The film presents the conflict between tradition and modernity. The population of Faroe Islands has been hunting whales for centuries. Nowadays, various organizations representing Western civilization raise objections to their non-commercial activity. The film tells the story of man and nature, their coexistence and actions which pose a challenge to it. Could it be that the clash of two opposing views on ecology will change the archipelago forever?
This film enables us to explore both the beauty of a landscapes surrounding the biggest lake in Hungary – Balaton, and the exciting young music scene of this country. This is a series of concerts recorded during different times of day, in different places (ports, ships, cafes, hotel balconies and churches). Every shot gives us a glimpse of the atmosphere in a given place. This beautiful, intriguing musical documentary with a lot energy cannot be clearly classified. The quality of modern Hungarian bands is surprising. These world class compositions are virtually unknown in Poland.
The film follows Red Cross workers from Liberia who collect the bodies of people who died from hemorrhagic fever caused by Ebola virus. They work during the peak of the outbreak in West Africa. Garmai Sumo, a nurse and the only woman in the team, helps to explore the story of their dangerous mission. Her courage and strength allow her to perform this terrifying task. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
The film uses careful framing and calm, rhythmical editing to introduce us to the world of almost complete silence. ‘Budzik’(‘The Alarm Clock’) is a clinic founded by Ewa Błaszczyk, in which children in a coma wait for the day when they wake up. Their beds are attended continuously by their parents, who rarely leave the clinic. They sleep on the camp-beds, next to their children, as they are determined to help the young ones return to life. The movie tells a touching story of people, who do not surrender after facing a personal tragedy. Hope is their weapon in the battle for the lives and health of their children.
Casa Blanca is a tiny fishing village in Cuba. Nelsa and her son Vladimir live in a small flat in an overcrowded, multi-family tenement. Vladimir suffers from Down syndrome, however he is the only caretaker of ailing Nelsa, while she is the only guardian of the boy, who easily gets into trouble. Their life is characterized by both conflicts and moments of touching affection; the woman tries to control her son, while he prefers to spend time with fishermen, helping them work, frolicking about and drinking rum. Almost every day Nelsa wanders the streets of Casa Blanca, looking for her only child who doesn’t want to come home. One day the condition of the woman deteriorates.
A film about a family of miners, the Cruzes, who extract the remnants of silver, zinc, and lead from the surface of the famous Cerro Rico mountain in the Andes of Bolivia. The hardships of their work have remained unchanged for centuries. Unique cinematography allows the filmmakers to record the everyday labour of those miners as they work at 4100 metres above sea level.
Chau is a sixteen-year-old disabled teenager who lives in a Ho Chi Minh care centre. He is a victim of lethal herbicides “Agent Orange” sprayed by the US military during the war in Vietnam. Despite his disability, the boy dreams of becoming a professional fashion designer. The film, directed by David Darg, was nominated for an Oscar this year.
A story of a young girl whose parents do not accept her homosexuality. Sixteen-year-old Ana is admitted to psychiatric hospital, where she is to receive treatment for her tendencies. After the hospital stay, she finds it difficult to cope with such traumatic experiences. Her past is an obstacle in having a true connection with her new love – Martina. “Sick” tells the story of emotions, betrayal, revenge, and forgiveness.
A boy spends his vacation on the seaside. He participates in a summer camp for people with Down syndrome. We observe his efforts to find a girlfriend or listen to his conversations with his friends and witness the creative moments in which he writes his poems. These young people perceive reality in slightly different way than the rest of society. Despite certain dysfunctions, the world we experience in this film, touches us with its honesty and unpretentiousness. Is it possible that in the process of adapting to the society we have lost the ability to feel the world and to express ourselves in a simple and moving manner?
“The Good Life” is a story about the town of Tamaquito in the forests of northern Colombia and its inhabitants who make up the Wayúu community. For centuries they have lived on what nature could provide. They hunt in the mountains, pick fruit, and keep cattle. Their lives change dramatically because of the expansion of a coal company which provides this valuable raw material to power plants around the world. People of the town decide to fight for their survival. A young man, Jairo Fuentes, leads them in their struggle for independence.
