Vincent Boujon: Alive!

In the series ”Documentary of the Month” the Danish Cinemateket shows the French ”Alive!”, a warm light-hearted film about five HIV positive men, who meet to train for a skydiving experience. They talk about being gay, about their first sexual experience (and the worst!), about the reactions from the world around them when they are declared and declares themselves as seropositive, and how it is to take pills in public and to be in love. The film succeeds to get close to all of them (even if my wife who watched it with me wanted more about their background, she has a point), whereas what first of all attracted me were the moments, when they got off the ground, up in the air, pale just before the jump out into being alone somewhere between earth and sky. The camera is with them, it is for someone suffering sometimes from vertigo, quite scary, you suffer with them, but you have luckily a good time with them, when they are back on ground.

I could have lived with less technical instructions, but some of them characterise the five, with the oldest Pascal as a man, who stands out with his charisma and his story about lost love and loneliness. He and Matteo, the youngest, are not flying alone, they need to hang on to an instructor – Matteo: I am afraid I will fall in love with him!

There is a lot of humour in this feel-good, informative documentary about friendship and about how it has been to be gay and be diagnosed with HIV. Lovely film.

In Cinemateket Copenhagen from March 24 to March 30.

France, 2014, 80 mins.

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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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