Dixie Land Wins in Odessa

Written 28-07-2017 10:55:26 by Tue Steen Müller

Had to bring this red-carpet-photo of producer Ilona Bicevska with protagonist Polina with the most amazing hat, and her parents, who are also in the film, the winning film, Dixie Land, Best Ukranian film, at the Odessa International Film Festival some days ago.

A well deserved award to those on the photo, and to the makers, Roman Bondarchuk and Darya Averchenko.

I attended the Ukranian premiere in Kiev at the festival DocuDays earlier this year and wrote:

…The film about jazz music performed by kids in a band in Kherson Ukraine, led by their old teacher, who founded the band just after WW2, picking up homeless children to give them the chance to develop their skills, gave them a life, simply - is a warm, so well made - Bondarchuk has indeed a documentary-eye - interpretation of a happy childhood, where kids have a good time developing their creative skills. As it is written in the catalogue: We all live once in Dixie Land – the country where politics, money and death do not exist at all…

The film will late August be at the MakeDox Festival in Skopje, Macedonia – and hopefully at many other festivals to come.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Joshua Oppenheimer

Written 23-07-2017 05:15:58 by Tue Steen Müller

…there's never been a deeper or more diverse time for documentary cinema… That’s how IndieWire introduces its article about the 25 documentaries four critics have found the best in the still young 21st century. And it is an impressive list of films that are to be found. Mostly American and English language films. That can be discussed of course, but what is indisputable – the two films of Joshua Oppenheimer are there, “The Look of Silence” as number 4, “The Act of Killing” as number 1.

Which leads me to turn to the upcoming Sarajevo Film Festival (starts August 11), where “A Tribute to Joshua Oppenheimer” is part of the programme with a masterclass with the director, a so-called career interview that I have been asked to lead. With great pleasure! On the website of the festival Oppenheimer’s two films are presented like this:

Born in 1974, USA, two-time Oscar® nominee Joshua Oppenheimer’s debut feature film, THE ACT OF KILLING (2014 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary), was named Film of the Year in the 2013 by the Guardian and the Sight and Sound Film Poll, and won 72 international awards, including a European Film Award, a BAFTA, an Asia Pacific Screen Award, a Berlinale Audience Award, and the Guardian Film Award for Best Film.

His second film, THE LOOK OF SILENCE (2016 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary), premiered at the 71st Venice Film Festival, where it won five awards, including the Grand Jury Prize, the international critics award (Prix FIPRESCI) and the European film critics award (FEDEORA Prize). Since then, THE LOOK OF SILENCE has received 72 international awards, including an Independent Spirit Award, an IDA Award for Best Documentary, a Gotham Award for Best Documentary, and three Cinema Eye Honors, including Best Film and Best Director.

I wonder how many people have seen the two films. Does he know that, I will ask him in Sarajevo…

Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sarajevo Documentary Competition

Written 19-07-2017 11:26:14 by Tue Steen Müller

14 films, “important stories, new voices, relevant debates”, that is how Rada Sesic, the programmer, presents the documentary competition at the upcoming Sarajevo Film Festival, August 11-18. New films from the region, 4 of them world premieres.

I have seen 4 of them, to recommend with pleasure, the Arash Brothers “Kinders”, “Ultra” by Hungarian Balazs Simonyi (…Year after year, runners from around the world participate in one of the most prestigious and challenging of races, the Spartathlon – 246km from Athens to Sparta in under 36 hours… a film that is much more than a sport film), the wonderful ”Planeta Petrila” (PHOTO) by Andrei Dascalescu that I reviewed on this site, here is a clip ” a film about creativity and… a beautiful homage to a dangerous industry and those who worked there or ”died for the coal”, Macedonian Ilija Cvetkovski’s sweet ”Avec l’amour”, written together with Atanas Georgiev about the teacher and his passion for cars.

For the rest – because I have heard about them – I look forward to seeing the Georgian ”City of the Sun” by Rati Oneli, not to forget ”In Praise of Nothing” by Boris Mitic, who has talked about the film for years. I have high expectations to what this talented director comes up with.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Golden Apricot Festival Cancels Program

Written 13-07-2017 07:55:33 by Tue Steen Müller

Shameful conduct at the Golden Apricot Film Festival in Yerevan that ends July 16…

“We want to inform you that the ARMENIANS: INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL VIEWS non-competition program is completely cancelled. We apologize for any inconveniences.” This was the content of an email that was sent to the filmmakers, whose films had been selected. Around 40 there were. The films were to be screened in a theatre that belongs to the Cinematographers’ Union of Armenia. The former director of the theatre Rouben Gevorgyants passed away June 23 and the new temporary director, when he discovered that there were two LGBT related films in the program, demanded to the festival to take them out. The festival would not do so and thus the whole program was cancelled.

Which naturally created a lot of protests from filmmakers, critics, rights activists et al., who wrote an official complaint including this: … “We condemn the actions

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Polish Doc Promotion

Written 11-07-2017 11:38:06 by Tue Steen Müller

What is the best country in documentaries right now? I have for decades tried to answer that question based on what I have seen at festivals and online. When I was working at EDN at the beginning of the 2000´s I always said Finland, a country with a documentary culture that has a good financial support. Now I am not so sure that the artistic quality is the same as then, I might be wrong, whereas I can only salute what comes from Poland of original work from experienced directors and new talents. The Danes reading this will say that ”we” are also doing well, look at the amount of good films that travel to festivals, yes yes, and let me also include Norway as a country that delivers important documentaries these years.

Back to Poland and Polish documentaries. Yesterday a newsletter came in from KFF Sales and Promotion which is ”… a new branch of the Krakow Film Foundation, so far devoted to the festival promotion of Polish films under the brands of Polish Docs, Polish Shorts and Polish Animations. Starting in 2016, film promotion is also accompanied by sales, which seems to be a natural development of the Foundation’s former activities. KFF Sales & Promotion is the only selling agency of documentary films in Poland and the first one dealing with promotion of Polish documentary cinema on such a large scale. Every year, in the database of films represented by KFF abroad, there are over 70 films.”

The main emphasis in the newsletter is put on the success of Piotr Stasik’s masterpiece “21xNew York” that travels to numerous festivals in Italy, Estonia, South Africa, Macedonia, Lithuania. The film was reviewed on this site in connection with last year’s Krakow Film Festival - - I was at a critics panel, where the film was number one but the jury decided not to give it the main award it deserved.

For more info on Polish documentaries, check this site or go to

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DokuFest Kosovo/ Competitions

Written 10-07-2017 16:33:34 by Tue Steen Müller

Many tweets fill the world of today… One for us film freaks came earlier to day: DokuFest XVI announces the full slate of films in competitions, featuring an outstanding body of work!

Yes the organisers can be proud of their work in selecting the films for the competitions which are divided into the sections ”Balkan Dox”, ”International Dox”, ”Human Rights Dox”, ”Green Dox”, International Shorts” and ”National”, the latter meaning films from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia – mostly short films.

Let me mention some of the films, that I have seen and eventually also written about on this site:

Machines” by Rahul Jain, ”A Hole in the Head” by Robert Kirchhoff, ”Mogadishu Soldier” by Torstein Grude and Niels Pagh Andersen, ”Nowhere to Hide” (PHOTO) by Zaradasht Ahmed, ”The War Show” by Andreas Dalsgaard, Obaidah Zytoon and ”Woman and the Glacier” by Audrius Stonys. 

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Dokufest Kosovo 2017

Written 10-07-2017 10:23:14 by Tue Steen Müller

I was in Prizren last year and loved it. This year my August trips to the region go to Sarajevo and Skopje. But I will follow Dokufest on this site and start with a copy-paste from the announcements coming from the organisers:

The theme of FUTURE will be highlighted in the upcoming edition of DokuFest, running from August 04-12 in Prizren, Kosovo. We will take a daring look into future’s uncertainties, challenges and hopes through a fusion of a carefully curated film strand, visual exhibitions, various master classes and talks, collaborative workshops, diversified music performances, as well as platforms for use of new media and new technologies.

The seeds for this edition’s theme arose from the recent years’ growing move of citizens striving to have a stronger say in their own future. Our program will be a glimpse between dystopias and utopias, borders and openness, fear and love.

Competitions will be announced on July 10 on festival’s website, link below.

”North Korea seems interesting to almost everyone these days but few would imagine a concert of legendary Slovenian rock band Laibach in Pyongyang in celebration of countries national holiday. That’s exactly what happens in Morten Traavik’s and Ugis Olte’s wry and humorous film Liberation Day, a first such concert for a western rock band.” The film is one of 7 films in the music category, already announced.

”…a retrospective of British filmmaker John Smith’s work, by showing 21 of his films and hosting a master-class with the filmmaker. John Smith (photo) has been a pioneer in the British avant-garde film scene for over three decades. His films are known for their ingenuity, inflammatory wit, and unorthodox storytelling.”

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Peter Kerekes: Censor

Written 07-07-2017 13:42:16 by Tue Steen Müller

High expectations. What else can you have with a project from Peter Kerekes, who won a big award at the Karlovy Vary festival the other day. Let me remind you of the many entertaining and thought-provoking films by the Slovak director, who refrains from making observational documentaries, has developed his own style, as you can see for yourself in the short film “Second Chance” from 2014, “Cooking History” (2009), “66 Scenes” (2003) and “Velvet Terrorists” that he made with colleagues, among them Ivan Ostrochovsky, who is the script writer of “Censor”. Here is a quote from Variety about the film and the award:

““Censor” directed and produced by Peter Kerekes, and written by Ivan Ostrochovsky, has won the 14th edition of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival’s Works in Progress competition, which is open to projects from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, Greece and former Soviet territories.

The jury… awarded the prize to the Slovak film for “its original and vivid human portrait of a lonely woman.” The film centers on Irina, who works as a censor in a prison in Odessa, Ukraine. She spends eight hours a day in her office reading love letters. “Through her, we follow various love affairs that only she can observe,” according to a statement. “Although she sees how women being used, and how the relationships end in disaster for them, she cannot take any action. She is a single woman and after 12 years of reading love letters full of the lies men tell, she is not capable of any relationship. If a guy on a date says, ‘You are special,’ she feels sick. But, of course, even she dreams of love.” 

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Nordisk Panorama 2017

Written 29-06-2017 16:35:49 by Tue Steen Müller

A press release came in this morning from Nordisk Panorama. The film program for the festival is already made, selection has been done. Here is an edited clip from the text and mention of some of the titles for the Documentary section:

”Nordisk Panorama Film Festival takes place between 21-26 September in Malmö Sweden. Out of 562 submitted titles, 55 films have now been selected as nominees to Nordisk Panorama Awards 2017.

There are three competitive sections: Best Nordisk Documentary, Best Nordic Short Film and Best New Nordic Voice, a fourth catagory is the Audience Award, sponsored by the city of Malmö.”

Already well known and awarded Nordic documentaries at international festivals compete: Elvira Lind’s ”Bobbi Jene”, Feras Fayyad’s ”Last Men in Aleppo”, Morten Traavik’s musical documentary ”Liberation Day”, ”Nowhere to Hide” (PHOTO) by Zaradasht Ahmed, ”The War Show” by Andreas Møl Dalsgaard and Obaidah Zytoon… and many other that I look forward to see like John Webster’s ”Little Yellow Boots” and ”Death of a Child” by Frida Matilda Barkfors & Lasse Barkfors.

List of films for the other sections are to be found on the site, link below and Nordisk Panorama does also include a Forum and masterclasses and much more.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Moscow IFF Documentaries

Written 24-06-2017 21:13:41 by Tue Steen Müller

The documentary film competition at the Moscow International Film Festival (June 22-29) includes 6 films:

”A Hellish Chaos” by Sergey Debizhev, that refers to ” the 100th Anniversary of the revolution in Russia. Film researches the reasons of the “Russian revolution”, First World War, external and internal conspiracies, which led to the collapse of the monarchy and traditional world order. Narration is build of quotes, memoirs and inferences of eyewitnesses. The facts are told based on the views of the authors of the film…” Curious to see how this historical period in interpreted by Russians of today.

”Devil’s Freedom” by Mexican Everado Gonzalez, is an investigation into ”the phenomenon of violence (that) has emerged

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Docu Talents in Karlovy Vary

Written 22-06-2017 10:21:57 by Tue Steen Müller

It’s such a fine idea and it works: Docu Talents from the East, the 13th edition, to take place during the festival in Karlovy Vary, July 4 14.00-16.00, organised by the always innovative people from the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival that I have had the pleasure of visiting a couple of times.

The concept is well-known: Director/producer behind 12 selected projects get 8 minutes to present their projects, all of them to have premiere late 2017 or in the first half of 2018. In other words a great opportunity for festival representatives, sales agents, broadcasters etc. to check out what is coming up from Eastern and Central Europe.

There are films from Kazakhstan, several from Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine/Luxembourg/Estonia, Lithuania.

I know of some of them so these are the ones I will mention, read about all of them on the site, link below.

”D is for Division”, in post-production, is directed by Davis Simanis

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Celebrating Syria – a Festival of Arts and Culture

Written 18-06-2017 09:30:21 by Tue Steen Müller

… in Manchester, July 10-23, organised by Rethink Rebuild Society: ”A fortnight of exhibition, films, theatre, live music, talks by writers, panel discussions and interactive art workshops exploring Syrian arts and culture before and after 2011.The first of its kind in the UK, this festival is a celebration of a hopeful, inspiring and imaginative face of Syria and the Syrian people and their rich contribution to the collective history of human expression.”

And it is indeed an inspiring program that is offered. CHECK THE WEBSITE, LINK BELOW. When it comes to films there are three works to be screened:

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Vit Klusák: The White World According to Daliborek

Written 17-06-2017 10:09:13 by Tue Steen Müller

It is a great film that will evoke a lot of reactions and maybe legal questions: Are you in Czech Republic allowed to express, in public, racism as he does?

… Dalibor’s view on the world is bad - at the same time as he is (no irony) a poor guy who lives at home with mum and her boyfriend, who are also racists. Dalibor wants to get out of his boring life, so he puts himself into some roles, singing, recording… and he does not seem to have luck with the girlfriend, to say the least!

These were my short email-comments from months ago when I was asked whether there are festivals for this strong, pretty controversial documentary, Vit Klusák’s “The White World According to Daliborek”, that will have its world premiere at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival that takes place June 30-July 8.

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

FolkeBio Allinge /LØRDAG

Written 15-06-2017 07:05:54 by Allan Berg Nielsen


Det Danske Filminstitut inviterer i samarbejde med Politiken til film og debat under Folkemødet 2017 i Allinge. Se programmet for FolkeBios tredje dag her med Filmkommentarens anbefalinger føjet til:



Instruktør: Emil Langballe. For år tilbage flygtede 14-årige Rokhsar og hendes familie fra Afghanistan. De bor nu i en lille jysk provinsby, hvor Rokhsar går i skole og til fodbold. Familien venter på den endelige afgørelse om asyl, men ventetiden har forvandlet Rokhsar for altid. // Marina Janell Søndergaard, forkvinde i bestyrelsen for Dansk Flygtningehjælp Ungdom DFUNK, introducerer filmen.


Vi har ikke set Mon de kommer om natten endnu, men vi glæder os. Tue Steen Müller har i sit arbejde ved internationale festivaler været opmærksom på instruktøren Emil Langballes tidlige arbejde: ”… Velican theatre (St. Petersburg) where we watched young Danish Emil Langballe’s graduation film from the National Film School in England, ”Beach Boy”, a well balanced, cinematic non-moralistic portrait of a young black man and his relationship to a middle-aged British woman in Kenya. The young man makes a phone call to his girl friend, who is pregnant but is aware of his profession. The film is light and pretty much less demonstrative than the feature of Ulrich Seidl.”

og i Kalovy Vary ”… Best documentary film under 30 minutes was “Beach Boy” by Emil Langballe, 27 mins., a film from the National Film School in England.”

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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

FolkeBio Allinge /FREDAG

Written 14-06-2017 08:20:58 by Allan Berg Nielsen


Det Danske Filminstitut inviterer i samarbejde med Politiken til film og debat under Folkemødet 2017 i Allinge. Se programmet for FolkeBios første dag her med Filmkommentarens anbefalinger føjet til:


10:30 | BIG TIME

Instruktør: Kaspar Astrup Schröder. Få indblik i de kreative processer hos den verdenskendte og innovative arkitekt Bjarke Ingels, mens han kæmper for at fuldføre sit største projekt til dato. Vi følger arbejdet og de mange kompromiser, det kræver, og vi er med, når privatlivet presser sig på.


Bjarke Ingels er sjov at være sammen med. Han er, når han taler dansk, den 40 årige uhøjtidelige drengerøv som elsker sit fede job, ”vil gøre en forskel”, er visionær og får den internationale anerkendelse som han fortjener, når man ser de mange bygninger, han har lagt navn til i Danmark and all over. Hans drømme er gået i opfyldelse.

Og han er den fremragende fortæller, når han på engelsk ved det hvide papir tegner og fortæller – om tankerne bag forbrændingsanstalten og dens skibakke og om arbejdet i New York med at omforme verdens mest berømte skyline. For at bruge hans eget udtryk, på dansk, er det sindssygt spændende at se arkitekten med en tuschpen ved det hvide papir, filmet en face eller fra oven. Her træder filmens instruktør ind og arrangerer for tilskueren. Visualiserer hvad det er arkitekten kan og gør. Det er medlevende og oplysende… Læs hele Tue Steen Müllers anmeldelse her:

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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Folkebio Allinge Shows Docs

Written 13-06-2017 19:38:13 by Tue Steen Müller

And then you should know what that means. Allan Berg introduces the films that will be shown in Allinge on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, where Folkemødet, Denmark’s Political Festival on Bornholm takes place June 15.-18. 2017. The idea behind the Folkemødet is a meeting of people and politicians, where Bornholm provides the venue for Danish politicians to debate current political issues. All events are free and within walking distance of each other. Each political party represented in Folketinget has the opportunity to hold a major speech…

And there are films, selected by the Danish Film Institute and the newspaper Politiken. The first ones to be shown on thursday are Lise Birk Pedersen’s Italian based ”Tutti à Casa”, followed by Danish photographer activist Jabob Holdt and the film about him, and Pernille Rose Grønkjær’s portrait of stand up comedian Anders Matthesen, ”The Other Side” – of the artist.

