Anna Eborn: Lida

Yes. Documentary is Cinema. Where the best directors know what they are doing. Have chosen a form for what they want to tell. Before shooting. This is what Swedish Anna Eborn has done with this gem of a documentary film. She is working with video and with 16mm film, she has created a superb sound design and used music so it matches the sequences. The critic has no objections!

… an extraordinary cinematic interpretation of something ordinary. No Lida Utas Andreasdotter is not an ordinary person, but her story, her destiny as a victim of geography and the related events of war and deportation is heard and told about so many times before:

She lives with her family as a child in Zmiivka (used to be a Swedish colony) in Ukraine. During the world war the family is deported by the Germans, they go to Germany, Poland and after the war they are sent to a camp in Siberia. She comes back to Zmiivka and has stayed there since then. She gave birth to four boys, two of them died as children, the two others live far away from their mother, as does her sister, there is no contact between them.

The film brings them together. On film. Not in reality. Lida is a

great storyteller – in old Swedish – she remembers her childhood, the director brings it to life, and we get a good insight to the old people’s home, where she stays, where she has a male friend, from where she goes with a younger friend Lucia to the cemetery and to the kiosk and to visit other old women, who remember some Swedish language. You have to be ”always funny and cheerful until the ass lies in the grave”, as one of them says.

Anna Eborn has been filming for years, she went to see the son Arvid to show him footage of his mother, she went to see the sister Maria, she brings them together – it is painful for them to remember. But there are also, of course, the joyful moments from childhood, and they are interpreted in the film.

A film full of magic cinematic moments and love and respect for Lida, her family and their story. As simple as that.

Sweden/Denmark, 2017, 88 mins.

The film is shown on DRK tomorrow, September 17

Photo: Kristoffer Jönsson.

The link below takes you to an interview with the director made in connection with the screening at Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland this year.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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