Somewhere in Europe. Boys Do Cry

Men’s stories as part of the documentary series “Somewhere in Europe. Boys do cry ”of the 60th jubilee Krakow Film Festival.

What is the life of men in closed hermetic communities look like? Is it easy to be a modern Don Quixote? Does the midlife crisis really exist and does the modern guy have the right to be weak? The documentary films of this year’s non-competition section of the Krakow Film Festival – Somewhere in Europe – will try to answer these and several other questions.

This year, the “World Stories” section has been entirely dedicated to women and stories about problems that the modern world presents to them. On the other hand, the films selected for the “Somewhere in Europe” series focused on male stories from various parts of the Old Continent in a completely natural way. We are curious if viewers will find their own reflections in these pictures – says Barbara Orlicz-Szczypuła, Head of the Program Department of the Krakow Film Festival.

Where could the happiest men in Europe live? Of course in Finland. Is this really the case? The director of the film “The Happiest Man In The World” Joonas Berghall (co-creator of the famous “Steam Of Life”), drawing on his own experiences and also showing the fate of several other Finns, seems to present a wider social picture. School troubles, trauma of the military service, struggle for childcare, burnout, addictions, and finally the risk of premature death caused by health problems are just motives for the emotional stories of love and empathy that are necessary for us to live.

At the opposite end of Europe, on the shores of the Aegean Sea lies the extraordinary Republic of Monks – Athos. Its inhabitants live in harsh conditions, often in isolation. They are engaged in agriculture, trade and fishing. They also take care of their vast monasteries using traditional crafts. The film “Where Are You, Adam?” is a fascinating story of a completely unprecedented way of life in the thriving monastic community of the peninsula, which women cannot approach within less than 500 m.

Constant Kusters is the controversial leader of the extreme right-wing political party The Dutch Peoples-Union (nl: Nederlandse Volks-Unie) and the hero of the documentary film “Our Motherland”. The daily life of him, his family and friends showcase the changes and tendencies that are developing in many European countries. To what extent can national history lead to a growing fear of “strangers”? The film is a vivid image of Dutch society and its relationship with “the others”.

The list closes with the film “Teach”, which seems to be a film and modern version of Żeromski’s “Strong Woman” (“ Siłaczka”)”. A peculiar Transylvanian math teacher becomes a local Don Quixote when he abandons the conventional education system and opens a private school in his own two-room apartment. Throughout the school year, we follow his struggle and perseverance in restoring his passion for learning and strenuous attempts to change his students’ lives for the better.

There are plenty of vivid male characters in other films that will be presented at the Krakow Film Festival. Among them, the film “A Modern Man”, which we will see in the Focus on Denmark section, deserves attention. The hero of the film is a young, ambitious violinist and a popular model Charlie Siem, who apparently has everything and seems to lead a perfect life. But is that really the case?

In the Danish section we will also meet the extremely empathetic barber, Quasim and his only male clients of the hair salon (“Q’s Barbershop”), as well as Jan Grarup – the title “Photographer of War”, one of the most famous and most awarded Danish photojournalists who faces the need to balance out his adrenaline-filled life on the war front with the role of a father of four children and the sole breadwinner.

Films in the “Somewhere in Europe. Boys do cry” section

  • Our Motherland”, dir. Shamira Raphaela, 73’, Holland, 2019

  • Teach”, dir. Alex Brendea, 82’,Romania, 2019

  • The Happiest Man in the World”, dir. Joonas Berghall, 85’, Finland, 2020

  • Where Are You, Adam?”, dir. Oleksandr Zaporoshchenko, 80’, Ukraine, 2019