Herz Frank 1926-2013/2

Many words today to honour Herz Frank. Russian director Vitaly Manski put it like this: “Years will go by, and only 2-3 documentary film-makers will be remembered from each century.” But even today it is clear – Herz Frank is on that list for the 20th century!

Mansky did so on the site of the Russian – yes, long name – Documentary Film and Television Guild (that) is the only professional organization in Russia that unites filmmakers and television workers specializing in documentary and popular science films, documentary TV programs and coverage.

Georgy Molodtsov from the Guild asked filmkommentaren to point at the unfinished documentary of Herz Frank, being co-directed by Maria Kravchenko, entitled “Edge of Fear”. The Guild has put wonderful photos of Herz Frank made during the shooting of this film, take a look, link below. This is what the film is about, from a pitch catalogue: ”In 2004 Larissa Trembovler, philosophy professor and mother of four, leaves her husband and marries Yigal Amir – the assasin of Yitzhak Rabin. Three years later she gives birth to their son.”

… and this is a quote from the site of the Documentary Guild texted by Molodtsov and co-director Maria Kravchenko: «Edge of Fear» is a story told by the author, intertwined with unique archival footage, news reports and real life observations that were filmed over the course of ten years. The film is based on intimate dialogs and observations of the most important aspect of life – the relationship between a man and a woman. The viewer is connected with the characters of the films through the Narrator (Herz Frank himself), who becomes one of the characters in the film. He is present at all of the most

important parts of the film shoots, comments on the events and discusses them not only with the viewer but with the director. Together they attempt to find the essence of this illogical and devoid of reason story…

Herz began work on this epic documentary drama over 10 years ago. Three years ago he was joined by Maria Kravchenko, who became co-director on the project. The film is currently at the shooting stage. For many years Herz looked for financial support to finish shooting and complete the film, personally attending international pitchings and forums to gain interest for the project among international producers, even though he was already in poor health. At the moment Latvian Film Center is in the project after Guntis Trekteris has joined the project (he also produced Herz Frank “Flashback”).

Maria Kravchenko, director:

«Herz worked on this film up until the last days of his life. His one phrase, one shot were able to embrace the universe in one swift move. Herz Frank is the universe’s great painter. When you see the material he’s shot – it’s simple, without any particular beauty or gimmicks – but there is so much life in it, such a concentration of feeling and thought, that you end up wondering – how did he do that?! During one of our last meetings Herz said to me – «You know what this film is really about? It’s about Life being unpredictable!». This is what attracted Herz to documentary film – lack of predictability, a desire to touch this enernal mystery of the existence of man, beginning with the creation of the world. He never ceased to wonder at life, like a child who runs out on a sunlit porch and sees his own, new and immense world for the first time. That is how I knew him to be – the Man, the Artist, the Teacher, the Colleague – Herz Frank. May God rest his soul. I will continue working on the film he wanted to make. I promised him that we would finish our film. Definitely. And I hope, that, finally, there would be brave people, who could help us finish this film, which was started by Herz”.

So. film and tv people with access to funding, support/pre-buy/buy this film. Why hesitate? Generosity, please. Photo: Maria Kravchenko, co-director with Herz Frank during the shooting of “Edge of Fear”.


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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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