The Fantastic, a documentary film by Maija Blåfield, explores the cataclysmic moment in which North Korean interviewees first experienced a foreign film. It is a moment that the majority of us living in democratic nations will take for granted, not least recall with such wonder and private fervour.
Verzió awarded six creators of outstanding documentary films at the annual awards ceremony on 20 November. The members of the three juries presented the winners online, calling from various countries in order to be able to congratulate the happy filmmakers. Read their statements here!
Central Bus Station by filmmaker Tomáš Elšík is an unsettling and elegiac study of identity, belonging and anthropology. The documentary focuses on one of the largest bus stations in the world: The Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, a concrete jungle that is virtually indestructible. The filmmaker is relatively silent instead telling the story primarily through its central protagonist, Yonathon Mishal, who has found something of a home in the station.
Information wars are constantly fought in the backdrop of our lives. After Russia provided military and financial support to start the war in Ukraine, it used every platform it could to deny connections between Putin’s government and those mysterious “little green men” with Russian weapons in Ukraine. There is one group, however, that disproves the lies of corrupt regimes and uncovers serious abuses on a regular basis.
You are immense, our good Mother: Truth, You are immense and so is your Power, You scratch the sky, like a giant mountain, Wide as the seas, As prosperous, as urban cities, Impenetrable like a forest; One hundred years would not suffice To explore what you have to offer, He who sees you, must raise his hat.
The protagonist of Dávid Kresalek’s 2007 documentary, Hacked, instigates a media hack from his living room; he creates a fake news item, which then appears on several mainstream media channels (in printed and online press, and on television), without any background or fact checks into the truthfulness of the content.
In the time of post-truth, as media systems around us change, the question of whether reality can truly be depicted arises. This is the case for documentary film as well, which we would usually expect to be investigative and accurate. But for decades, filmmakers have been shaping the emotional narrative and the purportedly objective perspective of documentaries—making them personal, or abstract and poetic.