Photographer - Dariusz Jabłoński


In 1987, a few hundred colour slides were discovered in a second-hand bookstore in Vienna that documented scenes from the Łódź ghetto during the Second World War. The slides - actually some of the first in the history of photography - were the work of Walter Genewein, Austrian citizen serving the Germans. Being an accountant in the ghetto's council, he wholeheartedly solicited for turning the ghetto into a prosperous and well-organised company. And since Genewein was not just an ambitious office worker, but also an enthusiastic photographer, he recorded the achievements of his "institution" with a photo camera. Genewein's slides have been used by the authors to show - both through them and, to some extent, in spite of them - the real history of the Lodz ghetto and the extermination of its inhabitants. They have juxtaposed Genewein's "genre" photographs with the recollections of Arnold Mostowicz, ex-doctor in the ghetto and the last surviving witness of the extermination.

"Listening to Arnold Mostowicz's story, we begin to realize that the colourful, 'innocent' slides made by the accountant bear no trace of the apocalypse he recalls. Did Genewein completely fail to see it? Or maybe the frame of a colourful slide turned out to be 'too narrow' for the apocalypse to be recorded? One way or the other, Genewein failed both as an artist and as a human." (Lech Kurpiewski, "Film")

Fotoamator / Photographer.Director: Dariusz Jabłoński. Screenplay: Andrzej Bodek, Arnold Mostowicz, Dariusz Jabłoński Cinematography: Tomasz Michałowski. Photographs: Walter Genewein ({C}colour slides from the ghetto)Music: Michał Lorenc. Sound: Piotr Domaradzki, Jens Hasler. Editing: Milenia Fiedler. Producer: Dariusz Jabłoński. Production: Apple Film Production, Telewizja Polska Channel I, Broadcast AV, Canal+, Polish Film Production Agency (Polska Agencja Produkcji Filmowej), MDR. 1998, black & white with colour slides, 55 min.

Awards:

  • Prix Europa (Council of Europe Award) in the documentary non-fiction category, Berlin 1998;
  • Grand Prix (Joris Ivens Award) at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam;
  • Don Quixote - Jury Award of the International Federation of Film Societies at the International Short Films Festival in Cracow, 1998;
  • award of the President of Lodz at the Media Festival "Man in danger", 1998;
  • Special mention at the International Film Festival in Pessac, 1999;
  • best documentary film award at the International Film Festival in Banff, Canada, 1999;
  • Bavarian TV Award, 1999;
  • press jury award at the Balticum Film and Television Festival in Bornholm, 1999;
  • Grand Prix at the Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming, 1999;
  • Adolf Grimme Award for achievements in German television, 1999.


Source: the catalogue "Young Polish Cinema", published by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, June 2007
 

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