20.03.2015 - 28.03.2015 Film

Stanislas Lem – guest of honour at the MILLENIUM documentary festival

MILLENIUM, the international documentary film festival, has a clearly-defined place amongst the festivals which are hosted by the city of Brussels. Whether we’re shining the spotlight on up-and-coming directors or those whose reputations go before them, the type of guests is as broad as the programme, with films from every continent, which always bring together quality and diversity.
This year, three Polish films are on the programme: Walking under water, by Eliza KUBARSKAAbu Haraz, by Maciej J. DRYGAS, and Something better to come, by Hanna POLAK.

What’s more, 2015 will see the first ever futuristic conference, directly inspired by Stanisław LEM’s masterpiece. This cycle of events will take the form of a laboratory which will allow the viewer to ask himself questions about the future in the company of specialists in new technologies, notably Peter SWIRSKI, who will give a speech on the theme “What if the science fiction writers were right?”

+++ More about Walking under water, by Eliza KUBARSKA
+++ More about Abu Haraz, by Maciej J. DRYGAS
+++ More about Something better to come, by Hanna POLAK
+++ More about the Futuristic conference

Abu Haraz (More about the movie HERE)
>>> Cinema Aventure (Galerie du Centre, Rue des Fripiers 57, 1000 Brussels)
>>> Saturday 21 March 2015 – 16:00
>>> Sunday 22 March 2015 – 18:00

Something better to come (More about the movie HERE
>>> Cinema Galeries (Galerie de la Reine 26, 1000 Brussels)
>>> Sundy 22 March 2015 – 20:30
>>> Cinema Aventure (Galerie du Centre, Rue des Fripiers 57, 1000 Brussels)
>>> Tuesday 24 March 2015 – 14:00
>>> Friday 27 March 2015 – 18:30

Walking under water (More about the movie HERE)
>>> Cinema Galeries (Galerie de la Reine 26, 1000 Brussels)
>>> Friday 27 March 2015 – 21:15
>>> Cinema Aventure (Galerie du Centre, Rue des Fripiers 57, 1000 Brussels)
>>> Satursday 28 March 2015 – 14:30

Speech by Peter SWIRSKI: “What if the science fiction writers were right?”
In the framework of the futuristic conference (More information HERE)
>>> Cinema Galeries (Galerie de la Reine 26, 1000 Brussels)
>>> Saturday 21 March 2015 – 18:00

Walking under water (PL-UK-DE, 2014, 90′)
Alexan, the last compressor diver on Mabul Island near Borneo, teaches 10-year-old Sari all the dangerous fishing techniques. “Walking Under Water” presents the Badjao tribe’s ancient traditions and collective experience as a magical narrative, spinning the urgent pressures and problems they face into a hybrid of fantasy, fiction and fact. The Badjao people once lived like fish, spending the majority of their time on the water, but with the encroachment of modern civilization that way of life has become nearly extinct. While Alexan refuses to accept that the world of his ancestors is gone, Sari is torn between his longing to be a fisherman like his uncle and the tug of the new world in the form of a nearby resort.

Eliza KUBARSKA was born in 1978 in Łódź. She is documentary filmmaker, artist and sculptor. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and the Wajda School. She is also a well-known alpinist and traveler. Over the last few years, she was focused on adventure and expedition in order to find new ideas for her movies. In Borneo, for the first time, she feels like a part of nature and she wants to shoot a movie to share the stories of the sea nomads with the rest of the world.

Abu Haraz (PL, 2013, 72′)
Abu Haraz is a small village in the middle of the desert in North Sudan. The construction of a huge dam on the Nile has interfered with the age-old, natural rhythm of the lives of its residents. The filmmakers have spent several years with them, observing their vain attempts to turn back fate.

Maciej J. Drygas is a director of documentaries and radio dramas, born in 1956 in Łódź. Immediately after completing his studies in the Directing Department of the Moscow All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (WGIK), he became an assistant of Krzysztof Zanussi and Krzysztof Kieślowski. He debuted as a documentary director with a piercing morality play: the film Usłyszcie mój krzyk / Hear My Cry, which won many awards at festivals all around the world. His second film, Stan nieważkości / Weightless, which speaks of the ‘human’ losses of the spatial conquest, was also well received. He continues to make films and is also the director of the radio drama section of the Reportage Laboratory at Warsaw University.

Something Better to Come (PL)
Right outside of Moscow – home to the highest number of billionaires pr. capita – you’ll find the largest junkyard in the world: The Svalka. It’s a hard place run by the Russian mafia. And it’s where Yula lives with her mother, her friends and many other people. Life is tough in the Svalka, but it’s also a place where beauty and humanity can arise from the most unlikely conditions. It is from this place that Yula’s dreams of escaping and changing her life, even if it seems impossible. Oscar-nominated director Hanna Polak followed Yula for 14 years, bringing us along on Yula’s journey to achieve this dream.

Hanna POLAK is the Oscar-nominated director of the 2004-film The Children of Leningradsky. She is also a producer and a cinematographer. She gradutated from the cinematography division of VGIK in Russia. Her first film to win critical acclaim was Railway Station Ballad in 2002. Later she was nominated for an academy-award and won several other awards for the film The Children of Leningradsky. Hanna Polak is not only a critically acclaimed filmmaker, but also a dedicated humanitarian. Alongside the film projects that she run, she also has an intense political and humanist agenda, her films always have a purpose and carry a message. She was rewarded both a Golden Heart-Award and a Crystal Mirror-Award. Hanna has just finished the film Something Better To Come, which she has been shooting for the past 14 years, even before she made The Children of Leningradsky. 

The Futurist conference is the big news for this year. Named in reference to the masterpiece by Stanislas LEM, this cycle of events is a vast laboratory which puts the viewer back at the heart of questions we have about the future and reminds us that the keys to our future are in our hands.
The first conference, given by Peter SWIRSKI is entitled “What if the science fiction writers were right?”, and will highlight the ideas thought up by the world’s greatest visionaries to see how similar they are to how life is today. It will be based on the work of Stanislas Lem, a great visionary who describes worlds where technology has taken the place of humans and transformed the public space.

Peter SWIRSKI is a Canadian scholar and literary and cultural critic, listed in Canadian Who’s Who. He is an authority on contemporary American literature and culture as well as on popular and digital culture. He is also a distinguished Professor at several worldwide Universities.
Professor Swirski has written sixteen acclaimed books on American literature, culture, history, politics, and society. He is a world authority on the legendary Central European writer and futurologist, Stanislaw Lem.


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