Ex Oriente 4 Directing

Stan Neumann visited the workshop and showed his 2004 production for Arte France, ”Language does not Lie”, a film based on the diaries of Victor Klemperer, who survived Das dritte Reich and whose diaries were not published before the mid 1990’s, more than 30 years after his death in GDR, another regime that he was opposed to in his diaries.

The film is fabricated, the word Neumann used in the Q&A, on the diaries (1600 page!) from 1933-45, working with a very precise minimalistic film language. How can you build something, when you have nothing, Neumann said. I wanted to see it all from his place, literally, so I introduced a room with a desk by a window, a desk with a typewriter on which letters, one by one, are typed, to establish the nazi language. In between archive material and close-ups on diary pages reconstructed tableaux are introduced like in one fabulous sequence that tells about the consequences of hiding the Jewish star in public.

How refreshing it is to watch a film that talks not only to the heart but also to the head, with this brilliant text as a continuous reflection on what was going on in Nazi Germany. Much more impressive than the loads of tv films, the ”Hitler-hours” we call them in Denmark, that are broadcast every day all over the public broadcast system. Neumann stressed that he did not see Klemperer as a victim but as a fighter and had his own comment on today’s documentaries – too many documentaries are eaten by characters, and psychology, do something different please, he said to the filmmakers and producers at Ex Oriente 2nd session in Pisek.

The film will soon be out on dvd in France, published by Editions Montparnasse. Photo: Victor Klemperer.


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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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