Dok Leipzig 2011 – At Night, they Dance

Subtitle: ”Reda and her 3 daughters”, a very well told human story from the crowded Cairo, about women who earn their money as belly dancers in more or less obscure locations for entertainment, dominated by and set up for men. Reda has 7 children and is most of the film sitting on the floor, smoking cigarettes, taking care of her children, Bussy, Amira and Hind, who have different ages and different problems, with men, with drugs, with a male society, that wants them to dress up and perform, at the same time as they should stay decent (virgins) to be married in an early age. Reda with her mobile phone sitting on the floor, is the situation you will remember from the film.

There is drama in the film, there is presence created in the scenes, you sense that you are there, as Leacock would have said it and you get close because the filmmakers let scenes develop. Taking a break once in a while, time for reflection like when you watch a kite blowing in the wind or a pair of hands moving in the air.

The most intriguing, however, is the constant change of the faces of the women. A change made to please – and earn a living. If you are old enough. Hind is 16, she lives away from Reda, who calls her a whore, because she is in love with a married man. She stays with the father, who seems to be kind but does not have courage (or money?) enough to pay the money asked for to get Hind out of the arrest she has fallen into during one night on her way back from work. She gets out because a man has paid what was needed. A man who wants to marry her. You can easily guess what that will lead to.

Isabelle Lavigne & Stephane Thibault, Canada, 2011, 90 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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