DOK Leipzig 2011 – Arabien

Obvious to make a series of films from the Arab countries – Arabien as the organisers called it, and it sounds much nicer in German. I saw a couple of them, ”Tahrir 2011”, ”I am in the Square” and ”No more Fear”, made quickly in the aftermath of the revolution in Egypt and Tunisia, both pretty disappointing from a filmic point of view. Which is not a surprise as they were/had to be built on news and youtube clips, combined with people telling us, the audience, where they were and what happened when and where.

Documentaries need time to be made, other angles have to be found, to be put into a narrative that brings us deeper into the content and closer to understanding.

”Forbidden”, made by Amal Ramsis, was shot before the revolution and proved to be an amusing – and yet serious – investigation into all that is not allowed in the Egyptian society, and is done anyway. Including a lot interesting material about Egyptian films put on the shelf by the state censorship.

Forbidden, Amal Ramsis, Egypt, 2011, 67 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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