Audrius Mickevicius: Man-Horse

In the best Lithuanian slow-pace, spiritual documentary tradition this is a film that puts total trust to the image. And to the fact that an old man and his horse living in the countryside is a story that includes sufficient drama. It certainly does for a creative director like Mickevicius. There is enough of both story and drama, and of time for reflection if you believe in a film to be made when it meets its spectator. Taking that the film is a chain of sequences of carefully framed nature tableaux, one of life’s many stages, the narrative takes place within these, following the seasons: the old man dragging the horse to a place where he bolts it, the horse easily unbolting to be free again, yet never leaving the man, the horse being attacked by flies and bees, the old man preparing a spray to be put on the horse for protection…  it is a hell of a tough job for the old farmer but he continues his daily fight against the weather, scolding the horse at the same time as he gives it care. Where the wind is blowing, the devil goes, he says in a film that suddenly includes another small drama with a frog as the main character almost being wiped out by mud from the shovel of the man. It is a film full of moments, sometimes hard and rational (what a life he has), sometimes almost biblical scenes that communicates much more than you actually see.

It took the director many years to make this film about his neighbour. He has made several versions. This one is a television hour and a big hurra again for the contribution of Finnish channel YLE, and German MDR. Respect for the audience.

Nevertheless, film festivals all over, pay attention: This is a film for the big screen. Something very special. Beauty.

Lithuania, 2008, 52 mins.

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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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