The film authors follow the cyclists who take part in the Peace Race, which, organised annually in May, was a huge sports and propaganda event for the Polish People’s Republic. The protagonist is the last cyclist, behind whom there is only the bus with the text reading ‘the end’ behind him.
The ‘Euro 2012 – behind the scenes’ film follows Polish footballers 24 hours a day in places and situations that no broadcaster was able to show. Moments of weakness, triumph and disillusion. Presented, for the first time and uncensored, from the point of view of the players themselves especially of Damien Perquis and Marcin Wasilewski.
North America draws thousands of desperate souls searching for employment in oil fields. An Oscar nominee for best documentary short subject this year, the film tells a story of oil boom as witnessed by three children and their mother – poor immigrants fighting with harsh winter in North Dakota. They discover the motifs of innocence, home and American dream.
Baptism – the mystical moment of joining a community but also of entering a new reality. Gestures and signs, the invisible touch of God. A film about the miracle of christening, an attempt to grasp the mystery of the spirit and the eternity. A picture of a man standing at the gate of eternity and the God showing the way, even in the darkest night.
The film shows the story of a confident and very active sixty-year-old man - excellent diver who is left paralysed after a stroke. Thanks to rehabilitation and the support of his partner, Joanna, Janusz gradually becomes to move again. However, he still has serious problems with communicating. The only person who understands him is Joanna and she is the one who becomes the interpreter between the paralysed man and the rest of the world. What inspires Janusz and motivates him is his big dream to dive again. However, his dream might be hazardous to his health and life.
The film describes the methods used by Polish People’s Republic’s Ministry of Internal Affairs Department IV, whose tasks included surveillance and ‘operations’ aimed at Roman Catholic priests. Father Czesław Sadłowski and anonymous officials of the Ministry and the SB secret police reminisce about a variety of operation forms: from allegedly friendly conversations to enlisting informants and even provocation or malefaction. The film also includes archival recordings in which Captain Piotrowski, Colonel Pietruszka, General Płatek and General Ciastoń tell their own version and assessments of the murder of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko.
A remarkable film about the family life of Wojciech Zamecznik (1923-1967), a famous Polish architect, set designer and graphic artist. The film was produced on the basis of the artist’s private recordings as he enjoyed capturing family life, meetings with friends and nature escapades using camera. “Dom na głowie” not only depicts Wojciech Zamecznik’s everyday life but also gives a viewer the rare opportunity to get a closer look at the reality of the Polish People’s Republic in 1950s. The film features graphic works and experimental materials which have not been published before.
The documentary, which received the Brązowy Lajkonik prize at the Kraków Film Festival, depicts the history and current situation of the High School run by the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Szymanów. The life of girls studying there is often full of rigour and control, so for many of them the moment of graduation is a most happy one.
A multi-layer story of Władysław Kurpiewski, a coach who dedicated his whole life to fencing and raising new generations of Polish Olympians. Bogdan Dziworski’s film won numerous awards at international sport film festivals.
After a family business goes bankrupt, parents of a twelve-year-old Kuba and an eight-year-old Mikołaj get divorced and emigrate from Poland to find a job abroad. The boy has to grow up fast to take care of his younger brother. Gradually, the teenager refuses to carry the heavy burden of responsibility that has fallen on his shoulders. The situation becomes critical when Kuba is taken to the juvenile court, on the accusation of vandalism. The family has to make some key decisions.
The biography of the most famous Polish Himalayan climber Jerzy Kukuczka, who died while oo his way to Lhotse. The film does not, however, concentrate on the mystery of Kukuczka’s death. It depicts a man who is moving up – literally, but also metaphorically and symbolically. From rags to riches; from a socialist worker to a hero of international media – humble, conspicuous and mountain-loving. Conversations with the family and friends, archives, photographs, recordings, TV programmes and interviews – all form a portrait of the whole Himalayan climbers’ circle of 1980s and their times.
Krzysztof Krauze and Jerzy Morawski return to the topic of the opposition activist Stanisław Pyjas, and his death. Included in the film are the SB secret police officers’ statements explicitly suggesting that the Krakow student’s death was not an accident. ‘He died because he had known too much,’ says one of them. Stanisław Pyjas was to serve as an example of what could happen to young oppositionists.
The director visits his father’s homeland in northern Greece. This is where the nineteen-year-old Mito Aleksowski, together with other young Macedonians, was taken from to Poland during the civil war. The Greeks never allowed them to return to their country. The film’s protagonist, who has been living in Gdańsk for many years now, appreciates what he was given in Poland. He cannot, however, accept the harm done by the Greeks, who permanently separated him from his beloved mum. In his heart, there is still longing, grief and humiliation, as he possesses no citizenship and continues to feel like a stranger everywhere.
