FIFA 2015 Review: Donald Duck documentary is really two films in one

 

Image from the documentary film Donald Duck Ð Le Vilain Petit Canard En Nous, which is being shown in Montreal at FIFA, the Festival International du Film sur l'Art.

Image from the documentary film Donald Duck Ð Le Vilain Petit Canard En Nous, which is being shown in Montreal at FIFA, the Festival International du Film sur l’Art.

Ninety minutes devoted to Walt Disney’s film and comic book character Donald Duck? Yessireebob!

In truth, Donald Duck – Le Vilain Petit Canard En Nous, is more like two films, awkwardly cobbled together. For about the first 30 minutes, it’s all about The Donald. Apparently, he is really big in Europe. Every week, to this very day, in some European countries, one person in four reads about Donald Duck. Who knew?

Asssorted people from France, Germany and Scandinavia talk about their first encounter with the cranky fowl and what he means to them.

After World War II, Donald Duck was part of an effort to de-Nazify German children. In translating the comics into German Erika Fuchs made them more literary, witty and thoughtful than the originals.

Gottfried Helnwein of Germany is one of the many artists who appears in the documentary film Donald Duck Ð Le Vilain Petit Canard En Nous, which is being shown in Montreal at FIFA, the Festival International du Film sur l'Art.

Gottfried Helnwein of Germany is one of the many artists who appears in the documentary film Donald Duck Ð Le Vilain Petit Canard En Nous, which is being shown in Montreal at FIFA, the Festival International du Film sur l’Art.

Donald Duck fans (Donaldistes in French, if I heard correctly) have yearly conferences where they present serious papers about him.

Among the statements made by assorted talking heads: Donald Duck is never satisfied, he always wants more. He wants fame and recognition. He is ordinary, naive, but not an idiot. We can all identify with him; he can be a clown, evil or generous. He never wins, but he never gives up. Okay then.

Then, the film turns to winners and losers and success, with segments about the Razzie Awards (it’s a rather long segment), the Funny or Die comedy-video website, life coaches, the tradition of the village idiot, and an excerpt from the German version of the TV show The Office. To be honest, this second part was not that interesting for me.

Donald Duck - always full of big dreams! Image from the documentary film Donald Duck Ð Le Vilain Petit Canard En Nous, which is being shown in Montreal at FIFA, the Festival International du Film sur l'Art.

Donald Duck – always full of big dreams! Image from the documentary film Donald Duck Ð Le Vilain Petit Canard En Nous, which is being shown in Montreal at FIFA, the Festival International du Film sur l’Art.

Pet peeve: This film is made for French audience. When anyone is speaking a language other than French, a translator talks on top of them. No subtitles. Two people talking at once. Annoying in the extreme. There should be a law, I say!
Donald Duck – Le Vilain Petit Canard En Nous (Germany / 2014 / Color / 90 Min / French, English, German with French translation), Friday, March 27, 2015 at 6:30 pm at the Cinematheque Québecoise, 335 de Maisonneuve Blvd. E,

Donald Duck – Le Vilain Petit Canard En Nous
Realisation: Edda Baumann-Von Broen
Script: Edda Baumann-von Broen
Cinematography: Edda Baumann-von Broen
Participation(s): Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Gottfried Helnwein, Øyvind Holen
Producer(s): Hasko Baumann
Production: Avanti Media Plus
Distribution: Avanti Media Plus
The Festival International du Film sur l’Art, known as FIFA, runs until Sunday, March 29, 2015. Visit the web site www.artfifa.com for more information.

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