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Film

Interview: Docs Against Gravity’s Kuba Żary

The Docs Against Gravity Film Festival is back and it’s 16th edition brings us a host of documentaries to us here at the Lower Silesian Film Centre (DCF).

Running from the 10th to 19th of May, there’s “Something for everyone” according to organiser Kuba Żary.

By far the biggest documentary film festival in Poland, and growing in status across Europe, the Docs Against Gravity Festival began life in Warsaw but has expanded into a number of satellite festivals, with Wroclaw now having been involved for the previous 8 years. The quality of its international selection, and the sheer number of screenings has meant popularity has grown year-on-year.

Documentary has always been important to the history of Polish cinema. Not only has it informed the social-realist style evident throughout much of Polish classics, but the likes of Krzysztof Kieślowski even began making documentaries at the start of his career.

As Żary explains, “Documentary cinema has shown a real momentum, particularly in the last few years and recent generations became used to going to the cinema to watch documentary films and the image of them becoming inaccessible has been shattered.”

With the rise in online streaming and the changes in the way films are consumed, people’s particular areas of interests are now easily explored through the medium. For instance at this year’s festival, if style is your bag, you may wish to catch Moda dla ludzi (‘Fashion for the People’) which presented in partnership with Vogue Polska, explores wider trends and phenomenon across that world.

On the other hand, history buffs will no doubt fall in line to see Peter Jackson’s acclaimed World War One documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, a timely look at that conflict just over 100 years from its end and a documentary which has been noted for its technical innovations.

Żary cites Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, as one of his highlights, a film which explores through vivid images how our planet has been affected at a geological level by the destructive forces of humanity.

Of course this is only a snapshot of an extensive programme and I recommend tracking down one of the festival programmes, widely circulated throughout the usual spots in the city. Tickets are affordable at between 10 and 15 zl with various concessions and offers available. For more details check the festival website at or pop into the DCF Cinema which is located across from Arkady Capitol.

Richard Lewis

North Londoner Richard Lewis fell in love with Poland after several visits and decided to move to Wrocław last May. He's particularly fond of the city's history and cultural life, as well as cinema and vegan food. He's even been trying to make his own pickled cucumbers lately - how very Polish!

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