These themes reflect the decade of change experienced by filmmakers from former East Bloc countries, now increasingly dependent on TV as state funding has almost vanished. ULLA JACOBSEN took notes on the opinions expressed.

An innocent-sounding seminar intended to sum up the ten years of the Balticum festival led to philosophical reflections on the key question for documentary: how to represent reality. Most of the participants at the seminar were convinced that documentary will move toward a higher degree of staging in the future, but their attitudes toward this development were very different.

Staging

Rimantas Gruodis (Lithuania): “It is not relevant to discuss staging or genres. Only three things matter in filmmaking: emotional reactions, inner freedom and truth.”

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REELING THE REAL. Remembering Herz Frank

Herz Frank (b. Latvia, now based in Israel): “In fiction, we expect the actors to be the artists. In documentary, the director has to be the artist. The way documentarists depict reality is the art. In the case of Dvortsevoy’s Bread Day, he is the artist, not the women and goats he films. As a real artist you have your heart – you shouldn’t stage anything. You will find plenty of interesting things in real life.”

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