L. Mik-Meyer:The Arabic Initiative/CPH:DOX 13

Jakob Skovgaard Petersen, his wife and their two children  were in Cairo for some years. Petersen was appointed Head of the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute and he was there during the cartoon crisis. A brilliant and knowledgeable man, not only a man with diplomatic skills and strong in dialogue but also a man, who was able oppose prominent religious and political leaders. The man is fine and is awarded when he gets home. The director decided to make a point out of this as the film starts and ends with Petersen being greeted by Her Majesty the Queen. That was a wrong decision, it is completely irrelevant for a film that could have focused much more on the dialogue and not on the family side of Petersen’s stay in Cairo. The wife plays tennis and feels insecure about the children in such a big city. They have parties, take Danish ministers around to meetings, and yes, a little bit of this and a little bit of that, no focus, superficial. There is, however, one very good scene in the film where Petersen sits in a soukh, drinks tea and discusses with some journalists from al-ahram. More of that could have made it interesting.

Denmark, 2008, 60 mins.

http://www.cphdox.dk/d1/front.lasso

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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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