THE HEAD SHOT
– and other stories about describing reality
For fifteen years, Peter Øvig Knudsen has been writing books about some of the most dramatic and painful events in recent Danish history.
On the one hand he has enjoyed wide recognition and awards from the public at large, while on the other hand, the books have given rise to fierce discussion and brutal criticism from some of the persons involved.
In “The Head Shot”, the author revisits some of the most serious conflicts he has had with living sources and he talks about some of the compromises he has had to agree to while trying to discover the true essence of the story. Through these stories Peter Øvig Knudsen gives us an insight into the reflections and challenges associated with giving true accounts.
Published in Danish only (Gyldendal, 2014).
“As always, Peter Øvig Knudsen’s new book is tremendously well written and replete with illustrative examples which give the reader an unusually candid insight into the many ethical dilemmas encountered by journalists.”
Charlotte Aagaard, Information
“The Head Shot is outstanding … a must for journalists and historians and in general everyone whose task is to describe reality.”
Morten Frich, Berlingske Tidende
“The Head Shot is fundamentally a troubled documentary writer’s honest attempt to turn the magnifying glass on himself and his sources.”
Niels Barfoed, Politiken
“His books have an inevitability about them, and it is hard to believe that somebody else could have written them if an Øvig had not existed.”
Nils Gunder Hansen, Kristeligt Dagblad
Posts on the book’s blog
When I first saw Søren Svendsen’s photograph of the building on Korsgade in the district of Nørrebro, I was in no doubt I had found the front page picture for my BZ book. (BZ is the Danish name for the squatter movement). The photo, which was taken on 23rd April 1982, sums up the atmosphere […]
In fact it is epoch-making: Facebookistan is the first critical documentary film about Facebook – not just in Denmark, but surprisingly enough throughout the whole world. We all communicate with each other on Facebook everyday, but this gigantic global and hermetically sealed company has almost completely avoided critical supervision, even though it must be one […]
Seldom have I felt so out of step with the public debate as I have done since the terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen. It seems to be impossible to in any way counteract the absurd tendency to compare any defence of the freedom of speech with intolerance or even incitement against Muslims And the problem […]
The assault on Charlie Hebdo ought to be a turning point in the debate about Islamism and Freedom of Speech. I Hope! For God’s sake let’s start talking about what we can do about our times’ most dangerous totalitarian movement. The Islamists call themselves Muslims, but this is not their most important aspect: The Islamic […]
According to a new documentary film, in December 1987 the Blekingegade gang hand grenades were used in a German terrorist action against a military café in Barcelona. During the attack, one person was killed and nine others injured. A few weeks ago I was visited by the German documentary director Egmont R. Koch and his […]
I have decided to write a book about the Danish BZ Squatter movement in the eighties. The working title is ‘BZ squatter – a love story’ because many squatters quickly began to talk of family, community and love. I made the decision after having for the last two months engaged in an intense and super […]
I understand that the government does not find it “politically feasible” to give Edward Snowden Danish asylum (Read: we have to remain good friends with USA). It would be lovely indeed, if the social democrats instead showed democratic courage and action and made one exemption from the “politics of neccesity” (in my opinion: a fiction). […]
Apple has finally listened to sense and decided to REVERSE a decision to censure a French book with a naked woman on the cover out of the iBookstore. Naturally, Gyldendal and myself will take immediate steps to re-evaluate the Hippy books in the iBookstore – and our hope is as light green as a hardly […]