In the cosy interiors of Wrocław Contemporary Museum, the “Shelter” Cinema will run for the second time this winter and spring. This time, the leitmotiv of the four meetings is the different dimensions of claustrophobia and limitations.
The selected films will become our starting point for addressing the notion of systemic limitations of freedom and the way the authorities responsible for controlling certain spheres of life influence the choices, decisions and lives of the citizens (“Return to Ithaca”, dir. Laurent Cantet). We will visit the world of the Cuban intelligentsia, although the topic seems particularly relevant in Poland today, when artistic milieus actively oppose the government’s actions, which they perceive as imposing limitations on the freedom of artistic expression, with a significant part of the society also expressing their reservations about the way the government acts.

We will also bear in mind physical constraints and the way disabilities, which often result from accidents, limit the spectrum of life choices. Huge reserves of internal power are needed to find a new aim and enter a new reality. To illustrate how difficult it is, we will show Julian Schnabel’s film “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, which is a biographic tale of a man whose entire body, with the exception of one eye, has been paralysed.

During the series of screenings we will also address the notion of limitations in communication in order to analyse the extent to which language determines our functioning in society and how linguistic barriers affect the reception of an artwork. In this context, Miroslav Slaboshpitsky extraordinary film “The Tribe” will be screened. The film uses sign language and is screened without subtitles or voiceover. It tells the story of a deaf and mute teenager who tries to adapt himself to the rules in his new boarding school.
In the end we will watch a film whose message will resonate particularly strongly with the cramped and closed space where it will be screened, namely Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s “Baltic Express”. This classic of Polish cinematography is almost entirely set in a moving train.

In this way, we will also make a reference to Wrocław Contemporary Museum itself, for which the shelter is increasingly often associated not with new possibilities, but with limitations concerning both showing and storing the collection.


13 January – “Powrót do Itaki”, dir. Laurent Cantet, France, 95’, 2015

plot: five Cubans reminisce about their youth while celebrating the return of their friend Amadeo from emigration.


subject: systemic limitation of freedom

guest: Leszek Sobkowiak, PhD, political scientist of Wrocław university

10 February – “Motyl i skafander”, dir. Julian Schnabel, France/USA 112’, 2007

subject: physical limitations

guest: Jarosław Klebaniuk, PhD, psychologist of Wrocław University

9 March – “Plemię”, dir. Mirosław Słabopszycki, Ukraine, 132’, 2014

subject: communicational limitations

6 April – “Pociąg”, dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Poland, 93’, 1959

subject: spatial limitations

guest: Robert Dudziński