Dmytro Tiazhlov: Cornered

First a small introduction to a film that I saw in Kiev during the DocuDays festival. It was made by Dmytro Tiazhlov, who asked me to wait with any text review of the film until correct English subtitles had been adjusted. He sent the film to me a couple of months ago and I saw it again with pleasure and duable subtitles. The film is part of an almanach that

… comprises five short stories: Mezhyguirya, Afghan War Veteran, School, House with Chimeras, Cornered. 
The enactment in May 2011 of the Law on Access to Public Information prompted five nationals (documentary protagonists) to put the new piece of legislation to good use in their fight for their own rights. Not knowing each other, residing in different localities and totally different in their values, convictions, educational background and social standing, they nevertheless do have a strong point to share — their proactive approach to life…

“Cornered” is a small human story about Zoya Ivanivna Shulha, who lives in Panasivka in Ukraine, a small village with about 50 inhabitants, most of them old – see photo – and “cornered” they are without a decent transport possibility, no bus has come to the village for years. But the strong Zoya Ivanivna wants to change this situation. She writes to the authorities to get an explanation, refers to a decree from the former president, who promised transport to the most isolated areas of the country, and goes around to get signatures from the villagers to accompany her request. The director, who is also the cinematographer (and who made “I am a Monument to Myself” 4 years ago), follows her in her fight and demonstrates talent for catching and conveying situations among the citizens. Totally in the spirit of John Grierson this is a focus on public service, made with a sense of humour that makes you want to know more about the people of Panasivka. Why not a continuation?

Ukraine, 2013, 25 mins.

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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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