Political docus in the running for Prix Arte

European Film Academy unveils documentary noms

COLOGNE, Germany -- Politics, big and small, are the themes running through this year's nominees for the Prix Arte -- the European Film Academy's best documentary award.

Political films of all stripes will be in the running for Europe's top docu prize, from resurgent Russian nationalism in Mikhail Morozov's "Durakovo -- Village of Fools" to African dictatorship in Klaarte Quirijns' "The Dictator Hunter"; from a private look at the former Czech president in Pavel Kotecky and Miroslav Janek's "Citizen Havel" to "Shadow of the Holy Book," Arto Halonen's comic criticism of crony capitalism.

Other nominees include "Children. As Times Flies," Thomas Heise's picture of social deprivation in eastern Germany; "Rene," a 20 years-in-the-making portrait of a petty criminal from Czech director Helena Trestikova; and "The Mother," Antoine Cattin and Pavel Kostomarov's look at a woman raising her family on a Russian farm away from her violent husband.

But some nonpolitical history also made the cut. These include Carlos Saura's musical documentary "Fados," James Marsh's "Man on Wire," the story of legendary tightrope walker Philippe Petit, and "Stranded: I've Come From a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains," Gozalo Arijon's look at the survivors of the 1972 Andes plane crash that inspired the 1993 film "Alive."

The three-member jury of producers -- Karoline Leth, Alan Hayling and Moscow Film Festival programmer Kirsi Tykkylainen -- will pick the winner, which will be announced at the European Film Awards on Dec. 5 in Copenhagen.
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