DocsBarcelona 2013/ 7

And the winner was… “The Act of Killing”. One of the editors of the film was Barcelona born Ariadna Fatjo-Vilas Mestre, educated at the National Film School in England. She answered like this when the question came if she could see any similarities thematically from Indonesia and Spain:

“I’m very proud to have been able to work on ‘The Act of Killing’ as one of the editors… The film affected me greatly not only in the way it deals with the portrayal of evil but also in its portrayal of a society, which hasn’t dealt with a violent past.

Although there are many differences between Spain and Indonesia, I couldn’t help thinking of all the similarities we share.

As you will see in the film, in Indonesia today the winners version of the country’s history continues to prevail. Here, in Spain, despite now living in a democracy, we also have been unable to re-evaluate our history. Instead, we created a ‘pact of forgetting’

and the divisions created by the Civil War and dictatorship continue to exist.

“Whilst I was editing this film, I watched hundreds of hours of footage about a society that doesn’t critically engage with its past. It made me realise how difficult it then becomes to have a true reconciliation between people.

“Desmond Tutu who was the Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that dealt with the crimes committed during the Apartheid regime in South Africa said the following words:

“The only way to cleanse wounds is to open them to stop them from festering. We cannot be facile and say bygones will be bygones, because they will not be bygones and will return to haunt us. True reconciliation is never cheap, for it is based on forgiveness which is costly. Forgiveness in turn depends on repentance, which has to be based on an acknowledgement of what was done wrong, and therefore on disclosure of the truth. You cannot forgive what you do not know…

“This film has helped to start a debate in Indonesia about what happened during the 60s and afterwards. I wish something similar would happen in Spain. I wish we could start dealing with our past as it’s the only way to understand ourselves in the present.”

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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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