The Spirit of Robert Flaherty

The tenth edition of the festival “Flahertiana” takes place in Perm, Russia October 14-20. The selection for the competition programme (including of course several “Nanook” prizes) has been announced, and it is a pleasure to see a list of films that communicate quality. At least this is what I conclude from the titles that I know and have written about on this site: Pawel Lozinski’s Chemo (photo), Mika Ronkainen’s “Freetime Machos”, Lixin Fan’s “Last Train Home” and “Village Without Women” by Srdan Sarenac from Serbia. A text from the website of the festival:

“The more your work corresponds to real life, the better it seems…” — these words said by Dürer, an artist of the Renaissance, are the most laconic expression of the aesthetic conception of the film festival Flahertiana.Our festival is dedicated to films which show a character that lives on the screen a part of his life, directed by the author according to the laws of dramatic art. The first film of this genre, Nanook from the North, was made by Robert Flaherty in 1922. The film became the aesthetical manifest for the subsequent generations of cinema-makers.

Unlike his colleague from the Soviet Union Dziga Vertov, who at that time experimented a lot with montage, working out the type of screen thinking which we now call clip, Flaherty was focused on a prolonged observation of his characters. The naturalness of a documentary character’s behavior in front of the camera is the main task of the film-director who works in the genre discovered by the American documentary film-maker. Our festival is dedicated to practical and theoretical questions of this genre of the documentary cinema.”

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: 3876