IDFA Notes on Four More Films

I have given high marks for 7 of the 15 films at the IDFA competition for long documentaries. There are four films that I have not seen and four I have seen but nor written about. Here follows the mini-reviews/notes for those four in order of preference:

Zhigi Pan: 24TH STREET. Chinese film about a man in trouble. In the…

beginning of the film, he is full of energy and plans, but nothing works out. The new China does not allow illegal work and after having shifted place a couple of times, he – and his wife/girl friend Qin – goes back to where he comes from, where he meets a shitstorm from wife number one and eldest daughter, because he has not taken any responsibility for their education. A broken man.. It’s a drama and it is amazing how close the director has been able to come to the strong arguments they have, espacially when home. 

China, 2017, 88 mins.

Jessica Gorter: THE RED SOUL. Nothing new but always interesting to meet people who remember and talk about the Stalinist time, the terror years, the deportations, the forests where people come to remember their relatives, who were the victims, and all those who are still sure that Soviet Union was the right place and time to be in. Wonderful ending scene with the two sisters, whose mother was picked up one day or night and was away for a decade. The two ask the filmmaker at the end of the film, whether the film will damage them as they have told so much in details…Good question!

The Netherlands, 2017, 90 mins. 

Håvard Bustnes: GOLDEN DAWN. If I should be a bit inpolite… Håvard Bustnes as Nick Broomfield, sympathetic man asking questions to the women surrounding the men from the scandalous Greek party, who are in prison or were to prove – that’s what he says to them – that they are normal people and no nazis or neo-nazis. Broomfield would have tried to go to the head or some of those, who are close to ”der führer”, so what comes out of it – nothing really. A journalistic analysis would have been better… right?

Norway, 2017, 95 mins.

Hirori & Kamal: THE DEMINER. It’s a well made film but I had big problems with it as I was waiting for the moment, where it goes wrong for the brave man. It’s a bit cynical of the filmmakers to put the viewer in that position! Sweden, 2017, 83 mins.

Hope to get to watch the 4 I miss at a later occasion.

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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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