Marc Eberle: The Most Secret Place on Earth

… which was praised on this site, see below, is being screened on arte this coming wednesday 17th of February at 20.35 with a re-run on the 23rd of February at 10.25am. arte shows the 52 mins.version titled CIA-Operation Laos. Here is the review re-posted:

A brilliant piece of journalistic research combined with a very effective documentary tv language in the best sense of the word: strong characters interviewed, a precise commentary, characterizing tone-setting music, wonderful archive, and a beginning, middle and an end. In that order.

There is reason for huge respect for the work of Marc Eberle, he gets very close to his witnesses and makes them open up, and contrary to a BBC approach he does not take the official line and make politicians speak and make statements. On the contrary he goes for emotions among the so-called ordinary people, who became the victims.

It is all about another blood filled action or series of actions performed by the Americans to make Laos the place from where the Vietnam war could be led through air raids and illegal bombardements. Long Chen is the name of the air base in Laos. It had a whole community of heroin addicts among the soldiers, and it dragged hmong people in to beat the Pathet Lao, into brutality and prostitution. If today, this would have been the perfect research material for Coppola and his ”Apocalypse Now”. It is an exciting piece of modern unrevealed history from beginning till end. And it includes material never seen before.

Germany, 2008, 52 mins. and 72 mins.,date=17/2/2010.html

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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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