Juraj Lehotsky: Blind Loves

I saw this beautiful film sunday morning in Vienna during the Ex Oriente first session ( www.docuinter.net ).

The director Juraj Lehotsky took the short way from Bratislava to show us a feature length, four chaptered (following the loves stories one after the other) hybrid (observation/arrangement) style documentary about love between blind people.

When the end titles reached the screen, the warm applause started and went on as if it would never come to an end. A masterpiece it is, full of love and beauty.

The director had known the blind couples for years so it was easy for him to establish a relationship with them when the film was to be made. He told us that he developed the situations together with the blind having observed their routines again and again. He asked them to talk or do ”something like this as you often do”, at the same time as he and his cameraman, Juraj Chlpik, worked on a scenography (room, perspective, camera angle, colour) that reflects what it means to live in darkness.

Juraj Lehotsky himself said that the long shots were very much inspired by Austrian Ulrich Seidl – I would add to this: with that very important note that Seidl is a misanthrope and Lehotsky all the way through almost caresses his characters.

The screening was an international sneak preview of a film that is now in the Slovak theatres, waits for an answer from the Cannes Film Festival and will be a hit in festivals all over the world in the next couple of years. And why not in theatres in big cities like Paris?

Juraj Lehotsky: Blind Loves. 77 mins. 2008. 35mm. More info at www.blindloves.com www.arteleria.sk and www.autlookfilms.com

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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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