A Tiny Country (Un tout petit pays)
A Tiny Country (Un tout petit pays)

Homo politician: From Paris to Baku

DOCUMENTARY: DocLisboa has a tradition of highlighting new talent. This year's festival was no exception.

Young is a regular film critic for Modern Times Review.
Email: neilyounggb@gmail.com
Published: 2019-12-06

This year's DocLisboa took place in the laid-back, but increasingly polished, Portuguese capital from October 17 to 27 and had a mournful mood of farewell. After seven years at the helm, Cíntia Gil - the highly respected director of the festival who emphasizes nonfiction films, but which by far offers much more than documentaries - is seeking new challenges at Sheffield's Doc / Fest. Also the festival's "second in command", Italian Davide Oberto, thanked, for concentrating on his duties at the film festival in Turin. In their footsteps are now three new talents that have emerged under the wings of Gil and Oberto.

Gil is known for his direct and clear form: unsentimental and confrontational if necessary. Not surprisingly, she personally made sure to divert any rush to tearful "an era is over" speeches. Better to concentrate on the films, guests, and not least the new talents that emerged during the stimulating and politically engaging event "Green Years" ("Verdes Anos"), which after 17 festivals has been well established in the Portuguese and European cultural scene.

Game Willingness

During the last festival years, the Green Years program has been fruitful for newcomers in the film industry, as the program is reserved for just new talents - many of them students, or recent graduates from recognized film schools. New this year was that DocLisboa had opened the program's competition section for European productions; previously this has been reserved for Portuguese projects. Two of the projects that stood out had a world premiere, and they are likely to receive a lot of attention in the future. Both films focus on politically engaged men living in busy European capitals. The scope and consequences of their engagement are - typically enough - largely shaped and dictated by the context in which they are located, and in particular by the surroundings' relative relation to freedom.

The contrast between the political reality in Baku and Paris could hardly be greater.

French Pauline Laplaces A Tiny Country (Un tout petit pays) is a 58-minute character study by Patricio Salcedo, a middle-aged man who was radicalized by the French May revolt in 1968. He steadfastly doubts his anarchist conviction, despite being a Parisian newsstand and thus in a sense a capitalist .

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