Neljä kirjoitusta Lissabonista ja sen dokumenttielokuvafestivaalista.
I am in Lisbon for the festival. The 6th International Documentary Film Festival. A success in terms of attendance, and a festival with an excellent programme.
So much to watch. International and national competition, a competition for investigative documentaries, Frederick Wiseman, ”made in China”, ”new families, new identities”, ”fim diaries and self portraits”, Raymond Depardon, Polish short films and so forth. From all over the world.
All selected according to a high sense of quality. Artistic quality.
And this year headed by filmmaker Serge Tréfaut, on behalf of the producers association, apordoc. In the catalogue foreword, he writes:
”For someone who lives in a deeply anaesthetised, provincial country almost governed by mediocrities with no vision, doclisboa is a kind of Carnival of the Spirit. A moment of celebration when values are turned upside down and the brain and the senses receive hyper stimulation.”
Well, I saw two films yesterday... the heartbreaking observational Kim Longinotto doc ”Hold me Tight, Let me go”, what a brilliant filmmaker and fine person she is, and Avi Mograbi´s ”Z32”, a mise-en-scène film that once again shows how clever this controversial filmmaker is, in finding new ways of dealing with strong themes of the world. This time in a Brechtian musical form. Read about it on the website:
First full day at a festival in the South that does only schedule one film in the morning, the neo-classic ”The Long Holiday” by Johan van der Keuken. The hall was full of young people taken there by their cinéphile teachers from film school and university.
I went directly to the videothèque to watch films from the international competition programme to prepare my article for the DOX magazine. It was a long journey through the misery of this world filmed and conveyed by committed and sometimes narratively involved directors and cameramen and –women. Made by English (”All White in Barking” by Marc Isaacs), French-Iranian (”The Faces on the Wall” by Bijan Anquetil and Paul Costes), Chinese (”The Red Race” by Chao Gan) and Israeli (”Six Floors to Hell” by Jonathan Ben Efrat). To mention the four films that impressed me mostly. Themes: xenophobia and loss of identity, the forgotten martyrs, children paced to served the state and inhumanity in the state of Israel.
In all these films there were a lot of emotions. They want us to cry or at least be moved at this festival. And think, even if nothing compares to the opening film by Avi Mograbi in that respect. And in terms of stylistical innovation, Mograbi also has no competitors so far. Classical documentary approach, yes, but on the other hand I have not yet seen a film that I thought should have stayed at home.
European Documentary Networkin entinen pääsihteeri Tue Sten Müller jatkaa Lissabonin päiväkirjaansa ja kirjoittaa mm. Dokumenttiprojektin tulevaan ohjelmistoon kuuluvasta dokumentista " To See If I Am Smiling".
Talking faces. Normally you associate this stylistical element to journalistic programmes on television. And not to creative documentaries. The Israeli documentary, ”To See if I’m Smiling” by Tamar Yaron, builds its whole narrative on talking faces. Young women who have served in IDF, the Israeli army, on the West Bank, look back on incidents of death and violence in which they have taken part. Interrupted by mostly home video material from the ”happy” days in the army. Out comes a shocking documentary so well edited that you are nailed to the screen.
As you are with another masterpiece by another great documentarian from the UK, Molly Dineen. I have for years used her ”Heart of the Angel” (1989) from the tube in London, whenever the talk was about bringing in several layers to your story. Now, almost 20 years later, she makes ”The Lie of the Land”, a report from the British countryside where the farmers have their healthy mostly male animals shot because they are without any value on the market. This is the starting point for a human tragedy for people who have built their life on breeding animals, and who so far have been able to live from that. Molly Dineen is behind the camera constantly asking questions to the people whose confidence she has gained and she does so with all that curiosity, interest and yes compassion that a documentary director should have.
Wow, it’s a festival with strong stories I thought after another long day at the videothèque.
Tue jatkaa päiväkirjaansa Lissabonista ja kertoo festivaalin merkittävästä kasvusta.
Sunday morning in Lisbon. Sunshine and empty streets. Perfect for a walk before going to sit in front of the video monitor and all the fine films of this festival. Strolled down (literally down) the streets to several great viewpoints and to the capturing of sounds and the observation of a city awakening. The smell of garlic to be used for the bacalau was already in the air as the +60 people, we had it all for ourselves. The cafés, the newspaper stands and the view and sound of the Lisbon trams, going slow through the city as if nothing had changed for the last decades. Could one live here, could one breathe here in the post-Salazar atmosphere of pleasant inactivity surrounded by beauty and melancholy?
Back to documentary festival reality. I ran into Nina Ramos, the producer of the festival, enjoying a cigarette outside the festival venue Culturgest, a rather ugly building but efficient as location for the festival. We enjoyed the enormous development of a festival during 6 years: From 13.000 spectators at the first edition to 33.000 last year, and for this year, edition number 6, it will be even more. From 60 to 170 films. The typical festival viewer, Nina could not say, but agreed to my observation: students, yes many students. 3.50€ for a ticket, reduction for groups of students. Directors are invited with the full treatment: flight and accomodation. Budget: 900.000€ including a lot of in-kind contribution.