Follow Allan Berg and his recommendations on this site.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

FolkeBio Allinge /TORSDAG

Written 13-06-2017 11:13:41 by Allan Berg Nielsen


Det Danske Filminstitut inviterer i samarbejde med Politiken til film og debat under Folkemødet 2017 i Allinge. Se programmet for FolkeBios første dag her med Filmkommentarens anbefalinger føjet til:


14:00 | "TUTTI A CASA

– Al Magt til Folket?". Instruktør: Lise Birk Pedersen. Filmen følger det italienske protestparti Movimento fra outsider til magtfaktor i det italienske parlament og skildrer dermed en generel udvikling inden for de vestlige demokratier.// Populisme og politikerlede er temaet for den efterfølgende debat, hvor instruktøren fortæller om sin kommende film "Demokratiløftet". Mød Lise Birk Pedersen, Victor Boysen, RU, Lasse Quvang Rasmussen, DSU, og Tobias Weische, DFU.


Vi er 83 minutter inde i filmen, her er det dramatiske højdepunkt, i billedet ser vi de egentlige medvirkende bortset fra en. Kvinden i midten er Paola, manden til højre er Alberto, manden til venstre er Mario. Den fjerde hovedperson er fraværende, det er den på det tidspunkt i filmens forløb ekskluderede Luis. Scenen sammenfatter filmens to vigtigste dramatiske forløb, den pludselige vækst, men så også uenighederne og eksklusionerne i det nye parti i Italien, Movimento 5 Stelle og nedturen for den tidligere regerende partikoalition og især den dominerende Silvio Berlusconi… Læs hele min anmeldelse her:

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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Peace Award Comeback at DOKLeipzig

Written 13-06-2017 11:13:15 by Tue Steen Müller

At the 60th edition of DOKLeipzig (October 30 – November 5) the so-called Leipziger Ring Film Prize returns to the festival after having been away for one year due to lack of funding. It comes back in a new form, here are quotes from the press release that reached us this morning:

”After a one-year break, the Stiftung Friedliche Revolution (the Peaceful Revolution Foundation in Leipzig) will once again be awarding the Leipziger Ring film prize at DOK Leipzig. The 2,500 euro prize will honour a documentary film about human rights, democracy and civic action. From 2010 to 2015, the prize was awarded annually but the foundation had to break with this tradition last year because of a lack of funds. The response of dismay encouraged the foundation and DOK Leipzig to re-launch the prize. In its new form, the festival audience will decide on the winning film instead of a jury of experts.

"Thanks to the overwhelming reactions of Leipzig citizens, the international audience and the resolve of the Stiftung Friedliche Revolution, this significant prize has returned to DOK Leipzig," says festival director Leena Pasanen. "The response showed how important this award is for the city in which the Peaceful Revolution began. The prize is also extremely necessary at a time when political developments indicate that democracy and human rights are at stake all over the world."

… DOK Leipzig will nominate five documentary films (at least 25 minutes long) from its Official Selection for the award, which will reward artistic documentary films that focus on the civic action of people all over the world and explore the non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights and participation in societal processes. The prize might also honour the achievement of directors who make films in a courageous way and with great personal commitment against the odds and despite a lack of freedom of speech and press.”

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017/2

Written 12-06-2017 16:17:34 by Tue Steen Müller

Carol Nahra, one of many fine contributors to the late DOX Magazine, made late May a fine interview with the new Sheffield Doc/Fest festival director Luke Moody (photo) on her ”Docs on Screen”. The whole interview – link below – is recommended as Moody not only talk about films from the festival but comes up with interesting comments and reflections on the documentary of today, like these ones:

Question: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how documentary storytelling is evolving creatively and expanding and overlapping with drama?

There are two directions, or trends that I’ve seen in particular. There’s a renewed interest and passion for verité storytelling. Really strong observational films produced over three or four or six years in some cases, that are just like really close and warm narratives. The majority of those are family stories, things like The Cage Fighter, or Quest, which is a really outstanding debut by a filmmaker who was a photographer… Mama Colonel is another one of those,  by Congolese filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi,  which is like a Kim Longinotto film. So there has just been this – I guess it’s not a reemergence of that style of storytelling, because a lot of them are made over a long period of time –  but perhaps it’s a reaction to the presence of fake news these days. People are wanting to return to very much the nitty gritty of factual storytelling and observation and just being very embedded within a community that they’re trying to portray. So that they get some sort of shared truth within that development. And I think the majority are films which have not been initially funded. They are things that have evolved from other projects…

… (the other) has this really strong conceptual approach to filmmaking and the way that we interpret reality to storytelling. Ghost Hunting is one of the most powerful. A really reflexive piece that explores the power between direction of a filmmaker and those portrayed on the camera, to the point where the tide turns and they start to question what he’s trying to achieve with the film. And he has to then become open and become vulnerable as a director to be part of that shared experience of change within the film…

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH, Poetics

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

Written 10-06-2017 20:44:30 by Tue Steen Müller

… is running right now. The industry part has for years now proved to be the place to go to pitch in the first half of the year with the IDFA Forum being the one at the second half. The list of tv editors visiting is impressive and producers want to go there it seems; the list of projects to be pitched at the so-called Meetmarket is looong.

But what about the festival part of Sheffield Doc/Fest that I have previously criticized for being totally UK/USA orientated with tv documentaries as the dominant genre. Going through the program on the website it still looks like that and yet behind the many titles that I don’t know so let me take a quote from an interview in Screen Daily:

“Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Luke Moody is looking to expand the creative scope of the festival and welcome more experimental works.

This year’s edition of the UK festival, which runs from 9 to 14 June, marks Moody’s first turn as director of film programming, having moved to Doc/Fest after six years at non-profit organisation Britdoc, where he was most recently head of film.

“There’s an increasing hunger for artful films, and a growing confidence for filmmakers to make long-form docs that are playing with form,” he said.

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Krakow FF Winners International Comp.

Written 04-06-2017 11:41:04 by Tue Steen Müller

Voila, now it happened. I wrote this when at DOKLeipzig last year : ”Dum Spiro Spero” (photo) by author Pero Kvesic, a man who suffers behind the camera from reduced lung capacity. It’s a wonderful simple film, it has a tone, he talks so well behind the camera going around in his house, where wife and sister-in-law and son do also live, not to forget the two dogs. One could hope for one of the many awards be given to this film, produced by Nenad Puhovski.

A very pleasant surprising decision taken by the jury presided by Pawel Lozinski. Pero Kvesic was on stage saying that he had enjoyed days in Zagreb, had gone home – 900 km to Zagreb – to wake up saturday morning being asked to come back. Into the car and 900 km together with wife and friend.

The two other titles awarded was in my list of favourites from yesterday: Silver Horn for Medium lenght documentary ”Woman and the Glacier” by Audrius Stonys (who also won the Fipresci critic award and drove 11 hours with his wife from Vilnius to receive the awards) and Lissette Oroczo got Silver Horn for feature length for her courageous ”Adriana’s Pact”. The young director has made a film that keeps your attention from start till end. She wants to find out if her aunt was involved in torturing the opponents to the Pinochet régime, for which she was working in the secret police. The aunt was young and beautiful, the generals liked her, did she take part in the atrocities? It sounds like a journalistic story, an investigation, it is that in a way but the film is built like a psychological study of the two, their relationship, the love and doubt and anger. It is one of those films where you sometimes feel embarrased to watch, but it is a film that trancends the private to become personal.

Special mention – out of politeness? – to Marcin Borchardt for „The Beksinskis“ and Piotr Stasik for „Opera About Poland“.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Krakow FF National Competition Winners

Written 04-06-2017 11:07:06 by Tue Steen Müller

I saw only a few of the Polish films from the national competition but two of them I saw got awards from the jury headed by Dariusz Jablonski, who is also the head of the Polish Film Academy. In that capacity Jablonski asked the audience to hold up a paper with the text ”Release Oleg Sentsov”, the Ukrainian filmmaker and writer, who was arrested by the Russians in March 2014 in Crimea and sentenced to 20 years in jail on suspicion of “plotting terrorist acts”. Respect!

The winner of the main prize, the so-called Golden Hobby-Horse, for the best film was ”The Ugliest Car” by Grzegorz Szczepaniak, a funny and moving film about mother and son travelling in a Wartburg car, which is more than 50 year old. Bogdan… shouts the 94 year old mother when he gets too far away from her to talk with other people about the award-winning car, that is on its way to Germany to see the camp where the mother was in 1943. The son, who is physically disabled, is sooo much caring for the mother and they have beautiful conversations in the pensions that they stay in on the way. Hilarious. Sweet. There is a long international festival career waiting for this film.

The same could happen for the Silver Hobby-Horse winner, ”Stranger on my Couch” by Grzegorz Brzozowski, who manages to bring fine moments to the screen, when foreign couchsurfers with a Vietnamese or Korean or German background come to visit and end up sitting on the couch having deep conversations with the hosts about life and love. Well in one case you almost think – or hope – that the Vietnamese who lives in Germany would stay with the single moter and her son. Or the middle aged engineer who makes a messy room ready for a heavy metal musician and go to the street to play with a toy helicopter.

Photo: The winning director Grzegorz Szczepaniak (red trousers) on stage.

The national competition also includes animation and fiction films. Go to the website  and check:

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Krakow FF: Docs to Go!

Written 03-06-2017 13:07:39 by Tue Steen Müller

Below, in a previous post, some positive words about Doc Lab Poland and its Docs to Start, and now I repeat myself by talking about Docs to Go!, the presentation of 8 projects hosted by always enthusiastic and professional Rada Sesic. To Go means that the films are in post production to be released later this year or in 2018. As with Docs to Start there was a good audience, a supportive atmosphere and interesting material to be watched on the big screen in MOS1 at the Festival Centre.

If I was a festival programmer (and I am for Magnificent7 Belgrade and DocsBarcelona) I would keep an eye on two of the eight film projects presented. Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski, who made ”Domino Effect”, are working on ”The Prince and The Dybbuk”, which is announced to be ready this September. It is a fascinating story about Michal Waszynski, ”the son of a poor Jewish blacksmith from Ukraine, died in Madrid as Prince MW, Hollywood producer and exiled Polish aristocrat. The producer Malgorzata Zacharko showed wonderful material, including an archive clip where the Prince is smoking a cigarette in his palazzo in Rome. He could have played in a Visconti film with that appearance.

The other one that for me stood out was ”The Wind. A Documentary Thriller” with Michal Bielawski as director and Maciej Kubicki as producer. ”A multi-layered story about the clash between people and the forces of nature”, in the form of a documentary thriller. Location is Southern Poland/Slovakia in the Carpathian mountains. There more than strong winds can  destroy not only houses, forests, creating avalanches but can also create mental changes… the material shown with people and nature was great and surprising. Let the final film surprise us, don’t go classical, break the story-telling rules.

It was brave of the filmmakers to come with their unfinished material, trailers and raw scenes and show that to an audience. It is obvious that the Doc Lab Poland organisers Adam and Katarzyna Slesicki has the film background needed to run the development programs in a professional way. To develop new talent with respect and inspiration.

Photo: Waszynski and Sophia Loren




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Krakow FF DocLab & My Favourites

Written 03-06-2017 08:31:18 by Tue Steen Müller

Text that I wrote for the Daily newspaper of the festival: I started the wednesday morning at the Festival Centre moderating the „Docs to Start“ session, that is part of the impressive and super-professionally run DocLab Poland. 9 projects were pitched to be followed by individual meetings with producers, festival representatives and broadcasters after a lunch. 100 people sat in the audience, the pitching filmmakers did very well, having been for a couple of days in good tutor-hands of Danish producer Lise Lense-Møller, EDN director Paul Pauwels and DOK Leipzig’s Head of Industry Brigid O’Shea.

Let me pick three projects that I think will become good films. To exemplify the good quality: Maciej Cuske, a skilled director who is always chasing Russian stories, has a strong one in the pipeline from Chukchi Peninsula, where indigenous people live from hunting, which is a profession that is disappearing, title: „The Whale from Lorino“. And „War Watchers“ by Vita Drygas about

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Krakow FF Content is King or...

Written 02-06-2017 08:00:25 by Tue Steen Müller

Content is King, we are often taught, the issue/theme is the most important, the form is only the carrier. Mostly those ”teaching” are television people, who I have often heard saying at diverse pitching sessions: ”This film is too artistic for me!”

I wonder what happens with Sergey Loznitsa’s artistic masterpiece ”Austerlitz” in terms of broadcast. Will it happen? Will it end up on television? The film which is shown in the ”German Films” section is based on Form. The director has made a clear aesthetical choice for watching the tourists, who are visiting the former concentration camps. How they walk, how they talk, how they dress, how they take pictures with their smartphones, there are (almost) no words but a strongly manufactured sound score that in the long sequences are nerve-wracking. I suffered when I saw that film.

Form, another fine director, French/Czech Stan Neumann, has said, is the face of the film, the way the content appears to the

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Krakow FF Main Competition

Written 01-06-2017 08:54:31 by Tue Steen Müller

A first glance at the main competition of the festival makes me say Diversity. In terms of countries represented, in terms of duration with several films that have the television length of around 52 minutes and films which are around 80 minutes, probably targeting a theatrical distribution… and a couple which are 100 minutes or more.

When it comes to characterise the kind of films listed in this program of 17 titles, the word diversity is even more evident. I am happy that I am not a jury member, who is to compare Audrius Stonys visually stunning ”Woman and the Glacier”, a film that breaks the rules of classical dramaturgy leaving the portrait of the glaciolog to go wild into the ice making images that are like abstract paintings with Vitaly Mansky’s personal ”Rodnye. Close Relations”, a first person film with the director in the picture visiting his family in Lviv, Odessa, Donbass, Sevastopol on Crimea. A personal very timely comment from the acclaimed director. Or with the Croatian minimalistic ”Dum Spiro Spero” shot and directed by Pero Kvesic. Or with the charming feature by David Rane and Neasa Ni Chianáin, ”School Life” is the title listed, when at the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade, it was ”In loco Parentis” (Photo), but when American distribution company Magnolia took over the distribution, the title changed!   

At a time where festival after festival take stands/express opinions through their selection for the side programs, Krakow keeps the official selection, the one for the main competition, as the one where ”the best of the best” should be. Which does not mean that the films taken are free of statements or opinions. When films are taken for a festival both form and content count in the decisions being considered. And history – I am looking forward to watch ”Adriana’s Pact” by Lisette Orozco, that deals with the life of the director’s aunt during the dictatorship of Pinochet in Chile. As well as ”The General and Me” by Tiana Alexandra Silliphant that goes like this in the description ” Over the period of 25 years the director met General Võ Nguyên Giáp, a legendary hero of Vietnam’s independence wars, a number of times. She was the first American who entered the home of the “Red Napoleon”. The fruit of this friendship is a film, personal and politically involved at the same time...“. It is typical that documentaries, contrary to the more mainstream tv-documentaries, dare narrate history in first person.

I was in the jury – main competition – in 2011. It was a pleasure for many reasons. One was that we were able to honour Wojciech Staron for his masterpiece „Argentinian Lesson“, and for his cinematography, and we also had Pawel Kloc on the award list for hisPhnom Penh Lullaby” – two very strong Polish documentaries. I still remember festival director Krzysztof Gierat’s happy smile, when we told him the result, „really...“ he said, two Polish films on the top! Another reason for the joy of being in the jury was that fellow juror Marcin Koszałka gave me tasting lessons in the many different Polish vodkas! Yes, a festival is a feast for art and the good life!

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Rahul Jain’s Speech in Barcelona

Written 30-05-2017 23:45:45 by Tue Steen Müller

Indian director Rahul Jain said the following to the audience sunday night at the closing ceremony of DocsBarcelona, where he got the Amnesty Award:

Thank you to DocsBarcelona and the Amnesty International Jury. In my youthful idealism I’d like to think that we make art about the things that we don’t like about the world. We as filmmakers deal in the business of empathy, And empathy knows no geopolitical boundaries. In a documentary film festival, all of us here are fascinated and intrigued by the human condition. And as predictable and granted one can and should take human rights to be, every time even the simplest and most logical of notions have had to be fought for. It is certainly a privilege to be known to the world for the things you believe in. And have believed in your whole life.

A review of the film can be found on

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DocsBarcelona 2017: The Winners

Written 29-05-2017 13:55:04 by Tue Steen Müller

It was a proud festival director Joan Gonzalez, who before the award announcement last night told the audience that almost 16000 spectators had visited DocsBarcelona this year. An increase of 50%! Much to do with the festival being longer than before, and, Gonzalez told me, the media and press coverage has been bigger. For the content, Jury President Rada Sesic told me – who is head of the programming – that she found the selection of films for the Panorama very strong.

I was happy with the awards. Maite Alberdi from Chile had her second Best Documentary Prize for ”Los Ninos” (”The Grown-Ups”), the first one was for ”Tea Time”. TV3 Catalunya stands behind the award of 5000€ in cash. The New Talent Award, also decided upon by the Panorama Jury went to ”Last Men in Aleppo” by Feras Fayad.

The Latitud Award went to ”Al Otro Lado Del Muro” (”The Other Side of the Wall”), also 5000€ to be used for completion of a work, sponsored by the facility house Antaviana Films. With a special mention to the impressive film ”Los Ofendidos” by Marcela Zamora from El Salvador.

Great pleasure to see two good friends on video on the big screen for the newly established ”What the Doc” award: Audrius Stonys for ”Woman and the Glacier” and Pawel Lozinski for ”You Have No Idea How Much I Love You”. The two documentary artists were glad to share with each other an award given by a one man jury, local great filmmaker Inaki Lacuesta.

And then Rahul Jain with ”Machines” was on stage to thank for the Amnesty International Award. He made a brilliant speech that I will try to get hold of. Listen readers, Jain is only 24 years old and has made this cinematic masterpiece…

The audience decided to give Catalina Mesa the award for ”Jerico” that is wonderful warm film about wonderful warm women.

Some more local awards were given, you can check them on

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DocsBarcelona: La Chana

Written 29-05-2017 08:54:14 by Tue Steen Müller

Una Noche Fantastica, she said, when she came to the stage after the film ”La Chana” about her had been shown. Full house for the closing film of the 20th edition of DocsBarcelona, standing ovation in several stages – when the film was finished, when Antonia Santiago Amador, a true diva, entered the cinema and walked to the stage, and when she sat down and danced her flamenco again.

