Sara Broos: Homeland

14 minutes was all needed to make this gem of a film. It reminds me, who watches loads of feature duration documentaries, how strong a short film can be when you have a wonderful person in front of the camera and one behind the camera, who knows how to bring the best out of her = Raghad Kanawati, refugee from Damascus Syria, now living in Värmland Sweden, who tells Sara Broos, the director of the film, what music means to her. ”Every song has its memory”, she says, while she listens to hymns to Allah, who now – she says – is her ”homeland”, the only one she has. Broos asks her which song has meant most for her, she answers ”Hunting High and Low” by Norwegian pop band A-ha, a super-hit from the 80’es – and the film changes completely mood with Raghad remembering her childhood with that song, and with Morten Harket, lead singer of the band arriving in Värmland to meet his fan. It sounds banal, it IS banal, wonderfully banal because of Raghad Kanawati and her beautiful expressive face and presence in the moment.

This film must have a huge audience potential, not only at festivals for documentaries and short films but also on television… if there are time slots for 14 minutes?

Sweden, 2015, 14 minutes

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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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