One of the crucial problems encountered while shooting political documentaries is a very practical one: political processes don’t tend to obey production schedules. The only thing a director can do sometimes is react – or not shoot at all. Occasionally this simple truth can be applied also to documentary film festivals. We could experience it yesterday during the opening ceremony of the One World Festival in Bratislava: the Slovakian Prime Minister Iveta Radičova was supposed to speak, but faced with a national crisis, it was unclear if she could make it. As this issue went to print the suspense continued.
Of course, the festival started anyhow and thus we have the big pleasure of focusing on the works of directors who were able to point their cameras at dynamic processes during the right moment. Inside Disaster, Haiti travels to the epicentre of the horrible conditions in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010, while Poster Girl deals with the more sublime psychological traumas behind the image of a commercial poster for the US army. Our focus on Burma concentrates on two films which try to look behind the walls that limit human rights in the country, both the metaphorical and the very tangible ones. And finally, Afghan director Alka Sadat speaks about her recent works and the problems she’s faced while shooting.
It’s once again a day that promises a lot of unforeseeable dynamics in films and debates.
By Jens Geiger