Simon Lereng Wilmont: The Distant Barking of Dogs

Festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic write about the film:

“The Distant Barking of Dogs” started its impressive festival and award quest at the largest documentary film festival IDFA in Amsterdam where it won the First Appearance Award.

This is a film that follows a wonderful author’s thread initiated in the unforgettable poetic achievement “Ivan’s Childhood” about a boy and a war, made by one of the greatest film art masters Andrei Tarkovski. The space is close to Tarkovsky’s, now Ukraine, but this time it happens today and the hero of the story is called Oleg. He has ten years and does what all the boys in the world do – he plays, goes to school, and most of all, he likes to wander and discover the world around him. And the world begins from his yard and the street and spreads endlessly through meadows, forests, along riverbanks. And in this world of beauty and secrets the most important places have his brother, friend and grandmother with a big heart. But the dark outline of the invisible, yet dramatically present, and dangerous war noise becomes equally important and fills a little, almost empty village. Moments in which everything turns into fear, while the film becomes even more a moving poetic antiwar story about the small and unprotected in the whirlwind of big events.

Simon Lereng Wilmont discreetly, boldly and devotedly follows the little hero in various everyday situations, creating extremely convincing collisions of carefree childhood and cruel threats of war. The camera is not merely a distant observer, but always an accomplice in permitted and secret boyish endeavors. A truly great feat of a young documentarist who breaks linguistic and cultural barriers to create a work of universal value using the language of film images.

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, 2017, 90 mins.

Share your love
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.

Articles: 3870