Paul-Julien Robert: My Fathers, My Mother and Me

German title: Meine Keine Familie.

The Magnificent 7 directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic write about the film: Deep inside this film lies hidden a drama which slowly and imperceptibly unfolds enveloping the actors of this family and non-family story. The filmmaker Paul-Julien Robert launches a personal investigation into the identity of his father, but also into his own childhood. A childhood that is far from ordinary – for he was born and raised in a commune, which from the beginning of the 1970s to the late 80s came to be the largest free commune in Europe. It was created by the legendary avantgarde Austrian artist Otto Mühl, and at it’s height it was inhabited with more than 600 people from all over Europe. All of them were drawn there by the ideals of absolute freedom, to live a life based on the principles of “self-expression, communal property, free sexuality, joint labour, collective upbringing of children and direct democracy.”

Within this utopia, among large groups of carefree and joyful children we discover Paul-Julien Robert, thanks to archival footage for which he obtained exclusive permission to show publicly for the first time. This enables him to face a part of his forgotten and repressed childbood memories. The basis of the film is a pain-staking questioning of memory, an analysis of archival images and a dramatic confrontation of the filmmaker first with his own mother, and then a succession of ‘fathers’ and playmates from one of the ‘freest’ kindergardens in Europe.

This film represents an exclusive, shocking and disturbing creation of two dedicated masters of the cinematic art: Paul-Julien Robert, an engaged, courageous, analytical and emotional author and his editor Oliver Neumann, who builds the dramaturgy of this investigation constructing it into a tense drama of extraordinary gradation and rhythm. The two come together to create a film of superior achievement, which, last year in London, won them one of the most prestigous awards in the world of documentary cinema, one that carries the name of the legendary John Grierson.

Austria, 2012, 93 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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