Sokurov in Barcelona

The impressive Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona is a fascinating place to spend some hours. Its collection includes paintings, photographs, and until May 20 also the so-called Military Film Series by Russian master director Aleksander Sokurov, a series that hopefully will be presented in other museums around the world. Here is a small text clip from the museum site:

”In the late nineties, Sokurov made Soldier’s Dream, 1995, Spiritual Voices, 1995, and Confession, 1998, the three films that make up the so-called Military Series. These three titles, which became part of the MACBA Collection in 2004, are shown on this occasion together with Elegy of a Voyage, 2001, conceived as a journey that takes us from Siberia to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. This last title, which in the context of the exhibition is seen as an epilogue to the Military Series, is Sokurov’s first production commissioned by a museum. The four films share a new documentary aesthetic that combines the empirical experience of place with a sombre and spiritual lyricism. Soldier’s Dream (a short 10-minute piece extracted from the third chapter of Spiritual Voices), and the five chapters comprised in Spiritual Voices (lasting five hours and 43 minutes), relate a prolonged stay at a frontier military post between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The omission of factual information, of the type that is common in the media, and the long sequences representing the soldiers’ routines, face the viewer with an enigmatic chain of events. Not even the news on the war in Afghanistan, persistently broadcast, can attenuate the power of these images with which Sokurov tries to create a new event – which is no other than the one that takes place during the contemplation of the film”.

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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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