Let Joanna Win an Oscar!

I subscribe to the Realscreen trade magazine, which gives sometimes very valuable and reflective articles, among many others that line up who has left Discovery Channel and who comes, and who has bought the rights for that series etc.

The one I got today was very good, let me give you the annotation: “With the Oscars on the way for this Sunday, Emmy-winning director Pamela Mason Wagner discusses the subject matter of this year’s short documentary nominees, and asks where the line can, or should, be drawn when delving into difficult territory… And she does that in a very good way, read the whole article, click below. And she writes so well about my favourite (the only one nominated that I have seen to be honest but a masterpiece…):

“… In Joanna (directed by Aneta Kopacz) a young mother in Warsaw, with a terminal diagnosis, lives out her final months as purposefully and thoughtfully as she can. Her bright seven year-old son Jas appears in nearly every scene. Their relationship, full of intimate, tender rapport forms the heart of the movie.

Kopacz explained.. that she discovered Joanna through a blog, where Joanna was “describing her daily life full of those small and beautiful moments.” After convincing Joanna she wanted to depict not her cancer and her dying, but her living, Kopacz and her crew filmed the family for fifteen days over the course of four months. She described how they tried to remain as invisible as possible in order not to intrude on Joanna’s daily simple moments.

The film’s climax comes when Joanna and her husband Piotr tell Jas the end is near. Kopacz’ camera remains outside the house, shooting through the dining room window. The characters are not miced. Instead we hear birdsong, crickets and the natural sounds that accompany twilight. The scene is powerful, discreet, and emotionally satisfying, and vindicates the filmmaker’s choice to respect her subject’s privacy at this crucial moment.”

In October 2013 I watched the film and wrote to the producer: I watched the film – if you can put it like that – with pleasure and emotionally touched, to say the least, well what else can I say but BEAUTIFUL. As a film and as a hymn to Life and Love, whatever might happen.

Read more: http://realscreen.com/2015/02/20/oscars-viewpoint-how-much-is-too-much/#ixzz3SJXAQRlX

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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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