Sylvain Biegeleisen: Twilight of a Life

Taken from the site of the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade (http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/) this text is written by festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic about the film to be shown tonight at the Sava Center in Belgrade:

A refined documentary pearl, woven out of the finest strands that connect our inner worlds with the hidden, deepest worlds of others. A testament to a warm and fascinating communication with another being, within whom, thanks to the skill of the poet, we see a small but vigorous luminosity shining in all its power inside the body weaker than the frailest of birds. The mother of Silvain Biegeleisen, suddenly loses all physical strength at the age of 94, and he decides to spend with her and film her final days. And then a miracle happens, despite all prognosis – life refuses to bow to knowledge and begins to sing with a thin, but unstoppable voice. And an elegy, condemned to dark and narrow space suddenly, almost from the first, blossoms into a hymn to the fullness of life, the power of touch and pure emotion, an ode to joy and play, lengthening the days into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years.

Minimalist in its approach, made in black-and-white touched with

subtle, barely noticeable accents of color, this documentary, like poetry, manages to delight you completely and bring you in touch with important and unknowable secrets. “Twilight of a life” is certainly a testimonial to the extraordinary skill of a therapist and communicator with all those who need special attention and care, as well as a testimonial of a talented singer and musician, a charming master of play, who fully and uncompromisingly assumes the position of discrete and dancing shadow, one that fully traces the charismatic appearance of an irresistible woman, mother, grandmother, stuck between worlds at the crossroads of wisdom.

Winner of prizes for Best Belgian and Best Israeli documentary at the festivals in Leuven and Tel Aviv, this poetic film warns us that every moment is the one in which we might seek to better understand and feel others, in order to better understand and feel ourselves.

Director’s Word: If I had to define myself in a single word, I would choose “poet.”
Life has blessed me with diverse competencies for self-expression – poetry, photography, editing, directing, painting, writing, group coaching, to name a few…
I belong to that breed which believes that our own actions and work bring about social change, and that those actions are an inseparable chapter of the story of “humanity” and the “universe” in their entirety. I believe that we face a new age, within which art and spirit will occupy a significant space, will allow people to open their eyes and their hearts, and thus build a better world.

www.twilightofalife.com

“Twilight of Life”, review, Filmkommentaren.dk

On the director, from Filmkommentaren.dk

Belgium, Israel 2015, 71 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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