If any name is connected to Polish documentary this is the one: Lozinski. Marcel and Pawel. Father and son.

Let me start with the father, who is a bit older than me but we are from the same generation. We have met here, there and everywhere in the last decades, on Bornholm at the Balticum Film & TV Festival, at festivals, at the Wajda School. Our conversations have been in French, easier for him than for me.

When I was asked by the film magazine Sight & Sound to nominate ”My Greatest Docs Ever”, 10 titles should be there, ”Anything Can Happen” was an obvious choice. I wrote this short motivation:

““Anything Can Happen”… is a… playful and clever interpretation of what Life and Death, Joy and Sorrow is – the director’s charming son runs around in a park, where he meets old people and asks them all kind of questions in the direct way that we grown-ups would never dare. The result is touching and great fun at the same time.”

The filmography of Marcel Lozinski is impressive, but let me stop at one that proves him a master in finding the adequate style for a difficult, this time personal subject.

I refer to ”Tonia and Her Children” (Vera and Marcel), that is all held in a very controlled style with close-ups of the three, with faces expressing emotions to what is being read and talked about. … a painful journey in memories for the two, who also have had a complicated relationship as grown-ups…

Pawel Lozinski, a master as well, I met him on Bornholm, where his “Birthday” (“Miejsce urodzenia”) (1992) deservedly took the first prize in that year’s competition. Many say that the film about the holocaust survivor Grynberg is quite as important as Lanzmann’s “Shoah”. I agree.

Pawel is extremely precise in his storytelling. His “Chemo” from 2009 is a unique example of how to deal with a sensitive theme with no sentimentality. Through close-up observations and dialogues between patients, and between patient and relatives, he conveys a beautiful hymn to life. Framed as Life as a Theatre with superb cinematography.

His filmography is impressive and also includes shorts like the lovely “Sisters”, which lasts 12 intense minutes with two, who love each other to the extent, that one of them thinks she is responsible for the other demanding her walking around in their courtyard. Hilarious!

A couple of years ago Pawel as producer suggested to his father Marcel that they should make a film together. Pawel wrote a fine synopsis, here is a small quote: “My father and I get into an old camper and head for Paris where, 23 years ago, he dispersed his mother’s ashes in the Luxembourg Garden. Our trip will take two weeks…”. They went on the trip, they came home and as you know, surprisingly, two films came out of it. Both ”Father and Son” films have been awarded, in Krakow with the Silver Horn in 2013. Great filmmakers, a privilege to know them and their works.

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/1599/ (Tonia and her Children, review)

http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/2022/ (Marcel Lozinskis works, an introduction)

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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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