The Sacred and the Profane in the International Documentary Competition of the 64th Krakow Film Festival

These films are anti-postcards. In Caroline von der Tann’s documentary the tourist-friendly Naples is given the mischievous face of a pious thief, while the American dream vanishes as soon as Matt Moyer and Amy Toensing turn on their camera in the home of the protagonists of the Slamdance-winning film.Two powerful titles, where the sacred intertwines with addiction and crime, are going to conclude the International Documentary Competition of the 64th Krakow Film Festival.

Both the Italian Gospel According to Ciretta by Caroline von der Tann and Inheritance by Matt Moyer and Amy Toensing will be screened for the first time in Poland at the Krakow Film Festival

God’s Infant

Lined with stalls, the narrow Neapolitan streets, bustling with swarms of tourists wearing facemasks, see a young cheerful boy wander around. We are led through the city by an unusual guide. Ciretta lives on the streets of old Naples, mainly through theft and prostitution. He is also a street singer, a trickster, and an ardent follower of the local Marian cult. In the company a biblical ‘infant’, we visit places where plebeian religiosity mixes with good humour and human solidarity. And Caroline von der Tann’s documentary begins to evoke the films by the masters of Italian cinema like Federico Fellini or Pier Paolo Pasolini.

The pandemic is slowly coming to an end, everything seems to be returning to normal. However, as we follow the protagonist of The Gospel According to Ciretta and get to know the colourful community of people connected with the city better, we begin to understand that Naples will never be the same again. Its residents, with the last of their strength, defend themselves against touristification and gentrification.

A Hellish Addiction

An American, multi-generational family, with images of saints on the walls and devotional souvenirs with Jesus on the shelves. They may not be among the neatest and most well-kept people, but they seem supportive and loving. The only thing is that the demons of addiction rule their lives, and their children are there to witness it all. Eleven-year-old Curtis deeply believes that his adult life will be completely different from that of his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. He’s convinced that he will break the multi-generational chain of addiction to alcohol, drugs, and the most insidious drug to ravage America in decades – opioids.

Winner of Slamdance, the documentary Inheritance is a striking examination of a country where any hope for change seems childishly naive. For several years, directors Matt Moyer and Amy Toensing accompanied Curtis’ family in Appalachia. It is a deeply exploited region, with declining industry, steeped in unemployment, and particularly affected by a serious opioid crisis. With great insight and empathy, the creators depict the predicament of the youngest generation, burdened from the start by poverty and the omnipresence of highly addictive substances.

The list of all films qualified for the International Documentary Competition can be found on this website.

Passes for the 64th Krakow Film Festival are on sale now!

The Krakow Film Festival is on the exclusive list of qualifying events for the Oscars® in the categories of short film (live action, animated, documentary) and documentary feature, as well as a recommending event for the European Film Awards in the same categories.

The Kraków Film Festival is organised with the financial support of the Municipality of Kraków, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the European Union’s Creative Europe program, the Lesser Poland Province, the Polish Film Institute. The festival is co-organised by the Polish Filmmakers Association.

The 64th Krakow Film Festival will be held in cinemas from 26 May to 2 June and online across Poland on the KFF VOD platform from 31 May to 16 June 2024.


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