Måns Månsson: Mr. Governor

You wonder why it is interesting to watch a man, who sits at his desk browsing through a newspaper for more than a minute. It is. There is no computer at that desk, the governor of Uppsala uses a pen and keeps total order of his busy schedule with a small black notebook. No need to be jealous of his work which is full of receptions, openings of exhibitions, lunches, speeches, visits to the capital to see the king in whatever official duty that comes up. “It is tiring but good fun”, says sympathetic Anders Björck, a perfectionist, who in the period of filming is more than involved in the celebration of the local hero, the world famous Carl Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) (1707 – 1778).

I don’t recall the last time I saw such an unsensational film about a man and his work which basically is about keeping dignity and protocol in a world that long ago has forgotten what that is. An orderly man, always in black, discreetly taking care of his county and country. Swedish politics as it can also be. Diplomacy as well – the governor has met them all, including the emperor of Japan.

The main reason for watching this film and its main character with great interest could the stylistical take that director and cameraman Måns Månsson has chosen. A quote from the site of Filmkontakt Nord: It was shot on 16mm black & white reversal film with a 12mm wide-angle lens. Jean Rouch once described the 12mm lens on a 16mm camera as the closest equivalent of the human eye in cinema, and black and white film has an unbeatable ability to communicate subjective moods and atmospheres whereas colour often simply represents ‘documentary’ reality.

If the last assumption is right, I don’t know, but the cinematography is stunning.
Sweden, Finland, 2008, 86′


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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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