Ruslan Fedotow: Where are We Headed

The winner of the IDFA Award for Best First Film and the IDFA Award for Best Cinematography. No objection from my side. Observational documentary cinema with a location so well known, the Moscow Metro. And yet a film with several layers because the filmmaker demonstrates his skills in choosing the people he and his camera met in the Moscow Metro. Choosing and making decisions on whom to stay longer and on whom to stay short in the montage.

Where are we headed, a long and fun sequence with two drunk men in the train, to your house, one says, to my home, the other sasys but where is it, pure Samuel Beckett… and the red-haired woman who stares at the dog sculpture  – one of the many in the Moscow metro – and caresses it again and again. Why?… and the man who is violently put down on ground by police or guards… the same who tells a man in xmas clothes that he can not play between 5 and 8… and the many songs that are related to Russia and Russian culture as the film is (also) about the Russia far away from Kremlin and politics, Putin, however, is on the television screen in the metro, it’s him the man on the FB link is looking at New Year’s Eve.

The director’s point of view – or better tone or better wish or even better love towards the people, he has been filming, comes clearly at the end of the film: There is sunshine of the faces in the train and there is a long sequence shot of an elderly couple in love. His hand caressing her chin, she takes it away with a flirting smile. Lovely ending scene. In sunshine.

Belarus, Russia, 2021, 63 mins.

www.idfa.nl

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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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