Denis Klebeev: Strange Particles

I have to confess that I have no idea of what the young physicist Konstantin talks about to himself, when he sits writing his equations in his datcha or when he tries to make his students interested in physics at the summer camp, where he is one of the teachers and where he has no success in making the students do their homework or have the same enthusiastic ambition as he has – to find out how the world is built. He is, as I understand it from his continous awards mentioned, a scientist of high quality. And a totally lonely wolf.

And yet I follow the film in great concentration because it is a very fine piece of vérité filmmaking, where the director, who is also the cameraman, who is also the editor, ”simply” follow the protagonist, who often communicates directly to him. At least he, the director, is interested in him, the physicist, who sees himself as ”a fish out of water”.

You can’t help feel sorry for him in most of the situations – totally absurd it is when he tries to teach on the beach on a lovely night at the same time as another group of students are having a lesson in how to dance chacha.

Is he one of these classical Russian characters we know from drama and literature, who does not fit in and gets no inspiration to develop their creativity, as he says at the end to the director behind the camera? One who finds his joy in listening to music that he ”feels”.

Russia, 2014, 51 mins.

The film won the Joris Ivens Award at the Cinema du Réel Paris,2015 and will be shown at Hot Docs in the coming days.

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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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