THE HAMLET SYNDROME

POLISH TITLE: SYNDROM HAMLETA

REPRESENTED BY KFF

A few months prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, five young women and men participate in a unique stage production that attempts to relate their war experiences to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For each of them, the stage is a platform to express their grief and trauma through the famous question, “to be or not to be,” a dilemma that applies to their own lives. The protagonists fight against disappointment, powerlessness, and anger, trying to put their lives back in order while processing their painful past: SLAVIK, who went through a hell of war and captivity as a soldier, KATYA, who longs for her mother’s forgiveness for joining the army, RODION, who escaped from Donbas and is now facing growing homophobia, ROMAN, who is still struggling with the traumatic memories of his war experience as a paramedic on the battlefield, and Oxana who struggles on an artistic frontline as an actress. The rehearsals for the play are combined with an intense glimpse into the characters' lives: a powerful portrait of a generation coping with the trauma of war which, after Russia's invasion, is now their present and future alike.

GENRE:
documentary
COUNTRY:
Poland, Germany
RUNNING TIME:
85'
YEAR:
COLOUR:
colour
DIRECTING:
Piotr Rosołowski, Elwira Niewiera
SCRIPT:
Piotr Rosołowski, Elwira Niewiera
DOP:
Piotr Rosołowski
EDITOR:
Agata Cierniak
MUSIC:
John Gürtler, Jan Miserre
SOUND:
Marcin Lenarczyk, Jarosław Sadowski
PRODUCTION:
Balapolis
COPRODUCTION:
Kundschafter Filmproduktion

Piotr Rosołowski »

A Polish director, screenwriter, and cinematographer based in Berlin. He graduated from the Katowice Film School and was awarded an Academy of Media Arts scholar- ship in Cologne. Piotr co-directed together with Elwira Niewiera already three successful feature documentaries: "Domino Effect" prized at the Krakow Film Festival and DOK Leipzig, "The Prince and the Dybbuk" awarded with the Lion for Best Documentary on Cinema at the 74th Venice Film Festival, and "The Hamlet Syndrome" honored with Grand Prix Semaine de la critique at the 75th Locarno Film Festival. Piotr also works as a director of photography, he shot many awarded feature and short films, among them: "On the line" dir. Reto Caffi - Academy Award-nominated short fiction, "Rabbit a la Berlin" dir. Bartek Konopka - Academy Award-nominated short documentary, and "Thewall of Shadows" dir. Eliza Kubarska - nominated for the German Camera Award and honored withthe annual prize of the Polish Society of Cinematographers.

Elwira Niewiera »

ELWIRA NIEWIERA is a Polish/German director and screenwriter of the well-known documen-tary films Domino Effect, The Prince and the Dybbuk and The Hamlet Syndrome. Winner of many international awards, among others Grand Prix-Semian de la Critiqe for the Best Film at 75th Locarno Film Festival, Best Documentary on Cinema at the 74th Venice Film Festival, Polish Film Academy Award for Best Documentary, Golden Dove at DOK Leipzig Film Festival, Young Ger-man Cinema Award 2019 and the American Chicken & Egg Award 2021. In her artistic work, she focuses primarily on political, social and cultural transformations in Eastern Europe. Elwira is a member of the European Film Academy.