World Stories and Somewhere in Europe at the 59th Krakow Film Festival

From our neighboring countries to the farthest corners of the globe – documentary films in the sections “Somewhere in Europe” and “World Stories” invite viewers everywhere where unusual stories take place. The program includes nighttime ambulance drives through Mexico, a visit to a hard-to-reach village in Papua New Guinea or discovering the phenomenon of Satan’s worship in the USA.

Somewhere in Europe

– The Somewhere in Europe section is primarily documentary portraits, sometimes very controversial ones. The protagonists of the films are both well-known people: politicians like Anatoly Sobchak or artists like Mania Akbari or Peter Kalmus, as well as anonymous figures with their equally fascinating biographies – says Patrycja Czarny, coordinator of the “Somewhere in Europe” section.

This year, the program Somewhere in Europe will feature three films about artists. Performer Peter Kalmus in the document “Crazy Against the Nation” will take viewers on a journey through his native Slovakia. The protagonist is not afraid of political confrontations, he organizes happenings, he fights against the relics of communism and manifestations of nationalism. Siv Wennberg, the Swedish heroine of “Revenge of The Diva”, was the real star of the opera. Suddenly, everything has passed – she was named a difficult person to cooperate with and was faced with growing criticism. The film shows her preparations her big come-back to the stage.

Whereas “A Moon for My Father” is an intimate documentary in which the story about corporality is intertwined with traumatic experiences from the past. The film letters of the Iranian director, Mania Akbari and her partner, Douglas White, are intertwined with medical documentation, family photos or subway shots. This collage creates a coherent artistic statement of a contemporary woman.

In the documentary “The Case”, is an image of a lawyer, a politician, the mayor of St. Petersburg and the mentor of Vladimir Putin shown through interviews with members of his family, friends and colleagues. Anatoly Sobchak was a witness and participant in the most important political changes of the 1990s, he created a new post-communist constitution, but also contributed to the growth of corruption.

The last film in this section, “You Only Die Twice” is a documentary thriller about an Israeli director who unexpectedly learns that a man claiming to be his grandfather lived in Innsbruck. Who stole the identity of Ernst Bechinsky and for several years held the most important function in the Jewish Community there?

World Stories

Films in this section will take the viewers to the furthest corners of the globe. The director of the documentary “The Polish Missionaries” travels by kayak into the village of Papua New Guinea, where sister Davida and priest Jan have been working as missionaries for years. Although the heroes of the film are struggling with many problems, faith and good humor help them to survive the most difficult moments.

The heroes of the movie “Midnight Family” will take us on the night rally through the streets of Mexico City. In a city with only 45 public ambulances, residents have created an alternative in the form of private medical transport. Viewers can also travel to the US thanks to the movie “Hail Satan?”. The creators of the documentary approach the phenomenon of the worship of Satan, showing The Satanic Temple, an American organization in which satanic symbolism serves to promote progressive ideas such as social justice or the separation of state and religion.

This section also includes two documents touching the problem of corporality and sexuality. Beryl Magoko, the heroine, and also the director of the film “In Search…”, was circumcised as a child. An adult woman decides to undergo the reconstruction of organs, but the decision about the surgery is extremely difficult. On the other hand, Amit, the hero of the “Family in Transition”, is feeling like a woman trapped in the male body and decides to correct the gender. After coming out, he meets the closest family. However, things get unexpectedly complicated

Somewhere in Europe

Sprawa Sobczaka / The Case, reż. Vera Krichevskaya (RUS), 2018, D, 105ʼ

Szalony przeciw narodowi / Crazy Against the Nation, reż. Adam Hanuljak (SK), 2018, D, 78ʼ

Księżyc dla mojego ojca / A Moon for My Father, reż. Mania Akbari, Douglas White (UK, IR), 2019, D, 75ʼ

Umierasz tylko dwa razy / You Only Die Twice, reż. Yair Lev (ISR, AT), 2018, D, 88ʼ

Zemsta diwy / The Revenge of the Diva, reż. Gustav Ahlgren, Emelie Jönsson (SWE), 2019, D, 79ʼ

World Stories

Nocna rodzinka / Midnight Family, reż. Luke Lorentzen (USA, MEX), 2019, D, 81ʼ

Witaj szatanie? / Hail Satan?, reż. Penny Lane (USA), 2019, D, 94ʼ

Rodzina po przejściach / Family in Transition, reż. Ofir Trainin (ISR), 2018, D, 70ʼ

Polscy Misjonarze / The Polish Missionaries, reż. Simon Target (AU, PL), 2019, D, 75’

W poszukiwaniu / In Search…, reż. Beryl Magoko (DE), 2018,D, 90ʼ