The World in the Lens of a Documentary

Film festivals and events

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Series of documentary films - last Thursday of each month, at 6 pm (different screening hours during the Jewish Culture Festival)

Thursday, 27.02.2020, 18.00
“Putin's Witnesses”
dir. Vitaly Mansky
Lithuania/Switzerland/Czech Republic 2018, 107'
The events of the film begin on December 31, 1999 when Russia was acquainted with its new president, Vladimir Putin. The film is based on unique and strict documentary testimonies of the true causes and consequences of the operation “Successor”, as a result of which Russia ended up with the president who still rules the country. The protagonists of the film are Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin and the Russian nation; a perpetually silent witness of its own destiny.
In Russian. Subtitles in Polish.

Thursday, 26.03.2020, 18.00
“#Female Pleasure”
dir. Barbara Miller
Switzerland/Germany 2018, 97'
Barbara Miller’s feature documentary “#Female Pleasure” portrays five courageous, smart and self-determined women, breaking the silence imposed by their archaic-patriarch societies and religious communities. With incredible strength and positive energy; Deborah Feldman, Leyla Hussein, Rokudenashiko, Doris Wagner and Vithika Yadav are fighting for sexual liberation and autonomy for women, beyond religious rules and cultural barriers. But their victory comes at a high price: they all have experienced public defamation, threats and prosecutions, have been excommunicated by the society they grew up in and even received death threats by religious leaders and fanatics. The film shows the universal mechanisms at work that have determined the position of women until today. These mechanisms span cultures, religions and continents: from Japan and India and the Somali muslim diaspora to the Hasidic community in Brooklyn and the Catholic clergy in Europe. All protagonists have come to the same conclusion: that the female body is subjected to male lust and is first and foremost meant for procreation, without any regard for a female's sexual pleasure or autonomy. These women decided to speak up and are the ultimate example on how courage, strength and zest for life can indeed alter societal structures.
In English, German, Japanese. Subtitles in English and Polish.

Thurdsay, 30.04.2020, 18.00
“Anthropocene: The Human Epoch”
dir. Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Edward Burtynsky
Canada 2018, 87'
The third collaboration between award-winning photographer Edward Burtynsky and acclaimed filmmakers, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, continues their exploration of industrialization and extraction in astonishing scale and perspective. Spanning numerous countries, the film reveals in stunning images how our mania for conquest defines our relationship with the Earth — and how we have created a global epidemic. In Kenya, mounds of elephant tusks burn in a devastating display of the impact of poaching (chillingly reminiscent of the bison skulls that were piled high in the clearing of the Canadian plains for settlement). In Russia and Germany, mining operations transform terrains into otherworldly industrial wastelands as hypnotic, colossal, lifelike machines endlessly extract on an unfathomable scale. The film is a mesmerizing and disturbing rumination on what drives us as a species, and a call to wake up to the destruction caused by our dominance.
In English, Italian, Russian, German, Cantonese, Mandarin. Subtitles in Polish.

Thursday, 28.05.2020, 18.00
“What Is Democracy?”
dir. Astra Taylor
Canada 2018, 107'
Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, ”What Is Democracy?” reflects on a word we take for granted too often. Director Astra Taylor’s idiosyncratic, philosophical journey spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’ groundbreaking experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor. Featuring a diverse cast—including celebrated theorists, trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers, and former prime ministers—this urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire. If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means.
In English. Subtitles in Polish.

Thursday, 30.07.2020, 18.00
“Generation Wealth”
dir. Lauren Greenfield
USA 2018, 108'
Welcome to the world of the richest where money is not a problem but richness comes with the highest price. This is the world of 1% of the richest people in the world. Lauren Greenfield, an American photographer and filmmaker, has been analyzing the ideas of money, richness and people who want to live a luxurious life for 25 years. After her studies, she decided to research the idea of the American Dream by taking photographs of those who fight for richness and believe that the most important thing in life is unlimited and unfettered materialism. The heroes include a hedging fund manager, a working-class mother, and an ambitious little girl who is planning to participate in her first beauty pageant. Here everything revolves around material status, greed, hyper-consumptionism treated as a hobby, late stage turbo-capitalism and media-created ideals of beauty and success. This shiny and charming facade covers overwhelming emptiness: we are what we own. The film is a portrait of our epoch, in which social inequalities are at their peak and the US president is an embodiment of narcissism, vanity, and greed.
In English. Subtitles in Polish.

Thursday, 27.08.2020, 18.00
“What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?”
dir. Roberto Minervini
Italy/USA/France 2018, 123'
“What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?” is the story of an African American community in the southern States during the summer of 2017, when a string of brutal killings of black men sent shockwaves throughout the country. A meditation on the state of race in America, this film is an intimate portrait into the lives of those who struggle for justice, dignity, and survival in a country which is not on their side. The latest film by Roberto Minervini, one of the most interesting contemporary film directors who depict the multi-cultural reality of the United States, we are following four difficult stories taking place in New Orleans and Jackson County, Mississippi. Judy Hill is doing her best to provide for her family and friends. The future of a bar that she owns is endangered. Two young brothers, Ronaldo and Tytus, are growing up in a neighborhood full of violence, while their father is incarcerated. Kevin is trying to continue local tradition of his people, the Mardi Gras Indians. Members of the local troop of Black Panthers are trying to fight the new, deadly wave of racism by conducting an investigation in a homicide case attributed to Ku Klux Klan.
In English. Subtitles in Polish.

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