The creators of the film take us to a village in Rwanda. Twenty years after the horrors of war, the local inhabitants from the formerly conflicted tribes of Tutsi and Hutu live side by side. Thanks to this documentary, whose making took over 4 years, we have a chance to take a closer look at the tribes’ relationships. We get to know young people of the new generation who, despite struggling with the difficult past, need to forgive, in order to function nowadays. It is not easy when murderers and survivors are neighbours.
A sad, but still heartening, story about Albanian women who, having lost their husbands in the Kosovo war, have to find the meaning of life again. The women witnessed the executions of their men. Now, they are unable to remarry or to lead independent lives. The hard physical work of beekeeping, the closeness of nature and the support of other women help their mental wounds to heal.
The ‘Espana ‘82’ championship was the last success of the Polish national football team at a FIFA World Cup. For a while, nobody remembered that martial law’s rigid rules, censorship, soldiers on the streets and prisons full of oppositionists were at the background of the sports spectacle. The footballers played so well that this World Cup was dubbed ‘the most beautiful series of the martial law period’. ‘Mundial. Everything at stake’ is a documentary on sports and politics during the times of martial law.
Svalka, a Russian landfill site, is only eighteen kilometers away from the Kremlin and Red Square. The depicted situation takes place at the biggest dumping site in Europe, which is two-kilometre long and seventeen-storey high. The area, surrounded by a wall, is only accessible by garbage trucks that enter and leave with an alarming regularity of a robot. However, not only garbage trucks get through – there are people who live there - around one thousand of them, the poorest social group in Russia, which is deprived of any livelihood. An eleven-year-old Julia, the protagonist, is one of them. This is where she lives and dreams of one thing – escaping the rubbish dump.
An amazing story of three elderly apes, who reside in a nursing home. The picture shows the relations between chimpanzees and humans over the years. Cheeta is the last living star from the age of Tarzan films. Kanzi is widely thought to be the smartest ape on Earth, who orders his breakfast via a computer screen and brushes his teeth using an iPad. The Crippled took part in several space experiments and as a result is partially paralysed.
Great passion, true determination and strength of a friendship. The film’s protagonists are three men who play American football for Seahawks Gdynia and were united by their passion for sports. Sebastian, Marcin and Krzysztof: three players, three personalities. They are ready to do everything to win the Polish championship title for their team. There are many differences between them, but playing together invalidates all divisions and helps the men understand one another. The film depicts the situation of sport in Poland. However, the football matches leading the protagonists to victory are merely a background for the story.
A story about the struggle for freedom in Syria, seen by two young people. The thirty-two year old Mowya is the rebels’ leader and a twenty-four Nour is a journalist. The film clearly and conciselyexplains why Syrians fight for their freedom from President al-Assad’s regime. The protagonists, whose lives were turned upside down and torn apart by the war tell us the story. Numerous dramatic scenes portray the horror of war.
A creative image of a rescue operation taking place within two worlds – in an ice desert and underwater. The story is told from the point of view of the rescue squad, a diver entering the sub-ice realm and regular people waiting onshore.
The protagonist of the film, a 33-year-old Marcin, is an actor who has never played a big part in any important film. He dedicated his whole life to fulfilling his dream - become just like his idol, Robert de Niro. He fights to keep pursuing the dream, despite his frustration and a number of problems. Each year, he spends 6 weeks in Norway working at a potato and carrot farm. The money earned there gives him relative financial freedom. The film shows one year of the protagonist’s life. “One Man Show” is a bittersweet picture combining a documentary observation and an honest confession of an unknown actor.
A docudrama about Feliks Stamm, a charismatic figure of Polish sport and a long-term coach of the boxing team who was known worldwide. The film includes both authentic documentary materials, as well as conversations with his most famous sportsmen, and re-enactments in which Stamm is played by an actor, while the boxers star as themselves, not made any younger with make-up.
Chaczik, the protagonist of this moving documentary is a blind shepherd, who lives in the high mountains of Armenia. His daily routine consists of pasturing goats on the steep slopes and taking care of his family. A tragic incident in which his only son loses his sight forces him to send his child to a school for the blind in Yerevan. The man is faced with the dilemma whether to continue his life as a shepherd or to follow his son and leave for the capital city. The film depicts the breathtaking beauty of nature and reflects upon the enormous strength of a man.
