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Documenting Ukraine: Theatre – George Genoux and Natalia Vorozhbit at GRAD, reviewed by Jo Varney


A four-day festival Documenting Ukraine was held last weekend in London bringing together Ukraine’s leading names in documentary cinema and theatre. The theatre section, hosted at GRAD in Central London, comprised two live performances in their main gallery space: acclaimed German theatre director Georg Genoux performed his solo multimedia piece, Anyone Can Be Saint Nikolai,…

Jo Varney | 23/05/2015
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Anthony Michineau’s ‘Let Me In!’ (‘Fa-mi loc!’) reviewed by Camelia Ciobanu


The ever-growing Romanian community in London has created a demand for entertainment, and at the Leicester Square Theatre, Tales Told in Romanian meet this hunger by organising regular performances of well-known Romanian artists. One of the latest was the Romantic Comedy Let Me In! (Fa-mi loc!) by Anthony Michineau, starring Medeea Marinescu and Marius Manole, and…

Camelia Ciobanu | 22/05/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘The Cruise’ (Piwowski, 1970), reviewed by Ollie Buxton


The 13th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival will draw to a close in spectacular style on the 29th of May with a screening of Rejs (The Cruise) at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, aptly followed by a boat trip on the River Thames, with theatrical performances and live music to boot. Released only now…

Oliver Buxton | 22/05/2015
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‘Documenting Ukraine: Day 4’ at the Frontline Club, by Judith Fagelson


It’s about time British people saw a rounded portrayal of Ukraine. Since conflict first broke out in November 2013, Ukraine has dominated our screens on and off, yet most of us are no closer to understanding what’s going on than we were a year and a half ago. We are fed a sensationalist, two-dimensional caricature…

Judith Fagelson | 22/05/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘Knife in the Water’ (Polanski, 1962) reviewed by Julia Secklehner


Knife in the Water is one of the best known Polish films of all time – if not the best –  not least because it was directed by Roman Polanski, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1963. It’s a deceptively simple film, played by only three actors, focusing exclusively on the interactions between…

Julia Secklehner | 17/05/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘The Wedding’ (Wajda, 1972) reviewed by Julia Secklehner


Drenched in Polish folklore and produced with the help of the State ethnographic museum, Wajda’s The Wedding confronts us with a host of questions about Polish history that require some background knowledge to be  fully understood. The film starts of course with a wedding, which frames events throughout – but there’s more to it than that.…

Julia Secklehner | 17/05/2015
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‘Pripyat’ (Geyrhalter, 1999), reviewed by Nick Barlay


‘They call it the Zone,’ says Mr.Rudchenko, sitting beside his equally aged wife in their broken home in the middle of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat. ‘But does barbed wire stop radiation?’ His question, however, was no barrier to the couple returning to their life-long home in the so-called Zone of Alienation that runs for…

Nick Barlay | 15/05/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘Provincial Actors’ (Holland, 1979), reviewed by Valenka Navea


To describe Provincial Actors (1979), Agnieska Holland’s first film,  as psychological is an understatement. The film is a rare thing, managing to balance characterization with a polemical heart, without ever resorting to cliché. The plot – self-reflective yet never over-burdened – revolves around a group of actors exploring themes in a forthcoming theatre production of Stanislaw’s Wyspianski’s…

Valenka Navea | 11/05/2015
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Kinoteka 2015: ‘The Promised Land’ (Wajda, 1974) reviewed by Ian Mole


The Promised Land  (Wajda, 1974) is based on the novel by Władysław Reymont  and won first prize at the Moscow Film Festival. Set in Łódź in the late 19th Century – the Polish Industrial Revolution in full swing –  it tells the tale of three young men from wealthy backgrounds who want to build their own textile…

Ian Mole | 11/05/2015