October 26, 2021

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Gdynia Film Festival 2021. Agnieszka Holland on the state of emergency and the situation at the border

Gdynia Film Festival 2021. Agnieszka Holland on the state of emergency and the situation at the border

The 46th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia has ended. The Platinum Lions, i.e. Lifetime Achievement Award, has been collected by director and screenwriter Agnieszka Holland, President of the European Film Academy. The laureate said, “No democratic country can allow innocent and defenseless people to die on its borders.”

The awards ceremony of the 46th edition of the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia was held on Saturday evening at the Musical Theater in Gdynia. The most important prize of the evening – Golden Lions – The authors of “All Our Fears”, directed by ukasz Ronduda and ukasz Gutt. The plot revolves around real events and is inspired by the life of Dr. Daniel Rykarsky, visual artist and graphic artist.

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Agnieszka Holland awarded in Gdynia. What did she say to Zanussi?

Director Agneszka Holland received the Lifetime Achievement Award – Platinum Lions – from the hands of Krzysztof Zanussi and Jacek Bromski. – From my own experience I say: Don’t worry about these lions. You have been a classic for a long time, Zanussi joked, and the future is ahead.

After a few minutes of standing ovation, the current president of the European Film Academy admitted that she was pleased to have the statuette presented to her by Zanussi, who was one of its first presidents. She thanked him for his patience because – as she explained – she was an assistant who seemed to be able to do everything better.

Holland: It’s a shame to be the first woman to hold a Platinum Lions

She pointed to the fact that she was the first director to be honored with Platinum Lions. – It is very outrageous (…). This talks about how to understand the role of women in our society. However, I know I’m not the last. And a wave of brave women, confident in their voices, followed us – she said.

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The winner noted that her film production includes many films she has made in the past that spoke of “difficult, tragic and terrible times.” They spoke of a difficult history, a time of contempt, cruelty and hatred. They spoke of systems that divide people into better and worse, those who have the right to life and privileges, and those who are subhuman and doomed to death and suffering. They talked about politicians manipulating public opinion to maintain power. They talked about opportunistic politicians, about the corrupt media, about the indifference of societies – the director mentioned.

– They talked about it not because I wanted to remember a story that ended, do justice to the victims of that time, and think, somehow shed light on their fate. But because I was aware that this time… it wasn’t over, he just slept and could come back at any moment if we weren’t careful enough – she made an assessment.

Holland: The past is happening now

When I was making these films, I had to completely recreate this horrific theater: corpses in the streets, people dying of starvation, people hiding in the woods like rotten animals. Rape, fear, despair, suffering. And it is hard for me to enjoy our holiday today if I realize that something like this is happening near us, in our country, at our borders. That people die there, their sin that they are different, that they want to live in safety, that they are willing to risk a lot. I cannot help but think that it happens, as it were, with our consent, our indifference, our fear, our helplessness, we agree to it – admitted the President European Film Academy.

Agnizka Holland with Platinum BlackPAP / Adam Warsaw

– I do not agree to change the status of the Polish border guards as guards of the Berlin Wall from the former East Germany. I do not accept that the locals play the role of informants and call the police before serving bread to the hungry. This weighs heavily on all of us as a society. If we deal with it now, that’s what he was talking about Marian Tursky in his speech at Oswiechem It is inevitable. It seems to me that the past is happening now, and is not over yet. The absurd state of emergency to which we agree seems to have been introduced so that there are no traces. Polish cinema has always been bold, and people are at its heart. Looking at this year’s films, I know that’s the case. And I hope it is so: that humanity is the most important thing for us – summarized Agnieszka Holland.

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Main image source: PAP / Adam Warsaw

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