In a trajectory that will soon span two decades, the Tui festival has stood out for presenting first-time Spanish retrospectives dedicated both to renowned directors and legendary figures of documentary cinema, as well as to many other forgotten, censored, lost or simply unknown filmmakers. This work of recovery, rediscovery and vindication is strongly present again in this next edition, to be held in Tui from May 4th to 8th.
Play-Doc presents for the first time in Spain a retrospective dedicated to the German filmmaker Helke Misselwitz (1947), one of the most important directors of the last generations of the DEFA– the first film company that opened after WWII in the Soviet occupation zone and the only film studio in East Germany–. The films on view in this retrospective document the social and political changes in the GDR in the 1980s that led to the reunification of Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The situation of inequality for women under the socialist regime, the difficulties of the working classes and the loss of a youth cultural identity are central themes of this brilliant filmography. Her films, which shun political slogans and question official discourses, are above all an honest and unsentimental portrayal of the complexity of human relationships. Helke Misselwitz will come to Tui to present her films and discuss her work with the festival audience.
Also showing at this edition will be the first international retrospective devoted to Danny Lyon (1942), a prestigious Magnum photographer whose book The Bikeriders (1965) is considered one of the founding documents of the so-called New Journalism. His images of life in prison, the Civil Rights movement and Native American nations are legendary. Yet his films, shot on 16mm over 25 years, have remained unseen for decades. The programme will include some of his works made between 1969 and 1985, which portray life on the border, marginalised communities in New Mexico and ‘illegal workers’.
Play-Doc will also present the international premiere of his latest film, SNCC, completed in 2020, in which Lyon revisits the prime of the Civil Rights movement through hundreds of never-before-seen images captured in the early 1960s from his own archive.
RICHARD P. ROGERS
Also making its international premiere, the Galician festival will present four films by American filmmaker Richard P. Rogers (1944 –2001). Throughout his artistic life, Rogers was a celebrated director and producer of non-fiction films as well as a mentor and professor at Harvard, where he taught photography and film. His thirst for knowledge took him halfway around the world, from the jungles of Nicaragua – where he filmed the Sandinista Revolution and its aftermath, with Alfred Guzzetti and Susan Meiselas – to the streets of working-class Albany, New York.
In this programme, curated by the director of the Harvard Film Archive, Haden Guest, Rogers’ most personal short films will be shown exclusively, a kind of self-portrait in which the filmmaker uses the camera not so much to record the world as to make sense of it, critically analysing his own life and art.
Haden Guest will be present at the festival in Tui to elucidate for the public this treasure straight from the archives of the prestigious American university.
The fourth retrospective of this edition will feature Portuguese filmmaker António Campos (1922-1999), an amateur filmmaker born in Leiria, whose singular, complex and marginal work, long considered lost, now occupies a prominent place in the history of Portuguese cinema. His documentary and fiction films, marked with an ethnographic and anthropological character, and made practically alone, record the social, economic and psychological evolution of a country in complete transformation.
To celebrate the centenary of his birth, Play-Doc will present, in collaboration with the Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema and the CGAI (Centro Galego de Artes da Imaxe), the first Spanish retrospective dedicated to the Portuguese filmmaker, which will also be the world premiere of his work recently restored and digitised by the ANIM-Arquivo Nacional das Imagens em Movimento.
Play-Doc thanks the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin, the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst, Goethe-Institut Madrid, HFA (Harvard Film Archive), Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema, ANIM-Arquivo Nacional das Imagens em Movimento and CGAI (Centro Galego das Artes da Imaxe) for their collaboration and support.