19 x World at the Krakow Film Festival
For the tenth time, the best documentary films from around the world will vie for the Golden Horn award at Krakow Film Festival. After a long and exciting selection, 19 films from three continents are invited to participate in this competition. Among them, there are four films produced in Poland.
56th Krakow Film Festival starts with the international premiere of the film by Piotr Stasik – “21 x New York City.” It is an extraordinary story about loneliness which accompanies the contemporary inhabitant of a great metropolis, shown from the point of view of twenty one people, met in the New York City subway. A totally different sense of loneliness is shown in the Brazilian film “Curumim” (dir. Marco Prado), the protagonist of which spent several years in an Indonesian death cell, trying to save the hope for survival in himself. The film was made thanks to unique film material, made by the convict himself.
Every year, the competition is characterised by extraordinary diversity of stories, portrayed protagonists or phenomena. However, very often the dominating motifs of the films mirror the current reality or social problems around the world. It is also the case of several films from this year’s edition of the Festival. “The Burden of Proof” (dir. Stefan Kessissoglou) depicts the complicated European procedure of obtaining the refugee status by emigrants, whereas the Swedish film “Homo Sacer the Sacred Man or the Accursed Man” (dir. Lode Kuylenstierna) tries to answer the question how we perceive “the others” today.
Particularly noteworthy is the original documentary film “Life on the Border,” in which the esteemed Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi gives the camera to the youngest inhabitants of the camps on the Syrian border, who tell a poignant story about their experiences and emotions. In turn, the Polish film “Alisa in Warland” (dir. Alisa Kovalenko, Liubov Durakova) presents the tragic events of the armed conflict in Ukraine in an extraordinary and extremely personal way.
Interpersonal relationships, intricate and multi-faceted, are also a very common subject which is of interest to documentary film-makers. During this year’s edition, three films will be shown, which describe difficult family bonds. The Lithuanian “Dead Ears” (dir. Linas Mikuta), is a peculiar meditation on the father-and-son relationship between an elderly widower and his disabled son. Painful family psychotherapy, conducted with the help of camera and abundant archival materials of the family will be shown in the Swedish film “Reflections” by Sara Broos. The protagonist of the Israeli film “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?” (dir. Tomer i Barak Heymann), in spite of many adversities, struggles against exclusion and desperately strives for the acceptance of the close ones.
Two films, though totally different, are linked by their setting. Both were made in psychiatric hospitals and describe the unusual reality of the inmates. “Icon” by Wojciech Kasperski is a story about a shelter in the heart of the Siberian taiga, where the insightful observations of the patients’ everyday life lead to reflection on the unfathomable human nature. In contrast, the protagonists of the Canadian production “Manor” (dir. Pier-Luc Latulippe, Martin Fournier) have to face the challenge of leaving their current home, the psychiatric hospital Manoir Gaulin, and of beginning their lives in a new place.
Other films about people who are excluded and live on the margins of the city are also: the film by the famous American photographer Katty Grannan “The Nine” and the Italian version of “Romeo e Giulietta,”directed by Massimo Coppoli, set in a Romany encampment.
The competition section does not lack cinematic portraits, either. Among them, there is the film “My Friend Boris Nemtsov” (dir. Zosya Rodkevich), depicting the last period in the life of the eponymous protagonist, the leader of the opposition in Russia, shot dead last year. The camera accompanies him during his pre-election journeys and also in less formal moments, but it also allows to notice the close bond which the director managed to create with her protagonist. “All You Need Is Me” (dir. Wim van der Aarn) is a story about young Dutch painter, his work and life, made on the basis of abundant archival materials and conversations with the protagonists, creating a colourful and at the same time tragic portrait of a contemporary artist.
Films participating in the International Documentary Film Competition:
- “21 x New York City,” dir. Piotr Stasik, Poland, 70′
- “Alisa in Warland,” dir. Alisa Kovalenko, Liubov Durakova, Poland, 74’
- “All You Need Is Me,” dir. Wim van der Aarn, the Netherlands, 80′
- “The Burden of Proof,” dir. Stefan Kessissoglou, Germany, 35′
- “Curumim,” dir. Marco Prado, Brazil, 104′
- “The Nine,” dir. Katty Grannan, the USA, 98′
- “Homo sacer the Sacred Man or the Accursed Man,” dir. Lode Kuylenstierna, Sweden/Denmark, 60′
- “Icon,” dir. Wojciech Kasperski, Poland, 51′
- “Who’s Gona Love Me Now?” dir. Tomer Heymann, Barak Heymann, Israel/Great Britain, 85′
- “Dead Ears,” dir. Linas Mikuta, Lithuania, 42′
- “My Friend Boris Nemtsov,” dir. Zosya Rodkievich, Russia, 70′
- “Manor,” dir. Pier-Luc Latulippe, Martin Fournier, Canada, 83′
- “Reflections,” dir. Sara Broos, Sweden, 76′
- “Romeo e Giulietta,” dir. Massimo Coppola, Italy, 57′
- “Sempervirens,” dir. Raphael Dubach, Switzerland, 47′
- “Tashi Delek!” dir. Peeter Rebane, Estonia, 55′
- “Employment Office,” dir. Anne Schiltz, Charlotte Grégoire, Belgium, 74′
- “Borderline Miracles,” dir. Tomasz Jurkiewicz, Poland, 52′
- “Life on the Border,” dir. Sami Hossein, Delovan Kekha, Ronahi Ezaddin, Basmeh Soleiman, Mahmod Ahmed, Diar Omar, Zohour Saeid, Hazem Khodeideh, Syria/Iraq,