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FESTIVALS Norway

Brutal glimpse of reality takes top prize at Oslo's Eurodok festival

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- German director Marc Wiese's Camp 14 – Total Control Zone and Norwegian director Yvonne Thomassen's The Family Portrait are honoured by the jury and audience

Brutal glimpse of reality takes top prize
at Oslo's Eurodok festival

German director Marc Wiese’s Camp 14 – Total Control Zone, about Shin Dong-Huyk’s escape from one of North Korea’s brutal labour camps, won the top prize at the 12th Eurodok festival in Oslo, which ended Sunday (March 17).

“A strong and personal testimony,” said the jury of the winner, which provides “a unique and brutalglimpse of a reality that we wish were a stagein human history, giving the the wordto both victims and perpetrators.” Dong-Huyk was born and grew up in Camp 14, until he managed to escape at the age of 23.

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Organised by Oslo’s Cinemateket and the Norwegian Film Institute, the five-day festival “with an unusually big span between “feelgood” and “feelbad” entries,” per festival director Jan Langlo, reached 3,000 admissions to a programme of 34 recent European documentaries, including 14 local productions.

The jury gave an honorary mention to Finnish director Mika Ronkainen’s Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart, about “identity, family, migration, upbringing – and music,” while the Audience Prize went to Norwegian director Yvonne Thomassen’s The Family Portrait.

Produced by Trude Refsahl, Thomassen described her film as “a personal documentary about my 94-year-old grandmother, my search for my own identity and my efforts to fulfil her last wish: bringing the whole family together.”

The festival was concluded by UK director Bart Layton’s The Imposter [+see also:
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, also selected Documentary of the Month at the Cinemateket. Film tells the story of 13-year-old Nicholas Barley from Texas, who disappears in 1994; three years later a teenager is found in a phone booth in Spain, claiming he was kidnapped by US soldiers to be their sex slave. His family, however, is not so sure.

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