DOK Leipzig/ 7/ Main Competition Programme

I have already saluted the jury’s choice of Wojciech Staron’s ”Brothers” as the winner of the feature length competition. I would also like to salute the festival for making a good selection of films for this section. I agree that a festival like this should go – as DOK Leipzig does – for diversity in themes and storytelling. I saw all 12 films and ended up having ”Brothers” as my favourite with Crystal Moselle’s ”The Wolfpack” and Korean Hyuck-jee Park’s ”With or Without You” as runners-up for the Goldene Taube, the Golden Dove. ”The Wolfpack” is an amazing story about six brothers being raised in an apartment on Manhattan with their mother teaching them and their father securing that they do not leave home, where they stay and as said in the catalogue ”liberate themselves through the power of cinema”: they watch and they make their own movies. Until one day, where one of them gets out… The Korean documentary, filmed over many years, is a lovely portrait of two old women, who have been living together all their lives, having had the same husband. A beautiful follow-up to ”My Love, Don’t Cross that River”.

I have written about the quality of the two timely films, ”Lampedusa in Winter” by Jakob Brossmann and ”The Longest Run” by Marianna Economou, as well as ”The Event” by Sergei Loznitsa. ”Under The Sun” by Vitaly Mansky will have a post of its own – ”Francophonia” by Sokurov, well you can discuss why it is there, is it not for feature film festivals, but Sokurov is a good name and I guess this is also the reason why Roberto Minervini’s ”The Other Side” has been included. He got the main prize last year for ”Stop the Pounding Heart”, which had qualities. ”The Other Side”, as a colleague said to me, is just a bad fiction film, which is crossing all borders of decency for me.

Decent with a high level of respect for those involved is ”Wie die Anderen” (”Like the Others”) by Constantin Wulf shot in an adolescent psychiatric centre in Vienna, classic observational documentary style, as – including interviews – is local Andreas Voigt’s ”Time Will Tell” that goes back to the end of the 80’es to show to the viewer what has happened with three characters. The film that was shown in the railway station at the opening night, is interesting for many reasons – the characters and what has happened to them and the city of Leipzig as it looked at that time and today. At least in the ”innenstadt” Leipzig is today a welcoming modern city, eine Kulturstadt, and documentary films are culture. Right? Especially interesting for me, as I was at the first DOK Leipzig ”nach der Wende”.

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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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