Marcel Lozinski: Tonia and her Children

Vera and Marcel, brother and sister. Marcel, film director. They sit together around a table. They do so to recollect and remember Tonia, the mother of the siblings, a woman who was in jail and a woman who was filmed by Marcel when he was at film school. The mother was arrested in 1949 for spying against the communist regime, performing bourgeois behaviour, with relations to the notorious American spy Noel Field. She was in jail for more than 5 years, leaving her children to be in children homes.

The set-up by Marcel Lozinski gives the viewer a very emotional journey through the childhood of Vera and Marcel. Their story is told through them reading letters from their mother, texts from investigation papers, accompanied by photos from the family and clips from the footage of Lozinski.

It is all held in a very controlled style with close-ups of the three, with the faces expressing emotions to what is being read and talked about. Was she guilty, Tonia, is not the main issue, she felt guilty and did not want to be released from the jail where she went through terrible torture, described in details in writing. She came out and the son and the daughter remember differently, how they met her. It is a painful journey in memories for the two, who also have had a complicated relationship as grown-ups.

Marcel Lozinski, it is revealed, has in many ways a similar story as the two, he mirrors himself in the story, it seems, in a film that is masterly done, tense and precise, letting emotions come out but never trying to add effects to enlarge the drama.

Poland, 2011, 58 mins. (in National Competition in Krakow Film Festival 2011)

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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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