Zud Competing at Berlinale 2016
small, Zud Competing at Berlinale 2016, Zud by Marta Mironowicz, photo: Slingshot Films promo material, zud_01.jpg
Marta Mironowicz’s feature film Zud depicts a story set amongst the lives of Mongolian nomads. Having qualified for the Generation Kplus competition, the film will be one of the Polish films screened during the 66th edition of the Berlinale, which started on 11th February.
The Polish-German co-production Zud is being screened at Berlin International Film Festival on 12th, 14th, 15th and 21st February. It takes its title from the Mongolian word “zud”, used to describe the phenomenon of relentless natural forces taking control of people’s and animals’ lives.
United States of Love
The film tells the story of a nomad family’s livestock being decimated by the unexpected return of winter. As a result, 11-year-old Sukhbat is forced to leave his carefree childhood behind – he needs to tame a wild horse and win a race to ensure his family’s livelihood.
The director, Marta Minorowicz, explained:
I’m interested in exploring the situation where humans and animals are challenged by the unpredictable spirit of nature. I want to tell a story where all protagonists – man, animal, nature – have a strong influence on each other. That‘s why my story is situated on the steppe. Location becomes a metaphor rather than a place.
Contrary to how it is often described, I found the steppe not to be a place of ‘big skies’, but an almost claustrophobic environment for those who live there. It is a place of symbiosis, but also of an eternal struggle with nature, which determines human life from the earliest years by forcing people to make choices about their future.
Minorowicz also spoke of the original idea for the movie:
I wanted nature to be ingrained in the film, I wanted it to have a similar equivalence of character as humans. This was my starting point. I then built on this idea, wrapping it into layers of possibilities, until I came across the story of children participating in Naadam, the horse races that take place throughout Mongolia… I intuitively knew that this was worth exploring; it was something that could provide my ideas with a proper body.
The 66th edition of the Berlinale will last until 21st February. The Polish movie United States of Love will compete in the Main Competition, the festival’s most important section. Directed by Tomasz Wasilewski, this women-centred film stars Julia Kijowska, Magdalena Cielecka, Dorota Kolak and Marta Nieradkiewicz.
The producers of United States of Love describe the film as follows:
Poland, 1990. The winds of change are blowing in Poland. The first euphoric year of freedom, but also of uncertainty for the future. Four apparently happy women of different ages decide it’s time to change their lives.
The films competing in the Berlinale Main Competition will be judged by an international jury. Presided over by Meryl Streep, the jury includes actor Clive Owen and director Małgorzata Szumowska.
Source: PAP, http://zudthefilm.com/, compiled by PW, translated by OK, 15 Feb 2015