This was indeed an unforgettable night, and for me who had seen the film a couple of times before, I am happy to say chapeau to the young Croatian born director Lucija Stojevic, who studied architecture in Edinburgh, film in Prague and who is now living in Barcelona. The film is well made, the rythm found, the use of photos and archive and the footage of today superbly mixed. It’s not easy to make a film where you have to choose when to direct the camera towards the face and when towards the feet of La Chana!

You filmed my soul, La Chana said to Lucija Stojevic.

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DocsBarcelona: Pawel Lozinski

Written 28-05-2017 13:01:51 by Tue Steen Müller

I Have No Idea How Much They Loved It – but I think they did, the audience for the masterclass with Polish Pawel Lozinski. We (Lozinski and I as the moderator) enjoyed a lot what we were asked to do: Choose 7 shots/sequences from your films and talk about them. Mostly about the form, the aesthetical choices after setting up the clip with some background information on content.

”Birthday” from 1992 was the first shot, the film that won the first prize at the festival on Bornholm, Baltic Film & TV Festival. It was the first film of Pawel Lozinski, a tough one on the famous Jewish Polish writer Henryk Grynberg searching for the remains of his father, who was killed during the war. Shot on 16mm film.

Later on Lozinski made the film ”The Way It Is” from his neighbourhood (1999), ”Chemo” from 2009, which is a film he decided to do when his mother got cancer, the controversial ”Father and Son” (2013) that was meant to be a film by Marcel and Pawel together, but Marcel decided to make his own version… It did not make the conflicted relationship between them easier!

If that was the reason for Lozinski to make ”You Have No Idea…”, I asked him. Could be, he said about the film that was shown in the cinema later that same friday.

As a small gift to the audience, ”Sisters” (11 minutes) was shown, a film that Pawel Lozinski shot when he had a break in shooting ”The Way It Is”. What are you doing, the sisters asked the director when they met in the courtyard. I am making a film about interesting people in my neighbourhood, he answered. Are we interesting, they asked. See the film, Yes they are!

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DocsBarcelona: Women Talk Documentaries

Written 28-05-2017 10:35:50 by Tue Steen Müller

”New Directions and Perspectives in Documentary Films” was the title of the 90 minutes long panel discussion at the CCCB friday afternoon, moderated in a professional and warm manner by Debra Zimmerman from Women Make Movies in New York, the organisation that has 600 films in its catalogue. After one hour Zimmerman said, ”Sooo, I am sure you have noticed that I have not yet asked you what it means to be a woman filmmaker…”.

Instead we got a very interesting one-by-one presentation of the young filmmakers, who showed a clip from their films and told the audience how they came to make documentaries. A classic comment came from Roser Corella, Catalan director living in Berlin, ”I used to work in television but I wanted to try on my own, develop the creative part”. Her film is ”Grap and Run” about bride kidnapping in Kirgizstan”, a film that has had a big audience at the festival.

As has indeed ”Amazona” by Clare Weiskopf, filmmaker and journalist. The opening film of the festival, a film about

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DocsBarcelona Rough Cuts

Written 24-05-2017 17:16:57 by Tue Steen Müller

I have organised this together with Martina Rogers from DocsBarcelona for years and I enjoy it very much. From the picture (from last year) you might see that in nice sofas there is seated an exclusive panel of people from different sides of the documentary community. The goal is to generate creative and constructive discussions that will favour the further development of the projects, i.e. the story building, the character development, the editing quality.

We were again fortunate to have a fine panel: filmmaker, teacher and programmer at the festival Daniel Jariod, festival director Inti Cordera from Mexico, Jordi Ambros from TV3 Catalunya (for one session), Rada Sesic from Sarajevo FF, where she is head of documentaries, at DocsBarcelona she is president of the main jury, Debra Zimmermann from Women Make Movies in New York, Hanka Kastelicová from HBO Europe, Esther van Messel from First Hand Films in Switzerland (for two sessions) and Chris Hastings from PBS – World Channel.

And most important the filmmakers, who received valuable positive and constructive criticism from the panel:

Marlén Viñayo from El Salvador with ”Cachada” about wonderful women, who gather to talk about ”the circles of violence” they have experienced and who end up, with the help of a theatre director, making a play about these issues. Director Roberto Salinas and choreographer Laura Domingo from Italy/Nicaragua and Cuba with ”Cuban Dancer”, the story of the enormous talented ballet dancer, 15 year old Alexis, who with his parents move to Florida. How will he be able to continue his career after having been at the Cuba Ballet School? Director Sebastian Saam with ”Tatap” about super star, one-armed guitarist Andrés Godoy from Chile, his life in that country, the family, the Allende period, the accident where he lost an arm and his Asian concert tour.

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DocsBarcelona: Xavi, Alberdi, Deir Yassin, Olga

Written 22-05-2017 11:51:48 by Tue Steen Müller

We had the traditional sunday dinner invited by festival director Joan Gonzalez. His wife and my wife were there, Joan and his son Marti, with whom I always talk football. Barca – FC Barcelona – first of all, on the situation now for the club that ended up being number 2 and is out of the Champions League. What remains is to win Copa del Rey. Which players will be sold and who will come for the next season…

And then the magical moment happened – reminding us of the time when Barca won it all: Into the restaurant comes Xavi Hernandez, the maestro, with his family, the playmaker, the man who gave the play a flow, a humble and total loyal man to the club, 600 matches. He is now playing in Qatar, 37 years old.

… and now back to the festival, where I saw three films. Chilean Maite Alberdi’s ”Los Niños” (”The Grown Ups”) featuring adults

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DocsBarcelona: Bride Kidnapping, I.F.Stone, Father

Written 21-05-2017 11:38:57 by Tue Steen Müller

… and Son, and Jens Soering. I saw four films yesterday i.e. saturday here at the DocsBarcelona 20th edition. Let me start with a wonderful moment at the Q&A after the film ”All Governments Lie”. A 12 year old girl asked in fine English (not that common in Catalonia!) the director, Canadian Alfred Peabody, ”do you think that my generation can change the world”! Apparently she was inspired by the film and its timely subject, a free and independent press. The director told her ”why don’t you become a journalist” as was the man, who inspired Peabody to make the film, legendary journalist I.F. Stone. I am old enough to remember him and his direct criticism of the Americans being at Vietnam. There is great archive with Stone but the film also introduces people who have been inspired by him: Michael Moore, who of course praises Stone’s humour, Glenn Greenwald who worked on Laura Poitras’ Snowden film and set up The Intercept together with her and Jeremy Scahill. Greenwald says that had Stone been alive today, he would probably have been a blogger. Below a link to the website of the film, where you find all the journalists in the film and their comments on the mass media manipulated world we live in.

Before that film I had seen Catalan Roser Corella’s ”Grab and Run”, that introduces and discusses the Kirgisz tradition for kidnapping of women for marriage. An anthropological study that also includes a shocking ending, where the filmmakers follow a kidnapping of a woman. I did not follow the discussion in Catalan but I guess the ethics of filming this incident was raised. The photo pictures the couple, the photo was chosen by the festival to be the poster.

And then I had fun with father and son in ”Deux Cancres” by French Ludovic Vieuille (who will be present for the second screening May 26 20.15, COME!). It is an excellent piece of documentary, full of embarrassing moments when the two fight with the French grammar, the boy being impatient, the father trying his best, having to give up again and again because he does not understand the questions raised in the books the boy brings home. Shot over a long period, the camera registers their mood and lets us have a bitter-sweet laugh. Why does he have to go through all this stupidity in the French education system. OMG! It is a clever film, and emotional!

Where ”Deux Cancres” is minimalistic in tone and scope, Marcus Vetter’s ”The Promise” is a brilliant piece of journalism that is taken to the level of a Shakespearean drama, a love story, a demonstration of the crazy American judicial system, and first of all the meeting with German Jens Soering, who has been in jail for more than 30 years for something that he has not done; that is the conclusion you make having seen the film and listened to him. Vetter got permission to make an interview with him for four hours. I watched the television version, 3 hours, on Danish television and enjoyed to see it here in Barcelona on a big screen with Marcus Vetter present to answer questions at a screening that lasted till just after midnight.

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DocsBarcelona: Glawogger, John and Amanda, FARC

Written 20-05-2017 14:00:36 by Tue Steen Müller

It was the third time that I saw ”Untitled” by Michael Glawogger and Monika Willi. Glawogger was here in Barcelona in 2014 to show his ”Whore’s Glory” and do a masterclass. Some months later the same year he passed away. His editor Monika Willi made ”Untitled”, interpreting what Glawogger would have done with the material and adding her own interpretation. I discover new moments every time. There were 25 spectators for the screening at 4pm at the Aribau Club Cinema, there will hopefully be more for the next screening this coming wednesday. There are great films and there are films that are more than that, that stand out – I was happy to watch ”Three Rooms of Melancholia” by Pirjo Hinkasalo in Tbilisi and I am happy to have met Glawogger and seen also this last film by him, and the trilogy he left to us, ”Whore’s Glory”, ”Workingman’s Death” and ”Megacities”. Honkasalo and Glawogger: Film History. I will try to write a review of ”Untitled” later on. Maybe I should watch it for the fourth time.

It was also the third time I was with John and Amanda, wonderful teachers, who are the main characters in ”In Loco Parentis” by Irish Neasa Ni Chianáin and David Rane, who were at the screening yesterday (see photo) to meet the audience for a short Q&A session. The film is a fine success all over and is now going to theatres in the US with the distribution company Magnolia taking care of it. Watching the film always makes me think back to my own school time and the teachers, yes, there were some fine ones who cared.

The selection for DocsBarcelona of course has a special eye for Spanish language documentaries and I enjoyed to be taught about the peace process in Colombia in ”El Silencio de los Fusiles” by Natalia Orozco, who has done interviews with the government and its representatives as well as with several comandante’s from FARC. Amazing she could get that access to make an interesting journalistic work!

Tough evening in Aribau Club 1, thematically – the last film to be shown was ”Last Men in Aleppo” by Feras Fayyad, we have written about that touching tragic and human film that wins awards at many festivals. Is it a candidate here as well?

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DocsBarcelona Opening 2017

Written 19-05-2017 12:55:07 by Tue Steen Müller

So there we were last night for the opening of the 20th edition of DocsBarcelona in the Aribau Multicines. Full house and fine atmosphere. The audience got up to sing the Beatles ”All you need is love”, changed to ”All you need is Docs”! I was asked to come to the stage together with dear friend Aurora Moreno to receive flowers as the two of us together with Joan Gonzalez, director of the festival, were there 20 years ago, when the event was started after one year of prologue in Granada. What has happened during these 20 years is the theme of a Catalan round table later in the festival, that this year has extended its duration so it goes on for 11 years.

Joan Gonzalez made a welcome speech in Catalan, so I can not tell you what he said but for his welcoming Clare Weiskopf, whose film ”Amazona” as previously reported on this site was shown in the presence of the director, her husband, producer and cameraperson Nicolas van Hemelryck and little Noa, who is at the beautiful end image of the film about mother and daughter: Val and Clare.

The film was from my hearing of the applause very well received, for me a fine opening film, also because Clare and Nico pitched the film at DocsBarcelona and was at the rough cut session.

… and it goes well deservedly to festivals all over the world.

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CinéDOC-Tbilisi 2017/ The Winners

Written 18-05-2017 08:06:05 by Tue Steen Müller

No objections to the choice of the jury at CinéDOC 2017, who gave the main award to ”You Have No Idea How Much I love You” by Polish Pawel Lozinski. With a special mention to Miroslav Janek’s ”Normal Autistic Film”. Ulli Pfau, spokesperson for a jury that also included Ukrainian Gennady Koffmann and Lithuanian Giedre Beinoriute, said that they would have loved to share the award between the two but that was not possible. For me Audrius Stonys ”Woman and the Glacier” and Helena Trestikova’s ”A Marriage Story” could also have qualified.

Lozinski can be double happy as he was also the favourite of the audience and received the so-called Audience Award. In other words: the jurors from the documentary world and the audience agreed.

The ceremony at the beautiful building on the Rustaveli Avenue – in Soviet times it was the venue for the pioneers, festival director Artchil Khetagouri told me, ”I came here as a child” – ended with a skype thank you from Pawel Lozinski, who had returned to Poland after having spent a couple of days at the festival with well attended Q&A sessions.

The beginning was equally exciting. The Youth Jury was on stage

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CinéDOC-Tbilisi CivilPitch

Written 16-05-2017 12:42:15 by Tue Steen Müller

Sooo, what is that. I was curious and happy to be invited to see if that can work – the match of ngo’s and filmmakers. Such a good idea, a challenge for the filmmakers and for the ngo’s. Supported and hosted by Open Society Georgia Foundation. 11 projects had been selected after a call that included both ngo’s and filmmakers, who had met before at a meeting, where the matching was established.

The festival direction: We want ”to link civil society organisations with filmmakers, media professionals and donors. Together we can transform CivilPitch into an important annual event that inspires, provokes and ultimately proves to be invaluable to civil society as well as to donors and media professionals. CivilPitch is a central platform where professionals representing different fields can merge their skills and experiences in order to create a valuable film product that can appeal to a wider audience, transcending the limited number of interest groups that may usually follow these topics.”

I attended a training session and was asked to moderate the pitching of the 11 projects yesterday. The training had been led by two young filmmakers, Dutch/German Daniel Abma and Georgian Ana Tsimintia and the 10 panelists were representatives from ngo’s with the addition of a couple of film people.

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CinéDOC Tbilisi Third Day

Written 16-05-2017 10:39:26 by Tue Steen Müller

3 Rooms on Melancholia” by Pirjo Honkasalo: The film is from 2004. I had not seen it for many years and it was a different experience today. The film was the same but I had changed. There are children in my life today, grandchildren, small children like the ones in the film. Who suffer because of the war in Chechnya. Who have no parents and/or come from socially hard backgrounds, alcohol, sexual abuse, illnesses. Looking at the kids and their faces and their tears. Heartbreaking.

When was the last time you saw the film, I asked Pirjo Honkasalo at the masterclass that followed just after the screening for a full hall in the Amirani Cinema. I have not seen it since it was premiered, she said. I make the film and give it to the audience to make their film in their heads.

The two hour masterclass with the legendary director, who was the special guest of the festival, could have lasted much longer. Honkasalo gave the audience the story of the film from a to z talking about how to gain trust with the characters, how her ratio (this time 6:1) was much more than usual (!), how she and her producer Kristina Pervilä got the permission to film at the military academy in Kronstadt, how she does not like to pitch, how she does not make scripts, the writing she does is to get the money, ”but of course it helps to write, makes things clearer for yourself as well”, how she had decided on the form before filming, the triptych that the film works from – with the headlines ”longing”, ”breathing” and ”remembering”. And how she insists on having the final cut. No compromises!

Today ”Tanjuska” is being screened. We did not have time to talk about that film or ”Mysterion” or ”Atman” – but Pirjo Honkasalo touched upon the ethical questions connected to Tanjuska and to the Atman-film.

A pleasure to be with a great film director. The audience was inspired, I am sure.

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CineDOC Tbilisi Second Day

Written 15-05-2017 14:08:34 by Tue Steen Müller

With Lithuania as the guest country here at CineDOC Tbilisi festival, it was natural to have Giedre Zickyte visiting. The director, who has had a big success with the film ”Master and Tatyana” with and about the brilliant photographer Vitas Luckus and his widow – and with the film she made with Chilean Maite Alberti, ”I’m not from here”, was giving a masterclass on the way she has used archives in ”Master and Tatyana” and in her ”How We Played the Revolution”. It was a very much alive, energetic and passionate Zickyte, who showed clips and told the audience how she kept on looking for material that could be used, sometimes (with the revolution film) it could take weeks to find the right material as she did, when she discovered a wonderful scene, where two children discuss – around 1990 – what the street demonstration was for. Hilarious! And she demonstrated how she integrated archive footage into the narrative flow. And how she used the photos of Luckus in two ways: to tell the dramatic story of his life and to show how fantastic a photographer he is.

Zickyte is now working on ”The Jump” that was pitched last year at the IDFA festival in Amsterdam. Logline: ”A breath-taking jump over the icy ocean propels a sailor from a Soviet boat to an American vessel. But is it enough to fulfil his dream of freedom?”

The film will have amazing archive material and Zickyte told us that she will travel back to the US, Florida with the protagonist Simas Kudirka as she after one and a half year now has the permission to film on the American ship. She showed the trailer of ”The jump” that Simas took in 1970. There is a very promising film coming up.

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Cinédoc Focus on Civic Activism

Written 10-05-2017 14:59:39 by Tue Steen Müller

More and more documentary film festivals pick a theme for their programs. The festivals want to state their comments on what goes on in the world and/or in their own country. This goes for the young Cinédoc-Tbilisi festival in Georgia. I asked Ileana Stanculescu from the festival what the poster represented. She answered like this outlining the chosen themes:

“This year (the festival runs from May 11 till May 16) we have a strong focus on civic activism. Our program this year covers five themes reflecting five human needs: safety, passion, faith, imagination and solidarity. 

Under the umbrella of the theme ‘solidarity’ we will present and

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

DOKLeipzig 2017

Written 06-05-2017 09:22:58 by Tue Steen Müller

The press releases coming from the Leipzig festival are always well written. The one about the 2017 is copy-pasted here:

DOK Leipzig’s anniversary edition’s theme is Nach der Angst (Post-Angst). It runs through the Special Programmes and is also linked to the festival’s history.

In its 60th anniversary edition, which will be taking place against a backdrop of political polarisation and the erosion of democratic values across the world, DOK Leipzig will propose forward-thinking strategies for art and politics. The leitmotif of this year's festival is Nach der Angst (Post-Angst) and also runs through the Special Programmes.

Taking place as it is 100 years after the October Revolution, the Retrospective will be about totalitarian regimes' filmic strategies for the representation of power after 1917. It will highlight the geographic and temporal range of visual politics in communist states and also show how methods resorted to in the past are once again being employed today, in times of heated political debate.

The festival’s Country Focus will be Georgia; thus DOK Leipzig will

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CAFx 2017 /Danmark ved Ganges

Written 02-05-2017 08:37:41 by Allan Berg Nielsen


I dag klokken 17 er der på Nationalmuseet premiere på filmen, som Andreas Dalsgaard har produceret og er medforfatter til, som Nadim Carlsen og Juan Palacios har fotograferet og Nørgaard Staffolano selv klippet. Filmen vises igen i morgen, 3. maj i museet 17:00, da efterfulgt af en paneldebat om bevaring af den koloniale bygningsarv i Indien, Grønland og tidligere Dansk Vestindien.

