DocLisboa Diary 5

”A sermon has to be like a woman´s dress. It should long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting”. These wise words (by the way try to change ”sermon” with film) come from the mouth of Father LeDoux, the 76 year old charismatic main character of ”Shake the Devil Off” by Peter Entell, a wonderful warm film about a small New Orleans community fighting to keep their parish and their Father – half a year after the hurricane Katrina put everything into chaos. The Father is their hope but the catholic administration wants to get rid of him.

In tone and approach this is a film that grows out of a European tradition for documentaries, leaving space for the audience to think and feel, whereas the latest film by Errol Morris, ”Standard Operationg Procedure”, is a constant bombardment of noise for every cut, music (that functions like muzak) all over, making every attempt to simplify with a strong graphic design from start till end. One-dimensional. A film playing according to main stream American dramaturgy… what is it about, well it tells about some American soldiers, or rather it lets American soldiers tell what happened in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Accompanied by the photos we have seen so often. But why Morris made the film, what his point is… is totally hidden by style and graphics and sound design.

I am off to Jihlava in Czech Republic. A long journey. It has been a pleasure to be here in Lisbon for a festival with a big audience, a well chosen film programme and a warm hospitality.

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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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