ZagrebDox Films/2

ZagrebDox is also a place to catch up on films that you missed at idfa and Nenad Puhovski, the festival director and programmer, does not hide the fact that he does a good part of the film selection for his festival at the Amsterdam festival. And why should he, it is a mission in itself to bring the best of the best to the Croatian audience.

I saw ”Planet of Snail” by South Korean Seung-Jun Yi, who got the first prize at idfa, and it is a beautiful film, a love story about a deaf and blind man, and his woman, who helps him to navigate in this world. The film lets their daily life be depicted, but the story grows and we are invited to experience the man’s skills as a poet in words and action.

I had the chance to revisit the short film masterpiece of Russian Alina Rudnitskaya, ”I will forget this Day”, about women in a hospital waiting in a corridor to get in and have an abortion made, coming out later in a horizontal position. The stylistical competence of the director makes a film with few words emotionally extraordinarily strong.

You have to be careful using the word masterpiece, but this is the only way I can characterise the animation documentary by Romanian Anca Damian, ”Crulic – The Path to Beyond” (photo), which is artistically brilliant in its heartbreaking and anger provoking story about the Romanian man, who comes to Poland, is accused of stealing, put in prison, tries to explain that he could not have done this as he was on his way to Italy, but nobody listens, the bureaucracy ignores him, as does his country’s representative in Poland, he goes on hungerstrike, is not getting medical help and dies. A scandal that, if I got it right, made the Romanian minister of foreign affairs resign. The film is rich and attractive in its many animation effects, its many drawing styles, your hooked from the beginning, where his death is declared by himslef in first person. Wow for a film!

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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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