Filmen skildrer den tidligere danske koloniby Serampore ved Ganges. Engang var Serampore en af de største og smukkeste byer i Indien, center for viden og tænkning i Asien. Historikeren Simon Rastén og antropologen Bente Wolf undersøger de tilbageblevne danske bygninger, en del er fortsat i brug, nogle på samme måde som for 200 år siden, en række ligger som ruiner i fare for at forsvinde i det voldsomme nybyggeri, som nu finder sted i Serampores centrum, og de deltager i det store projekt med at restaurere kirken og to af ruinerne. De er i tæt kontakt med kolleger i byen og med kvarterets aktive bevaringsgruppe, som arbejder for, at de minderige gader, haver og huse sikres i den smukke ældste bydel.

Over denne virkelighed og disse indgribende begivenheder har Nicolás Nørgaard Staffolano sammen med Andreas Dalsgaard skrevet et fint og klogt og aldeles omhyggeligt ordnet filmessay med mange - alle afgørende præcise - detaljer og adskillige underfundigt berettende fortællelag, som nøje beregnet berører hinanden på punkter, hvor modsætninger burde kunne forvirre udsagnene, men roligt bøjes ind under værkets afklaring af denne skrøbelige skønheds samlede kraft og vigtighed og sidste øjebliks kendsgerning. (Copenhagen Architecture Festival, katalog og billetter)


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Elvira Lind: Bobbi Jene

Written 28-04-2017 13:36:13 by Tue Steen Müller

It’s not every day that a documentary takes it all as did ”Bobbi Jene” by Elvira Lind at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Three awards given yesterday to the film produced by Julie Leerskov and Sare Stockmann. The film is right now on an international festival tour, Tribeca being first stop. Danish premiere in autumn. Which makes us do some copy-paste – first the description of the film taken from the website of DFI (Danish Film Institute):

”After a decade of stardom in Israel, American dancer Bobbi Jene takes intensity to a new level when she decides to leave behind her star position at the world-famous Batsheva Dance Company, as well as the love of her life, to return to the US to create her own boundary breaking performances. A love story, the film portrays the dilemmas and inevitable consequences of ambition. It is a film about a woman’s fight for independence and her attempt to succeed with her own art in the extremely competitive world of dance.”

And the well formulated motivations of the jury for the Tribeca 2017 Documentary Competition (R.J. Cutler, Alma Har’el, Barbara Kopple, Anne Thompson and David Wilson) like this:

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Lidia Sheinin: Harmony

Written 27-04-2017 13:47:16 by Tue Steen Müller

Grandmother is old and fragile, she can not live on her own. Her daughter with four children, 3 boys, the oldest 6-8 years old I guess, and a baby girl, moves in, to help; into a flat that has little space. Not difficult to imagine the messy consequences, the constant ”don’t do this and that” from granny, whose space is invaded, who does not eat regularly – and to imagine and see the constant exhaustion of a mother of four.

The director is there with her camera, observing, no intervention.

Watching how life goes on under these hard conditions. It’s tough to be there with the family as a viewer but it’s also life-affirming and fun because the situation is recognisable, the energy from the kids, their questions, ”why are we living here”, the patience of the mother, the despair of the granny when the screaming and crying fill the rooms – and the piano that takes so much space, has been part of her life, if it could go there would be more space…

It could take place in many corners of the world – well, in Denmark the granny would maybe have been skipped off to an old people’s home – here it is in St. Petersburg; I was happy to be with the family in a very fine and balanced documentary, on 3 generations, that you leave at the kitchen table with a smile on your face.

The film is shown this afternoon and tomorrow at the Visions du Réel festival in Nyon.

Russia, 2017, 59 mins.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Jude Ratnam: Demons in Paradise

Written 24-04-2017 15:44:14 by Tue Steen Müller

There are a handful of documentaries  in ”La Sélection officielle 2017” at the 70th edition of the Cannes Festival, May 17-28. No surprise that films by Agnès Varda, Raymond Depardon, Claude Lanzmann and Eugene Jarecki are listed, and no surprise that world famous actress Vanessa Redgrave’s directorial debut ”Sea of Sorrow” has been taken.

But such a pleasant surprise that Jude Ratnam´s personal and highly cinematic film essay ”Demons in Paradise” stands next to Lanzmann and Redgrave in the section ”Séances Spéciales”. World premiere for the director’s first film. Here is the synopsis of the film:

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

ALAFx + AAFx 2017 /Filmene

Written 22-04-2017 13:21:53 by Allan Berg Nielsen



Det her still er fra filmen Rem af Tomas Koolhaas, 2016 om hvilken det hedder i katalogteksten: ”Med en hidtil uset grad af intimitet og umiddelbarhed introducerer Rem stjernearkitektens (Rem Koolhaas ed.) liv, arbejde og filosofi og giver dermed en dybere forståelse for hans værk…” Jeg skriver hmm i marginen, men er dog sikker på, jeg vil se den film trods store og vel også noget forbrugte ord i den synopsis, jeg citerer fra. (Vises i Biffen Nordkraft 29. april 19:00, i Øst for Paradis samme dag 19:30)

Arkitekturfestivalerne i Aalborg og Aarhus er gået sammen om i biograferne Biffen Nordkraft og Øst for Paradis og på Gellerup Museum at arrangere en slags filmisk masterclass i arkitekturens æstetik. De samler syv hovedsageligt biografiske essays over seks berømte arkitekter: Rem Koolhaas som nævnt, Bjarke Ingels, Richard Neutra, Robert Moses og Álvaro Siza. I Aalborg tillige Gottfried Böhm og i Aarhus på Gellerup Museum en Álvar Siza film mere. Jeg har lyst til at se det hele! Og i det er der jo en anbefaling, som ikke hviler på en viden og en analyse, men ærlig talt blot på min fornemmelse.

Som et slags belæg samler jeg her lige nogle flere citater fra progamavisens synopser, sætninger som nærer min nysgerrige lyst. For det er under alle omstændigheder et fornemt filmprogram, og kunne det lade sig gøre, så jeg gerne det hele:

Kasper Astrup Schröders helt nye Big Time om Bjarke Ingels, ”giver et intimt portræt af den nyskabende og ambitiøse dansker, der i hele verden fejres som et geni.” (Biffen Nordkraft 3. maj 19:00, i Øst for Paradis samme dag 19:00), Elissa Browns Windshield, 2016 om Richard Neutra, om et særligt hus og om ”den modernistiske arkitekturs historie, som… gik fra idealstatus til siden at blive miskendt og underkendt.” (Øst for Paradis 4. maj 17:00). Matt Tyrnauers Citizen Jane, 2016 handler på sin måde også om miskendelse og underkendelse, men her i form af direkte og samtidig modstand, nemlig bydelsaktivisten Jane Jacobs energiske litterære indsats mod byplanlæggeren Robert Moses’ moderne, ensartet afklarede masterplanarbejde i New York i 1950’erne, ”som var tidens modernistiske mantra” (Biffen Nordkraft 30. april 16:30, i Øst for Paradis 4. maj 17:00). Hvad der skrives i kataloget om Iain Diltheys Having a Cigarette with Álvaro Siza, 2016 begejstrer mig mere end noget: Filmen er ”en samtale om arkitektur”… ”hvad er arkitektur? Og hvad er det særlige ved arkitekturen som kunstform? … Álvaro Siza Vieira giver sine bud på, hvordan disse store spørgsmål kan besvares” (Øst for Paradis 5. maj 19:00).


Sådanne spørgsmål kan også besvares i en mere direct cinema skildring, det viser Maurizius Sterkle-Drux i sin Concrete Love, der skrives nemlig: ”Træd med ind i Gottfried Böhms arkitekturgale familie, hvor selv gartneren er arkitekt.” (Biffen Nordkraft 28. april 16:30). Cándida Pinto har lavet fire halvtimes film med Álvaro Siza under titlen Neighbours, 2016, hvor den gamle arkitekt besøger og reflekterer over fire boligbyggerier, han har opført i Porto, Haag, Berlin og Venedig. (Gellerup Museum, Aarhus 5.maj 17:00)

Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

DocsBarcelona 2017

Written 19-04-2017 15:47:41 by Tue Steen Müller

So there they are the films selected for the 20th edition of DocsBarcelona. Listed in alphabetical order or in sections or according to screening hours and venue, it starts May 18 and ends May 28, with an extension of some screening days compared to previous years. It started being an industry event, years ago the festival was added. I have been ”part of the furniture” from the very beginning, first working for the industry and now for the festival selection. It’s been pure pleasure and I am looking forward to a long stay in Barcelona in a professional and warm festival atmosphere.

At the launch of the festival today festival director Joan Gonzalez informed about the opening film, Clare Weiskopf’s ”Amazona” (PHOTO), a film that has already been at several festivals but now returns to Barcelona, where it was presented, when it was a project and where it took part in the rough cut session that DocsBarcelona organises every year.

I have had the privilige of following the film at editing stage, from time to time. I have been worried about the final result – those worries are gone, the final version is excellent. To quote the catalogue text: ”A fascinating journey between mother and daughter through the Colombian Amazon, filled with conversations that fire sparks and leave us facing a moral dilemma around freedom and responsibility.”

I will later return to the films being shown at the festival in Barcelona, a pretty big portion of them have been reviewed on this site – no need to hide that I have been part of the selection team. BUT let me mention the three sections.

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CAFx 2017 /Nysgerrigheder

Written 18-04-2017 15:25:35 by Allan Berg Nielsen


Og så blader jeg videre i festivalkatataloget og fascineres ved enkelte bemærkninger i præsentationerne, formuleringer som gør mig nysgerrig. Først Kasper Astrup Schröders Big Time, 2017 om arkitekten Bjarke Ingels, hvor jeg bliver optaget af, at den skildrer, hvordan Ingels udfordres af svigtende helbred under arbejdet med de store nye bygninger i det centrale New York. (Grand Teatret 26. april 19:00) Det er åbningsfilm for festivalen og det er premiere for den helt nye film.

Når der i en filmbeskrivelse står at ”indvandrerne ikke vinder over de andre (de ’etnisk svenske’ unge red.) gennem ondskab og vold, men ganske enkelt fordi de bevæger sig i Göteborgs byrum på en klogere måde” bliver jeg nysgerrig på om de fremmede er bedre til at finde vej og på hvor elegant filmklipperen lykkes med at fortælle hvordan bevæge sig i Ruben Östlunds Play, 2011 (KU.BE 5. maj 16:30). Det er ordet ”klog” som i den sammenhæng fæstner sig ved mig. I beskrivelsen af Danmark ved Ganges, 2017 af Nicolás Nørgaard Staffolani er det ordet ”nostalgi” i formuleringen ”om der (i kolonihistorien red.) er plads til nostalgi i en nøgtern postkolonial tid.” For mig er nostalgi en vigtig grundlæggende følelse af længsel, smerte, skønhed, orden, ro. Er det sådan instruktøren skildrer Indiens "engang smukkeste by"? (Nationalmuseet 2. maj 17:00)

”Jacques Tati skabte sin helt egen kulisseby, Tativille, der med den nye 4K-restaurering fremstår lige så imponerende som den var tænkt” står der om instruktørens Playtime, 1967, og jeg tænker lige hvad det mon sådan formuleret i tekst er redaktøren ved om hvor imponerende Tativille var tænkt af Tati, hans arkitekt og snedker? Men den nye version af filmen viser det altså (Cinemateket 4. maj 16:45). Var det muligt, må jeg helt bestemt se den! Ligesom jeg nødvendigvis og absolut skal se Stanley Kubricks ”enorme samling æsker, som var fulde af research fra de perfektionistiske film i hans sene fase”, som Jon Johnson i sin Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes, 2008 åbner og folder ud, vel i det klogeste kloge filmessay håber jeg fuld af forventning. (Cinemateket 6. maj 21:30)

Jeg kan huske, at Frantz Ernsts Ang. Lone, 1970 var en smuk film, nu genser jeg den virkelig gerne, mærker jeg tydeligt, også når den her i kataloget præsenteres som ”70’er-realisme” i et cinéma vérité – inspireret drama med ”socialkritisk bid og udstrakt brug af location-optagelser som giver filmen et næsten dokumentarisk strøg.” (Cinemateket 28. april 16:45) Jeg bliver glad og nysgerrig ved at læse sådanne formuleringer… 

Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

CAFx 2017 /Anbefalinger

Written 18-04-2017 11:25:13 by Allan Berg Nielsen


Jeg ser det store program igennem, koncentrerer mig jo om filmvisningerne, et par stykker af filmene kender jeg og kan kommentere, de fleste kender jeg ikke, men finder formuleringer i beskrivelserne, som gør mig interesseret. Først de to jeg kender, som jeg tidligere har skrevet om her på Filmkommentaren:Tarkovskijs Solaris, 1972 og Kestners Drømme i København, 2009:


Jeg ved godt, at Solaris først og fremmest er et visuelt mesterværk. Og i den nye rensede og smukke dvd-udgave bliver jeg overbevist fra første billede. Dette russiske landskab omkring det nye gammeldags landhus brydes kun af en motorvejsbro langt væk - men smerten ved den kommer som et stik i idyllen.

Og smerten sidder i denne spiller Donatas Banionis som en særlig alvor fra dette allerførste billede, hvor skarpheden i smertestikket er lyden fra bilen, som kommer med gæsten, som indfører dialogen i kammerspillet, som herefter i den langsomme, langsomme rytme bliver elementet ved siden af billedfortællingen, og Solaris er mere end noget et kammerspil, et spil i replikskifte, i det russiske landhus, i dets smukke rum, og senere jo i rumstationen anderledes kølighed i kredsløb om planeten Solaris.

Herude forstår vi, at smerten hos Banionis er, som kollegerne der (låste i den videnskabelige kontekst, de selv dementerer) bemærker, en banal kærlighedssorg. Kvinden, som altså er i mandens tanke, kommer derude genfødt til stede og genkender sig selv på fotografiet, han har taget med. Og han ser hende rygvendt til stede, som fotografisk gengivelse og som spejlbillede... Læs mere:

Vises under CAFx 5. maj 16:30 i Cinemateket



... Netop dette er indsigtens kerne. Det er byen, som er konstansen i en evig variations og forandrings uforandrethed. Byen er der. Altid. Menneskene passerer. Og så er det sådan, at byen ikke er menneskenes.

Det er omvendt. (For alle tegnestuer i filmen er ens, alle forhandlingerne der er ens. Det er først i teksterne til sidst, vi ser, at en længere række tegnestuer har medvirket.) Som menneskene og deres liv er ens. De bliver til i elskov, de er i vejen for forældrenes travlhed, de kører ad de samme ruter alene i busserne, de mødes med hinanden i værksteder, på kontorer og i tegnestuer og tror, de skaber byen. De dør ensomme, og der ryddes anonymt op efter dem. Nye folk flytter ind i deres boliger, som tilsammen er byen, som består. I den fineste komposition af et mylder af juxtapositioner, fortæller Anne Østerud en historie så almindelig og så generel, men også så gribende, at jeg i mørket noterer ”lutter ømhed” som det eneste under den biografvisning... Hele anmeldelsen:

Vises under CAFx 27. april 16:45 i Cinemateket 

Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Krakow Film Festival: Music without Borders

Written 17-04-2017 13:38:52 by Tue Steen Müller

A press release came in from one of the oldest documentary film festivals, in Krakow, that celebrates its 57th edition BUT with a young competition on music documentaries, the fifth edition of this novelty.

A quote of a quote: “As Anita Piotrowska, film critic and the co-creator of the programme of Krakow Film Festival points out, "music documentary film becomes more and more inclusive. Music always plays the main role here, but often it is additionally charged - it tends to be a political manifesto, an expression of rebellion against stereotypes, a new look at history or a sign of a complicated ethnic identity. It is increasingly difficult to find an "unadulterated" music documentary film. But this is which, in my opinion, proves its vitality and richness. And this is precisely this diversity - not only of the music itself, but of the contemporary ways of telling stories about it - that we tried to capture while selecting the competition titles."

Wise words and here you have the films selected:

"Chavela," dir. Catherine Gund, Daresha Kyi, USA, 90’

"Far Western," dir. James Payne, Japan, USA, 82’

"Red Gringo," dir. Miguel Angel Vidaurre, Chile, 69’

"Festival," dir. Tomasz Wolski, Anna Gawlita, Poland, 85’

"When God Sleeps," dir. Till Schauder, USA, Germany, 88’

"Sara Baras, All Her Voices," dir. Rafá Moles, Pepe Andreu, Spain, 91’

"Revolution of Sound. Tangerine Dream," dir. Margarete Kreuzer, Germany, 90’

"Born To Lose-a film about Lorenzo Woodrose," dir. Palle Demant, Denmark, 82’

"Soul Exodus," dir. Csaba Bereczki, Hungary, 92’

"The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev," dir. Tal Barda, Noam Pinchas, Israel, France, 74’

I have seen the latter, which is a family story full of music with the Papa (see the fantastic photo) of the Alaev family (who emigrated from Israel to Tajikistan in 1990s) as the main patriarchial character, who has to face, but does not want to, that children and grandchildren wish to take over, or at least have their independence as members of the family, and a religious community. And the orchestra! Sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching, always with great music! And very well told.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CAFx 2017 /Introduction

Written 16-04-2017 17:53:23 by Tue Steen Müller

This is a copy-paste of the press release from Copenhagen Architecture Festival, that is indeed very active when it comes to the inclusion of the film medium:

Denmark's largest architecture festival Copenhagen Architecture Festival opens its fourth edition Wednesday, April 26th with a wide program spread over three cities and with the opening film and world premiere of "BIG TIME" on Bjarke Ingels. 

More than 150 architectural events in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg. 40 film and 42 venues.

The festival takes place over 11 days. The more than 150 events provide a variety of approaches to architecture and through film screenings, exhibitions, lectures, debates, walks, concerts and conferences there are enough to choose from again this year - both for ’feinschmecker’ and the general public. Again this year you can meet experts from home and abroad who will contribute to the audience to get a glimpse of the world of architecture.

