cph:dox 9-17/11 Songbirds

Things are moving in the documentary genre. New and original ways of storytelling come out of the blue. Like in this case where British director Brian Hill went to the Downview Prison in Sutton England to make a film with and about the female prisoners.

He hired a composer and a songwriter to make human and compassionate those often very tough and tragic stories that got the women into prison. The prisoners themselves sing their stories, which makes the storytelling dynamic and deep and warm. It’s pure Verfremdungseffekt, Brecht would have loved it.

It ends up being a documusical, quite extraordinary. You are totally taken by the women and their stories about burglary and drug smuggling – nevertheless the strongest story is the one with a non-singing inmate, who happened to kill a woman, a neighbour that she wanted to threaten with a knife because of constant partying and noise from the neighbour’s side. She sort of walked into the knife…

Brian Hill: Songbirds. UK, 2005

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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