Miguel, ne terren

in 44th Krakow Film Festival

by Jerzy Peltz

The FIPRESCI prize at the 44th Cracow Film Festival went to the film “Miguel, Ne Terren” (“On the Spot”) from Spain, directed by Enric Miro and Lluis Jene. This is a moving documentary (55′) about the life, work and death of Miguel Gil, one of the bravest war correspondents of the 1990s. The film transports us to the front of the most bloody wars of the last decade: from Sarajevo, through Kosovo, Afganisthan and Chechnya, and as far as Sierra Leone, where Gil was killed in 2000.

It is very difficult to make a film about a man who is no more alive. Easy to fall in the trap of verbalism and sentimentalism. However the authors were able to catch the personality of Miguel Gil and created a credible and warm portrait of him. They used the testimonies of Miguel Gil’s friends and colleagues who tell about common work, meetings on the various fronts of international and national conflicts. In those testimonies we can very often observe the characteristic silhouette and face of the hero and hear his words. That’s all in the action, because there are fragments of war reports filmed by Gil and the other correspondents.

What is very important is that in this film we can see the human being on the large background of our contemporary world with his conflicts, discrepancies, and awful chauvinism. And we also observe the people of the various nations whose tragedies Miguel Gil reported on. In brief, we received on the screen the picture of our world on the turn of the 21st century.

Last but not least – “On the Spot” is a film dedicated to one of us – journalists. Every year a lot of people of our profession die while making their duty.

Our jury also disscused about other films screened in the Cracow Film Festival: “Bar on Victoria Station” (Poland), “Wild Stools” (Russia) and “A Stone’s Throw Away” (Norway). “Miguel, Ne Terren” received also the special mention from official jury of Cracow Film Festival.