DOC LAB START 2016
THE RUN, dir. Kacper Lisowski, prod. Krzysztof Szpetmański; Iron Films
Documentary movie “The Run” is amazing journey to Jerzy Górski’s inside – drug addict with 14 years practice and World Champion in triathlon on Double Ironman competition. A man who was experienced by live, man with a strong character and will to fight. Honest conversation that allows to get know better about addiction and difficulties in combating it. At the same time shows sport as a “good addiction” source of adrenaline and satisfaction. Górski shows us, in authentic way, destructive nature of drug addiction and way to get out of it. He shows audience picture of Poland during communism when he tells about his falls down and triumphs. This particular vivisection, stripped of any mythology, shows the man imperfect but who wants to fight with the imperfection. What does the protagonist think about myth of his own? What does he remember and what he would like to forget? How today, when he is husband, father, businessman and social-worker, does he see his decisions and motivations?
SCARS, dir. Agnieszka Zwiefka, prod. Agnieszka Zwiefka, Chilli Productions
BOYLESQUE, dir. Bogna Kowalczyk, prod. Tomasz Morawski, Boffo
BOYLESQUE a documentary about three male burlesque performers. Zunek is the most famous polish Drag Queen. He used to sell socks on the market, now he is transforming into over exaggerated symbol of femininity. Sylwester Biraga is an awarded with bronze Gloria Artis founder of the “The Second Zone” theater. His artistic alterego is Master Bee rakish naked man with brocade beard. Madame Lula was the first polish Drag Queen. Her real name is Andrzej and he is a handsome, seventyyearold man. In the 70′ he used to organize the most crazy parties in Warsaw. All together: Zunek, Sylwester and Andrzej decided to take a part in the unusual project. With help of workshops, improvisations and interviews they are going to create unique performance where they will show their own lives through the burlesque characters.
EDIFICIO, dir. Alexander Maciuszek, prod. Alexander Maciuszek
Edificio Cuba – more than a century old house located in the center of the historic district Old Havana. It consists of five floors; each of the fourteen one-room flats arranged around a central patio. Sale – once identical – have been imaginatively reworked according to different tastes and possibilities owners. Door ajar provide evidence of a huge heterogeneity of the community: you’ll find here prostitutes and police officers, young pastors and respected babalaos – Afro-Cuban cults. We find multigenerational families, as well as lonely and thirsty companion veterans revolution. We find petty criminals, novice businessmen, party activists, artists, and even a nuclear physicist. Building Life goes on in the corridors: the quarrel, by events, scandals, together celebrated holidays, flourishing illegal trade in absolutely everything; the children’s games, which dark recesses of space provide intensive growing up and socializing.
FURY, dir. Krzysztof Kasior, prod. Agata Sikora, Spiral Film
Ola is 25 years old, lives in a small town in the eastern Poland. Her daily life is a sequence of mundane activities: work among 200 other desks of telephone customer service in a telecommunications corporation; house, friends, family squabbles, home deviating from the ideal and deprived of parental love, where she still lives and has troubles with older brother. As defined by Ola – boredom. So, is there something special about our main character?
A year ago, not knowing what to do with herself, feeling empty, depressed, not knowing where he was going her life, Ola accidentally gets on the train to see MMA (cage fighting), and this decision seems to her to be a hit. She starts to practice and over the years overcomes all of the above titled players in Poland. After these successes she gets the chance to go to the World Championships amateur MMA in Las Vegas, which is a pass to different world – the world of professional fighting. It is also the gateway to a new life, thanks to which she can forget about prior suicide attempt and “start all over again”.
“Fury” is a film both on the way to the fulfillment of dreams and its consequences.
GENERATION YOUTUBE, dir. Stefan Lazarski, prod. Joanna Szymańska David Janicki; Shipsboy
Generation YouTube is a project of a full-length sociological documentary that encloses observation, interviews, and mockumentary. The basic question asked by the filmmakers is whether the world created on YouTube is authentic. By interviewing several active users (youtubers), representatives from marketing agencies and youtubers’ managers, we will learn the framework of this world and the mechanisms that guide the creation of the YouTube reality. The mockumentary element is present in the person of „Mateusz” – a character that decides to take the path „from zero to hero” by following the advice from the agency’s specialists as well as from experienced youtubers.
SELFIE WITH GOD, dir. Luke Konopa, prod. Alexander Leszczyńska, Anna Kardaszewska; Last Moment Productions
This is the story of Joza, 68, a handsome, thrice divorced, army veteran with a cheeky smile and an amazing gift for storytelling. Born Jozef in Poland, he discovered he was Jewish on the day his parents told him they were moving to a far away country he’d never heard of: Israel.
