“THE BALCONY MOVIE” AND “1970” AT THE IDFA FESTIVAL
After the IDFA Specials show, it's time to participate in the festival itself. The latest documentary by Paweł Łoziński has been invited to its Masters section. Tomasz Wolski's film, in turn, will be shown in the Best of Fests section.
The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam is the largest and one of the most important documentary festivals in the world. Every year it attracts more than 280,000 visitors, including more than 3000 guests from the documentary industry, and the films screened at IDFA often later become festival favourites. This year, IDFA will be held on 17–28 November.
The Masters section features new films by recognised and award-winning filmmakers. Its selectors picked 16 such productions this time. The latest film by Paweł Łoziński has found its way into this extremely prestigious group.
Can anyone be a film protagonist? Can you fit the entire world in a single frame? Director Paweł Łoziński watches people from his balcony. Both young and old, they walk by smiling, sad, thoughtful, staring at their phones. Residents of the neighbourhood, or casual visitors, ordinary passers-by. The author approaches them, asks questions, talks about their life and how they're doing. By standing there with his camera for over 2 years, he created a place for dialogue, a secular confessional where everyone can stop and tell others about themselves. Every person carries their own riddles and secrets. They can't be easily labelled. Life can't be imagined. “The Balcony Movie” is a radical return to the early days of cinema, when it was people who approached the camera. Perhaps one just needs to stop and stay a while to see more?
After last year's screening of “An Ordinary Country”, it's time for another film by Tomasz Wolski to be featured in the Best of Fests section – a segment that presents the best documentaries of the passing year.
It's 1970. A series of high-profile protests breaks out in communist Poland. Workers are going on strike against price increases. More and more protesters flood the streets. The situation is getting tense. Meanwhile, a crisis team is being formed in the capital. Through animated sequences combined with archival recordings of phone conversations, we get to peek behind the closed doors of dignitaries' offices. Hundreds of cigarettes are being smoked. Phones are ringing incessantly. Strategies to break up the protesters and repress them are being planned. Propaganda activities are being devised. The protests, however, are getting out of control. We see the decision-makers' fear, confusion, and brutality. Police batons are being put to use in the streets. Shots are fired. People die. “1970” is a story of rebellion told from the oppressors' point of view.