Vilnius Diary 4

One of the participants at the workshop, Italian Davide Mastropaolo, asked me for advice on a film that a friend had made with himself involved as co-producer. The film is about to be finished but – have you heard about that before? – the filmmakers has run out of money for a film that they have basically financed themselves.

I saw the approx. 80 minutes long totally professional film about the Gaza Hospital in Beirut that now is a ruin where Palestinian refugees live a tough life. But that is not the story that director Marco Pasquini wants to convey. At least not the main story that is being told by some great foreign women, who worked at this PLO hospital in Lebanon in the beginning of the 80’es and did their surgeries on survivors of the massacre in the refugee camp Sabra and Chatila. In the film the women are brought back to Beirut to what was once the hospital they lived and worked in. To give us their experience with precision and emotion.

The film is thus about past and present, the past brought to us through fantastic archive material from the time of the massacre and later on in the 80’es, where the hospital stopped to work at the moment of the start of the Lebanese civil war. Readers of filmkommentaren.dk may have read my sceptical comments on ”Waltz with Bashir” that takes place at the same time and at the same place, seen from an Israeli soldier’s pov. This Italian film is for me much richer in content, a classical beautifully shot documentary. Please finish it and get it to the audience.

Photo: The barber in the film, another fine character.

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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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