Doker 2021 Billie Mintz: Portrayal

The Russian documentary film festival has chosen quite a story to open its 2021 festival. Well crafted and told, full of layers and conflicts with several strong characters. With the young Roman Lapshin as the one in focus. He wants to confront the artist Oz Almog, who had a world-wide success with portraits of well known Jews through exhibitions named “Index Judaeorum”.

 

The exhibitions included hundreds of portraits painted by the Israeli artist Vladimir Dvorkin, the grandfather of Roman Lapshin. And he was never credited for the portraits, which carried Almog’s signature. Roman wants the truth to come out.

The family is divided. Should the secret be revealed? They discuss in the family – the best conversations being between Roman and his uncle (photo); the latter finds it wrong to chase and confront Oz Almog for what could look like catching a thief as it is said in the film, where Roman travels from Toronto to Vienna to Tel Aviv and to Serbia.

Grandmother is alive and is worried about Roman’s intentions… The scenes between her and Roman are touching.

The whole film is full of emotional ups-and-downs of Roman; it has become an obsession for him to meet Almog.

Does he? Yes, but no spoiler from me – would be wrong to tell what actually happens when the director effectively builds up to the meeting by giving the audience a parallel montage of a portrait of Oz Almog, who has quite provokative opinions on what art should be and the story of Roman’s search for the truth – whatever that is, this psychological thriller also brings to the table.

Canada, 2020, 90 mins.

https://www.midff.com/program

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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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