An award - winning film, recognised both domestically and internationally, produced by Piotr Stasik. The film is a visual masterpiece. Its action shots presenting the lives of citizens of this famous city (portrayed in cinema i.a. by Woody Allen) were perfectly tuned with mesmerizing music and emotions of 21 characters that travel by subway. The film managed to convey the genius loci of this place and helps experience the life rhythm of New Yorkers that come from all over the world, their loneliness, troubles, dreams and transgressions. 21 x New York then portrays a collective consciousness (or even subconsciousness) of the 21st century people.
How much does a human life weigh? Does the life of an illegally employed immigrant weigh less if both parties agree to working in dangerous conditions without insurance? Doesn't the conscience weigh on a person who denies help to the ones in need? The viewer is left with these questions in this well made Piotr Domalewski's film, a mixture of thriller and social cinema. The picture has won the Grand Prix awards at various film festivals. Featuring an excellent performance of Grzegorz Damięcki.
A film depicting the experiences of a three-year-old refugee Lean who, along with adults, travels a long way to the promised land - Sweden. Each day brings her closer to the longed - for meeting with her grandfather who lives there. Adventure? The first painful experience? The authors of this observational documentary excellently contrast a child's world - slow and full of wonder at the surrounding reality - with that of her parents' - nervous and unsure of the immediate future.
Eastern Ukraine. A small village called Hnutove is located in the war zone. The inhabitants are leaving their houses. Some of the few who have remained in the village are: a ten-year-old boy, Oleg, and his grandmother Aleksandra. The authors of this film accompany the protagonists for a year, showing that close family bonds are fragile but necessary for survival in extreme conditions. A film about growing up near a front line.
This touching film by Maasja Ooms about the need for love. It shows three years from the life of a homeless girl that is on the verge of depravity. The history of this character is tragic. She was only one year old when she lost her home. At five, she ended up in an orphanage because the family taking care of her gave her up. At nine, she is still waiting to be adopted. Thanks to the constant presence of camera following the daily life of this desperate girl, feeling an increasing rejection of the whole world, the viewer can sense that the frustration, helplessness, lack of prospects and a feeling of existential homelessness are almost tangible. Are we witnesses of an inevitable tragedy which happens in front of us and will keep happening in this world?
Głuchołazy - a small town which used to be brimming with life in the nineties but now it is dying out. A flood has destroyed health resorts and factories. The town is faced with a high unemployment rate and some of its citizens have left. In this dead - end place, a teenage Szymon decides to make his big dream come true. He wants to become a wrestler. Can he fulfil his American Dream?
Zyga who lives near Warsaw is nearing 40. Once the lead player in the local football team, now he is unemployed. He is trying to explain to Witek the rules which govern the world. He does not always follow them; this fact is not missed by his clever son. Zyga's old team is trying to advance to the third division. A former star is going to play in the decisive play-off. This meeting will turn out to be extremely important in Zyga's life.
The director uses unpublished archival audio and visual materials to reconstruct the complex history of the Beksiński family. Viewers become acquainted with the story of Zdzisław, Zofia and Tomasz from the inside - thanks to their normal lives, the space they share, long talks, and small conflicts. The script is based on the book Beksińscy. Portret podwójny by Magdalena Grzebałkowska.
The title characters are a couple that has been married for a long time. They spend all of their time together - at home and in the school canteen where they work. It is perfectly clear that through the years they have become distant - they feel no desire nor need to speak to each other. Their lives are filled with silence and snideness. One may think that they are still together only out of a habit.
After fourteen years, Daniel leaves prison. He wants to once again become an exemplary citizen and to start a new life. However, this proves not to be so easy as certain people - even his family - reject him. He wants to find his long-lost daughter Sandra but he needs help to believe that he can accomplish his goal.
Every year runners from all over the world decide to take part in the famous Spartathlon, an ultramarathon from Athens to Sparta, organized since 1983. Each character has specific reasons to participate in this project. Even though the runners are not confident of covering the whole distance, they know that they have to try. The film portrays the human fight against one's weaknesses and limitations, either that of body or mind.
An authotematic film using the poetics of fiction and documentary. A young director decides to conduct an experiment - she wants to check if it is possible to manipulate the process of falling in love. To do that she asks a young man to capture a girl's heart.
Olga, a woman from Ukraine, works as a carer of a sick, bedridden man. She has a complicated family situation - she has left her husband and a gravely ill daughter that requires a very expensive treatment in her home country. In humility, the woman endures her employer's mood swings and jibes. One day the man asks her a favour...