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CAFx 2017 /Filmliste

Written 16-04-2017 16:30:54 by Allan Berg Nielsen


Broen i Mostar, som jeg aldrig så i virkeligheden, er i mit sind billedet på, at krigen ødelægger alt, og næsten tydeligst - for de lemlæstede døde sænker jeg blikket ved - er den bevidste og planlagte destruktion af hele byer og enkelte bygningsværker. Den film i rækken af af filmvisninger, jeg først vælger at sætte mig lidt ind og forstå, som jeg vi gå i biografen og se, var det muligt, er Tim Slades Destruction of Memory fra 2016. Det er fra den film det her still stammer. Jeg ser, det handler om arkitektur som identitet. Filmen findes på den liste over festivalfilm, som jeg her bringer i uddrag på grundlag af arkitekturfestivalens meget store og omhyggelige pressemateriale:


En film om arkitekten Bjarke Ingels, som blev kendt af mange med sine byggerier i Ørestad, og nu er kaldes han af The Wall Street Journal “en af arkitekturens største stjerner.” BIG TIME følger den unge arkitekt over fem år, mens han arbejder med at fuldføre sit største projekt til dato, boligbyggeriet W57 på Manhattan. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) får samtidig til opgave at bygge World Trade Center 2, en af de skyskrabere, der skal erstatte tvillingetårnene. Mens han er i gang med således at ændre New Yorks skyline, er det pludselig noget så jordnært som helbredet, der volder problemer. Filmen efterfølges af Q&A med Bjarke Ingels og instruktør Kaspar Astrup Schröder.

KASPAR ASTRUP SCHRÖDER | 2017 | 93 min. / DANISH AND ENGLISH W/ENGLISH SUBTITLES / CINEMATEKET | Lørdag 29/4 kl. 14.30 Billetter via / ØST FOR PARADIS | Onsdag 3/5 kl. 19.00 Billetter via / BIFFEN NORDKRAFT | Onsdag 3/5 kl. 19.90 Billetter via



24-årige Yana er flyttet til byen Chongqing i Kina for at forfølge sit livs drøm. Den kinesiske boligboble lokker med let tjente penge, og Yana starter et agentur for udlændinge, som skal hjælpe lokale bygherrer med at markedsføre deres nye byggeprojekter. Men projektet tager en tvivlsom drejning, da hendes kunder bliver brugt i et forsøg på at fremstille provinsens spøgelsesbyer som ’globaliserede byer i rivende udvikling’ - belejligt nok hver gang investorer og politiske ledere kommer på besøg. Da boligboblen brister, er Yana tvunget til at sælge sin virksomhed og hun må afvise alt det, hun hidtil har troet på. Filmen efterfølges af en samtale mellem instruktøren David Borenstein og Kristian Skovbakke Villadsen, partner og direktør i Gehl Architects.

DAVID BORENSTEIN | 2016 | 73 min. / CHINESE AND ENGLISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES / LOUISIANA MUSEUM OF MODERN ART | Søndag 30/4 kl. 12.30 / Filmvisningerne er gratis, når entré til museet er betalt. Sikr dig billet på / Debate in English



En af Danmarks største byer lå engang i Indien. Danmark ved ganges er en nysgerrig og poetisk dokumentar om kolonihistoriens betydning i dag. Da Serampore ved Gangesfloden var en dansk koloni, blev den kaldt Indiens smukkeste by. I dag arbejder danskere og indere i fællesskab med at redde områdets sidste bygninger fra kolonitiden. Bygningerne er fortidsminder, men hvis minder? Hvad minder de egentlig om i dag? Filmen undersøger, hvordan arkitektur bygger bro til fortiden, om kolonihistorien kan skrives på en ny måde, og om der er plads til nostalgi i en nøgtern postkolonial tid.



Filmen skildrer nedrivningen af den berygtede bygning i Nuuk og vil med det diskutere modernisering og kolonihistorie: hvad er grønlandsk identitet og hvad er dansk velfærd i den udfordring.


NATIONALMUSEET | Tirsdag 3/5 kl. 17.00 / Billetter via / 17.00: Filmvisning, Danmark ved Ganges / 18.00: filmvisning, Blok P / 18.35: Oplæg og paneldebat.



Kampen om New York stod i 1950’erne mellem den magtfulde byplanlægger og den idealistiske bydelsaktivist. I 1950’erne stod en enkelt mand for New Yorks byudvikling. Den kontroversielle byplanlægger Robert Moses bulldozede, asfalterede og byggede med beton overalt i de fem burroughs, indtil en enkelt kvinde stillede sig i vejen og sagde stop. Hun hed Jane Jacobs, var antropologisk interesseret bydels-aktivist og forsvarede de enkelte kvarterers særpræg mod den ensformige planlægning, som var tidens modernistiske mantra. Hendes kamp mod mesterbyggeren Moses, såvel som hendes bog The Death and Life of American Cities, fik siden indflydelse overalt i verden. Filmen introduceres af Aarhus’ stadsarkitekt Stephen Willacy, der fortæller om Jane Jacobs’ betydning for dagens byplanlægning og for sin dagligdag som stadsarkitekt.

MATT TYRNAUER | 2016 | 92 min. / ENGLISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES / BIFFEN NORDKRAFT | Søndag 30/4 kl. 16.30 / Billetter via / ØST FOR PARADIS | Torsdag 4/5 kl. 17.00 / Billetter via



Alt for aktuel film om kulturel udrensning. Syrien, Bosnien og Afghanistan. Moderne krigsførsel har indoptaget et nyt fænomen: bevidste angreb på biblioteker, broer eller skulpturer, som udgør et områdes kulturelle identitet. ‘Cultural genocide’, kaldes det - et begreb, som har en lang historie og som skal understrege de alvorlige konsekvenser, når kulturarv ødelægges. The Destruction of Memory skildrer kampen for at få anerkendt kulturel udrensning som en krigsforbrydelse, en kamp der kan spores over hundrede år tilbage i tiden. Filmen introduceres af Frederik Rosén, seniorforsker i international sikkerhed ved DIIS.

TIM SLADE | 2016 | 125 min. / ENGLISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES / GRAND TEATRET | Lørdag 6/5 kl. 9.30 / Billetter via /

Hele filmprogrammet 27. april – 7. maj 2017 findes i Copenhagen Architure Festivals samlede program:

Categories: Cinema, Festival

Cinédoc-Tbilisi 2017

Written 14-04-2017 15:24:45 by Tue Steen Müller

With its fifth edition the organisers of this still very young Tbilisi Georgian festival, director Archil Khetagouri and coordinator Ileana Stanculescu, took the decision to move the event from October to May 11-16. Argumentation: Too much happens in October. And my additional argument: Weather must be better in May. I am happy to be able to check that out myself, as the two mentioned have invited me back to a city and a festival I like very much. Regarding the weather: Outdoor screenings are planned.

About the program – there is an international competition, a focus Caucasus, a CivilDOC section, including a pitching session for NGO’s matched with filmmakers, and a CinéDOC Young competition.

There are so many good film titles to be mentioned, let me drop

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DOKer 2017

Written 12-04-2017 13:28:59 by Tue Steen Müller

I was a jury member of the first DOKer festival in 2015 and am very happy to see that the filmmakers behind the event are able to continue their pioneer work of bringing films from around the world to the Russian audience. Let me quote the promotion text from their website that you should pay a visit:

”Do not miss Moscow International Documentary Film Festival DOKer. Spend 5 days in the atmosphere of the best creative documentary cinema from around the world! Watch, think, criticise, create!”.

The 3rd DOKer festival takes place May 18-23.

Take a look also at the illustration that says that the selection has a global perspective – and the world is not united. Anyway, here is the list of films for the main feature competition as well as the short film line-up. A third competition ”Let’s DOK it”is still to be announced.

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Shorena Tevzadze: Didube, The Last Stop

Written 10-04-2017 16:22:07 by Tue Steen Müller

I have met Shorena Tevzadze and producer Nikoloz Gogochuri several times at workshops in Georgia, where this fine film was developed. Their dedication to the theme and their love towards the characters of the film was always there; watching the final result I feel like saying hello to an old friend Niko, in his shop, with his partner, waiting for clients but no one comes to buy at the veterinarian pharmacy, only friends like the singer Nodar with his guitar, performing his ballads which serve as a commentary to the place and to the dreams of the two on having a garden in the countryside instead of where they are now at a bus station, where shops still exist; at a stop that used to be more important when the train had its last stop here, now it only stops for two minutes.

The filmmakers present the film like this: “A musical fairy tale about a noisy station, where Niko, a veterinarian man is trying to save his peaceful kingdom from its demise.”

But time stands still and Niko uses it to reflect on life and to write poems, one about one of the many floods in the country. He phones television (or radio?) but they don’t have a format for reading of poems.

Luckily a festival has a format for this simple unpretentious portrait of a place and a shop owner: Premiere at Visions du Réel, Nyon, at the Regard Neuf section, the festival takes place April 21 to 29.

Georgia/Switzerland, 2017, 64 mins.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Yaser Kassab: On the Edge of Life

Written 06-04-2017 15:13:31 by Tue Steen Müller

It feels unfinished, sketchy this personal film by Syrian Yaser Kassab. It is one long reflection and interpretation of, as the director has formulated it in the catalogue of Cinéma du Réel, “loss and grief”. Far from mainstream. In dark images, often metaphoric, from empty spaces, “detached from reality” as he says, with the fragments of skype conversations with his father, who does not want to leave the country, and at a later point states that we live “like bears in winter sleep”.

The synopsis: “Yaser and his partner Rima leave Syria to Lebanon, but after receiving the news that his younger brother passed away in Aleppo, they end up in a remote and an empty place in Turkey. In this place where the silence and the monotonous daily life being broken by the loud noise of the family calls whom still living in Aleppo. To spend a year and a half, which was almost like a slumber and a coma, waking up every day on the recurring nightmares echo.”

It is one of those rare films that does not move but places itself in a waiting mood full of sadness, memories and longing for a better life. A very much welcomed essayistic lyrical addition to the many war-filled documentaries from the country.

Got the Joris Ivens/ Cnap Award at Cinéma du Réel

Syria, 2017, 45 mins.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Docudays Kiev 2017 Awards

Written 31-03-2017 09:35:21 by Tue Steen Müller

A press release came out last night: The 14th International documentary films about human rights festival has ended in Kyiv. The awards ceremony was held in the Cinema House. The closing ceremony began with a gesture of solidarity with Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, imprisoned in Russia.

Films were competing for prizes in categories: DOCU/LIFE, DOCU/RIGHT, DOCU/SHORT, DOCU/UKRAINE and for the special prize from Students’ Jury. The festivals’ Orzanizing Committee favorite is awarded with the Andriy Matrosov Award. The ceremony was followed by the Ukrainian premiere of “Liberation Day” by Ugis Olte and Morten Traavik.

The results of the final stages of three long-term workshops were announced during the closing ceremony – DocWorks: UA/UK, Warscape, and Youth about Ukraine. During the closing ceremony the results of WARSCAPE international competition were announced. The award of 5.000 USD was given to the “Double trap” (director Valeria Treshchova and producer Viktoria Gusenok). Also the international programm DocWorks: UA/UK announced the results. The winning project “UNDERWATER” (dir. Oksana Kazmina and producer Ljosha Chashchyn) received 3.000 GBP. "(N)OSTALGIA" (director Vicki Thornton Written and producer Marion Guthdirector) received a prize (50 000 hryvnia) for the best pitching from KWA SOUND PRODUCTION company.

Winners were also announced for Instagram competition #ECOOKO: show the country's environment. A prize from the WWF in Ukraine was given to Oleksandr Stepanenko. Prizes from the Green School educational project were received by: Oksana Vashchuk, Serhiy Handusenko, Oleg and Dariya Promahovy. Oleg and Dariya Promahovy received prizes from the Docudays UA team.

Docudays UA 2017 Winners:

DOCU/LIFE - Main Prize

All This Panic dir. Jenny Gage/ USA

Deliberate well thought through camerawork serves the subject matter and the desired atmosphere. Daring use of colors together with sensual use of depth of field made this film particularly efficient. The filmmakers are thinking outside of the box at the same time as the directorial approach creates unparalleled intimacy. It is transparent that creators are coming from contemporary art. The film unveils the secret life of teenage girls who usually go out of their way to keep their inner life closed to adults. It is the opinion of the jury that by giving these girls a voice the filmmakers are creating a bold platform for young women. Girls all over the world deserve to be heard - it is a crucial human rights issue that also resonates here in Ukraine.

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Docudays: Children

Written 31-03-2017 08:55:39 by Tue Steen Müller

What kind of world do we leave for our children? A banal and pathetic question maybe. But it came to my mind this morning, when I attended the Warscape pitching in Kiev at the Docu/Pro section of Docudays. 6 projects from around 25 were selected – ”an international competition for documentary film projects about Ukraine or the Eurasia region, on the consequences of conflicts and other situations of violence inflicted upon civilians.”

In ”84” by cameraman Volodimir Yermakov, his first film as a director, to be 10-15 mins. long, children are playing in the city of Sloviansk, that was occupied by rebels for 84 days. The final scene of the lyrical clip presented by the director shows children ”playing funeral”. Heartbreaking, makes you think.

In the Georgian ”The Playground” by Ana Tsiminia and Esma Berikishvili children of Abkhazian refugees play among the ruins of a paper factory near the border between Georgia and Abkhazia chatting about where to go. Paris? The plays represent their social reality in what is going to be an observational documentary. Expectations are high after the director’s ”Biblioteka”.

The pitching this morning ended with the French/Ukrainian ”The New Life of Vitaly”, a film by director Vadim Moiseenko, produced by Marie Odile Gazin to be shot in small Krymske in the Luhansk region close to the frontline. Like small grown-ups the kids, with Vitaly as the main protagonist, talk about who is in war with whom, what foreign nationalities are there as soldiers, what the rebels took and destroyed, when they were there… They lost their childhood.

Photo: Ana Tsiminia and Esma Berikishvili preparing their pitch outside the venue of The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the sponsor of the workshop and the award for the best project.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Docudays Kiev: Form Comes First

Written 28-03-2017 20:50:01 by Tue Steen Müller

… which is of course a simplification but I was thinking of it several times during the days here in Kiev, where the Docudays goes on, one of those many festivals, less known, compared to IDFA, CPH:DOX, DOKLeipzig and Hotdocs BUT with a high quality selection and, as far as I have been able to register attending a handful of screenings, full houses. With a professional relaxed atmosphere.

Form comes first has director and editor French/Czech Stan Neumann said at many tutoring sessions. The same goes for Viktor Kossakovsky who talks about making an aesthetic choice as the first thing to do before you start shooting.

But sometimes you find the form, the shape, the handwriting as you go along, as did Georgian Alexander Kvatashidze, when he

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CPH:DOX 2017 /Return of a President

Written 27-03-2017 13:05:35 by Sara Thelle


The Danish filmmaker Lotte Mik-Meyer has made a documentary about a very important and interesting subject and a region that certainly could need our attention. Return of a President is about the fight for democracy in Madagascar in the aftermath of the 2009 military coup and the influence interests of foreign powers have on the political situation of poor countries in a post-colonial context.

Mik-Meyer has gained access to the diplomatic negotiations surrounding the efforts of making possible the return of the ousted president Ravalomanana to Madagascar from his exile in South Africa, where he has been living since the coup d’état. Through her contact with the Danish advisor to the former president, Jens Thorsen, she has embedded the inner circle of the delegation, consisting of Thorsen, the South African media advisor Peter Mann and the Madagascan human rights lawyer Bakoly Rakotomalala, and has come close to the couple Marc and Lalao Ravalomanana during her five years of filming.

The negotiation process is full of obstacles. The young Andry Rajoelina, in power since the coup as the president of the High Transitional Authority of Madagascar, supported by the military and quite possibly French interests, is firmly opposing to Ravalomanana’s return. Ravalomanana is counting on help from the international community and in particular the intergovernmental organization SADC (the Southern African Development Community), but realizes that larger interests are pulling the strings in the diplomatic game. He finally returns to Madagascar in secret in 2014 and spends 6 months in prison.

Unfortunately Mik-Meyer’s focus is on the intimacy of her relationship to her characters, that is her method and it is, in my opinion, not to the film’s advantage. If, as a filmmaker, you choose to place yourself in your film, it has to be for a good reason, here it only distracts the story. We are getting surprisingly little out of the closeness, I still don’t feel that I got to know Ravalomanana more than superficially. I would have liked more substantial portrait of the man, his (ultra-liberal) political thoughts, more information about his presidency while he was in power (2002-2009). I get curious, what is the story of Jens Thorsen? How do you go from being the manager of the largest dairy company in Madagascar, part of the Ravalomananas’ business group TIKO, to become a political and diplomatic advisor? Who are the other people involved? I would have liked to hear more voices and have a broader view. Paradoxically, had Mik-Meyer kept more distance to her characters, she could have maybe made a more powerful film.

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Roman Bondarchuk: Dixie Land

Written 27-03-2017 12:21:13 by Tue Steen Müller

It was one of those lovely moments, where a huge audience had come to celebrate the premiere of a film, ”Dixie Land”, that was 7 years on its way – for many reasons, one of them being that the director Roman Bondarchuk and his script writer Darya Averchenko were busy with the making of and promotion of ”Ukrainian Sheriffs”.

The film about jazz music performed by kids in a band in Kherson Ukraine, led by their old teacher, who founded the band just after WW2, picking up homeless children to give them the chance to develop their skills, gave them a life, simply - is a warm, so well made - Bondarchuk has indeed a documentary-eye - interpretation of a happy childhood, where kids have a good time developing their creative skills. As it is written in the catalogue: We all live once in Dixie Land – the country where politics, money and death do not exist at all. But over time this country is disappearing… yes, we are in Ukraine of today.

Back to the fest of a premiere where the superstar of the film (see photo from the screen of the cinema) Polina was present and performed with three instruments, when the closing images of the film came up. It was marvellous and there were flowers and standing ovations to a film that is full of love. A human film that gave many of us tears in the eyes. Look at the photo… Polina is now 15 years old, study in Moscow, we had thanks to Ilona Bicevska, the producer of the film, the chance to meet her after the screening. And her parents… you learn so much by being here at Docudays in Kiev.

Latvia, Ukraine, Germany, 2016, 60 mins.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Docudays UA 2017 Has Started

Written 25-03-2017 23:38:49 by Tue Steen Müller

… and runs until March 31. I am happy to be here participating at the Docu/Pro, the industrial platform of a festival that celebrates its 14th edition this year. The platform includes talks from knowledgeable people like Brigid O’Shea from DOKLeipzig, Miriam Ryndová from IDF (Institute of Documentary Film) in Prague and Latvian producer Uldis Cekulis. My job is to coach filmmakers, who have been selected for Warscape, ”The international competition for documentary film projects about Ukraine or the Eurasia region, on the consequences of conflicts and other situations of violence inflicted upon civilians”…6 projects.

