DocAlliance Puts Focus on Vitaly Mansky

Today starts the festival in Karlovy Vary, Kviff, and tomorrow is the first (of three) screening of Vitaly Mansky’s “Putin’s Witnesses”, that has its premiere at the festival. To celebrate this and the director, DocAlliance, launches a curated programme with the title “A Probe into the (Not Only) Russian Soul”, in all respects an impressive offer from the VOD.

I copy-paste the presentation text from DocAlliance:

The renowned Ukrainian documentary filmmaker has been mapping the phenomenon of contemporary Russia in an original way for several decades. In his films, he meets his protagonists in big cities and remote territories, following politicians as well as the everyday lives of common people. Mansky’s latest film “Putin’s Witnesses” will be premiered in the documentary competition at the upcoming Karlovy Vary IFF. The director’s current retrospective at DAFilms includes an exclusive preview from the film.

In “Red Tsars. Presidents of Russia”, Mansky follows three statesmen over the course of one year: Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. The result is both an insider’s account of politics in Russia and an intimate portrait of the three “Red Tsars”.

Different aspects of human existence were explored in Mansky’s “Virginity” where three young women try to find a way to the world of fame, popularity and money by what they see as a desired commodity for sale: their virginity.

“Broadway. Black Sea” from 2002 is a kaleidoscopic portrait of a Black Sea resort in the course of one holiday season. Mansky revisits the Black Sea once again in Wild, Wild Beach where he composes a unique portrait of several protagonists bearing witness to the state of our world.

The question of what is more important – life or home? – is explored in “Gagarin’s Pioneers” where Mansky questions his former schoolmates who were members of the Young Pioneers just like he was and who swore allegiance to their then homeland – the Soviet Union. The motif of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin also appears in “Private Chronicles. Monologue” where Mansky processes 5 000 hours of footage to weave a fictional biography of the common life of a generation of those who were born when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space and whose youth ended when the Soviet Union collapsed.

“I became a Russian citizen simply because I happened to live in Moscow when the Soviet Union broke apart,” says Mansky to explain the origin of his film “Close Relations”. A few decades later his family in Ukraine face the dramatic consequences of further turbulent change, and their fresh experience of the revolution shows us that the media presentation of the country’s East-West dichotomy is deeply flawed.

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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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