Six outstanding films from the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam got invited to Krakow. Among them are the winners of the biggest documentary film competition in the world. Here comes the first announcement of what we are going to see during the 58th Krakow Film Festival.


In the music documentary competition DocFilmMusic we will present Maciek Bochniak’s most recent film Ethiopiques – The Revolt of Soul” and American Valhalla” directed by the duo: director and cinematographer Andreas Neumann and musician Josh Homme. The first film shows the phenomenon of Ethiopian jazz from the period of the emperor Haile Selassie. Bochniak succeeded in doing something no other director did before, although many from different parts of the world had tried – he told the story of the Ethiopian music pioneers, who years later inspired Jim Jarmusch to make “Broken Flowers”, Patti Smith to record the “Radio Ethiopia” album and Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Robert Plant to take on new musical challenges.

Neumann and Homme’s film is a witty and exceptionally dynamic story of the genesis of making one of Iggy Pop’s albums. “Post Pop Depression” was an effect of the collaboration between the legendary punk rock pioneer and Josh Homme and became a hit loved both by the fans and the critics.


As for the international documentary competition four films from different parts of the world got the invitation:
The Dread” dir. Pablo Aparo, Martin Benchimol (Best Mid-Length Documentary),
“Debut” dir. Anastasiya Miroshnichenko,
“Of Fathers and Sons” dir. Talal Derki,
“The Deminer” dir. Hogir Hirori, Shinwar Kamal (Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary).


The first film takes place in the Argentinian village of El Dorado. The life and health of the villagers depend on the faith in the special powers of the local healers. From the conversations with consecutive self-proclaimed  doctors and their patients we get a picture of a very conservative and radical community, living in an isolation from contemporary civilisation. According to the characters in The Dread” everything that is evil and condemnable happens outside them and their village. And it is outside the village where the most mysterious and frightening healer lives; and no man should send his wife to see him.


Belorussian “Debut” begins with a rehearsal of the amateur theatre group. We see on stage women of different ages which are struggling to satisfy the director’s expectations. The audience can watch them not only when they are preparing to the premiere, but also during everyday chores which pass the time spent in prison. For many of them the play is the only chance to get a break from the violent reality they found themselves in, as well as an attempt to deal with longing for their families.


The winner of Silver Horn in 2014, Talal Derki, will once again confront the Krakow audience with a sheer terror of Syrian war. Four years after “Return to Homs” the director visits a family of a radical ISIS member and follows the formation of soldiers of God. In front of the camera we see little boys who are being prepared to turn into Jihadi fighters by their beloved fathers for whom family is extremely important.


“The Deminer” is like the other side of the mirror, a breath-taking picture of the same war but from the other side of the enemy line. The film protagonist is a Kurdish deminer, a father of eight, who everyday puts his health and life in danger to protect others: children, neighbours – civilians, whose suffering he has been forced to watch for many years.


How dramatically the protagonists’ fates of these two movies are rhyming, sometimes even literally. I would give a lot for them to come to Krakow, watch together their stories on the screen and shake their hands. But unfortunately this is utopia; documentary filmmakers will not change the world, they can only make us a little bit more sensitive – says the festival director Krzysztof Gierat.


In 4 competitions and 12 other sections of the next KFF edition we will see around 250 films accompanied by more than 100 filmmakers from the whole world.