A retired anthropologist devotes her entire free time to her passion - she is a triple world champion in weightlifting. Even though the woman suffers from salivary gland cancer, she does not give up - she decides to once again compete for the first place. In her fight against herself she is supported by her close ones and her trusted trainer, Pat.
The director and cosplayer of the cyber diva Hatsune Miku moves to Tokio to be closer to her fans. Hatsune Miku is a "vocaliod" - a software voice bank. To produce it, its makers created a cute manga character that has become a collective fantasy and the star of the "otaku", a Japanese subculture. Miku's whole personality, her lines, music, and animation have been created by fans. The film shows a journey to the world in which fantasy is more real than the reality itself and explores the process of discovering identity through cosplay and fandom of the cyber diva. In this creative documentary (faux-documentary) that mirrors everything happening in Miku's world, the director acts as the main cosplayer and is assisted by the most hardcore fans.
Both the title character and his grandfather, Zdzisław Misiak, earn the viewers' favour from the very first moments. The film by Wojciech Klimala, recognised at the Warsaw Film Festival, shows a touching story of bonds forming between a grandfather and his 7-year-old grandson, of whom he takes care after his mother's death. Hugo was born in Spain and his Chinese father is in prison. We watch the daily lives of Hugo and his grandfather who live in a barrack located in an old amusement park in the centre of the city, but at the same time somehow outside of it. They feel that the most important thing in life is the closeness of another human being. In the background we can observe the crisis of interpersonal relations, decline of family bonds and oppression of the social system.
A para - documentary fiction film depicting a complicated relationship between Dawid and his father who suffers from Alzheimer's. The story is told from the son's perspective. He wants to get to know his father better and get closer to him, but there is less and less left of the man each day. The film is constructed of still photos accompanied by off - camera narration and fully acted out episodes which reveal the everyday reality of the illness and the process of becoming familiar with it. The acting performances of Krzysztof Kowalewski and Łukasz Simlat are definitely worth the viewer's attention.
A psychological drama about family. Iga, a student at the Academy of Music, finds out that she has won a foreign scholarship for which her father applied behind her back. Acting on impulse, she packs her things and leaves home. She returns after three months upon learning that her father is seriously ill. The last week of his life is not only a chance to say goodbye to his family, but also Iga's confrontation with herself.
Influenced by the terrorist attacks of 9/11, young Joe Boots enrolls in the army right after graduating from secondary school. Shortly after he is sent to war in Iraq. After returning to his home city, Pittsburgh, he realizes that the war experiences have permanently changed him. Joe presents a story of a gradually growing trauma and tells us about living with unhealing wounds that are invisible to others. The film is an attempt to shed some light on the internal conflicts that war veterans experience, having the audience recall the best American war films. A documentary by Florian Baron, the author of a couple of documentaries and video art pieces, which was awarded in Duisburg.
A personal documentary telling the story of a young couple facing a difficult choice. When Martyna accidentally gets pregnant, she and her boyfriend come to the conclusion that they are not ready to be parents and decide to give the child up for adoption. They hide the truth for a long time because they fear the reaction of their close ones. But as the delivery is nearing, it is hard for them to make definite decisions about the future of their relationship and of the child.
An extraordinary beauty pageant in Israel. Women who survived the Holocaust come to Haifa. They prepare for the contest. They receive professional advice from an instructor on how to walk, how to wear the numbers and how to go through the selection process. The participants of such contests usually dream of fame and a crown. This time it is different: they only want a minute of attention.
Mr. Twardowski, a lawyer, is celebrating his victory in the court - he has managed to defend a man accused of murder. However, his client is not innocent and the prosecutor is not happy with the unjust outcome. Shortly after the trial, in a park, the lawyer encounters a mysterious man who questions him about his job. Twardowski does not realise it yet, but the man will strongly influence his life.
The story of sixty-year-old Roberto who thinks outside the box. In the film we learn about his approach to the concepts of family, religion and human existence. Old video tapes from the 80s and 90s become a pretext for those reflections and a peculiar dialogue with pictures. Those amateur and somewhat eccentric recordings were found in an abandoned warehouse in the Italian province Bergamo.
The story is set at present, in one of European cities. It depicts a day in the life of three young friends, who must modify their plans for the future in face of a fictional armed conflict in their country. In various ways everyone becomes involved in dangerous events and an escalation of violence. This political fiction story has won the contest organized by the Kino Polska TV station for a screenplay inspired by Krzysztof Kieślowski's film "Blind Chance".