Aneta rebelled at the age of 19. She was sent to prison for murder. Nine years later, while serving her sentence, she becomes a caregiver. She leaves the prison walls every day to take care of a nursing home resident Helena, who has been suffering from rheumatism her whole life. The elderly women is fascinated with Aneta. The more she talks with her charge, the more Aneta values what she already has in life, which makes her believe in herself before a hard trial on the horizon.
The titular character has been working in a slaughterhouse for 25 years. For six days in the week he slaughters hundreds of bulls. He sees death every day, and its closeness begins to influence him strongly. In his nightmares, the roles are reversed. The man is afraid that the animals may want to seek revenge on their executioner. Its startling shots and top production won this Mexican film an Academy Award nomination this year.
A biographical film about Czesław Niemen, a Polish music icon, which was made on the 10th anniversary of the artist’s death. The story is told by Niemen’s friends and family. Their recollections form a portray of the talented musician, who would often chose his ideals over his popularity. Loved by the people, he was rather rejected by the Communist regime. The film starts follows Niemen in the place of his birth – Stare Wasiliszki – where the artist spent his childhood and youth, and where his adventure with music in began in a church choir. The film shows very well the price that Czesław Niemen had to pay for career and not conforming with the rigours.
The body of Stanisław Pyjas – Jagiellonian University’s student, who cooperated with KOR (Workers’ Defence Committee) – was found on 7 May 1977 at Szewska 7 in Kraków. The investigation after his death did not include the SB secret police officers. The documentary produced after 17 years asks questions that remain unanswered.
Superjednostka (EN: superunit) is a huge block of flats in Katowice, designed to be “a machine to live in”. The 15-storey building gives shelter to 3 thousand people. The lifts stop only on one in three storeys so residents have to go through a labyrinth of stairs and corridors to get to their flats. The film portrays different Superjednostka’s inhabitants experiencing important moments of their lives inside the building. That is where emotion shakes them and where their expectations come to existence. Here, they achieve their goals or fail. There are 762 doors and 762 stories. Together with the creators of the film, we only open a few of them.
The story of TOTART, an artistic group from Gdańsk, whose iconoclastic and quizzical performances would ‘blow up’ the bleak reality of the Communist Poland in the 1980s. The counter-culture and pop-culture members of TOTART were Paweł Końjo Konnak, Ryszard Tymon Tymański, Darek Brzóska Brzóśkiewicz or Paweł Paulus Mazur. Which TOTART’s ideals survived the transformation to the commercialised reality of post-1989 Poland? And what, actually, happened to the spiritual and ideological leader of the group, Zbigniew Sajnóg, who cut himself off from his former milieu and tried to find peace in a cult?
The film’s protagonists are young American female boxers, who spend most of their time in the training room and continually look for new challenges, both in the ring and everyday life. Jaci and Tiffanie dream of sporting successes and live on a fight-to-fight basis. Tree gave up her boxing career and became a stuntwoman. All three beat their own limitations in this men-only world.
The filmmakers spent two months among the soldiers of the volunteer corps and the local army, who had been defending the Donetsk international airport for 242 days. A realistic account from the front line located in one of the most dangerous war zones of eastern Ukraine follows the volunteers fighting Russian terrorists. They come from different parts of the country, have different education, but are united by solidarity and full commitment to their brothers in arms. Their strength and courage won them the name of the ‘Ukrainian cyborgs’.
The Oscar nominee depicts an incredible story of courageous and dedicated rangers, who are ready to even risk their own lives, to save one of the most glorious national parks in the world, home to the world’s last mountain gorillas. The film produced by Leonardo DiCaprio artfully combines investigative journalism and documentary.
The film protagonist is the accomplished poet, Adam Zagajewski. He shows the literary side of his city, tells the stories of his mentors and friends as well as of his own creative path. Archival videos, old photographs of the city as well as contemporary images of places and people all form a picture of Krakow.
"I must trust in God, be brave, man up and move forward. I need to forgive my father who cares neither about me nor about mom. And I Gould like my mom to find someone, cause once I have a boyfriend, we are not going to share hugs, all three of us." A very personal, humorous and moving diary of a sixteen year old Ada, who suffers from cancer.
10 thousand Muslim men and boys were murdered by Serbs in the town of Srebrenica. In many cases, their remains have as yet not been identified and properly buried. The moving film tells the story of what many Bosnians would probably rather forget. Mothers and wives of the victims come to the Memorial Centre in Srebrenica; they look at the skeletons which have been put them together. With tears in their eyes, they retell their tragic experience and their dreams. They talk about their miserable present life and the obligations imposed on them by the Quran.