MEETINGS WITH THE JURY
SECTION: MEETINGS WITH THE JURY
WOJCIECH STAROŃ’S TWO LESSONS: SIBERIAN AND ARGENTINIAN
The chair of the documentary features jury will show the viewers at OFF CINEMA his exceptional duology, made thirteen years apart. The work won Staroń multiple awards, while The New York Times reviewer called it “two personal stories become one film”.
SIBERIAN LESSON, Poland, 1998, 58’
Małgorzata and Wojciech leave to spend a year in Siberia. They wish to see how they will perform in new roles, in what they see as an opportunity to know themselves and the world around them better. She is teaching Polish in a local school, while he is making a film about it.
ARGENTINIAN LESSON, Poland, 2011, 59’
Taking her husband and two children, a young woman travels to Argentina where she is going to teach Polish to the descendants of Polish emigrants, Wojciech Staroń’s family. During the stay in Argentina, the director observes and captures the bond of friendship which develops between his eight-year-old son and Marcia, a local girl. The documentary was shown at e.g. Museum of Modern Art in New York.
OVER THE LIMIT, dir. Marta Prus, Poland, 2017, 74’
The film, winner of the Golden Castle at the 22nd IDFF OFF CINEMA 2018, is a portrait of the Russian gymnast Margarita Mamun, showing her in the decisive year of her life, as Margarita has the unique chance of joining the national team to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and win the gold medal. Silver Hobby-Horse and the Audience Award at the Krakow Film Festival.
Meeting with the recipient of our Platinum Castle and head of the documentary shorts jury will be combined with a screening of his selected pictures from the 1960s, including some of the major titles of the Polish Documentary School of that decade as well as films from the autobiographical period made abroad.
SCREENING #1 (shorts made in Poland)
RETURN OF THE SHIP, Poland, 1963, 17’
A notorious film which won double Grand Prix (Golden Hobby-Horse and Golden Dragon) at the National & International Short Film Festival in Krakow. When the transatlantic liner M.S. Batory drops anchor in the harbour of Gdynia, there follow many emotional reunions of Polish emigrants coming from the United States to meet their families. Seen up close and very much live, the behaviour of the people and the conversations conducted with the passengers on board translate into a powerful effect that exceptional picture has on the viewer.
DAY X, Poland, 1967, 20’
One of the most humorous documentaries of the decade consists wholly of unobtrusively captured interviews with the conscripts who appear before an army medical panel for examination. The linguistic and situational humour are the only commentaries to the ritual that hundreds of thousands of young people had to go through in socialist Poland, as they were drafted into the people’s army.
TO BE, Poland, 1967, 20’
Winner of the Silver Dragon as the Krakow Documentary Festival, which served Marzyński to teach editing with students at the Rhode Island School of Design. Summing it up, the director himself wrote: “A training hall, divided into cells like a honeycomb, and in each of those a human family fighting for survival on a circus arena.”
BEFORE THE TOURNAMENT, Poland, 1965, 20’
A report of the preparations for one of the greatest Polish TV shows of the 1960s. Marzyński managed to introduce this French entertainment format in Poland, in which residents of two towns competed in the most elaborate contests and quizzes. In barely four years, he hosted 17 Tournaments, becoming one of the most recognizable faces of Polish television. The documentary was made jointly with Krzysztof Szmagier.
AFTER THE TOURNAMENT, USA, 2018, 27’
An autobiographical documentary, in which Marzyński reunites with the protagonists of Before the Tournament, the documentary recounting the preparations of the people of Syców and Oleśnica for the Tournament of the Cities. An emotional screening of a film made decades ago at a local cinema becomes an opportunity to show the people and places from two remote viewpoints in time.
Screening of two emigration-themed films by Marian Marzyński, one of which was made shortly after leaving Poland for Denmark in 1970; the other is a much later work, created after many years of documentary filmmaking in the US.
SKIBET, Denmark, USA, 1970-2011
An exceptional testimony to dramatic times, shot on an erstwhile American steamer in Copenhagen, where Jewish refugees from Poland were quartered. Much later, Marzyński combined his poignant feature made for the Danish television with the interviews with the exiles of March 1968, which he had shot aboard St. Lawrence assisted by the renowned cinematographer Kurt Weber, and kept for 40 years in his archives.
NEVER FORGET TO LIE, Poland, 2013, 53’
Never Forget to Lie is a moving story about Marzyński’s return to Warsaw, where had once been through truly harrowing times, having been sneaked out of the Ghetto onto the “Aryan” side. Marzyński also meets other survivors who came to Poland for the first time since the war. As they visit the courtyards of the old Warsaw tenements, some of them take part in the profoundly emotional psychodrama, reconstructing and reliving the extremely dramatic moments in which fate decided that they would be saved.
Special showing of Shtetl, co-organized by the “Miasteczko Poznań” Foundation.
October 18th, 6 p.m. | Dom Bretanii, Stary Rynek 37
SHTETL, Poland, 1996, 185’
This award-winning documentary (Grand Prix at the Cinéma du Réel in Paris) tells the story of a Jewish shtetl, woven from the fragmented accounts of its surviving residents who live all over the world. Still, the main protagonist is a young history teacher from Brańsk, who strives to find and preserve the traces of his Jewish ancestry. One day, he receives a visit from a director of documentaries and an old American from Chicago, whose family originated from those parts.