East by SouthEast

Sitting in Tbilisi I see a press release from the Danish Cinematheque that hosts a ”Festival of Central and Eastern European Film” from October 24 till November 7. Among them the feature hit from Georgia, ”In Bloom”, but also several documentaries. Exciting selection.

Let me quote an interesting article by Ewa Mazierska attached to the press release:

”One problem which is not specific to Eastern Europe, but is felt there more strongly than in, let’s say, France or Denmark, is the dying out of the province. This problem has to do, paradoxically, with the fact that still a large chunk of the population of Eastern Europe lives in the province; this being a consequence of delayed modernisation of this part of Europe. During the communist times the authorities usually limited the number of people able to relocate to the large cities by the rule that one has to be ‘registered’ there in order to live and work there. Under democracy, however, when one can, at least in theory, live where one wants, many people choose to do so, leaving behind their families and thus communities depopulated, impoverished and unbalanced in terms of gender and age. This problem is tackled in numerous Eastern European films, although often indirectly, as exemplified by Matchmaking Mayor (2010) by Erika Hnikova, Igrushki (2012) by Lina Luzyté and Night Boats (2012) by Igor Mirkovic. By and large, in the bulk of the films by Eastern Europe directors their countries come across as places to escape from rather than to visit and enjoy. However, less often than in the past this idea is transmitted in films about sex trafficking, as if to suggest that girls from Eastern Europe have learnt from cinema not to naively follow men from the West promising them paradise on the other side of the border.”

”Igrushki” (photo) is in competition here at Cinedoc in Tbilisi.



Share your love
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.

Articles: 3870