Wojciech Staroń’s documentary won the Grand Prix at the MFF Listapad in Minsk. Aleksandra Maciuszek was also honoured for her film Casa Blanca.
MFF Listapad has been held in Minsk since Belarus regained independence in 1994, and one of its most important sections is the International Documentary Competition. This year twelve documentaries took part in the festival, among them three Polish films: Brothers, Casa Blanca and Call me Marianna by Karolina Bielawska. In 2013, Paweł Łoziński won in Minsk with his film Father and Son.
Brothers is a documentary about Mieczysław and Alfons Kułakowscy. When they were children, they were taken to a gulag from which they later escaped. History’s winds sent them to Kazakhstan, where they spent most of their lives. One of them was a painter, the other a cartographer who travelled to the furthest borders of the Soviet Union. After many years they decided to return to Poland.
Staroń met them in 1994 during his journey to Kazakhstan, and spent more than seven years collecting footage. In Brothers he has created a moving story about a difficult brotherly love and the different ways of coping with old age. His documentary is not only one of the most beautiful Polish films of the year but also a confirmation of Staroń’s class as a documentary filmmaker. His previous movie, Argentinian Lesson, won more than 20 prizes around the world.
The award in Minsk is yet another honour for Staroń’s film. Brothers won the 58th DOK Leipzig festival in Germany and received Best Film during Film Criticism Week at the MFF in Locarno.
Casa Blanca also awarded
"CASA BLANCA" - Clip 1 from Aleksandra Maciuszek on Vimeo.
Aleksandra Maciuszek’s Casa Blanca received an honourable mention for its artistic portrayal of people with disabilities. Her film is about Nelsa and Vladimir – an old, ailing mother and her son with Downs syndrome – who live in a tiny flat in a fishing town near Havana Bay. Maciuszek’s film was one of the winners of the 55th Kraków Film Festival and received the Silver Eye award for best featurette at the festival in Jihlava in 2015.
More information at www.listapad.com.
Source: Polish Docs, edited by BS, translated by NMR.