Allan Berg, my fellow blogger, is fascinated by Werner Herzog. And indeed, he is a great filmmaker, who has brought something new to the documentary genre. “Little Dieter Needs to Fly”, as an example, is a pure masterpiece.

Allan advises you to go to the Werner Herzog site to read his Minnesota Declaration, which he made to comment on what he calls the cinéma vérité. Allan writes in Danish, the declaration is in English.

Fun to read it is and inspiring, but also nonsense from the side of Herzog to denounce – let´s call it that – the observational documentary cinema. Is there no truth in what Sergey Dvortsevoy does, or what about Herz Frank, Pennebaker, Leacock, Wiseman? Is it reasonable to reduce observational documentary to mere search of facts…

Of course not, and Herzog knows that, and that is why he publicly excused his provocative Minnesota statement at a meeting where all the old boys – Maysles included, he is probably the one that Herzog refers to when he says that he has heard a filmmaker say that he can find the truth by observation, by being there – were present.

But fun reading. The documentary genre is alive and kicking. The diversity is a sign of good health for the genre.

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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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