Marta Prus: Talk to Me

I have a weak spot for Polish documentaries and this fine film by young Marta Prus makes me – again – wonder why. Is it because the directors know how to create a tense atmosphere very much due to excellent, mostly close-up cinematography like here by Adam Suzin? Is it because they know how to give you a sense of klaustrophobia, to nail you to the screen, like here where most of the film is built around a young man in trouble, a young intelligent man, who is totally aware of his addiction problem and constantly talks about his wish to ”smoke up”? In the film Marta Prus succeeds in getting you into a closed ”room”, where the two main characters, the young man and the director, are. Or is my liking Polish documentaries linked to the fact that the directors very often refrain from pouring verbal information to the viewer? They trust the image – and let an eventual story come out in the narrative as this evolves.

Probably a mix of all… Anyway this film should be obligatory viewing at film schools because of its treatment of the relationship between the one who films and the one who is being filmed. An honest chamber play to say it briefly, about responsibility. Here follows a text from Polishdocs promotion of the film:

”Talk To Me is an intimate journal presenting several months of friendship between the director and 21-year-old Krzysztof, a resident of the Monar rehabilitation centre in Warsaw, who is addicted to marihuana. What happens when trust and sympathy of the protagonist towards the director turn into love? Can the director remain just an observer, without any responsibility, if she constantly accompanies him? Marta Prus becomes a close friend who tries to help Krzysztof.”

I met Marta Prus at the East European Forum in Prague, where she presented ”Over the Limit”, a drama about young Russian gymnasts who fight for qualification to the Olympic Games in Rio. Very promising project from an obvious talent. From Poland.

Poland, 2015, 43 mins.

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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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