange way she is still very present. The conclusion of all this results in me really meeting these people, and the encounter with an old Ahmed Ben Bella is an emotional shock. This is the present of the film, here is world history itself present in this fragile body that speaks of itself as a socialist. Today, now ...

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Categories: Cinema, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Dostojevskijs Idioten i Cinemateket med mere

Written 07-01-2019 00:35:08 by Tue Steen Mller

Dostojevskijs Idioten i Cinemateket med mere

… i et arrangement, som med rette blev kaldt for et maraton, visning af en russisk tv-serie bygget over romanen fra 2003 - 10 afsnit af en længde på 50 minutter. Publikum – vi – sad lørdag i Cinemateket fra 13.30 til lidt over midnat, over ti timer, afbrudt af pauser, én af dem med servering af bortsch, rødbedesuppen som jeg har nydt mange gange hjemme, og i Skt. Petersburg og hos Sonja Vesterholt, som også var at finde i biografen og som selvfølgelig havde set flere filmiske udgaver af den vidunderlige bog, som denne gamle bibliotekar har læst – og nu har lyst til at genlæse.

Det var stor skuespilkunst, som serien frembragte – mere det end stor filmkunst, fokus var på teksten, dialogerne, dramaerne og de mange morsomme situationer, som udspinder sig omkring det gode menneske fyrst Mysjkin, der blev spillet af Yevgeny Vitalevich Mironov. Det gjorde han fabelagtigt, intet mindre.

Er han kendt, spurgte jeg i en pause Rikke Helms, som om nogen kender til russisk kultur efter mange år i Moskva, Riga og Skt. Petersburg, hvor hun var leder af Det danske Kulturinstitut og bl.a. i 2010 generøst lagde lokaler til et dokumentarfilm-seminar for russiske filmfolk, som jeg var ansvarlig for. Meget vigtigt for deltagerne. Tak!

Ja, mon ikke, besvarede Helms mit spørgsmål, serien var hans gennembrud som skuespiller – og jeg kom til at tænke på, hvor lidt vi ved om russiske skuespillere af verdensklasse. Eller jeg ved. Ved et kig på wikipeak har jeg set Mironovs imponerende filmografi og lange række af hædersbevisninger. Selvfølgelig har han også spillet Hamlet. Det gad jeg godt nok se!

Ros til Cinemateket for et sådant arrangement og for det fremragende program for januar og februar. Der er kvalitet over hele linien og et bredt repertoire, mildest talt. Lad mig nævne et par instruktører som der er et retrospektivt fokus på: Andrzej Wajda (inklusiv et par dokumentarfilm der lyder spændende), Jacques Becker (”Smukke Marie” med Simone Signoret!), og Lanzmanns ”Shoah” igen igen – og tak for det, det er vel den vigtigste dokumentarfilm ever made. Og så er der film fra ”Iran 1979”, Kim Larsen in memoriam, selvfølgelig, Tery Gilliam, Murakami, Gøg og Gokke Osv. Osv. Programmet stråler af veloplagthed. Og så står der – med rødt – ”Event” ved hver andet arrangement, hvilket betyder, at der er tilsvarende, dog ikke så lange, arrangementer som ”Idioten”, med mad og drikke eller med introduktioner til filmene. Spørgsmålet er om ikke Cinemateket overdriver det sidste, introduktionerne, hvor jeg i mange sammenhænge har siddet og sagt til mig selv ”kom så i gang”, med filmen!

Categories: TV, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

True Stories Market Research Funding

Written 05-01-2019 12:22:18 by Tue Steen Mller

True Stories Market Research Funding

Quote from filmkommentaren post in August: … thinking of the many documentary adventures I take with me from the Sarajevo Film Festival: To be part of the training team of representatives from ngo’s and human rights organizations was the experience for me. Engaged, committed people who every day deal with human beings who suffer from the consequences of the wars in the 1990’es – and try to help them. Respect!

The festival now makes a call – deadline January 31 – for proposals from filmmakers, who want to collaborate with the organisations and people mentioned to make the stories presented at the festival into films. A €3000 grant is given for further research followed by project development and presentation at the upcoming Cinelink Industry Days at the festival.

The call is open for “Production company or filmmaker coming from the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey.

All details are available through the link below. The same goes for the visual presentation/pitch of the projects. Check it out:

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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