Top Docs to be Screened in Riga

Or you could say the best of the best of current international documentaries will be screened in the mini-festival that per tradition runs parallel to the Baltic Sea Docs development and pitching workshop.

8 films, Riga, Cinema K-Suns, from September 3-8.

The ones I have already seen and written above are Dutch master Heddy Honigmann’s ”Buddy” that for sure must appeal to dog lovers in the Latvian capital. Far from that in style is Danish journalist and documentarian Mads

Brügger’s controversial ”Cold Case Hammarskjöld”, where the director and the Swedish private investigator Göran Björkdahl look for what actually happened, when the plane with the Swedish secretary general Dag H. crashed mysteriously in 1961, when the anti-colonialist Dag H. was on his way to Congo. Reetta Huhtanen’s ”Gods of Molenbeek” about the two boys from different cultures and Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska’s ”Honeyland” are poetic films that go everywhere to be awarded and praised, both hoping for European Film Academy nomination. Not to forget Bernadett Tuza-Ritter’s ”A Woman Captured”, slavery in a European country, Hungary, in the 21st century!

Indeed, crème de la crème…

So for me personally I look forward to see the remaining 3, with descriptions :

« The Greenaway Alphabet » – « Peter Greenaway’s name in the world of film and contemporary art has a recognised value. The Greenaway’s Alphabet is his partner’s, artist Saskia Boddeke’s, essay on creativity, film history, relationships, parents, children and everything else Peter calls life.  Unexpectedly revealing are a father’s (Greenaway) talks with his teenage daughter, whose penetrating questions break down barriers and allow for a sense the human side of the art and the experiment. The Greenaway Alphabet – artistically formulated milestones in the director’s universe that bring us closer to his abundantly creative life and also his eccentric and dynamic personality… » Will probably be entertaining !

« For Sama » – Waad al-Kateab & Edward Watts Channel4 production – « For Sama is a new mother’s love letter to her infant daughter – a personal and emotional missive from experiences in Aleppo, Syria. In 2011, the film’s director Waad al-Kateab is an emerging journalist who begins to film the increasing unrest. The camera becomes her ally, recording the siege on the city, and the selfless actions of her husband and many other Syrians, who stayed in the besieged city and kept the hospital running in order to help the victims of the attacks. At the same time she is also a mother, who has to face a decision – leave Syria to save her child’s life, or continue to fight for the freedom for which so much has already been sacrificed. » I read about it, only highly praising words, an emotional doc masterpiece !

« One Child Nation“ – Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang –In place of the “one-child policy” Chinese propaganda is now proclaiming a “two-child plan”. What is hiding behind this type of policy implementation machinery, and what is the effect of this enormous system on citizens’ lives? Under what circumstances have those generations grown up in – those without whose manufactured goods we could not imagine living, but about whom we know next to nothing? While examining the fates of her immediate family, director Nanfu Wang explores one of the most ghastly social experiments in human history. And the viewer is invited to take a direct look into what is perhaps the most refined modern-day propaganda regime. » Never heard about it… sounds interesting.

And here are the links to the five documentaries mentioned above:

Buddy – http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/prijatelj.php

Cold Case Hammarskjöld – http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4457/

Gods of Molenbeek – http://www.magnificent7festival.org/en/atos_i_amin.php

Honeyland – http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4449/

A Woman Captured – http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/4093/

http://balticseadocs.lv/film-screenings/films-2019/

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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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