DOK Leipzig 2011 – Other Films

Above I write about films that impressed me mostly, but there were others that deserve mention for the good or for the bad. So here comes some name dropping. Finnish Anu Kuivalainen’s ”Aranda” about people and research on board the reserach ship with that name is beautifully mastered in camera and music, and lives up to the kliché about Finnish people not saying a lot, but when they talk… German ”Bad Weather” by Giovanni Giommi is strong in subject and visuals but the story about the brothel island in Bangla Desh goes in too many direction and loses intensity…. the anonymous ”Fragments of a Revolution, produced by Gilles Padvani from France, is interesting in its compilation of images and archive from the Iranian riots around the election in 2009… ”Italy: Love it or Leave it” by Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi, is an attempt to make a docu-comedy, they fail totally… ”Life in Stills” by Tamar Tal from Israel, on the contrary, is a very funny and warm film with a 96 year old grandmother and her grandson, who keep a photo shop alive in Tel Aviv. The scoop photos are from the declaration of independence of the state of Israel… Extremely beautiful is the French film ”La vie à loin” (photo) by Marc Weymuller, from the North of Portugal, from an area where time has stopped and memories are present… ”War Matador” from the borderline of Israel and Gaza is a superb observation (by Israeli directors Avner Faingulent and Macabit Abramson) of people who live near the border and people who come to enjoy the bombardments of Gaza. Unfortunately the directors have decided to include a metaphor (the raving bull in an arena and the matador that smells blood and wants to kill), that is for me far too much an unnecessary construction… and finally a film that I stopped after 20 minutes, ”Water Children” by Dutch/Russain Aliona van der Horst. It should be about being a woman, many women at the festival praised it, I did not, for me it was ”unmusikalisch” (the voice of the director” and ”arty” in its approach. You should have stayed, it becomes much better, said the festival director to me. Maybe!

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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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