Hybrid Docs at Forum Berlin

The Forum of the Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (runs until February 17) is the section, where you can be sure to find new and exciting works. Including documentaries. Here is a clip from an interview with the Forum director Christoph Terhechte, with the mentioning of four docs, below please find a link to the full text:

Is the Portuguese film Terra de ninguém (No Man’s Land) by Salomé Lamas, in which a mercenary talks about the atrocities he has committed, an example for this sort of blurring the boundaries between fiction and documentary?

It is a documentary, but at the same time a piece of fiction. At first the director asks herself whether or not it is fiction, because until the very end she cannot be sure whether the man who recounts his story is telling the truth. What is clear is that the background information is true, insofar as the actions that he mentions actually happened. But it remains unclear how much he was really involved and to what degree the story is false. Of course, the same goes for every documentary. One can never know whether people are telling the truth and there are always different versions of a story. Terra de niguém explicitly addresses the possibility of falsehood or pathological lying.

The undefined boundaries between feature and documentary film can be seen in many of this year’s films. Larger audiences are beginning to get used to these hybrid forms. The Greek documentary Sto lyko (To the Wolf) is partially staged. But you don’t know how much, because the people play themselves in the film. La plaga (The Plague) employs a feature film style of dramaturgy, in order to follow its five protagonists in today’s Catalonia. A batalha de Tabatô (The Battle of Tabatô) (photo) is a feature which has very strong documentary elements. The film takes place in Guinea-Bissau and tries to contrast African tribal traditions with the colonial history…

Link to berlinale.de 

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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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