Sergio Basso: Giallo a Milano

Made in Chinatown is the subtitle of this stylistically different but very fresh and well made, kaleidoskopic look at Chinese in Milano. Several – mostly young – Chinese, first or second generation, take part in a documentary that does not refrain from using cut-out animation, split-screen, a chaptered structure, small intimate situations with couples lying in bed talking about their lives in an Italian and in a Chinese culture, in one case the couple has not seen their child in China for years. The film does not – luckily, because we know it so well from everywhere – go (too) much into the prejudices that exist towards foreigners, instead it puts focus on the characters as human beings accompanied by a historical perspective as the Chinese have been in Milano for decades, of course.

The film starts with images of streets being blocked by the police as a killing apparently has taken place. These well known riots in the Chinese community in Italy (one of the biggest in the country) form the starting point of the film but the director did not want a journalistic angle, he went for the ordinary people, with all their extraordinary stories, the generation conflicts, the identity questions. A good choice and an both moving and entertaining insight to something I had not heard about before.

Italy, 2009, 75 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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