cph:dox 9-17/11 Back to Normandy

It’s countryside again. This time Nicholas Philibert heads for Normandy, where he 30 years ago was the direction assistant of René Allio on the film “Moi, Pierre Rivière”, a “based on a true” story about a young man who in 1835 killed his mother, sister and brother. Pierre left his memoirs that were studied and written about by French philosopher Michel Foucault – the inspiration for Allio.

Philibert goes back to see the people, who played the roles in the film. Allio wanted people from the region, so called real people, and Philibert was to find them. As he re-finds them now due to his absolutely masterly discreet, warm and interested way of making them feel confident in front of the camera.

I can not think of any European documentarist who has this sense of making beauty out of everyday life as it is being lived by us ordinary people.

What we as an audience get is therefore a multi-layered documentary essay, a reflection on Life and Death as it was interpreted so stylistically perfect in the film of René Allio, from which we see a lot of excerpts AND as it is performed and told about by the people in this countryside today.

Of course there is also a lot of wonderful film memories that are brought forward by those, who played the mother, the father, the sister, the lover – and the son, who has left the region but is found by Philibert and enters the film in the end.

A completely different film from the hands of the man behind “Etre et Avoir”, and yet it is with the same signature, from a director who believes in the image and in looking at life as a gift to be cared about.

Nicholas Philibert: Back to Normandy. France, 2007

More about the festival: http://www.cphdox.dk/d1/front.lasso

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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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