Krakow Film Festival: Music without Borders

A press release came in from one of the oldest documentary film festivals, in Krakow, that celebrates its 57th edition BUT with a young competition on music documentaries, the fifth edition of this novelty.

A quote of a quote: “As Anita Piotrowska, film critic and the co-creator of the programme of Krakow Film Festival points out, “music documentary film becomes more and more inclusive. Music always plays the main role here, but often it is additionally charged – it tends to be a political manifesto, an expression of rebellion against stereotypes, a new look at history or a sign of a complicated ethnic identity. It is increasingly difficult to find an “unadulterated” music documentary film. But this is which, in my opinion, proves its vitality and richness. And this is precisely this diversity – not only of the music itself, but of the contemporary ways of telling stories about it – that we tried to capture while selecting the competition titles.”

Wise words and here you have the films selected:

“Chavela,” dir. Catherine Gund, Daresha Kyi, USA, 90’

“Far Western,” dir. James Payne, Japan, USA, 82’

“Red Gringo,” dir. Miguel Angel Vidaurre, Chile, 69’

“Festival,” dir. Tomasz Wolski, Anna Gawlita, Poland, 85’

“When God Sleeps,” dir. Till Schauder, USA, Germany, 88’

“Sara Baras, All Her Voices,” dir. Rafá Moles, Pepe Andreu, Spain, 91’

“Revolution of Sound. Tangerine Dream,” dir. Margarete Kreuzer, Germany, 90’

“Born To Lose-a film about Lorenzo Woodrose,” dir. Palle Demant, Denmark, 82’

“Soul Exodus,” dir. Csaba Bereczki, Hungary, 92’

“The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev,” dir. Tal Barda, Noam Pinchas, Israel, France, 74’

I have seen the latter, which is a family story full of music with the Papa (see the fantastic photo) of the Alaev family (who emigrated from Israel to Tajikistan in 1990s) as the main patriarchial character, who has to face, but does not want to, that children and grandchildren wish to take over, or at least have their independence as members of the family, and a religious community. And the orchestra! Sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching, always with great music! And very well told.

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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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