Janus Metz: Armadillo – in Cannes

It is always to be noted that the Cannes Film Festival picks a documentary for a competition screening. This time a Danish one, Armadillo by Janus Metz, has been taken for the Semaine de la Critique. The first screening in Cannes takes place May 16, and the film has a Danish cinema premiere July 8. For that reason we wait with a review till early July but want to tell you what the film is about. Here is the text from the site of the Danish Film Institute:

Armadillo is an upfront account of growing cynicism and adrenaline addiction in young soldiers at war. Mads and Daniel are serving their first mission in Helmand, Afghanistan. Their platoon is stationed in Camp Armadillo, right on the Helmand frontline, fighting tough battles against the Talebans. The soldiers are there to help the Afghans, but as fighting gets tougher and operations increasingly hairy, Mads, Daniel and their friends becomes cynical, widening the gap between themselves and the Afghan civilisation. Mistrust and paranoia set in causing alienation and disillusion.

And about the director Janus Metz: Born 1974, Denmark. MA in Communication and International Development Studies from Roskilde University. Has worked as a researcher on documentary film projects. Metz lived in Johannesburg for one year (2002-03), working on a South African drama series, »Soul City«. The stay inspired him to make his debut film, the documentary »Township Boys« (2006). Also in 2006, he produced the programme »Eventyrerne«/»Clandestine« for the national broadcaster DR, which follows a group of illegal African migrants through Sahara on their way to Europe. »Fra Thailand til Thy«/»Love on Delivery« (2008), recipient of two GuldDok awards at CPH:DOX and selected for IDFA’s Silver Wolf programme, is Metz’ first film about Thai women and their pursuit of a Danish husband. Succeeding this is »Fra Thy til Thailand«/»Ticket to Paradise« (2008), selected for IDFA’s Reflecting Images: Panorama, and honoured with a Special Mention at CPH:DOX.

My co-blogger Allan Berg has several times written about the two thai-films on this site. Search ”Janus Metz”. Photo: Lars Skree, cameraman of the film.


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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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