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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2010. 58th Edition  > Festival Diary > «Life in itself is interesting, and cinema should be even more interesting»
Festival Diary » JURY
«Life in itself is interesting, and cinema should be even more interesting»
Saturday, September 25th, 2010

The British documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker is delighted to be in San Sebastián
in a dual facet as Official Jury member and as director of Countdown to Zero, the film about the dangers of nuclear proliferation that will be closing the Specials section in Zabaltegi today. She’s best known for having made four documentaries, the two most recent of which were premiered at Sundance this year – the first time that a documentary director has had two feature films at this festival.

She said she really loved San Sebastián and was impressed with the varied background
of her fellow jury members with whom she’s been having some lively debates. As for what she looked for in a film, she merely insisted that as life itself is interesting, she felt that cinema should be even more interesting although she confessed that she tried not to be
too critical, as being a filmmaker herself, she was aware just how difficult it was to bring a project to fruition.

“We’ve been lulled into a sense of false security” When asked why she chose to make a film like Countdown to Zero, she explained that it was a really important issue for her as she felt that with end of the Cold War we had been lulled into a false sense of security that we could live with weapons of mass destruction. She wanted to stress how brave the people were who had taken part in her documentary, (who included eleven world leaders), as just talking about the subject was difficult: “nuclear weapons are instruments of mass murder; one bomb can destroy an entire city so the stakes are so high, it’s difficult to get your brain around it.”

She acknowledged that all her films were different but what they had in common was that they all dealt with important, compelling issues; for example Waste Land was set in the world
largest landfill, while Devil’s Playground focused on Amish youngsters sampling
life outside the community. She said that these were the challenging subjects that
she felt really comfortable tackling, “otherwise life can be boring.”

Allan OWEN


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