DR2 Dokumania: Armenien i krig og fred

The title is in Danish because I want our Danish readers to go to DR2 tomorrow,  tuesday night at 20.45 to watch a very strong and personal documentary by Vardan Hovhannisyan (photo), who took years to make this honest and touching war-and-peace film based on material shot by himself when he was part of the horror. A fine description of the film was found on the site of IDF, the initiator of the development of documentaries programme called Ex Oriente that I have been part of for more than 6 years. Vardan is one of most gentle persons I know from these years, a man who is totally dedicated to documentary making as a producer and director. I have often written about him and his company on this site. The text:

Many historians cite the Nagorno-Karabagh War (1989-1994) between Armenia and Azerbaijan as the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Union. For journalist and former prisoner of war Vardan Hovhannisyan, who lived alongside Armenian soldiers for four years, the war is something he struggles to explain to his son and reconcile with his own sense of decency. Armed with video footage he shot on the front lines 12 years earlier, Hovhannisyan sets out to find his “brothers” from the war, only to discover that many of them have become “casualties of peace.” Felo, a loving and conscientious father, divorced following the war and became estranged from his family. Jude, a young soldier who distinguished himself so bravely in battle, is now in prison for marijuana possession. Kadjik hears voices in his head and is confined to a mental institution. A personal meditation on the horrors of war and its effects is shown through the eyes of Armenian journalist Vardan Hovhannisyan. Weaving together footage from his country’s 1994 conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Hovhannisyan creates a devastating portrait of lasting damage inflicted by the battlefield.


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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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