Today, he guides pilgrims in Jerusalem, giving it his all. The tourists have come strengthen their faith, and sometimes to find answers. He’ll go the extra mile to ensure they leave satisfied, no matter what. It’s up to him to help them experience the sacred, whilst also leaving enough time for selfies. From the Wailing Wall to the fields of Armageddon, if there is a line to cross, or a monk to bribe, Joza is the man to get you where you want to go.
But political violence has increased fear in the city, scaring tourists away with it. Business is getting tough, and Joza knows it’s bad for everybody: Christian, Muslim or Jew. People squeezed together, and forced to coexist, all reliant on tourists for their daily bread. He is a friend to every souvenir vendor and ticket seller, regardless of faith, guiding groups of pilgrims to their stalls, ensuring everyone gets a taste, himself included.
They’re all struggling, and now, to make matters worse, he’s been diagnosed with cancer. Joza never gives up. Marijuana relieves pain, helps to continue to work, but now he has to deal himself with questions that ask millions of pilgrims coming to Jerusalem.
MISS HOLOCAUST, dir. Michalina Musielak, prod. Carolina Galuba; Furia Film
Judith Rosenzweig (86) lives in the nursing house “Jad Ezer” in Haifa. The day-to-day life looks here much the same as elsewhere: talks in the cantina, tea dancing from time to time. But “Jad Ezer” is unique: it is a remembrance incubator – only Holocaust survivors live here. They share a common history, similar memories and traumas, but they are distinct in their attitude toward the past. When tourists come to “experience the living history”, for some pensioners it is a chance to bear their testimony, for others – tobe in the spotlight. They have told their stories hundreds of times. Many details got changed or lost while repeated. Forgetting – this natural, often healing process, erases the traces in the memory of the survivors and their audiences.
Judith Rosenzweig decided not to forget. And that – against the human unwillingness to remember, despite her own weakening memory – she will keep reminding about the Holocaust, so that it never repeats itself. She looks for any occasions to tell and to warn. Even for such absurd ones as a beauty pageant for Holocaust survivors.
Observing the relation between Judith and other ladies from “Jad Ezer”, we want to explore how the memory works. We keep telling the stories we want to preserve, so that others remember for us. Do stories fade and lose their significance in time? Does multiple repeating make sense? Is it possible to convince somebody to remember if they don’t want to listen? How does the truth change in time?
MISSION, dir. Monika Krupa, prod. Dorothy Mandziara; Trzyfilm
The story of a Polish egiptologist who inspite of everything and everyone is close to making a great discovery. If he succeeds it will be the greatest event of modern archeology.
By some admired for his intelligence, diligence and perseverance, by others considered as insane. His research methods are mostly based on intuition, which raises a lot of controversy. Despite this his colleagues faithfully support him and despite doubts and conflicts they decide to set off with him for the last mission . The hero risks his scientific career to fulfil a dream of making the world’s discovery. He wants to prove that the place having been examined by him for years, hides the entrance to the tomb of the legendary pharaoh Herhor.
The main character is an unusual figure. He is a brave, consistent, stubborn and talented human being of Renaissance. On the one hand he is a treasure hunter like Indiana Jones on the other hand a loving husband of 45 years, who writes romantic love poems to his wife .
The topic of the pharaoh Herhor is forbidden in their house. They are a loving family with unusual daily activities such as baking competitions or acting in amateur theater spectacles. More important is the time spent together which is determined by the rhythm of the many month long expeditions. Even by the family ban, in each free moment spent in Poland, our hero returns in his thoughts back to Egipt. Preparations for the last expedition are getting ready and new emotions and hopes follow.
The topic of the film is not the discovery of the thomb, but the Hero’s way towards his goal. It is a story full of action turnarounds, tension and expectations, but foremost a story about love, passion and the decision to fight for ones dreams.
STUDY OF CHAOS, dir. Tomasz Sliwinski, Magda Hueckel, prod. Marika Kuźmicz; Foundation Arton
“I think societies are tempt to alleviate a lot of anxiety by pushing people to the edges by ghettoizing people who are different.” These are the words of Andrew Solomon, American writer. And this is exactly what happened to Krzysztof Niemczyk (1938 – 1994), once a well-known Polish artist at the end of 60s, now completely forgotten. He was a writer, performer, the only Polish queer artist in XXth century. His whole life was a form of art. He was not afraid to challenge the oppressive system of the communist regime in which he lived, showing courage, inventiveness and intellectual precision. In 1968 he wrote a book “Courtesan and chicks or distorting mirror of passionate actions or otherwise the study of chaos”, which nobody wanted to publish in Poland, and which had to wait almost 30 years until it was finally in France, where it was called one of the greatest books in Polish literature in the second half of XXth century. Still, he is barely known in Poland.
The film will be a study of Niemczyk’s life, slowly revealing more and more details about him, through memories and use of different media: theater, animation and archives. The purpose of the film is to explore the subject of nonconformity, courage to live your own life the way you want it and its consequences.
