Dox Box Damascus 4

4 Polish documentaries and a Syrian. And again bravo to the organisers for putting an emphasis on the short documentary which is of course well targeted in a country with limited funding possibilities – where short film can be made – and for the rest of us, who have experienced this special art form disappear from public television to become a playground-like platform for young people, who want to experiment, develop their skills and find their own voice.

”Six Weeks” is a small masterpiece by Marcin Krawczyk. In 18 minutes he tells the story about a woman, who like many others decide not to keep her child because she does not think she can offer it a decent life. Visually it is strong, it is dealing with a tough subject in a respectful way. Polish short documentaries have a flow in storytelling, they have rythm, they go directly into the story… You can see the inspiration of old masters like Kieslowski and Lozinski.

”Mother” (theme: family), ”A Woman Sought” (theme: matchmaking), ”Till it Hurts” (theme: mother and son) were the other Polish film in the programme, high quality, right to the point, made with invitations to laugh at our crazy life.

Syrian ”Women’s Talk” was a film that pleased the full cinema. It has three acts, the first one full of male chauvinistic remarks from old men, who think that women are well of now – they have electricity, it is warm in the kitchen, and we don’t beat the women any longer… the middle act responds to the first one, you see a quick edited MTV-style sequence of women working in all professions, with no dialogue. Which there is in the last sequence where women around the fireplace comment on the men. Payback! They laughed in the theatre, it was funny, but also for a foreigner a terrible comment on the position of women in modern Syria. There is along way to equality!  Still: 6 Weeks.

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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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