Kim Longinotto: Rough Aunties

Kim Longinotto is an amazingly productive film director, who has a slate of important films in her filmography (among them masterpieces like ”Divorce Iranian Style”, ”Runaway”, ”Gaea Girls”, ”Sisters in Law”), and she is a director that with her subjects and cinematographic skills reach both a broad audience and the film buffs. A retrospective of her work runs right now at MOMA in New York, and she is a hunted teacher for whatever film school or festival masterclass all over the world. She has never put herself in the first place, it is the people who matter for her, the stories around women in need, women towards whom she is capable of building trust when she appears with the camera, whe operates herself.

No wonder that the work of Longinotto has been awarded and that festivals queue to secure that they get her films as the first ones! As was the case for ”Rough Aunties” that were at idfa in Amsterdam and at Sundance Festival, and is now touring all over. It is about the association Bobbi Bear in Durban, South Africa, and the wonderful white and black women who work there with sexually abused children, making a beautiful effort to get the victims back to a decent life – and trying to get the abusers to court and sentenced.

One heartbreaking scene follows the other. Scenes with poor children with fear in their eyes hugging their teddy bears that are used as a communication tool to make the children explain where and how the assault took place. Scenes turn into sequences, stories are being built and you can only admire these women, who with their strength and commitment and love, as it is being said, ”fight the culture of silence” around brutal violence and rape.

UK, 2008, 103 mins.

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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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