What causes that some people perceive him as a great and independent artist, while others, with astonishing stubbornness, refuse him that status, treating him as a kind of freak?
TRUCKING GIRL, dir. Edyta Wróblewska, prod. Stanisław Zaborowski; Silver Frame Volt, dir. Monika Kotecka, NC Poryzała, prod. Agnieszka Wasiak; Lava Films
Iwona Blecharczyk is a beautiful young woman who has been working as a truck driver for four years. People related to Iwona had some expectations about the idea how her life should have looked like: her parents wanted her to be a teacher, her friends – to take part in some beauty contests and her boyfriend wanted her to be just a good wife. Iwona has chosen her own way. She didn’t want to live her life according to these expectations. She decided to fight for herself and got the job of her dreams as a… truck driver. That’s why today she feels the freedom and the happiness. She is an inspiration for other women. Each day she drives hundreds of kilometers and gains new skills. As a driver she is second to none. Recently she has become the first woman driver in Poland who is allowed to drive a truck with exceptionally large loads such as 60-meter long windmill construction. It’s still not enough for her. Iwona dreams about going across the United States, but first she wants to go for a journey that introduces some deeper meaning into her life. She plans to go to Lebanon to carry humanitarian aid to Syrian women who stay in refugee centers. She wants to get to know about their situation, to see how they carry on and what kind of difficulties they have to face. During the trip Iwona wants to catch a healthy distance from her regular life and look for the answers to the most crucial questions.
MOODY, dir. Karolina Karwan, Tomasz Ratter; Munk Studio
Mudi, a man in his thirties, and his 60-year-old stepmother (Ibu), live alone on a small tropical island. Their life goes slowly in the rhythm of repetitive tasks. Their main daily occupation is sweeping leaves of the majestic trees growing on the edge of the golden beach. It soon becomes clear, however, that the illusion of an idyllic life in a ‘paradise island’ hides a complex drama. Mudi has schizophrenia, Ibu suffers from depression, and their relationship is toxic and full of tension, which often explodes into quarrels. Being isolated from the outside world and extremely lonely, each on their own, they are eagerly awaiting the arrival of enigmatic ‘guests’. They both find solace in music. They use two portable players that are charged with a small solar panel. Each of them listens to different kind of music and experiences it in a very different way. Mudi loves to dance and does it in a very expressive, emotional way. Ibu silently dissolves into melancholy of songs from her past, staring at the infinite sea.
DOC LAB GO 2016
THE VILLAGE OF SWIMMING COWS, dir. and prod. Katarzyna Trzaska; Zygizaga
A group of ecologically aware and alternatively living young Berliners head East for holiday experience and visit to Biebrza National Park. They make a longer stay in a small village close to Belarusian border where they rent an old wooden house from a local farmer. They walk, photograph landscape and wildlife, meditate, practice acro –yoga, learn about wild mushrooms, pray to full moon, have compassion on breed animals, wash naked at the well, eat vegetables found in a dustbin of a grocery shop so there is less food waste on our planet. For local villagers they are more exotic than any other persons ever seen on television. Mutual observation and exchange of life views is advantageous for both sides, and a source of humor at the same time. What changes in Polish and German characters will this unusual encounter bring?
THE ART OF UNDERSTANDING, dir. Matej Bobrik, prod. Agnieszka Dziedzic; Koi Studio
Each year twelve young Japanese students decide to sign up for the Polish Language and Culture Studies at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. They still are teenagers, cannot pronounce the word “kiełbasa” and believe that people in Poland drink milk from huge cartons. One of the compulsory tasks for second-year students is to stage a play in Polish. This year, it will be The Martyrdom of Peter Ohey by Sławomir Mrożek. In his documentary The Art of Understanding, Matej Bobrik tells about their struggle, not only with the Polish language, and about how hard their projections clash with reality.
CONDUCTOR NICE, BUT A GOOD MAN, dir. Thomas Drozdowicz, prod. Beata Hyczko; Autograph Film Studio Ugliest
Jerzy Maksymiuk. A conductor, a composer, a pianist. At 80 fully active or – to many – excessively active. Demanding of himself and others, never slowing down, merciless to poor performers, still fascinated by music and focused on his scores till it borders madness. Loved by the eminent, but irritating to and disliked by hack musicians. Privately, he continues to be a lad from the small-town wooden house, true friend of the “excluded” park-bench regulars with whom he shares all he has. A charismatic “maestro” admired in London, Glasgow and Paris, totally helpless in everyday life without his wife’s assistance and direction. The film being shot in Poland, England, Scotland and France will depict him at work with outstanding musicians and orchestras, also during composing his music. We will accompany the main character in his surprising journey in search of the fundamental definitions of music is and how it affects us. We will also get to know an artist who is tremendously “private”. This second portrait, full of colorful episodes, little weaknesses, but also compulsions sometimes bordering the mental norm, will illustrate one of the most extreme versions of an artist’s fate. The one in which an outstanding talent is paid for with loneliness in the ordinary “normative” world. His wife – Ewa Piasecka – is a character of equal importance as she, although not sharing his gift, is absolutely indispensible for him, being a condition on which his art and existence are contingent. A story of great passion and talent, and an even greater price paid for that talent.