They will be pitching their projects on Thursday March 30 in a competitive session open to the public. The same goes for 5 projects in another competition, ”DokWorks”.

The screenings of the festival opened last night with the screening of ”The Yes Men are Revolting” by Laura Nix, an excellent start for

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CPH:DOX 2017 /Forum

Written 25-03-2017 11:49:55 by Tue Steen Müller

2 days of Forum at the CPH:DOX March 22-23. I was there to check out what is happening with the ”creative and visually strong film projects”, that the CPH:FORUM ”financing and co-production event” is set up to help. Are great documentary films that use the language of cinema coming up? Concluding impressions at the end of this text.

First the venue, the new ”palace” of CPH:DOX, Charlottenborg in central Copenhagen near the harbour area. An absolute improvement for the ambitious festival. Lively activities inside and outside in the courtyards. Open to the public were several activities – discussions on subjects of today’s world.

The Forum took place in the colourful (see photo) Social Cinema, a very good place, a bit too hot, some called it a sauna, but I sat well and heard and saw, what was going on up there on the stage, where Tribeca’s Ingrid Kopp and Sundance’s Tabitha Jackson were moderating. They did that well. Not an easy task as most of the pitchers and panelists talked too much and went over the 14 minutes dedicated to each project. 300 projects had been submitted, 30 were picked. With overlapping categories ”fictionnonfiction”, ”cinema”, ”f:act”, ”art”.

In its presentation of the Forum, CPH:DOX circles around big names, well-known auteurs, who unfortunately were not there in persona, but were presented by producers, who often had brought

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CPH:DOX 2017 /The Festival Winners

Written 24-03-2017 23:40:43 by Tue Steen Müller

…of the festivals many sections are – in an edited and shortened Danish version of the press release of the festival of tonight:

DOX:AWARD:’De sidste mænd i Aleppo’ (“Last Men in Aleppo”), instrueret af Feras Fayyad samt debuterende co-instruktør Steen Johannessen, som er et uforglemmeligt portræt af tre modvillige heltes arbejde med at redde Aleppos civile midt i krigszonens centrum – og årets åbningsfilm på CPH:DOX.

Juryen udtaler om vinderfilmen: “De sidste mænd i Aleppo’ er en film hvis ødelæggende, følelsesmæssige umiddelbarhed kaster os ind i en shakespearsk’ tragedie om en befolkningsgruppe, der kæmper for at bevare deres menneskelighed på trods af den ubarmhjertige realitet, de befinder sig i”. 

Special mentions til ’Gray House’ af Austin Lynch og Matthew Booth og ’The John Dalli Mystery’ af Jeppe Rønde. ’Gray House’ er et mørkt og

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CPH:DOX 2017 /Psychosis in Stockholm

Written 24-03-2017 23:15:23 by Tue Steen Müller

… was one of the around 30 projects pitched at the CPH:FORUM that took place wednesday and thursday this week. Director Danish/Swedish Maria Bäck, producer Anna-Maria Kantarius. Who did a strong presentation of a project that in CPH:DOX terminology is FICTIONnonFiction – hybrid is another word for a film like this, where the director will have to find creative solutions to build a narrative for the five days the director experienced alone as 14 years old in the Swedish capital after her mother was brought to hospital to be treated for her mental illness. The film to be – no objections - got the the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award of €15.000.

Maria Bäck graduated from the Danish Film School, documentary line in 2013.

Chapeau for a jury that chose to go for a talent and not one of the established directors, who pitched or whose projects were pitched by producers.

General comments on the Forum will follow.

Photo: Director Maria Bäck.

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Sergey Kachkin: Perm-36. Reflexion/ 2

Written 23-03-2017 22:32:22 by Tue Steen Müller

As the /2 says I have written about Kachkin’s film from Perm before – in August 2016 – where he told me that the film - the most obvious place to show it - was rejected by the local Flahertiana festival because it criticises the local Ministry of Culture in its talk about the prison camp, stalinism and Soviet times. What happened then with the film? Today I received an email from the Russian director, I quote from it, a report from an independent filmmaker, who travels to have his work shown:

Perm-36. Once we agreed that as soon as I have the screening outside of Russia I should let you know this and maybe you can make a post on your blog. So, it will be on March 24 at 12:00 in Tartu, Estonia. This is World Film Festival:

I write you know in a bus which brings me from Moscow to Tartu :)

On March 27 will be another screening in Saint Petersburg in one of the main cinema theatres of the North Cultural Capital as we call it. 

Actually, the film is very demanded in Russia but much less abroad... I've screened the title at many independent venues or cinemas... well, it's hard all the time to gather the audience but I've got much of help from some independent media, internet sites and radio stations... You can have a look the news here on the film's web page:

So, only in Moscow, I had eight screenings. Then there were in Yekaterinburg at Yeltsin Centre, in Perm three, then other places. Also, some screenings should be during the summer. Well, I'm satisfied in a way. But it takes me much to promote all the screenings and negotiating with media...

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2017 /On the Edge of Freedom

Written 21-03-2017 14:38:19 by Tue Steen Müller


I heard myself saying “don’t do it, stop” several times, alone in front of the screen, when the young Russians and Ukrainians were climbing unfinished buildings and cranes. To take photos of themselves. Or videos. Scary like hell. And I am after having seen the film not sure that I understand why they challenge themselves in that way. Says someone from another generation. Yes, I understand that this could be the way to money as they are selling tours – especially the Ukrainians who go underground to make “tours in the drainage system” – and document them, put them on the social media. Create an identity.

Let me educate you as I was from the texts in the beginning of the film: Roofing is the exploration of heights. Digging is the exploration of underground area. In Moscow Angela (the photo) goes up, in Kiev Vlad goes down. With friends around them. They are all very young and beautiful, and cool, they are looking for a way in their lives, which they stage. They pose like fashion models, at least Angela does, she gets ill, a blood cot in the arm, she takes care of her medicine and seems to have recovered towards the end of the film.

Vlad, the Ukrainian, experiences the Maidan revolt and makes a tour to Pripyat, to the Chernobyl Zone, he is well formulated and talks about the digging as “going from one reality to another”, seeing “an urban renaissance”.

This ignorant critic has seen an energetically made, professional, visually scary, fascinating close-up documentary about youngsters in Moscow and Kiev, who are playing with their lives or searching for a meaning, for freedom the title says… Well…

The film will be shown at CPH:DOX tonight March 21 22.30 at Empire, March 23 10.30 at Nordisk Film Palads and March 25 at 22.15, Empire Bio. Broadcast on DR3 March 27 at 20.30.

Denmark, 2017, 75 mins.


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2017 /Kirsten Johnson

Written 20-03-2017 22:22:56 by Tue Steen Müller

90 minutes with Kirsten Johnson thursday morning 23rd of March at Cinemateket, that’s a good time investment. I can guarantee that knowing Kirsten’s knowledge and commitment, and having attended her classes and Q&A sessions several times. Of course it is good if you have seen her film ”Cameraperson” – but if not there is a screening at 16.40 that same day at Grand Teatret with the director present.

”Cameraperson” was on my list of the best documentaries of 2016, here is some text from my review:

It is a film that deserves all the attention it can get. BECAUSE it puts the cinematographer and his/her work in focus through Kirsten Johnson, who says – a text in the beginning of the film – ”for the past 25 years I’ve worked as a documentary cinematographer. I originally shot the following footage for other films, but here I ask you to see it as my memoir. These are images that have marked me and leave me wondering still”.

Memoir, yes, the film comes out as not only an offer to reflect on ethical and aesthetical choices of a cameraperson, it is also an autobiographical essay, as – luckily - Johnson connects what she is doing behind the camera with her own private life as mother of twins with a mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s and a father/grandfather playing with her Viva and Felix, the names of the twins. In other words private footage is included in a film that is very rich in its thematically structured narrative…

… and has the most wonderful scene towards the end of the film, where Kirsten Johnson goes back to the family in Bosnia that she had filmed before – to show them the footage that constitutes her pleasant memories from her first visit, where she was the cameraperson for a film on the war. A scene full of dignity from both sides.

Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX /To Stay Alive - A Method

Written 20-03-2017 16:44:40 by Mikkel Stolt


If you are a fan of either Michel Houellebecq or Iggy Pop or both: read no further and go and see this film immediately. For those of us who is something less than a dedicated fan (I’m more of a Tom Waits and Haruki Murakami kind of guy myself) there is, however, plenty of reasons to watch this “feelgood movie about suffering” as the front credits say.

I’m not going to tell you the narrative since there isn’t really any, except towards the ending: Iggy is coming to visit Houellebecq (who here is called Vincent) and after a truly spellbinding and kind of nuts dialogue scene, Vincent is showing Iggy Pop to his basement where he has built or created… something. It’s wonderfully staged, and just watching their faces, bodies and clothing are priceless. One look nerdier that the other, in their own way.

Beside the scene mentioned above, the film consists of Iggy Pop reading or reciting the words of Houellebecq in different settings and the crew’s visits to three somewhat unfortunate souls who all suffer or have suffered from different form of poor mental health. They also express themselves in poems (some recited by Iggy Pop) and other art forms but somehow the essayistic form of the film lacks the ability to really grab you in all the scenes. Maybe the staging gets too evident or too pointless with camera trackings and other visual means and maybe there just IS too much text after all.

However, the film grows on you after watching it, and you have never seen a film about creative force and mental illness just like this. And as “Vincent” says I my favourite scene: “Art shouldn’t be a movement”. Luckily, Iggy Pop - who you could argue was part of the punk music movement - agrees in the most self-ironic way. I want to watch that scene again…

Erik Lieshout a.o.: “To Stay Alive - A Method”, 2016. Seen at CPH:DOX. Filmkommentaren: 4/6 penheads 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2017 /Where is Rocky II?

Written 19-03-2017 16:55:50 by Mikkel Stolt


Since he saw an old BBC documentary from 1980 about American pop artist Ed Ruscha, the director has seemingly had an obsession to find the topic of that doc; a piece of artificial rock that Ruscha planted in the Mojave Desert in California among other rocks. What became of it? Is it still there?

Bismuth hires a private detective to help find the rock, but soon we learn that he also hires a couple of scriptwriters. Bismuth was on the scriptwriting team on the unfathomable “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (dir. Michel Gondry”) and it is therefore no surprise that ”Where is Rocky 2” is composed in a puzzling way, combining with what looks like (staged) documentary scenes; scenes with the scriptwriters working, and scenes from the fiction film on which they are working.

I’m a sucker for meta-films and for films playing with the genres – thus giving us a chance to ponder which reality we prefer or can relate to and ultimately understand. Bismuth has called this film a piece of “fake fiction” which is a great term I intent to steal.

However, something goes awry during the last fifth or so of the film, at least for me. The essence of the story itself is something like: “Is a piece of art still art if nobody knows it’s there?” and the film’s problem is probably that the documentary-like scenes with the private detective (who plays himself) turns out to be the most engaging ones. The film that the scriptwriters are working on doesn’t add much but a flavor of trivial storytelling techniques, and it’s like the structure and the conundrums are both too obvious and too obscure. Towards the end, it seems just unnecessary and too apparent to reveal the film crew in a certain shot with the actors.

Still, until the last five or ten minutes I was rather amused and it is definitely worth a look – unless you hate this sort of thing. Then don’t look. It’s still a film of some significance even though YOU don’t watch it.

Pierre Bismuth: Where is Rocky II?, 2016. Seen at CPH:DOX. Filmkommentaren: 3/6 penheads. 


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2017 /The President from the North

Written 18-03-2017 12:23:11 by Tue Steen Müller


It’s a Dane writing this review. Important to say as the main character of this film, Ahmed Dualeh, is Danish, well he is born in Somalia but has been living in Denmark for 47 years – and he speaks the most perfect, classic Danish. An accent is there but the vocabulary is huge, which is heard, when he in first person tells the amazing story about his life in the country he loves and where he settled in 1967. He became a captain of ships at Maersk, he set up his own company and became a millionaire, he established a family… but he has his heart in Somalia, where he was born in poverty, adopted by an Italian family, and where he – voted by exile Somalis – became the president of Jubaland in 2012, the republic in the South of Somalia. As it turns out there are many other, who want that job, and also a position as prime minister is not reachable for the charismatic idealistic man, who wants to help his native country and dedicates a lot of time to go to political meetings and to meet people in the streets. Most of the time outside Jubaland, in Mogadishu or in neighbouring Kenya as Jubaland still is a dangerous place because of warlords.

The structure of the film goes from here to there, from Denmark to Somalia, from the family to politics. Very simple and efficient. His wife Zhara is worried about him – and their life together - as he is so much away from home. In a scene she is packing her suitcase, cut to him trying to catch her by phone, no success, cut to a daughter who tells him to stop all that travelling, cut to him and wife on what is said to be the last tour, where he is bringing computers and other technical equipment to a school in his native region in Somalia.

Apart from the drama, which is actually not described as a drama, of the couple who has been together for 45 years, the film lives through the way he – and she – is described. An almost constantly smiling, well formulated positive Danish Somali and his adventurous life with Zhara. You will be in a good mood watching this film, which of course also in a Denmark of today full of restrictions towards foreigners is a very timely documentary.

Denmark, 2017, 65 mins.

The film will be shown at CPH:DOX Sunday 19.3 at 21.30 Park Bio, Saturday 25.3 12.30 Empire Bio, Sunday 26.3 13.30 Nordisk Film Palads.    


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CPH:DOX 2017 /The Unforgiven

Written 18-03-2017 10:46:56 by Tue Steen Müller


1992. Celebici in Bosnia-Hercegovina. A prison camp for Serbs. Esad Landzo, 19 years old was a guard. He killed and tortured, he was one of the worst, say survivors who remember what ”Zenga”, his nickname, did to them and friends and relatives. In 1996 he was arrested and in 1998 sentenced to 15 years in prison at the Court in den Haag. He sat in a Finnish prison from 2003 till he was released in 2006. He now lives and is married in Finland.

Facts about a war criminal, who is the main protagonist of this important documentary that puts focus on the question whether you can forgive. Esad suffers after his release, ”my old demons come back, they don’t let me sleep”, ”I am a dead man walking”, ”I need my life back”. His life story is told, you meet his parents, there is archive material from the camp, showing strong emotional material of prisoners sitting in a squat position, waiting for the next atrocity to be committed. He visits a psychiatrist.

It all builds up to the confrontations. Esad writes to some of the former prisoners to ask if they will meet him. And the film takes its time to let us viewers meet them - before the confrontation - to hear, what they remember, and to see them get ready to meet Esad – at the camp. Several other people are built up as characters in the film. Accompanied by the man, who was a doctor at the camp, and who seems to be respected by the survivors, as well as by Esad, they come to meet Esad, who asks for forgiveness, ”I am not here to excuse”, ”I want to apologize”, he says to one after the other, a broken man talking to people, broken as well, they have scars on their souls – it is very tense, very sad to watch these authentic and actually mostly silent scenes that reminds you that the best documentaries do not give answers, they raise questions.

Lars Feldballe and his Finnish producer have worked on this film for years, with respect for the theme and the involved, they have avoided tabloid journalism to make a film that will have a long life ahead. Hopefully not only at festivals but also whereever post-war traumas are being dealt with. It deserves to be used like that.     

Finland/Denmark, 2017, 75 mins.

The film will be shown at CPH:DOX Monday 20.3 at 8pm Empire Bio, Wednesday 22.3 at 4.30pm Nordisk Film Palads, Saturday 25.3 Nordisk Film Palads. At the two first screenings there will be debates. More about who and what on


Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2017 /The Trial

Written 17-03-2017 17:14:41 by Tue Steen Müller


… with the subtitle ”The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov”, a film that premiered at the Berlinale, now to be shown at CPH:DOX and at DocuDays in Kiev on the 25th of March with the director and guests present.

I mention the latter as Oleg Sentsov is Ukrainian and for those, who do not know the story, here is the laconic film description from the festival in Ukraine:

Oleg Sentsov is a Ukrainian filmmaker, Euromaidan activist and native of Crimea. After the Russian annexation of Crimea, he became an active opponent of the occupation. In May 2014 he was arrested by the Russian security

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CPH:DOX 2017 /A Modern Man

Written 16-03-2017 13:29:32 by Allan Berg Nielsen


Moderne har jo både at gøre med modernus (ny, nyere) og med modus (måde), og denne dobbelthed får den præcise titel til pege på et menneske med nye måder at være på, måske være til i virkeligheden på, leve sit liv på, sortere sine valg på. Jeg opfatter det sådan, at Eva Mulvad vil undersøge det nye moderne. Måske vil hun også som filmskaber i naturlig forlængelse lægge en ny slags film til fænomenerne, hun skildrer i A Modern Man, en ny moderne filmisk stil, hvor det karakteristiske er, at filmen løsnet af den litterære episke fremadskriden, løsnet af journalistikkens opklaringsdrama fungerer på gamle cinematografiske betingelser som at stille scene ved scene. Og der er er i Mulvads film sandelig lange og tydelige og selvbevidste scener bygget af lange rolige optagelser af enkeltafsnit i Charlie Siems liv.

Charlie Siem er violinist og fotomodel, og det på verdensplan, en mondæn mand, som medvirker som en populær stjerne i samtaleshows i tv i samtaler om offentligheden, omsværmelsen og i dette ensomheden. Facebook og Instagram er medierne, men forbilledet er Robert De Niro.

Første afsnit, filmens åbning, er mangetydig. Den skildrer købet af en ny, rød Porsche. Reklamefilm eller dokumentarfilm? Køber han eller er han model? Pointen er, at han spørger sælgeren: Hvordan er dens lyd? Prøver motorlyden af som en musiker et instrument, og så vil han i en æstetisk ideosynkrasi have et underlødigt designet typenavn mærke fjernet fra bagklappen. Detaljen er vigtig.

Så følger en scene fra en koncert. Siem er alene foran orkesteret, spiller kadancen, som er vanskelig, kun violinen høres, en nåls fald kunne høres. Den virtuose kadance afbrydes, det her handler ikke om fordybelse, så der klippes til et voldsomt hovedspring fra højt oppe ned i havet, derfra til et stille svømmebassin uden person, en smuk ensom arkitektur, derfra til en scene med Siem i et soveværelse, han pakker vitaminpiller ud. Den moderne mand passer sin krop. Og sin skrædder.