Intense, colourful, beautiful photos form an intimate portrait of a miner. After hard work in a deep, hot, claustrophobic mine, he goes home, where he can pursue his true passion…
Every year thousands of Hassids from 70 states visit the grave of Reb Nachman in Uman, Ukraine. The tzadik promised the salvation for every Jew, who would prey, dance and sing on his grave during Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year. Nachman encouraged his students to speak to God as to a friend, to prey joyfully and honestly. The Hasids follow the will of their beloved tzadik happily – they celebrate their rites enthusiastically and vigorously. The crowds of Hasids that visit Uman every year are the pillars of local economy, but not everyone is happy with their presence. The right-wing residents act against the outlanders and accuse local authorities of corruption and selling out to Hasids. A huge crucifix, the symbol of their discontent, rises on the slope, over the pond in which numerous Hasids perform a ritual cleansing every year.
Through the fates of women living in distant cities, the director of this film, Ester Gould, tells the story of her older sister, Rowan, a woman who moves from a small Scottish town to study art in London. She is fascinated with Rowan’s outgoing, ambitious nature, which hides the tragedy and narcissism like a façade. There is a price for wishing to be in the centre of everybody’s attention. “Strange Love Affair with Ego” is a remarkable study of fears that accompany today’s celebrities.
The film aims to present the opinion of primary school children on social works. The students have a discussion on the form of punishment which their friend should be given for not taking part in social works. The author gives a terrific account of the education in a totalitarian system.
The director carries out a kind of sociological survey, interrogating people of every age, from a 1-year-old baby to 100-year-old elderly woman with questions like: “when were you born?”, “who are you?”, “what is important to you?”, “what do you want?” This way, he creates a group portrayal of a Poles, aware of their identity and the place where they live, who is an observant bystander of the reality which is hard to be accepted and who impatiently looks forward to the changes and a possibility to rise.
The film shows a group of boys who got hired as safeguards at Polish Song Festival in Opole. The director portrays a change which the boys undergo when they are given power.
The film shows the life of footmen from Pakistan and Sherpa from Nepal. It presents both the everyday labor of these anonymous climbers and the magic of the majestic mountains lying on the border between Pakistan and China. The expedition organized 60 years after the first climber reached the summit of K2, the second highest peak on the Earth, provides an opportunity to tell their story. The mountain has become infamous, as it has claimed the lives of many alpinists throughout the years.
Four people are on their way up the K2 mountain. They take the same path their parents did many years ago. They try to understand the force that compelled their parents to climb the mountain which finally took their lives in 1986. That year is known as ’the black summer’. Tadeusz Piotrowicz, Dobrosława Miodowicz-Wolf and Julie Tullis, the acknowledged climbers, died tragically during an expedition to K2. 30 years later their children: Hania Piotrowska, Łukasz Wolf, Lindsay Tullis, and her brother Chris, embark on a journey to this dreadful mountain. They follow their parents’ footsteps in order to answer the most vital questions… The breathtaking landscapes of Karakorum serve as the background for one of the hardest journeys of their lives.
Monika is one of very few women who compete on European racing tracks with men. Sometimes she is the only girl on the start line. She was born deaf, nonetheless she passionately plays her beloved sport – motorbike racing. The hearing loss doesn’t prevent her from taking risky challenges on a race track. This is a story of a disability which is defeated by a strong character.
Several stories, voices and people meet up during a certain night. That night, inhabitants of a big city, who feel lonely, get the urge to talk to someone. Some of them – often needlessly – call an ambulance. Others call the radio, after its host asks the crucial question: ‘What does the end of world mean to each of us?’ They tell painful, tragic stories and amuse us with trivia, on the other hand. We listen to the programme while driving the ambulance, or while observing the city through countless surveillance cameras. The radio binds the film and is the source of the most important questions.