The film tells the story of Julita Wołyniec, whose mother is serving life sentence for murdering her husband and son and attempting to kill her daughter. Struggling with guilt, Danuta does not want to meet her daughter. They have not seen each other for ten years. Using the program Świadectwo ("Testimony") concerning prison facilitators as an excuse, Julita enters a women's penitentiary unit to confront her mother and to settle past accounts.
Michał, the main character of the film, lives in the country and works on a cattle farm. His life is filled with the same old routine. After work he comes home, eats dinner consisting of an instant soup and rests. The company of his peers from the village, with whom he cannot find a common language, drains him of life. Each day of Michał's life looks exactly the same. His only hope for a change might be the girl he has met on the Internet. She lives in the Netherlands and is supposed to come to Poland. However, Michał knows very little about her.
The characters, children and teenagers suffering from Asperger syndrome, have problems communicating with others due to their inability to express themselves accurately. The director gives them space to articulate their emotions - they can freely talk about their relation with the environment and about the way they see reality. We get to know a group of special young people who suffer when they are judged solely by their handicap.
16-year-old Natalia lives in a neighbourhood that the locals call the New Bronx. It is summer time and the girl enjoys the charms of a summer love. She is doing everything in her power to get the attention of a friend from the neighbourhood. But along the way happens something that she did not expect and was not prepared for.
A group of young people initiates an operation to seize the Zyezda cinema in Belgrade. Their joint effort to change the reality for the better unifies different social groups - at first their representatives think that they all have the same objective. However, the differences between them are far too great and the cooperation is not possible - dissimilar beliefs and visions of the world prevent it from happening.
Katarzyna Łęcka's film is undoubtedly a valuable complement to the Beksiński family's "double portrait", recently created in the Polish cinema through the stirring films: The Last Family by Jan P. Matuszyński and Videophonic Album by Marcin Borchardt. Jerzy Radziwiłowicz plays the role of Zdzisław Beksiński, who struggles with the emptiness caused by the death of his wife and his son's suicide. For the fans of the painter this is another, somewhat different, story from the artist's life and a meeting with his unsettling paintings. For cinema lovers it is an opportunity to compare Beksiński's parts played by remarkable Polish actors.
Piotr Pavlensky is the most radical artist in Russia and he commits to political protests against the repressive policy of the government. The photo of him with his lips stitched together, a symbol of protest against the incarceration of Pussy Riot, was one of those recognised by the Reuters agency. Pavlensky's dramatic performances show self-mutilation - cutting of an ear, wrapping his body in barbed wire in front of prosecutor's office and nailing down his genitals to the pavement on the Red Square. The message is extremely clear - but is it effective? Pavlensky's work poses a problem to the authorities - it does not break the law, but it disturbs the order and no one knows how to restore it. The film raises a question about the lines between life, politics, art, and madness.
A story about the daily lives of two soldiers who suffered permanent damage to their health during the mission in Afghanistan. Every day is a challenge for 27-year-old Tomek who has lost his arm. And Franek, who suffers from PTSD after losing his leg, tries not to give up for the sake of his children. Through the film we become acquainted with the veterans' point of view, as well as Franek's wife's standpoint. They speak about the ups and downs of a life marked by war traumas.
This computer animation created in 2D and 3D technology by an Iranian director, producer, and screenwriter Ali Zare Ghanatnowi is the story of a mother who awaits the return of her son from the war. Similar to the mythical Penelope, she is knitting him a pair of gloves because she remembers the winter morning when he was leaving and got frostbitten. The war continues. The mother is waiting. She unravels the gloves and begins knitting again. After her house is bombed, she is sitting on its ruins and knitting the gloves out of her own grey hair. At the very end she hears the sound of footsteps in heavy army boots.
The film by Reber Dosky is an extremely touching documentary. It depicts the slow process of revival of life that takes place in a previously bombed Koban, a Kurdish city in Syria. A 20-year-old woman named Dilovan decides to start a radio station in this ruined by war, deserted city where the living try to bury the dead whose bodies they dig out daily from the ruins. The images terrify with their realism but at the same time are uniquely poetic. Radio Kobani is a bitter and intimate story about war trauma and the effort that has to be made in order to return to normal life. The film is also surprisingly optimistic, as it shows people to whom the reconstruction of the city and future planning are basic needs. It also shows that nothing can destroy people's faith, hope, and love.
A shocking image of the work done by a Kurdish colonel Fakhir who risks his life daily to help people by demining dozens of car bombs and roadside mines left by IS troops in the area of Mosul, Iraq. Armed only with a pocket knife, wire cutters and his courage, he risks his own safety to save innocent civilians. In 2014 he loses a leg but does not stop his work. Everything is recorded by cameras. Hundreds of hours of the recordings are a special keepsake for his family.
