Lübeck, Oct. 18, 2018. The documentary programme for this year’s 60th Nordic Film Day Lübeck (Oct. 30 – Nov. 4, 2018) delivers an exciting cross-section of films on ways of life in the Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as vivid histories in Europe over the last 100 years. The filmmakers have embarked on their searches in diverse and arresting ways, using completely different and specific approaches to involve audiences in the subject matter. Of the 28 documentaries in the section, 16 will be in the running for the Documentary Film Prize awarded by the Lübeck trade unions (endowed with € 2,500).The award, to be presented at the 60th Nordic Film Days Lübeck on November 3, 2018, is given to a “socially and politically committed film”.
Among this year’s documentarians is one of Finland’s most renowned directors and producers, Jörn Donner, who attempts in “Fuck Off 2 – Images from Finland” (FIN 2017) to capture the enormous changes that have occurred in the country since he made the classic documentary “Fuck Off – Images from Finland” in 1971. As he journeyed around the country and spoke with a wide diversity of people, he shed light on immense income disparity, rural depopulation, and attitudes towards migrants – subjects that are also addressed in some of the section’s other films. Jörn Donner, born in 1933, will be guest in Lübeck. Husband and wife team Janus Metz and Sine Plambech, who won the NFL Documentary prize in 2009, have also made a sequel of sorts with “Heartbound – a Different Kind of Love Story” (DEN/HOL/SWE 2018). The film shows an anthropological bent as it looks at marriages between Danes and Thais, providing deep insight into those special inter-cultural relationships in Denmark’s northern reaches.
The films in the documentary section also look at other topical issues, such as the de-population of isolated European regions in “Estonian Stories. Kerro 40” (EST 2017) and “690 Vopnafjörður” (ICE 2017). The ramifications of technological progress for residents is the subject of “The River, My Friend” (SWI 2018) and “The Illuminators”, while changes to the working world in traditional trades such as commercial fishing play a role in “The Ocean – Fishing with Love” (DEN/FAR 2018) and “The Last in a Line of Fishermen” (SWE 2018).
Lastly, the rise and fall of a modern high-tech company is examined in “Nokia Mobile – We Were Connecting People” (FIN/NOR/GER 2017).
The importance of a structured life, education, and school systems for children and young adults is the subject of the two films “14 Cases” (EST 2017) and “To Be Continued” (LAT 2018), while by contrast, “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” (NOR/SWE 2018) and “The Night” (NOR/BEL/SWE 2017) look at the effects of drug addiction on families.
Among the films that look back at history are “Bad Circumstances” (DEN 2018), about the conquest of Greenland, and “The Raven and the Seagull” (DEN/GL 2018) about the relationship between colony and colonial powers. Other films on historical subjects are “The Eyes of a War” (FIN 2018) by Jouko Aaltonen and Seppo Rustanius, about child soldiers in Finland’s civil war, as well as “Iceland Defense Force – Cold War Frontier” (ICE 2017), in which directors Guðbergur Davíðsson and Konráð Gylfason take a close look at a NATO base in Keflavik, Iceland.
The 100th anniversary of the founding of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as Icelandic independence provides the perfect occasion for other films in the documentary section. For instance, directors Raimo Jõeran and Kiur Aarma look back at the first Estonian government, portraying it as a wild “Rodeo” (EST/FIN 2018). “Bridges of Time” (LAT/LIT/EST 2018) also brings back memories – in this case of the Baltic New Wave cinema that provided a counterpoint to the official Soviet film regime of the time. It’s a documentary about documentaries whose directors developed a poetic cinematic language in the 1960s. One of those filmmakers is Lette Ivars Seleckis, born in 1934, who is expected in Lübeck this year, where he will not only join director Kristine Briede to present “Bridges of Time”, but also screen his newest documentary “To Be Continued” (LAT 2018), which observes Latvian children as they go through their first school year.
A very special relationship is at the centre of this year’s Master Class on “Reality and Morality”, which focusses on the latest documentary by Norwegian director Erik Poppe, who recently created a bit of a sensation with “U – July 22” (NOR 2018, showing this year in the Specials section). In “Per Fugelli – I Die” (NOR 2018), Poppe accompanies his friend, the Norwegian physician and public health pioneer, through the final stages of Fugelli’s fatal cancer. The resulting film is both profound and absorbing. Erik Poppe himself will be at the Master Class to talk with young filmmakers about how to deal with highly sensitive subjects, and the filmmaker’s responsibility to his protagonists. He will also discuss the use of narrative filmmaking methods on documentary storytelling.
A list of the films in the Documentary section can be found here.
The screening schedule and additional details on the films will be available starting October 20, 2018 on the festival homepage. Advance ticket sales begin on October 27 at 3:00 pm at the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle cinema, online at the festival website, and at www.cinestar.de.
Silke Lehmann, Charlotte Roggenbuck, Elisabeth Wrage, Franziscca Reppmann
Press and Publicity Department
Nordic Film Days Lübeck
Schildstr. 12, 23539 Lübeck