Another Side of the City| 44mins
Director: Krzysztof Kownas & Grzegorz Czerniak | Producer: Ax Film & Film System
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: Poland
Poland has always been a multicultural country. Different nations and their cultures, religions, and languages, built a colorful reality here. World War II and the communist system destroyed this world considerably. Since 1989, we have been slowly coming back to those interesting dimensions and colors created by other nations in our country. We want to present them in a selected area enclosed by a few streets of Warsawâ€™s Praga. Thanks to the people who live here, one can get to know the tolerant and open Europe. A small community created by people from different countries was born here. Throughout the years, its members became local patriots, attached to their neighborhood and its atmosphere. It is a story about a micro-world in Poland, where all cultures and religions coexist, building a better world. Our dream is for this to be possible everywhere, if it is possible here. Hence the film.
Before the war, Warsawâ€™s Praga was inhabited mainly by Poles of Jewish descent. All that is left now are old tenements, which have not been renovated for a long time. Unfortunately, those people will never come back here. Thus, we will present Praga as it is seen by one of the last Jews to live here: Jacek Andrzejewski. We will tell his difficult story, which was true for many other Jewish Poles. The fragment dealing with his mother Krystyna Å»ywulska (it is her last pen name) is heartbreaking. She survived Auschwitz and wrote many books. After the war, she wrote texts for the most outstanding artists of the Polish scene. Unfortunately, in 1968 another tragedy happened in her life.
We will also present Jacek Andrzejewski as an artist, with â€œKamienikon,â€ the project of his life, as well as his latest work entitled â€œTrzecia godzina gratisâ€ (The third hour free). Everybody in Praga knows Andrzejewski, visitors, local robbers, and saleswomen. Along with him, we will meet lunatic artists and ordinary people. We will depict Pragaâ€™s most important places and their colorful life. Some of them would blend in in Berlin perfectly, some look as if they were taken out of Paris, others bring the pre-war Vilnius or Lviv to mind. Our walks around Praga lead to important meetings and conversation, which could hardly take place anywhere else. Many of the people we meet could become main characters of separate films. However, we prefer to focus on depicting various dimensions of the place as a whole. That is why we walk fast, paying attention to the high dynamism of the action. Sometimes, when the mood becomes reflective, we listen to some music, and the lyrics are the only words.
Our archives, collected for years, play an important role in the film. They create the whole story with no need for verbal description. It is told by its characters. Any additional commentary becomes unnecessary.
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