The main characters are a father and his little son. After leaving a closed refugee centre, they decide to look for happiness in Warsaw. However, they face many different problems - they do not have enough money for basic necessities and the boy suffers from diabetes. They start living in a caravan in a deserted site but their Polish neighbours successfully make their lives difficult.
A story about the work of paramedics and the human dramas seen from their perspective. Magda Czerwińska plays an excellent part in Michał Szcześniak's emotional film about the mental breakdown caused by the loss of a loved one and her own slow recovery; about difficult and traumatic experiences which have to be dealt with, not only because they constitute a part of life but also because life has not yet had its last word.
Jakub Radej's student film which won a special award at last year's Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. It tells the story of Marcin's first day after the return from his economic migration to the United States. How will his old friends, ex-girlfriend and family greet him after not having seen him for a long time? Will he find the world the same as when he left it a couple of years earlier? A clash of the hometown society's local problems with the expectations of the young man who has returned home with a suitcase full of dollars and a plan to make a life for himself in Poland.
It is the first in history full-length feature film in Strip-Tease poetics (a Belgium TV documentary running on RTBF since 1985). The main character, judge Anne Gruwez, for three years allowed the producers of this documentary to observe her work and exposed the whole truth behind criminal investigations. It bore fruits of numerous (but not always politically correct) humorous scenes showing the ups and downs of this eccentric individual's life.
The title of the film is the motto of the employees of the Swedish employment office. "It's simple, we do as we're told" - replies an employee of the country's least popular government agency. In this film, officials and psychologists reveal the failures of Swedish employment system. Their anonymity is assured by cardboard puppets that substitute for the real speakers. A strikingly unique, socially significant documentary showing the irrational bureaucracy.
A shocking story where a girl falls victim to a misunderstanding - or perhaps a purposeful police action. Zuza is an art curator and the mother of a young girl. One night during an exhibition which she prepared she sees two men beating a boy near the gallery. She comes to his defence. When police officers appear on the scene, suddenly Zuza becomes accused of an assault and arrested. She undergoes a humiliating interrogation. Based on a true story.
Roman Jarosz's film is a story about a pursuit of harmony both in music and in life, based on a fairly surprising idea. The characters of the story are musicians playing in a symphony orchestra: the first violinist and a bassist (who are a married in their private life). The film opens with a concert, during which Adam, played by Wojciech Mecwaldowski, has a heart attack. In the liminal moment between life and death, at the end of a bright corridor the protagonist encounters Chopin, Gerschwin and Beethoven. Not only is this the beginning of the film, it also is the beginning of an experience, the meaning of which the viewer has to discover on their own.
A sport drama about the hard and ruthless rules that govern sport. The film is also a universal story about dreams and dreamers, about outsiders who never give up as well as friendship and solidarity. "The Dragon Spring" is a film depicting passion and struggle against all odds. Paweł, the protagonist, dreams of coaching his favourite team - Arsenal F.C. However, for now he has to work with the worst football - playing eleven in Poland. It will be an educational experience, and not only for him.
A discovered old family film has become the starting point for this cinematic essay about coincidences, wasted human fates and posthumous fame. The Sun Island was made by one of the most brilliant contemporary film experts, professor Thomas Elsaesser. His grandfather, Martin Elsaesser, a well - known architect and the main city planner of the city Frankfurt in years 1925-32 is the protagonist of this documentary. Apart from designing schools, churches and other public buildings, he was also the main architect of the Central Market Hall, the future residence of the European Central Bank considered to be a masterpiece.
Even though Magda is only 14 years old, she has to make a life-changing decision. She has been raped and became pregnant. Along with her mother she is now looking for a hospital that will perform an abortion. But as doctor after doctor declines their request, the character is feeling increasingly helpless.
For the last 23 years of his life the main character has been doing a very unique job. He accompanies people in their last moments with harp playing. He is the only Australian thanatologist that helps people die in peace when everyone around is stricken with grief and wants the dying ones to keep on living. Peter's job reminds us of the once - existing culture of ars moriendi. With the spirit of a Persian poet Rumi, whose blood flows in his veins, the protagonist still has one job to do before he retires.
A story about a single mother taking care of her ten-year-old son and trying to put her life in order. She meets a man on the Internet. The situation itself poses a challenge for potential partners, who must face their own emotions and needs during the meeting, and at the same time stay image-conscious. Arkadiusz Biedrzycki's film is based on a careful observation of behaviours and - seemingly - insignificant gestures that influence the perception of the other person in a situation that is uncomfortable for each of the three characters.