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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Awards in Thessaloniki

Written 15-03-2017 13:35:30 by Tue Steen Müller

The 19th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival were giving out awards a couple of days ago. The Danish production ”Dream Empire” by David Borenstein got the main prize, the Golden Alexander, with a Special Jury Award for the amazing ”Machines” by Rahul Jain from India.

An Amnesty Award for the best film in the Human Rights section was given to Raoul Peck’s masterpiece ”I am not Your Negro”. And the award in the name of late documentary guru Peter Wintonick was given to Zaradasht Ahmed for his Iraq film ”Nowhere to Hide”.

As motivation for the award to ”Dream Empire”, quote from festival site, ”The president of the jury, Mr Paul Pauwels, said that “we were captivated by this documentary because the story develops in an imaginative way: from a simple situation to a compellingly insightful journey to the global dynamic of a world in progress – or maybe in crisis? We appreciated the humour, the powerful character and the aesthetic, which make the film a delight for spectators, but also make them more sensitive towards serious issues that concern us all”.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

CPH:DOX 2017 /Last Men in Aleppo

Written 14-03-2017 15:28:05 by Sara Thelle


The tone is set in the opening, this story is of a universal scope. It is a film about life in a world of death and violence, of humanity surviving endless destruction.

Last Men in Aleppo is an homage to the White Helmets (officially the Syria Civil Defence), the civilian volunteer rescue corps that works relentlessly to save the lives of civilians in rebel-held areas of Syria. Filmed over a year, from September 2015 to fall 2016 up until Aleppo fell back in to the hands of Bashar al Assad’s government forces, the film is collaboration between the Syrian director, Feras Fayyad, the Aleppo Media Center, an independent news agency and network of reporters in Aleppo, and the Danish co-director and editor Steen Johannessen together with Danish producer Søren Steen Jespersen (Larm Film). Last Men in Aleppo won this year’s Grand Jury Price for World Cinema Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.

We are introduced to the two main characters, Khaled and Mahmoud, one by one. Khaled, a former painter and decorator and one of the veterans of the White Helmets team, is a warm and playful man. But as the father of two young daughters, he is also haunted by the dilemmas of how to protect them best, should he have taken them to Turkey? is it still a possibility? Can he leave Aleppo, should he stay behind? Mahmoud, a student of philosophy before the revolution, is more quiet and thoughtful. His younger brother has also joined the White Helmets, they’ve lied to their parents, telling them that they are living safely in Turkey.

The days are spend heads leaned back, searching the sky for planes and helicopters bombing the city. As soon as the hit is located, get in to the car and drive straight to where the bomb has landed. Everyday life in Aleppo is barrel bombs, digging out dead babies from the rubble with their bare hands. A foot, a limb, who does it belong to? Body parts are carefully collected and handed over to relatives. And then, occasionally, the miracle: a child is found alive underneath the dusty fragments of what used to be his home.

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One World 2017 The Winners

Written 14-03-2017 14:15:09 by Tue Steen Müller

As usual the Prague-based festival delivers precise and informative press releases. Here is the one about the winners… The juries of the 19th annual One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival granted seven awards to films that were screened in Prague from 6 ­to 15 March.


The Best Film award went to Nowhere to Hide (PHOTO) by director Zaradasht Ahmed (Norway, Sweden | 2016 | 85 min.), in which a male nurse in Iraq films his daily life scarred by war. Later he must flee Islamic State and himself becomes the protagonist of the story. Motivation:

"Thanks to the courage of its protagonist and the

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East European Forum Prague

Written 12-03-2017 11:31:52 by Tue Steen Müller

Saturday morning I attended the pitching of 18 projects and an award ceremony, including 9 awards – they will be announced on the site and/or the Facebook page of the organizing IDF, Institute of Documentary Film. As usual with a fine atmosphere at the Komedie Theatre, unpretentious professionalism, all projects were presented without any discussion afterwards, that happened later that afternoon and this morning in round table discussions with the participation of broadcasters, sales agents, distributors, festival programmers, producers…

I watched and listened to the projects and established my own point system with 10 and 9 in the top. 6 out of 18 qualified:

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Prague: Football and Czech Docs

Written 10-03-2017 13:35:02 by Tue Steen Müller

Elena Subira, colleague from DocsBarcelona, asked worried to my health after wednesday night’s football miracle, where Barcelona beat Paris 6-1 after having lost the first match 4-0. Heart attack…? No, but close to, amazing, 3 Barca goals in the dying minutes of a match that I watched in the good docu company of Mikael Opstrup, Iikka Vehkalahti and Peter Jäger. In a – yes! – English/Indian restaurant, lots of beer and a smell of curry. In the Stepanska street close to the Institute Cervantes, where the East Doc Platform takes place and to the Majestic Hotel, where we stay. Majestic was the football and majestic is the East Doc Platform.

And if all goes well some fine Czech documentaries are coming soon. To a festival or tv near you! Anna Kaslova from the IDF

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Lom & van Egeraat: Burma Storybook

Written 07-03-2017 10:52:56 by Tue Steen Müller

The first names of the filmmaking couple are Petr and Corinne.

Maung Aung Pwint is according to a text at the beginning of the film the ”most famous living dissident poet” in Burma/Myanmar. He was imprisoned several times for his poetry and activism, it is said, and he says to the film crew, ”let’s make a long poem together”.

And Petr Lom, director and cinematographer, does his best to live up to that challenge. He creates stunningly framed and composed images that do simply not ”illustrate” what films with or about literature often do. Klichés are avoided. Many images include the (English) texts of poems which are being read. These are Maung Aung Pwint’s poems or poems from younger poets and – if I got it right – other poets, who have been imprisoned because of their writing and activism. In many cases you simply see the poet reading the poem.

… a long poem together, yes an elephant with a man riding on top


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ZagrebDox Awards Jashi, Glavonic, Carlsen

Written 05-03-2017 11:16:56 by Tue Steen Müller

… and many others. But very happy to see that the juries in Zagreb agreed so much with in its praising of the films by Salomé Jashi, Ognjen Glavonic and Jon Bang Carlsen. If you click on ”The Dazzling Light of Sunset” or ”Depth Two” or Jon Bang Carlsen you will find our words on two great films and one great film director. Here come the motivations of the juries:

The Dazzling Light of Sunset  (by Salomé Jashi) (PHOTO) paints an atmospheric and subtly humorous image of daily life in a small town in Georgia. Local events – such as weddings, shows, election discussions, captured owls, church rituals – seem like a good topic for the local TV crew whose cover stories are also in the focus of this film. All this is accompanied by a visually subtle observational detachment which shows this whole mixture of outdated tradition and new customs in both an absurd and poetically gentle light, which makes this film an extremely valuable piece.

Depth Two (by Ognjen Glavonic)… The Big Stamp Award for Best

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IDF Presents East Doc Platform

Written 04-03-2017 14:20:35 by Tue Steen Müller

IDF stands for Institute of Documentary Film, is based in Prague with this slogan: We support the emerging stars from Central and Eastern Europe. Link below, but let me sum up what this impressive film institution is doing: training (Ex Oriente), market (East Silver), distribution (KineDok), promotion (Czech Docs), pitching (East European Forum), transmedia (Doc Tank), networking (Project Market) and East Doc Platform, an event that starts this coming monday March 6 and goes on until March 12.

I have a warm connection to IDF and the many people, who work and have been working there. I was part of the ExOriente workshop for many years – it gave me a chance to make my addiction to documentaries and documentarians in this part of the world even deeper than it already was from around 1990, where the Empire USSR fell as did the wall in Berlin, and I travelled in the Baltic countries first of all. I got acquainted with the work of filmmakers like Miroslav Janek, Helena Trestikova, Jan Gogola, Filip Remunda, Robert Kirchhoff and many others.

Marta Obršálová, new pr manager of IDF, asked me to write about

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CPH:DOX 2017 /The Festival

Written 01-03-2017 16:39:23 by Tue Steen Müller

It’s spring, 1st of March, from where I sit in Copenhagen it’s cloudy and windy but milder. I have the window open. It’s spring and the CPH:DOX festival announced its program at noon today. The festival has moved to March and the festival main venue has moved. CPH:DOX will have what they call a Festival Palace at the Charlottenborg on Kongens Nytorv next to the Royal Theatre (the classic, not the new at the harbour). Here will be cinemas, exhibitions, a five day conference, concerts and parties, café and restaurant and much much more. The headquarter in other words. In one of the central squares of Copenhagen.

The website is up and running, the programme newspaper can be downloaded, I guess there will be banners round the city if they are not there yet… and there will be screenings outside Copenhagen, more than 100 it is written in the press material.

More than 200 films with 75 world premieres.

Dates: March 16-26.

Ambition – to be ”more than a festival”, quote from the website’s ”About Us”:

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CPH:DOX 2017 /Films

Written 01-03-2017 16:32:35 by Tue Steen Müller

It’s very easy if you want to see what will be shown at the festival. Go to the website, link below, and you will see the many sections arranged by the programmers. The classical ones are there like Dox:Award, New:Vision Award, the F:Act Award, Nordic:Dox Award, a new section for upcoming talents called Next:Wave, docs for kids, docs about artists, docs on the actual populism, Danish docs, festival hits and so on so forth.

Let me pick some of the films that I have heard about in beforehand or that we at have already written about or reviewed. Or intend to…

The Danish ones in the main competition: The opening film ”Last Men in Aleppo” by Feras Fayyad, with Steen Johannessen as co-director, it won at the Sundance festival. We will review this strong film that not only brought tears to my eyes but also made me sad and angry about what happens and has happened in Syria. Talented Jeppe Rønde’s ”The John Dalli Mystery” starring the

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CPH:DOX 2017 /Industry

Written 01-03-2017 16:21:16 by Tue Steen Müller

”Industry”, that is what CPH:DOX, and all the other big festivals call – quoted from the site – ”the various activities offer professional development, networking, and business opportunities to filmmakers and industry professionals at all levels of experience”.

So when the audience happily goes to watch films, the producers and directors and people like me, who is curious to know what is happening at the market, or which themes the filmmakers pick or what the funders are looking for or what kind of training is offered… we miss some films but are spoilt in other ways. CPH:DOX 2017, indeed, has done a lot to give us choices and it has to be said that most of these professional activities take place during day time, where screenings of course fill the evenings.

CPH:Conference is a series of day-long thematic sessions that the festival has set up in collaboration with the training programme Discovery Campus with the support of the daily Danish newspaper Information. ”Science and Film”, ”Art, Technology & Change” and ”Serialized” are some of the points, the latter including a visit by the Oscar winner Ezra Edelmann to talk on his film on O.J.

The CPH:Forum is more than similar events at other big festivals focused on bringing in ”auteurs”, so you will find names like Hubert Sauper, Kirsten Johnson, Roberto Minervini, Sally Potter, Sophie Fiennes AND our local hero, amazing Jørgen Leth on the list of people to pitch. To whom? Quote from the site: ”This year we welcome, amongst many others, highly esteemed broadcasters such as ARTE, ZDF, NDR, BBC, DR, film funds from all over Europe, as well as Ford Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Fondation Cartier, Tate Modern and Sundance Institute.”

And there is a CPH:Lab and a CPH: Academy for young filmmakers and their projects to be developed, and a market for people like me, who want to see films in the videotheque.

You name it - It’s all there!

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

A Festival Was Born

Written 01-03-2017 12:50:43 by Tue Steen Müller

… with the Docs & Talks at Cinemateket in Copenhagen. Filmkommentaren has been happy to be a so-called media supporter of a festival with a different profile than the ones we usually know and write about: Films were shown and followed by hour-long thematic talks and discussions about terrorism, Denmark’s wars, international aid programs, migration and apologies for past sins with researchers from DIIS (Danish Institute for International Studies), filmmakers and even military personnel (!) as participants.

The DIIS and Cinemateket were organisers, Danish Film Institute supported, Sara Thelle and Mira Bach Hansen selected, promoted and hosted together with Rasmus Brendstrup from Cinemateket,

There was an average of 95 in the cinema for the 11 screenings, 1055 in total, impressive when you take into consideration that many of the screenings took place weekdays in the afternoon. “Je Suis le Peuple” by Anna Roussillon was one of the best films at the festival, 117 came to watch and listen to researcher Rasmus Boserup talk about Egypt. Therefore a still from that film.

Small is Beautiful, next year with eventual evening screenings… the numbers will double.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Doc Festivals in March

Written 28-02-2017 15:27:59 by Tue Steen Müller

On the last day of the short February month, let’s take a look at the many festivals coming up in March. And let me apologise in advance for those I have forgotten to mention…

One has already started, the Croatian Zagrebdox, that goes on until April 3rd, set up years ago by producer and director Nenad Puhovski, who has a safe hand when it comes to selection. He simply picks what he thinks is the best and ends up with having praised works in his competitive programs like Piotr Stasik’s ”21 x New York” (photo), Kirsten Johnson’s ”Cameraperson”, Salome Jashi’s ”The Dazzling Light of Sunset”, Maite Alberdi’s ”The Grown-Ups” and Pawel Lozinski’s chamberplay ”You Have No Idea of How Much I love You”. All in International Competition, whereas the

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Docs & Talks /12

Written 27-02-2017 11:30:22 by Tue Steen Müller

Fuck… lød det fra ydersædet på min række. Arrangør og filmudvælger Sara Thelle var højlydt utilfreds med at mikrofonerne i Cinematekets Asta Biograf gav forstyrrende hvislende bilyde – og fik den næsten fyldte sals tilskuere til at klukke af medfølelse. Det var ikke første gang, vi havde været vidne til svigtende teknik. Det var det heller ikke for Cinematekets Rasmus Brendstrup, som tålmodigt flere gange gik ned til scenen, skiftede mikrofonerne ud, tilkaldte en tekniker. Det hjalp ikke. Til sidst spurgte Brendstrup publikum om ikke vi kunne klare arrangementet uden mikrofoner. Joooo!

Med denne menneskelige start var forsamlingen rystet sammen og ”Nye Syriske Kortfilm” kom i gang og skuffede ikke de fremmødte. Helle Malmvig fra DIIS kædede filmene sammen på fornemste vis. Fra Paris kom Dani Abo Louh for at vise og kommentere sin ”A Spring Tale”, som han har lavet sammen med Mohamad Omran, et fint stykke animationskunst skabt i 2011, da der stadig var håb for den syriske revolution. ”We were optimistic at that time”. En ny form for kunstnerisk udtryk fulgte gennem ”det anonyme filmkollektiv Abou Nadarra, (som) hver fredag siden begyndelsen af oprøret i 2011 (har) lagt en lille film ud på internettet.” De to korte film, der blev vist, var ”After the Image” og ”The Unknown Soldier”.

Gribende var det at møde herboende syrisk-kurdiske digter Jan

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Categories: Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /11

Written 24-02-2017 14:28:29 by Tue Steen Müller


Hvordan ser revolutionen i 2011 og dens efterveer ud set fra en landsby langt fra Tahrir-pladsen? I palmelundene i Luxor-dalen diskuteres der – i et samfund præget af årtiers diktatur – også politik, ligesom der småskændes og filosoferes på højt plan. ‘I Am the People’ er en smuk og klog film, der med overblik og humor stiller spørgsmål til demokratiets forudsætninger og vilkår.

DIIS' Rasmus Alenius Boserup diskuterer, med afsæt i dokumentarfilmen ‘I Am the People’ og sin egen bog 'Efter foråret', de spændninger, muligheder og blokeringer, der præger egyptisk og mellemøstlig politik i dag.

Je suis le peuple, Frankrig, Egypten, 2014. DCP, 111 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København søndag 26.02.17, Kl. 14:00 

Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /10

Written 23-02-2017 19:59:05 by Tue Steen Müller


The Docs & Talks festival in Copenhagen screens this excellent film saturday night at 17.45, followed by a debate, at the Film House, Cinemateket. Two years ago I made this review of the film:

I have been there before. Danish director Janus Metz went to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan to make ”Armadillo” about ”our” soldiers on mission. After more than a decade in the country, the NATO troops have withdrawn leaving the job to fight the enemy, the Taliban, to ANA, the Afghan National Army.

The mood of the Afghan soldiers is quite different than the one of the Danish soldiers, who (until they end up in a real battle) saw the trip, one of them puts it like that, as like going to play a real football match after long training and preparation. Quite different, a true understatement, because what you get in the impressive film by Saeed Taji Farouky and Michael McEvoy, shot over a period of one year, is an insight to a situation that seems to be without any hope and perspective: an army with soldiers, who have no respect for the politicians or for what the NATO troops achieved, an atmosphere of depression, they have not been paid for months, they see the local population as stuck between taliban and the government’s army. No actual way out.

The filmmakers have wisely chosen to have a focus on two – the

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Docs & Talks /9

Written 23-02-2017 18:38:33 by Allan Berg Nielsen


Dokumentarfilmen ’Tell Spring Not to Come This Year’ fokuserer på krigen i Afghanistan set med afghanske soldaters øjne, der bogstavelig talt placerer os midt i skudlinjen af fronten mellem Taleban og den afghanske nationale hær, der har overtaget kampen, efter at NATO har forladt landet. Et sjældent og nyt perspektiv der giver indsigt i de unge afghaneres personlige motivationer og drømme i en krig, der reelt set ikke er deres, og som det internationale samfund ikke længere interesserer sig for.

Filminstruktør Janus Metz og DIIS-forsker Mona Kanwal Sheikh diskuterer med afsæt i dokumentarfilmen ’Tell Spring Not to Come This Year’, hvilken situation de afghanske soldater opererer i, og hvordan Taleban står i Afghanistan i dag. I 2010 gav filminstruktøren Janus Metz en hårrejsende skildring af danske soldates hverdag i Helmand-provinsen med ’Armadillo’ – i dag er de tropper trukket hjem.

Storbritannien, 2015. DCP, 87 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København lørdag 25.02.17, Kl. 17:45



Et frygtindgydende mareridt udspiller sig på et militært missilkompleks i Arkansas i 1980. En medarbejder taber ved et uheld et stik, der punkterer brændstoftanken på et interkontinentalt ballistisk missil, som bærer kompleksets kraftigste nukleare sprænghoved. Hændelsen akkumulerer en serie af feberredninger for at undgå katastrofen. ’Command and Control’ er en neglebidende og minutiøs kronologisk gennemgang af historien. Instruktør Robert Kenner sætter et kamera ind, hvor intet kamera har været før, og bringer Eric Schlossers faglitterære thriller om dramaet til live med rekonstruktioner optaget i en original Titan II-missilsilo. Iscenesættelsen rammes ind af øjenvidneberetninger fra manden, der tabte stikket; ham, der designede det nukleare sprænghoved; den daværende Secretary of Defence. Alle fortæller om deres personlige oplevelse af de ni timers terror, for at forhindre en eksplosion 600 gange kraftigere end Hiroshima.