Marianna is an attractive, 40-years old woman. She decided to leave her wife and children, whom she had loved. She was forced to sue her own parents. She did all that in order to change sex. As it turns out, life has prepared a scenario that couldn’t be foreseen, while the price of freedom and coveted womanhood stays very high. Andrzej Wajda: "Karolina Bielawska made a movie about freedom which is the highest value in every human’s life with great sensibility. The film's character fought a moving battle with her environment and she won that battle, despite grave difficulties. The film is daring, not only because of its theme, but also the exceptional protagonist. (…) It is made with great dose of sensitivity and respect for another human being. It’s wonderful that such young directors are able to make films so mature and lively."
A portrait of a rebellious teenager from a small Hungarian village. Ricsi lives on the edge. Each day brings him trouble. Running from the police, thievery, driving without licence; all of this is just the beginning. But cars are his great passion – he prepares them for races. The filmmakers have followed Ricsi for five years and created a story of an exceptional young man who took life into his own hands despite his turbulent ways.
Black and white, simple and modest line – this movie tells us a story of a man, who is waiting for the execution of his death sentence. The graphic, artistic form shows a record of a life.
This animated picture touches upon extremely important social issues of our times: access to criminal justice, care for war veterans, and mental health. The film explores the story of a man who commits a crime as seen from the perspective of his brother. In his own narrative, Bill Babbitt explains his motives and the change of heart towards the issue of death penalty. The film was nominated this year for the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
A film on the absurd of communist priorities. Its main character is a worker who got fired from his factory for exceeding the work norm and being too efficient.
Antonetta Mischenko, a student of the Kyiv Conservatory, rescued a piano that was going to be used as a building block for barricades. The instrument became a symbol of nonviolent revolution and resistance against authoritarian rules in Ukraine. Soon, the piano united the Maidan’s protesters, who tirelessly sang Ukraine’s national anthem and folk songs to its accompaniment, ignoring the frost and snow. The instrument proved to be more efficient a weapon than Molotov’s cocktail… The authorities called the singing protesters ‘the piano extremists’.
The airport in Donetsk, rebuilt in 2012 for European Football Championship, was entirely destroyed during the armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Rather symbolic than strategic in its meaning, the defense lasted several months. The film aims to tell the story from the perspective of soldiers fighting for both sides of the conflict. The authors demonstrate how mysterious human nature actually is and explore human ability of adapting to extreme conditions when one’s life is constantly on the line.
The film made in cooperation with Tomasz Zygadlo is an attempt to portray Polish workers at the threshold of 1970s. Thanks to the authors we get to know their true problems and concerns. Edward Gierek's take over of power gives people some hope, though it does not change the critical attitude of the workers who are still mistrustful and mutinous.
On the day of his thirtieth birthday Tom Fassaert, the director of this film, receives a surprising invitation from his 95-year-old grandmother living in South Africa. He has never met her, only heard of her through stories shared by his father, which were full of resentment and criticism. Marianna was a famous model in the 1950s, a true femme fatale surrounded by lovers. The director’s father and uncle were raised in an orphanage. His trip to South Africa brings unexpected emotional reactions and complications.
A staged documentary about girls from Voluntary Labour Corps who are to become weavers. The author juxtaposes their beautiful dreams with sad reality. It is a reflexive image which surprises us with its originality and form. The film got the Bronze Dancer award at Huesca International Film Festival in Spain.
A father, two sons and the love for football are the protagonists of this unpretentious, cheerful film. It is also a story of serious plans, dreams and life decisions. Two brothers live in one of the countless villages of southern Poland. 14 year-old Mateusz and 13 year-old Łukasz train football under observant, protective and sometimes controlling eye of their father, who is a coach in a local football club. They start professional tests in a renowned, metropolitan team. It may be the first step in fulfilling the dream of playing in Ekstraklasa…
A staged documentary portraying the activists of the Regional Commission for Party Inspection dealing with a case of a worker excluded from the party. The film touches upon social and political issues of the Polish People’s Republic. It is also a sort of training film for party activists.
A beekeeper from Belgium shares his concerns about the future of his apiary. Beekeeping, his passion, has a purpose – it is supposed to keep our natural environment alive. The director shot the entire film within a single day to highlight the need for preserving this underrated profession.