Goran Radovanovic: With Fidel Whatever Happens

The Serbian director held an inspiring and entertaining masterclass after the screening of his film at the Astra Film Festival in Sibiu in Romania. Radovanovic was one of the tutors at the DocStories Black Sea workshop session that includes filmmakers from Azerbadjan, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.

The film, shot in 8 days, has a fine tone tied to a dramaturgical, authored construction of scenes, that the director lets develop in a pace that suits the rythm of life in the countryside in Cuba. An old man with his motorcycle that has problems in starting and in climbing the streets. Three big men on bicycles, filmed from behind. A young man going by bus to a far away village, he is a dentist. A couple in their house taking care of a public phone where private conversations can be heard. And a megaphone to be used on the first of May celebration day – ”with Fidel whatever happens”. Glimpses of life in Cuba put together in a poetic language.

I need reality to recreate, the director said, inviting the audience to understand his working method. I have staged everything, I was working with actors and I paid them. But the man with the motorbike is a man with a motorbike, the dentist is a dentist and so on so forth. This is my manipulation. But I am not lying at any moment. I am a director, not a social worker, but I never invent, I take from reality when I make documentaries.

The film that ends with a beautifully performed version of ”Lagrimas Negras”, also presents a woman in white who approaches the camera to sing Russian songs, and to serve as one, who chapters the filmic narration.

Serbia, 2011, 47 mins.


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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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