THE UGLIEST CAR IN THE WORLD, dir. and prod. Grzegorz Szczepaniak; Anagram
Bogdan’s mother, Kazimiera was born 18 years before II World War started. Despite her 94 years she is in a good shape both physically and mentally. But Bodan knows that his mother may pass away soon. Before that, he wants to make his last dream come true; visit with his mother a place where she was taken as young girl during WWII to work in a german labour camp. Kazia is not very happy with this idea but Bodan starts preparations. He overviews his Ugliest Car of Poland and set off with his mother in a journey. From his hometown Marki near Warsaw, Poland to Schoenbeck, Germany is about 750 km. Normally you drive about 8 hours by car or 1.30 by plane. Form them, driving old, rusty wartburg it become a long and dangerous journey full of unpredicted car problems and unprotected emotions.
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, dir. Rafal Łysak, prod. Victoria Ogneva, Jacek Bławut; Film Production Jacek Bławut
Is understanding between an eighty-year-old, extremely religious, devoted Radio Maryja listener and her twenty-six-year-old gay grandson possible? Are they able to overcome their religious beliefs in the name of the love between them? This is a very personal story for me. My grandmother represents the generation that experienced the Second World War and who, in order to avoid deportation to Siberia, were forced to flee to the west of the country. The generation that fought for the restoration of Poland. The generation that feels cheated. The big objectives and dreams that the country promised did not come true. However, the enthusiasm and energy to fight have remained and must be utilised somehow. Grandma finds a rewarding arena to fight her battles in religion. She fights for the nation’s identity, values and tradition. Family is most sacred – especially her own family. Her husband (my grandfather) has been dead for many years; her daughter has drifted away and her son-in-law is no longer with us; her sister leads her own life, so all my grandmother’s attention and affection is focused on me, her only grandchild. She invested all her ideals, love and hope in me – until she had news of my homosexuality. Confronting my peers, as well as my partners and friends, my grandmother embarks on a long journey towards understanding and acceptance. I am also working on understanding her, a person who is not easy to love. Through exploring her history, watching the humorous and theatrical temperamental behaviour, her relationships with her sister and daughter, I try to step over the chasm between our generations. Will we be able to rediscover each other? Will we persevere on the way to our goal?
HÜBNER; dir. Edyta Wróblewska, prod. Marta Golba; Endorphin Studio
Aktorzy rzucali dla niego pracę w innych teatrach, Wajda, Jarocki i Swinarski czuli zaszczyt, że zaprasza ich do współpracy. Ci, którzy z nim pracowali na co dzień, mówili, że nigdy wcześniej, ani nigdy później nie doświadczyli takiej wolności twórczej, jak w teatrze Zygmunta Hubnera w ponurych czasach PRLu. Co takiego miał w sobie ten człowiek, że władza, wraz z całym mechanizm autorytarnego państwa, nastawionym na zniewolenie umysłów, pozwalała mu mówić własnym głosem i reżyserować sztuki, które piętnowały to, co się wtedy działo? Jakich sposobów używał, żeby przechytrzyć cenzurę i co wieczór przyciągać na widownię tłumy ludzi spragnionych mądrej rozmowy i nazywania rzeczy po imieniu w zakłamanej rzeczywistości tamtych czasów? Jak bronił swój teatr przed systemem, który próbował narzucić jedynie słuszny sposób myślenia? Wiele z pytań, na które musiał sobie odpowiadać Zygmunt Hubner w czasach PRLu, pozostaje aktualne do dziś. Film będzie portretem jednego z najwybitniejszych intelektualistów i twórców polskiego teatru XX wieku..
FUGAZI – NOR ALL’S BEEN FUCKED UP, dir. Leszek Gnoinski, prod. Aneta Zagórska, Maciej remnant; Association of Film Krakow
„Fugazi – not all’s been fucked up” is not just a film with music in the background, but also piece about freedom, friendship, youthful imagination and the role of music in interpersonal relations, about the hardships during times of change and the struggle with unforeseen difficulties. It is also, and maybe most of all, a film about dreams coming true. At the start of the 90’s Warsaw was recovering after the long night of martial law, the crisis and a system set on paralyzing most of the interesting cultural events. The Fugazi club was the most colorful location on not only the map of contemporary Warsaw, but also distinguished itself within all of Poland. It was like a magnet attracting exceptional people who wanted to do something interesting. Fugazi became an idea which gathered young peiple and musicians, who contributed to its creation without asking for compensation.