DIIS-forsker Gry Thomasen og historikeren Casper Sylvest diskuterer med afsæt i dokumentarfilmen ’Command and Control’, hvordan vi sikrer os mod atomkraftulykker, og om det at besidde atomvåben overhovedet er foreneligt med et moderne demokrati.

USA, 2016. DCP, 91 min. Engelsk dialog. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København lørdag 25.02.17 Kl. 21:00 

Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /8

Written 23-02-2017 12:12:44 by Allan Berg Nielsen


”President Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was asleep in Washington, D.C., when the phone rang. His military aide, General William Odom, was calling to inform him that two hundred and twenty missiles launched from Soviet submarines were heading toward the United States. Brzezinski told Odom to get confirmation of the attack. A retaliatory strike would have to be ordered quickly; Washington might be destroyed within minutes. Odom called back and offered a correction: twenty-two hundred Soviet missiles had been launched.

Brzezinski decided not to wake up his wife, preferring that she die in her sleep. As he prepared to call Carter and recommend an American counterattack, the phone rang for a third time. Odom apologized—it was a false alarm. An investigation later found that a defective computer chip in a communications device at NORAD headquarters had generated the erroneous warning. The chip cost forty-six cents…”

Sara Thelle, en af redaktørerne af festivalen Docs & Talks, anbefalede mig denne tekst, Eric Schlossers artikel World War Three, by Mistake i The New Yorker 23. december 2016 som forberedelse til at se hans og Robert Kenners film, og jeg giver insisterende anbefalingen videre. Der er et link nedenfor, gå ind og læs! Det er lige nu den lettest tilgængelige opdaterede oversigt over nuclear command and control systemer i USA og Rusland set historisk/retrospektivt. Da jeg i går læste artiklen, blev jeg længe hængende ved det citerede afsnit (som nota bene ikke er den hændelse filmen er bygget over), men lige netop denne billeddannende scene med fru Brzezinzki, for hvem det ville være bedst at sove videre ind i døden, denne erindrede kilde i Schlossers tekst vækkede mig. Jeg var angst igen, angst for selve udslettelsen, som Zbigniew Brzezinski håndterer så åbenenbart velforberedt nøgtern. Hvad jeg bestemt også med gru forventer af den nationale sikkerhedsrådgiver: vores sidste handling er at rive mdstanderen med i udslettelsen.

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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /7

Written 22-02-2017 19:26:20 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Program torsdag 24. februar / tekst: Sara Thelle, Mira Bach Hansen, Rasmus Brendstrup


Vi skal se dukkesatire som magtkritik med kunstnergruppen Masasit Matis serie 'Top Goon' og den bevægende animationsfilm 'A Spring Tale' instrueret af de to kunstnere Mohamad Omran og Dani Abo Louh. Det er en stærk og rørende fortælling, der hylder den fredelige modstand.

Det anonyme filmkollektiv Abou Nadarra har hver fredag siden begyndelsen af oprøret i 2011 lagt en lille film ud på internettet. De ultra-korte film problematiserer gængse forestillinger om Syrien, krigen og om os, der som tilskuere oplever rædslerne på afstand. Abou Nadarra insisterer på den universelle fortælling og på at skabe identifikation.

Til sidst vises to kortfilm produceret af NGO’en Bidayyat, der med base i Beirut har støttet dokumentar- og eksperimentalfilm lavet af unge syriske instruktører siden 2013. Azza Hamwis bevæger sig mellem de to dele af det splittede Damaskus, den regimestyrede og den befriede, i den personlige refleksion 'A Day and a Button'. Og 'Love During the Siege' af Mattar Ismaeel er en nænsom skildring af håb og kærlighed i en hverdag, der ellers er reduceret til ren overlevelse i det belejrede sydlige Damaskus, hvor instruktøren stadig befinder sig i dag.

Filmmediet spiller en afgørende rolle i konflikten i Syrien. Som kunstnerisk udtryk, som dokumentation for krigens rædsler og som magtkritisk våben i oprøret mod regimet, men også i kampen for retten til selv at definere, hvordan syrere repræsenteres i en verden hvor regimets propaganda og de vestlige mediers overflod af billeder af syrere som anonyme ofre eller fanatiske krigere dominerer. Helle Malmvig fra DIIS har forsket i de visuelle udtryk, der er opstået under det syriske oprør og den efterfølgende krig. Dagens program leder os gennem oprørets spæde start præget af latter og optimisme, henover den begyndende tvivl og vold, til i dag, hvor den rene overlevelseskamp råder. Programmet spænder vidt, fra dukkesatire og gribende animation til dokumentariske filmessays, digtoplæsning og samtale med syriske gæster.

I samtale med den herboende syrisk-kurdiske digter Jan Pêt Khorto og den syriske videokunstner Dani Abo Louh, der bor i Paris og er medinstruktør på 'A Spring Tale', taler DIIS-forsker Helle Malmvig om kunst som politisk aktivisme og om situationen i Syrien lige nu. Moderator: Sanne Gram.

Syrien, 2016. Kendes ikke, 30 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København fredag 24.02.17, Kl. 16:30


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /6

Written 21-02-2017 19:19:07 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Program torsdag 23. februar / tekst: Sara Thelle, Mira Bach Hansen, Rasmus Brendstrup


'The Apology' handler om den japanske hærs systematiske voldtægt af over 200.000 kvinder under 2. verdenskrig. Tre bedstemødre fra henholdsvis Sydkorea, Kina og Filippinerne bryder års skam og fornægtelse – og kræver en officiel undskyldning fra den japanske regering. En kamp, der fører dem helt til FN’s Menneskerettighedsråd i Genève for at overlevere mere end en million underskrifter på vegne af aktivister, pårørende og overlevende, der håber på forsoning, retfærdighed og heling.

At et land siger undskyld for fortidige ugerninger er ikke altid en fordel for ofrene. Problematikken diskuteres af forskerne Robin May Schott, Cecilie Stokholm Banke og Yang Jiang oven på visningen af ‘The Apology’, der handler om den japanske hærs systematiske voldtægt af over 200.000 kvinder under 2. verdenskrig. Debatten foregår på engelsk.

Canada, 2016, DCP, 104 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København torsdag 23.02.17, Kl. 16:45



‘Poverty, Inc.’ undersøger bagsiden af humanitært arbejde og de negative bivirkninger, den globale fattigdomsbekæmpelse kan have på de lokale samfund, den egentlig skulle hjælpe. Med eksempler fra Haiti og Afrika ser vi, hvordan den internationale bistandsindustri, organisationer som Verdensbanken, Den Internationale Valutafond og velmenende NGO’er og celebrities kan ødelægge de lokale bønder og forretningsfolks eksistensgrundlag og gøre befolkningen afhængige af et system, der i realiteten kun nærer sig selv ender med at fastholde modtagerne i fattigdom. Kritiske røster, bl. a. antropologen Timothy Schwartz, lægen og forfatteren Theodore Dalrymple og den senegalesiske iværksætter og powerkvinde Magatte Wade, påpeger, hvorledes udviklingsbistand kan blive til en form for neokolonialisme, der gør de lokale befolkninger til økonomiske slaver.

Er udviklingsbistand overhovedet befordrende for selvhjælp eller en bekræftelse af status quo – bare med nogle rigere mellemmænd? Det diskuterer DIIS-forskerne Adam Moe Fejerskov og Neil Webster sammen med generalsekretær i Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, Tim Whyte, med afsæt i dokumentarfilmen ‘Poverty, Inc.’

USA, 2014, 91 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København torsdag 23.02.17, Kl. 20:30 

Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /5

Written 20-02-2017 21:23:15 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Program onsdag 22. februar / tekst: Sara Thelle, Mira Bach Hansen, Rasmus Brendstrup


”Peacekeeping – but there is no peace to keep.” Oberst Joost de Wolf var fra 2014 til 2015 næstkommanderende for hæren under FN-indsatsen i Mali, men er en overraskende ærlig og kritisk fortæller. Hvad sker der, når kontorvirkeligheden i New York møder virkeligheden ude i marken? ‘The Mission’ diskuterer FN-missionens reelle mandat, grænsen mellem en fredsbevarende mission og terrorbekæmpelse – og skillelinjen mellem politiske og militære løsninger.

Efter dokumentarfilmen ’The Mission’ diskuterer DIIS-forsker Signe Cold-Ravnkilde og den tidligere militære leder af FN-missionen i Mali, Michael Lollesgaard, udfordringerne for FN i Mali og andre konfliktlande. Hvordan påvirker det eksempelvis en fredsbevarende mission, at den i sig selv bliver mål for terrorgrupper?

Originaltitel: De Missie, Holland, 2016, DCP, 89 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København onsdag 22.02.17, Kl. 13:00



Øen Lampedusa er blevet et symbol på flygtningekrisen. Men i sin vinderfilm fra Berlin-festivalen 2016, ’Havet brænder’, lægger italienske Gianfranco Rosi væsentlige nuancer til vores forståelse af øen og dens folk. Filmen er alt andet end reportage-agtig: Sensitiv, finurlig og fuld af ikke-verbaliserede paralleller mellem Lampedusas fiskerfolk og de hårdt prøvede syrere og afrikanere, der redder sig i land. Filmen har drengen Samuele – 12 år, umiddelbar, synshæmmet og meget lidt søstærk – som omdrejningspunkt. Hans far er søulk, mormoren ferm ved gryderne, og omkring dem cirkler militær- og redningsskibe. Det hele bindes sammen gennem en radiovært og øens allround-læge.

DIIS-forskerne Hans Lucht og Sine Plambech diskuterer med afsæt i Guldbjørn-vinderen ’Havet brænder’, om EU bruger de rigtige midler i forsøget på at forhindre de mange dødsfald på Middelhavet. Sygeplejerske Kamma Skaarup fra Læger Uden Grænser er netop kommet hjem fra Lampedusa og fortæller om sine oplevelser med at behandle migranter. Og den rwandiske multikunstner Dady de Maximo viser billeder og video om migranters liv (denne del af arrangementet foregår på engelsk).

Originaltitel: Fuocoammare, Italien, Frankrig, 2016, DCP, 107 min. Danske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København onsdag 22.02.17, Kl. 16:30



Den norske instruktør Paul Refsdal har fulgt fire foreign fighters fra al-Nusra Fronten i Syrien gennem seks uger. Alle har de som mål at blive martyrer i hellig krig, og filmen giver et unikt indblik i krigernes tro og tvivlspørgsmål hos selvvalgte selvmordsbombere.

Efter filmen ’Dugma: The Button’ fortæller filmens instruktør Paul Refsdal om sine overvejelser i forbindelse med at portrættere en gruppe selvmordsbombere. Den danske journalist Nagieb Khaja debatterer efterfølgende med DIIS-forskerne Lars Erslev Andersen og Maja Greenwood, hvilken rolle fremmedkrigere spiller i Syrien – og hvor stor en trussel de udgør, hvis de vender hjem. Norge, Syrien, 2016, DCP, 58 min. Engelske undertekster. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København onsdag 22.02.17, Kl. 19:00


Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /4

Written 20-02-2017 08:39:32 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Program tirsdag 21. februar / tekst: Sara Thelle, Mira Bach Hansen, Rasmus Brendstrup:


Kom med helt ind i det terapirum, hvor amerikanske krigsveteraner fra krigene i Irak og Afghanistan bliver behandlet for posttraumatisk stress syndrom (PTSD). Filmen vandt hovedprisen på IDFA og får her sin dan- ske biografpremiere. Den viser også, hvordan krig ’smitter’ familierne derhjemme. ”Min datter har lidt under, at du var i krig – fra før hun blev undfanget,” som en hustru siger til sin veteranmand.

Frankrig, Schweiz, USA, 2014. DCP, 142 min. Engelsk dialog. Tilladt over 15 år. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København tirsdag 21.02.17, Kl. 12:30.

Dokumentarfilmen ’Of Men and War’ danner afsæt for en debat om, hvordan militæret i dag håndterer PTSD og forsøger at modvirke konsekvenserne af krigens traumer. I panelet sidder DIIS-forskerne Robin May Schott og Johannes Lang, der studerer krigens psykologi, militærpsykolog Halfdan Fryd Koot samt en tidligere udsendt soldat. NB: Reserverede billetter skal afhentes senest dagen inden arrangementet. Efter debatten er der reception i Asta Bar.



’The Longest Run’ sætter spotlight på en skjult problematik i flygtningekrisen, nemlig fortællingen om, hvordan unge uledsagede flygtninge tvinges til at sætte sig ved roret og transportere illegale flygtninge over grænsen til Europa, mens de etablerede menneskesmuglere bliver tilbage og kan fortsætte deres arbejde ustraffet. Jasim og Alsaleh er begge mindreårige og er flygtet, uledsaget, fra krigen i Syrien og Irak. Begge drenge blev ved ankomsten til Grækenland anholdt og fængslet, og nu er de under anklage om menneskesmugling.

Filmens græske instruktør, Marianna Economou, giver os i ‘The Longest Run’ unik adgang til de to unge drenge i fængslet og helt ind i retssalen under retssagen, som skal afgøre deres videre skæbner. Gennem hjerteskærende telefonsamtaler med deres mødre, som sidder tilbage i hvert deres krigshærgede land, får vi på tæt hold lov at opleve den dobbelte rædsel og uvished, som drengene og deres familier gennemlever.

Grækenland, 2015. DCP, 73 min. Engelske undertekster. Tilladt over 15 år. Film og debat i Cinemateket, København tirsdag 21.02.17, Kl. 16:45

Hør instruktøren bag filmen ‘The Longest Run’, græske Marianna Economou, fortælle, hvordan hun ved et tilfælde fik adgang til et græsk ungdomsfængsel og mødte filmens hovedpersoner. DIIS-forsker Ninna Nyberg Sørensen taler om de gråzoner, der omgiver begrebet menneskesmugling, både på et nationalt og europæisk plan, og psykolog Mozhdeh Ghasemiyani, der har arbejdet med uledsagede mindreårige flygtninge, ser på forholdene for denne udsatte gruppe i en dansk kontekst. NB: Reserverede billetter skal afhentes senest dagen inden arrangementet. Debatten foregår på engelsk. Bemærk også, at der forinden er reception i Asta Bar kl. 16.00-16.45 

Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /3

Written 19-02-2017 16:49:50 by Allan Berg Nielsen


“My latest film The Mission tells the story of Dutch colonel Joost de Wolf who is sent to Mali as part of the UN mission MINUSMA. De Wolf is a hardened and savvy soldier who has devoted his life to the army. Upon his arrival, the Malinese army launches an attack on the insurgents and De Wolf finds himself in a mission unable to keep the factions apart. Hampered by the lack of political will from the UN and his own masters, he starts questioning official policies and unwittingly jeopardizes his career.

Supported by both the Dutch Filmfund and the V-Fund I am organizing so-called DEBRIEFS after screenings. It’s my intention and my ambition to give my audience the opportunity to truly connect with the people in my film and the complexities they have to deal with. Therefore we debrief military and civilian personnel who are involved in security policies.”

Sådan skriver Robert Oey på filmens hjemmeside og ja, man skulle tro, han har lavet filmen netop til Docs & Talks, som vel samlet set netop er en debriefing, ligesom den her film er Joost de Wolfs debriefing, dette møde med kollegerne i forsvarsministeriet eller foredrag eller hvad det er, hvor han har ordet hele tiden i optagelserne fra mødet og som gennemgående fortællerstemme, er ganske enkelt filmens ramme, dens sted og dens reale tid. Resten er flash-backs, og jeg ved fra begyndelsen, at missionen er forbi for hans vedkommende, nu skal erfaringerne og vurderingerne af dem nøgternt på bordet.

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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks /2

Written 17-02-2017 14:04:26 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Den barske herre hos fotografen hedder Joost de Wolf, han var en periode den militære chef for FN missionen MINUSMA. Han er den suveræne hovedperson i filmen ”The Mission”, et resolut værk, som faktisk er hans 90 minutters kyndige, skarpe, dybt personlige og – og vil publikum erfare – uforglemmelige analyse i en effektiv films form af FN styrkernes organisation, ledelse og indsats i den alvorlige konflikt i Mali.

Programredaktør i Cinemateket i København, Rasmus Brendstrup skriver om det meget omfattende arrangement, DOCS & TALKS, som Joost de Wolf således som den absolutte hovedperson i sin film og på den måde- deltager i som ekspert blandt en række eksperter, nogle i filmene som vises og andre i paneldiskussionerne bagefter. De Wolf deltager fra biograflærredet med sin mere end blot tankevækkende analyse:

”I perioden 21.-26. februar går DOCS & TALKS dybt i kødet på nogle af de centrale emner i verden: Atomvåben og sikkerhed, Afghanistans fremtid, internationale forsoningsprojekter, fattigdom og hjælpearbejde, migration mm. Midlet er en kombination af film og forskning.

”Hver dag fra tirsdag til søndag byder vi på foredrag eller debatter om konflikter eller udviklingstendenser i verden. Forskningen står centralt. Det særlige er, at festivalen i samme åndedrag zoomer ind på mennesker og detaljer – nemlig gennem dokumentarfilm,” siger Sara Thelle, der er en af festivalens programlæggere.

Som arrangører står Cinemateket og Dansk Institut for Internationale Studier (DIIS), der i 2016 blev rangeret som verdens syvendebedste tænketank uden for USA.

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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

Docs & Talks

Written 15-02-2017 10:19:39 by Tue Steen Müller

Bravo! It’s quite a festival that the Danish Cinemateket and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) presents next week in the Film House in Copenhagen. And yet it is not “only” a festival with high quality documentaries from all over, it is ALSO a so-called event, where screenings of the films are followed by Talks. Connected to international themes of today, inviting us viewers to go deeper via films and discussions than we are used to through the daily news. It is such a good title: Docs & Talks. Sara Thelle - who writes for filmkommentaren, is one of the organisers – sent us this English text:  

“What does the story of war look like when it is turned inside out in front of a therapist? Who are the Afghan soldiers battling the Taliban in the Helmand province after NATO and the Danish troops have left? Where do we draw the line between flight and human trafficking? Can international relief work make people poorer? And what is the role of cinema in war-torn Syria?

These are some of the questions posed, when the Danish Institute

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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