Do you know the situation for Russian artists, was the first question that came from the audience at the Q&A after Danish Andreas Johnsen’s ”Ai Wei Wei” screening last night at the St. Petersburg documentary festival. The film about the Chinese artist was the first to be shown out of 8 Danish films picked for a programme called GlobalDoK = the Danes go abroad to find stories that can work globally.
No, I do not, the Danish director honestly answered – and the artist in the audience confirmed that there were pretty many similarities between the situation of Wei Wei and the one experienced here in Russia – censorship, aggression from the authorities etc… this is what a director wants to happen, isn’t it, that audiences can transfer what they see to their own life.
The opening was attended by around 40 people. Director of the Danish Cultural Institute in St. Petersburg, Finn Andersen, expressed his gratitude to be able to help the film festival to have the retrospective happen. The same thank you was adressed to the Danish Film Institute.
Message2Man is a huge festival. The main screening venue is Velikan Centre in a beautiful park, where families were having their sunday walk yesterday. The Centre has multiple screening halls and there are also cinemas in other parts of the city that show films from all over the world. To give you an impression of today’s programme: There is Michael Obert’s ”Song from the Forest”, Estonian humorous ”The Gold Spinners” by Kiur Aarma and Hardi Volmer, ”Ukraine is not a Brothel” by Kitty Green, ”Blood” by Alina Rudnitskay, ”Shado’man” by Boris Gerrets, ”Human Geography” by Claire Simon and ”The Will” by Christian Sønderby Jepsen. I check in for the last three mentioned. And there are many, many other films screened from mid afternoon to late evening.