CPH:DOX – Kossakovsky: Gunda

The CPH:DOX programme is launched. The festival runs from April 21 to May 12. The cinemas are scheduled to re-open in the beginning of May so the festival intends to be part of this (cross fingers…) festive celebration of watching (also) documentaries on a big screen. Otherwise the festival’s 177 films will be available (for those who are in Denmark) online as well as an enormous line-up of events. Check the website: https://cphdox.dk/film/

On this site – www.filmkommentaren.dk – we will follow the festival from now on with recommendations of films to be watched. It will be in English as many of the films will show up to be watched at other festivals around the world.

And of course the festival offers its Danish audience Kossakovsky’s masterpiece ”Gunda”, which did not make it to the final 5 Oscar nominated documentaries – a mistake I think.

”Every year, human beings slaughter about 70 billion livestock. In his latest film, the Russian master Viktor Kossakovsky lets the camera linger on one of these animals -the sow Gunda – and the other pigs, hens and cows in her company. There are no expert interviews in ‘Gunda’, which is just as far from the conventions of documentary filmmaking as the director’s spectacular climate hit ‘Aquarela’. But by letting us look at the behaviour of animals in dazzlingly beautiful black-and-white images, Kossakovsky lets us understand that there is both intelligence and emotions behind the snouts, beaks and muzzles.”

I was in the jury at the Sofia Intl. FF, we decided on a special award for “Gunda” with this motivation:

„Viktor Kossakovsky again is surprising his audience by making a film, which is beautiful to watch – black & white, and has an quite interesting protagonist. A very dramatic and emotional story about what it means to be a mother… It’s about our environment, it’s about our attitude, our connection to nature and animals. Kossakovsky is a master in cinematography and has again done something, which is extraordinary.“

I hope CPH:DOX will show the film on the big screen as ”we” did in Belgrade at Magnificent7 and will do at the upcoming (end of May) DocsBarcelona.

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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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