Documentary Film Versus TV Standard

in 55th Krakow Film Festival

by Maarek Hendrykowski

This was the 55th edition of the Kraków Film Festival (31st May-7th June). This famous festival, the oldest in Poland and also one of the oldest in Europe, started in 1961.

The Dragon of Dragons winner in 2015 was the legend of international animated film Priit Pärt from Estonia. Otherwise, after focusing on five western countries in the recent past, this year the Kraków Festival’s focus moved to the East and Lithuanian documentary cinema.

The International Documentary Competition in Kraków brought with it a melting pot of various subjects and documentary genres. Characteristic screen topics this year numbered a total five: disability and disabled persons, senility and elderly people (age is a heavy burden), loneliness (disease, pain, body problems, and gender problems), intolerance (as a source of social conflict with special attention paid to the ordinary man) as well as the presence of war in the contemporary world.

Theme seems to be the king, whereas lapidary form is a victim of disinheritance. In comparison to the retrospective screenings (i.e. short masterpieces including Polanski’s Two Men with a Wardrobe and The Mammals, Kijowicz’s Cages, Rondo and Laterna magica or Lozinski’s Poste restante) there were only a small number of new documentaries that achieved being both well composed and consistently edited. The importance of being concise is an almost unknown value for young filmmakers, seemingly believing that linear measure is the key to being profound. Therefore, the repeated discovery of the old art of the short film is still ahead of us.

Edited by Steven Yates