Patients in an oncology clinic receive chemotherapy. Their faces can be seen in a close-up. They lie in pairs and hold fascinating conversations. Life seen from a different perspective, a distance offered by a hospital, reveals its value, sense and charm. Why so late?
Across the Border
Five directors from Central Europe contribute to making an international film reflecting a unique moment of forming of a new European community.
There are elegant ladies as well as poor pensioners among them. Burdened with shopping bags, day and night, regardless of the weather and time of the year, they visit parks, cemeteries and secluded places. These are ‘cat ladies’, considered as weirdos by some and angels of good by others. Maybe these women feeding homeless cats are trying to fill an empty space in their lives or satisfy their maternal instincts. Before the camera they philosophize, sing old songs and tell stories of love, fear and lost opportunities. One character argues with her husband with whom she shares nothing but a love of cats. They all speak of their pets with fondness and affection and have a name for each of them. Łoziński has managed to paint a portrait of women who have found an aim at the end of their lives.
A Holocaust survivor takes the viewer on his haunting journey back to a small town in Poland, his birthplace, to try to uncover the secrets of his father's and brother's disappearance. Tension mounts through his interviews of villagers, some young, some old, who knew his family. The narrator survived the Holocaust with his mother and eventually made it to the United States, but his brother and father disappeared and obviously did not survive. Determined to learn the truth, the narrator, now a film-maker in the U.S., returns to the village, seeking out people who knew his family. Some greet him warmly, seemingly happy to see that he survived. Others greet him warily, outwardly polite but clearly anxious as to what this American might turn up. Perhaps most chilling is his interview with a (now) elderly peasant farmer whose contempt for Jews remains palpable after decades.
100 Years of Polish Cinema
This entry in the British Film Institute-sponsored international centenary celebration of cinema in which noted directors present a film that exemplifies their country or region's cinema and its origins, represents Poland. Based on a suggestion by late filmmaker Kryzstof Kieslowski and directed by Pawel Lozinski, the film is comprised of interviews with a wide range of moviegoers asked by unseen interviewers to give their thoughts about Polish cinema.
A Just So Story
The scene is an old apartment house in Warsaw where the author lives. Wiesio, former caretaker, lives in a makeshift place in the doorway next to the garbage disposal. He has a dog, Froggie, a girlfriend Ania, and an old friend, Mr. Szymanski, who is a retired hairdresser. Wiesio is on a disability pension and makes ends meet by digging the neighborhood disposals. The film shows one year in Wiesio's life. This is a story of loneliness, the longing for love, and time passing by in a world that disappears along with the protagonists.
A street theatre of the absurd in one act. The theme is domination and mutual attraction of strength and weakness. Two old sisters sit on a bench and talk. The older sister, who is 87-years-old ("old, much too old"), tells her younger sister that throughout her life she had to be taken care of, being "such a screw-up". Now she keeps an eye on her sister, because she should walk and exercise her sick leg. And whether she likes it or not, she has to go round the yard again and again. Well, you remain the younger sister for the rest of your life... "Something out of nothing. It is as if the crumbs of everyday life were thrown out of the window to feed the pigeons. Yet, it is epic. The twelve minutes that we spend with the heroines are sufficient to imagine their whole lives." (Lech Kurpiewski, "Film")
My Register of Nature in Leźno Małe
Paweł Łoziński’s documentary is a short, metaphoric story, undertaking a problem of memory, identity, searching for traces of the recent past. Here, on thirty hectares in the city centre, the inventory is being made – it is to lead to reconstruction of a lost city. The camera focuses on details, showing fingers touching an obliterated inscription or a laborious process of decoding letters excavated from the ground, because each of them means something.
My father and I get into an old camper and head for Paris where, 23 years ago, he dispersed his mother’s ashes in the Luxembourg Garden. Our trip will take two weeks. We’re both documentary filmmakers so we’ve decided to make a film recording the journey. We stop at camper parks or gas stations for the night. We each have a camera to keep the conditions fair and so we’re both the directors and protagonists at the same time. My father is 70, I am 44. We discuss various things - family history, difficult past, my father’s divorces. Any question is allowed. The journey is a pretext to get to know each other a little better. A cinematic-psychological experiment about the father-son relationship. Once in the editing room, will we be able to create a single version that would be acceptable to both?
Ul. Walecznych 17/6