The Documentary Film Programme Presents Views of People, Art, History and a Focus on Music

Lübeck, 26.10.12 – The documentary film section at the 54. Nordic Film Days Lübeck (31.10.-04.11.12) features seven short and 22 full-length documentaries. In one respect, this year’s programme is marked by portraits set in political and cultural environments: It examines politicians, such as the Swedish social democrat and minister president Olof Palme in PALME by the two directors Maud Nycander and Kristina Lindström, great artists such as Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann in LIV & INGMAR (director: Dheeraj Akolkar), about their extraordinary love and work relationship, or artist families, like the one in EVERYONE IS OLDER THAN I AM by director Martin Widerberg, who presents his own family history. In all cases both the biographical and the historical context play an important role, as does the reciprocity between artistic career and personal biography.

Another thematic focus in this year’s programme is “music”, presented in a variety of forms. The films are about the quest for new means of expression, like in SOUNDBREAKER by Kimmo Koskela, about the virtuoso accordion-player Kimmo Pohjonen, who will also perform at the festival, or they recount the development of young talent, as in Marianna Kaat’s WORKING TITLE: WUNDERKIND, about the young composer Alex Prior. Two films examine the connection between art and national identity in a singing context: REGILAUL – SONGS OF THE ANCIENT SEA by Ulrike Koch, about the peculiarities of Estonian Regi songs,  and HOW WE PLAYED THE REVOLUTION by Giedre Zickyte, who looks at the “Singing Revolution” in Lithuania.

The musical focus is further echoed in the documentary film NO IDEAS BUT IN THINGS from the Filmforum section, an insightful and amusing portrait of the US sound pioneer Alvin Lucier, shot by his long-standing assistant Hauke Harder and by Viola Rusche.

There are a number of artist portraits, including the film PUSHWAGNER by directors Even Benestad and August B. Hanssen, about the endeavours of the pop artist Pushwagner to align art with life. The Swedish director Sara Broos, on the other hand, shows the famous painter Lars Lerin as he seeks and finds love in FOR YOU NAKED. Ester Martin Bergsmark examines sexual identity and self-discovery in SHE MALE SNAILS. Daniel Dencik accompanies a young racing cyclist in MOON RIDER, as he prepares to become junior world champion. Three directors present people who live in harmony with their surroundings: Øyvind Sandberg shows THE PEOPLE BY THE FJORD, Thorfinnur Gudnason portrays BALDUR FROM BAKKI, and in SILENT VOICES, Helena Stefánsdóttir presents protagonists who are committed in a struggle against the construction of new electric dams and power stations in Iceland.

The protagonists of the following films are confronted with entirely new life situations: THE STRIPPER (director: Stefan Berg), THE WILL by director Christian Sønderby Jepsen and THE TWISTED LIFE OF ELVA by Egill Eðvarðsson. CANNED DREAMS by Katja Gauriloff is an exemplary showcase of the living and working conditions in a globalized world. Another important topic is the documentation of and coming to terms with personal suffering caused by National Socialist rule and ideology. It is the subject of Elsa Kvamme’s THE DOCTORS’ WAR, Karoline Grindaker’s and Hilde Kristin Kjøs’ film SOLACE and Magnus Gertten’s HARBOUR OF HOPE, while Karen Winther’s THE BETRAYAL recounts the director’s own experiences in the neo-Nazi scene.

3. November 2012 sees the presentation of the “Documentary Film Prize of the Lübeck Trade Unions” for a “socially and politically committed film” from the festival’s documentary film programme, endowed with 2,500 euros, at the Film Prize Night.

 Please find further information on the complete programme of Nordic Film Days Lübeck at

Silke Lehmann
Robin Schmeck
Charlotte Gondolf
Nordic Film Days Lübeck
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