CPH:DOX 2013 /5

Karen Stokkendal Poulsen’s film The Agreement will be shown at CPH:DOX on the 11th, the 13th and the 17th of November.

EU chief negotiator Robert Cooper (photo) is the main character of a film that follows the negociations between Kosovo, delegation led by Edita Tahiri, and Serbia, delegation led by Borislav (Borko) Stefanovic. It all takes place in offices in Brussels, there is a long corridor with doors behind which the delegations operate, when they are not called to the table of Cooper. The negociations are performed in a good atmosphere with smaller verbal aggressions but rather friendly, when you consider the hate and violence that exist at the border of the two countries.

And that is my main concern about this film that seems to be more interested in characterising Cooper as a slightly excentric man, who goes to work on bike and dressed like a professional cyclist, reads W.H. Auden, has a huge library at his home, loads of ties in the closet to choose from when he changes for diplomatic clothes. For Tahiri we get to know about her American university background, and Stefanovic was playing guitar in a band during the Milosevic era. Interesting? Not really, more filling-up a narrative as there is not a lot of interesting drama at negociations like these. For the same the filmmakers have chosen to randomly squeeze in archive material from the NATO bombings, burning cars, conflicts and demonstrations. To give the viewer an impression of the realities down there or what? It does not work with that kind of tv-editing, it stays on the surface and is not deep enough to describe a serious conflict in today’s Europe. What it is? A film about some paperwork with symphatetic characters.

Denmark, 2013, 58 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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