Edkins & Vehkalahti: Steps by Steps 2

Dont we too often think that documentaries should have simple narrative plots: a lead character, a conflict and the Aristotelian three-act structure? Doesn’t that easily lead to documentaries that are cheap imitations of fictional movies – minus the big screen?


there are documentaries that are streams of association, where you go from one area of imagination, thought and emotion to another; there are documentaries that peel away like an onion to reveal a central core; there are documentaries that seek answers to intellectual or emotional questions by bombarding you from different angles and levels; there are documentaries where the twists and turns of their progress lead to continual reappraisals that complement one another; and there are documentaries whose power lies in something we cant quite identify or analyse, that works deep in our unconscious selves.

and yet all of them have a story. So what do we understand by the word story? That is the question. (page 81 in the book “Steps by Steps”, see review)

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