International guest blogger: An introduction


Dear doku-friends,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Melissa Lindgren and I’m the program director of Tempo Documentary Festival in Stockholm. Tempo is the largest doc fest in Sweden screening creative docs and radio documentaries, displaying transmedia projects and hosting photo exhibitions every year in March. I’m also a huge Dokufest fan and since I’m visiting the festival for the 3de time this year I thought I would make myself useful. Accordingly, you will in this blogg be able to follow my experiences during the festival and read about highlights and films I don’t think you should miss. As an introduction, here comes 3 must sees and personal favorites from this years festival circuit, all playing at Dokufest!

When directors Pacho Velez and Stephanie Spray invites me to join them in a cable car journey up and down to the Manakamana temple, is not without hesitation I accept. The film offers a slow and mediative tempo and has been acclaimed among my pears for just that reason. Patients however, is not one of my strong sides so it’s with a bit of doubt I’m entering the cinema. After 10 minutes my doubts are gone. ”Manakamana” consists of several segments of 10 minutes each and every segment, skillfully masked as one cut, follows one of the cable cars up or down the mountain. During the journey you become a fellow traveler. With the lens as your eyes you get to know a old man and his grandchild, a group of Nepalese teenagers and two women meeting for the first time. The photo is magnificent and the green hills and high muntians creates a spectacular backdrop. ”Manakamana” is a film for the cinephile and yes, you do need to have a certain amount patients to appreciate the film. But if you just let go and allow the directors take you on the journey they set out to do, you’ll receive one of those cinematic experiences you never forget.

Concerning Violence
- Nine scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense
Having seen Concerning Violence for the 3de time earlier this week I’m convinced that Göran Hugo Olsson is one of the great political filmmakers of our time. The film is based on Frantz Fanon’s famous book “The wretched of the Earth” and illustrates the crimes and collapse of colonialism in Africa. Archival film skillfully vowed together with Fanon’s powerful text narrated by Lauren Hill becomes a testimony that leaves few untouched. Here are the stories of the freedom fighters offering there lives for the freedom of there peoples. Here are also the stories of the colonizer, desperately clinching not only to territorial control but to the ownership of body, mind and soul of the colonized people. Although “Concerning Violence” is heavy on text and maybe not the most accessible film, it sends a clear message. The colonization is far from over and it’s consequences are ruthless. It’s time for change.

20 Days on Earth
Bio pics in general and those about male rock stars in particular demands a fan audience to be truly appreciated. They often come in the same shape and form and you could easily change one star to an other within that same format. ”20 days on Earth” however is not your regular bio pic. The film starts with a count down and a bang and continues to surprice throughout the 90 minutes. Through a mix of staged senes, concert footage and conversations between Cave and fellow musicians and friends you get to know a Nick Cave true to the construction of his public self. The myth of the decadent artis is still very much present, but the playfulness in the storytelling wins even me over. Esthetically there is a clear 90:s feel to the film and the atmosphere that sometimes resembles Twin Peaks goes hand in hand with Cave’s music. It’s obvious that Cave has had a lot of creative influence in the making of ”20 Days on Earth” which makes the film almost as interesting as the score. So either you are a Nick Cave fan or not, this is definitely one of the must sees from this years music docs.

 /Melissa Lindgren