Bravo! It’s quite a festival that the Danish Cinemateket and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) presents next week in the Film House in Copenhagen. And yet it is not “only” a festival with high quality documentaries from all over, it is ALSO a so-called event, where screenings of the films are followed by Talks. Connected to international themes of today, inviting us viewers to go deeper via films and discussions than we are used to through the daily news. It is such a good title: Docs & Talks. Sara Thelle – who writes for filmkommentaren, is one of the organisers – sent us this English text:  

“What does the story of war look like when it is turned inside out in front of a therapist? Who are the Afghan soldiers battling the Taliban in the Helmand province after NATO and the Danish troops have left? Where do we draw the line between flight and human trafficking? Can international relief work make people poorer? And what is the role of cinema in war-torn Syria?

These are some of the questions posed, when the Danish Institute

for International Studies (DIIS) and the Cinematheque build a bridge between film and research with the festival DOCS & TALKS running February 21-26 2017.

The festival offers 11 events treating subjects like terrorism, Denmark’s wars, international aid programs, migration and apologies for past sins. After the screenings, debate panels with researchers from DIIS, filmmakers, migrants, military personnel a.o., will discuss and put into perspective the themes of the films, and the audience is most welcome to participate – also with critical questions.”

Briefly about the films:

The French director Laurent Bécue-Renard’s “Of Men and War”, the winner at IDFA 2014, the jury said A more powerful anti-war film is hard to imagine.

“The Longest Run” is an emotional strong refugee story made by experienced Marianna Economou, who was able to get very close to the two characters. Economou won awards at the DOKLeipzig 2015.

The Dutch “The Mission” by Robert Oey that will be reviewed by Allan Berg on this site.

Gianfranco Rosi’s awarded everywhere film from Lampedusa “Fuocoammare” (photo) that is nominated for an Oscar.

Norwegian Paul Salahadin Refsdal’s ”Dugma: The Button” that goes close to foreign fighters in Syria, whose aim it is to become martyrs. A film that raises a lot of questions to the director, who will be there.

The Canadian ”The Apology” by Tifanny Hsiung about the Japanese army’s systematic rape of over 200.000 women during WW2.

Saeed Taji Farouky and Michael McEvoy’s ”Tell Spring Not to Come”, that I reviewed on this site – here is a quote ”excellently crafted. The camerawork (mainly done by Farouky) is amazing, there is a narrative flow in the story, a respect for the protagonists, an ability to show the conflicts in the army and to the society, carried gently by fine music composed for the film…”  

A collection of short films from Syria.

”Poverty Inc.” by Michael Matheson Miller.

American Robert Kenner’s ”Command and Control”.

French Anna Roussillon’s ”I am the People”, a film I have been looking forward to see for a long time. Now the possibility is there, on a big screen.

If you want to know, who will be there to talk and lead the discussions, go to the website of Cinemateket, click on the headline of each event, and you will get the names of researchers, filmmakers etc. It’s all well planned! The text is in Danish but all films are in English or with English subtitles.

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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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