CPH:DOX 2017 /On the Edge of Freedom


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.

Share your love
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.

Articles: 3872