Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Human pockets the top prize at Oslo’s Eurodok
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Norwegian director Vigdis Nielsen’s The Fight for the Fjords won the Audience Award at the 15th-anniversary edition of the festival
French writer-director Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Human [+see also:
film profile] – a three-hour-and-ten-minute “immersion to the core of what it means to be human” – has won the top prize at Oslo’s Eurodok - European Documentary Film Festival, which this year celebrated its 15th anniversary and wrapped yesterday (13 March).
“Human is a tribute to life and a strong depiction of what unites us as human beings. We understand how insignificant and significant we are, at the same time – why we hate, why we love,” said the jury, which included Benjamin Ree (a journalist and documentary filmmaker), Cecilie Bjørnaraa (a director and producer) and Sharam Alghasi (a university professor). In the film, people from all over the world talk about everything from love and hate, through war, poverty, oppression, dreams and forgiveness, to the meaning of life.
“This was just fabulous news on my birthday – and from Norway, which does so much for other countries and is a symbol for many,” responded Arthus-Bertrand, who was told the news in France once he had returned from the festival in Oslo; he turned 70 on 13 March.
Norwegian director Vigdis Nielsen’s The Fight for the Fjords received the Audience Prize for the portrayal of people such as 22-year-old environmentalist Synnøve Kvamme, who is willing to go to jail to save the fjells – and nature in general. “No monster poles through the beautiful fjord landscape in Hardanger,” was the message of the village’s residents, defying government plans to build gigantic power lines there.
Finally, an Honourable Mention went to the movie The Swedish Theory of Love by Erik Gandini. A total of 23 European documentaries were screened at this year’s Eurodok, which was instigated by the European Union Delegation to Norway. “It is an important festival that reflects the reality of today’s Europe and stimulates cultural exchange between European countries,” said Norwegian EU Ambassador Helen Campbell, head of the Delegation, who attended the opening of the gathering.