Zeina Daccache: 12 Angry Lebanese

The director of this impressive documentary is also the director of the impressive drama therapy project at the Roumieh prison in Lebanon. Zeina Daccache worked for more than a year “inhouse” with a group of inmates – and her work changed their lives. This is at least what the film communicates and I believe the film and its director, who has a tough job in a male prison, but who is also a tough cookie, who wants her project to be succesful!

“12 Angry Men”, the film from 1957 with Henry Fonda in the leading role, an excellent psychological drama with twelve jurors to decide whether the accused was guilty or not… maybe you remember it, a brilliant text put into film, and such an obvious choice for a play to be performed by the men in prison, who have been convicted for murder, rape, drug dealing! In the film you follow the rehearsals of the play, the moments of crisis, the many moments of joy, supplemented by talks to the camera of the inmates, who give us their stories and background for their crimes, and comment on what their participation in the drama therapy has meant for them. In which way they have been able to identity with the roles they are to play. They also sing and dance… and they describe the conditions for the inmates in a hard prison. Building of self confidence, letting go the emotions, opening up to the outside world, simply doing something. And the opening night followed by tears, and visit from officials, helping an “early release law” be accepted by the Lebanese parliament. They are guilty these actors in the prison, they have been locked up because of their crimes, but they need no second punishment as it is said in the film. Respect for this initiative, and for a well done and touching film.  

The film won the Audience Prize at Dox Box 2010.




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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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