Searching Eva Director Pia Hellenthal

The art of offering (enough) to himself

OPENNESS CULTURE: Eva is a model, blogger, author, musician and sex worker, uncertain in what order, and appears as a kind of living art project.

Huser is a regular film critic in MODERN TIMES.
Published: 2020-01-01
Searching Eva

Pia Hellenthal (Germany)

Around the turn of the millennium there was a trend for so-called personal documentaries , as Margreth Olins My body and Gunnar Hall Jensens Gunnar Goes Comfortable was among the Norwegian exponents for. The debate in the wake of these films, in which filmmakers shared intimate aspects of their own lives, was often about the distinction between the personal and that private. With the personal aim one experiences and matters of public interest, which it was consequently valuable and even admirable to share, while the private were aspects which one probably should have kept to oneself.

The private in the public

This type of documentary has by no means disappeared, with Sofia Haugan's Amanda winning Røverdatter and the NRK series work involving as recent examples. The "personal documentary" label, however, no longer seems to be used to the same extent, nor is it as much concerned with discussing the distinction between personal and private. This may be partly because the dichotomy was not necessarily so constructive in the first place. Perhaps it was rather an over-simplified rhetoric for dismissing unpalatable elements? But it may also be related to the fact that the private sphere has moved ever further into the public space.

Here, of course, I'm referring to the blog sphere and Social Media, but also to ministers who invite the press home to launch their latest political play or appear from a popular side in row of gold at NRK. Or artists and actors who, in candid interviews, "talk about the difficult time" associated with being involved with a record or movie. You have to bid of itself.

Groundbreaking openness

documentary Searching Eva goes into this issue of skin, body hair, "likes" and comment fields. Admittedly, the movie is not, by definition, one personal documentary, since director Pia Hellenthal never even take part in front of the camera. Instead, she made a portrait film about it…

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