In the summer months (June–July–August), Wrocław Contemporary Museum is holding a series of film screenings accompanying The Ratcatcher exhibition. The multi-dimensional aspect of the presentation and its cinematographic inspirations have provided a pretext for looking for contexts and meanings derived from the domain of feature, documentary and animated films. Referring to both concrete works featured in the exhibition and its general idea presented by curator Piotr Lisowski in the Exhibition Scenario, we will show three very different films that will expand and supplement the narrative of The Ratcatcher.
The title of the exhibition refers to a short 1986 documentary directed by Andrzej Czarnecki, which shows the techniques used by a rat extermination expert. “At that time it was interpreted as a metaphor of the systematic surveillance of the anti-communist resistance movement by the secret services. Nowadays the film and the strategies of extermination featured in it justify other, not only purely historical, interpretations. In the exhibition, the story has been treated as a starting point for a parabolic narrative about reality and a phantasm of the fall of the Latin civilisation,” writes Lisowski, thus beginning a sequence of cinematographic tropes that can be found at the exhibition.
References to the practice of directors such as Béla Tarr, Andrei Tarkovsky, Lars von Trier or the German expressionists are far from surprising. A shot from The Turin Horse by Tarr, one of the masters of neomodernism in cinematography, provides a telling background for Andrzej Wróblewski’s painting Rider; Kuba Bąkowski’s sculpture The Ratcatcher is inspired by the figure of the stalker from Tarkovsky’s 1979 masterpiece. The multitude of film references at the exhibition is more than just a game with the viewer. It supports the argument about the impact of cinematography, one of the most important media of the 20th century, on the contemporary social and political reality.
This year’s edition of Cinema on the Roof will be inaugurated with the screening of Doris Dörrie’s Greetings from Fukushima – a poetic tale about the aftermath of the nuclear disaster. This tragedy confronted the achievements of civilisation with the brutal forces of nature. However, the director was more interested in the individual and human aspect of the catastrophe, as you may find out on 17 June. Dörrie’s film can be treated as an elaborate commentary on works by Angelika Markul or Urszula Kozak, who focused on Fukushima and the nuclear power plant in Żarnowiec, respectively.
In the subsequent weeks we will move to a dark city to discover the roots of the legend about Krysařz – the ratcatcher from Jiřzí Bárta’s animation. The series will finish with a visit to Slab City – a “wild” town situated in the Californian part of the Sonora Desert, in close proximity to military bases, which is populated by escapees from the “American dream.” Their story is shown in Mikael Lypinski’s documentary under the title Desert Coffee.
► 17.06, 9.00 PM
Greetings from Fukushima, dir. Doris Dörrie, Germany 2016, 108’
► 15.07, 9.00 PM
Krysař, dir. Jiří Bárta, Czechoslovakie 1986, 53’
► 19.08, 8.30 PM
Desert Coffee, dir. Mikael Lypiński, Poland, 53’
Greetings from Fukushima
dir. Doris Dörrie, Germany 2016, 108’
Marie, a young German, leaves for Japan to run away from her problems. She joins Clowns4Help, an organisation trying to bring some joy to the inhabitants of Fukushima, which was afflicted with an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011. Marie ends up in a shelter where mostly elderly people live. However, she quickly discovers that the job is not for her. Shortly before leaving, she meets Satomi, one of the residents of the shelter, who is determined to return to her ruined house in the forbidden contaminated zone. Marie helps her to clean the house and start her life anew. The two women could not be more different, but as they gradually get to know each other better, they establish a bond that will make them realise the need to eventually confront the spirits of the past. (distributor’s materials)
* admission to all the events is free of charge
** free tickets are required for each screening (limited number of places). They can be collected on the day of the screening from MWW ticket office from 6 to 8 PM
*** in case of bad weather, the films will be shown in the Shelter Cinema on the first floor of the museum