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THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Voices from Chernobyl’ – Ténéré Arte’s brilliant, ghostly retelling of the world’s worst nuclear disaster

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Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl collected the testimonies of survivors from the nuclear disaster: military personnel, medical professionals, and, most importantly, ordinary people. Her book is a series of stories that tell the untold: how little the people in the Soviet Union, and especially the Ukraine and Belarus, knew about what happened the night the…

Julia Secklehner | March 12, 2017
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FILM AND DISCUSSION: Alois Nebel (2012)

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  Endless train timetables. Russian border patrol. Patches of forest that swallow you up. A thick fog that brings it memories of a time long gone. Anything but an ordinary film, Tomáš Luňák’s interpretation of Jaromir99’s graphic novel trilogy about the train dispatcher Alois Nebel is a full-length, animated drama, playing at a pivotal moment…

Julia Secklehner | March 7, 2017
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Illuminating the Past: an Interview with ‘Neon’ film-maker Eric Bednarski

In ‘Neon’, Eric Bednarski’s award-winning 2014 documentary, the history of Warsaw is traced through its neon lights. It’s a retelling of Polish history, mixing documentary features from several decades, focusing in on small stories alongside the great events of the recent past. We caught up with the Director here.  CEEL: How did you come to choose neon…

Julia Secklehner | February 25, 2017
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FILM REVIEW: ‘Neon’ (2014) – Eric Bednarski’s electric account of Warsaw’s City Lights

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In this award-winning documentary, director Eric Bednarski traces the history of Poland’s capital through the city’s neon lights – merging design, politics and history in an ambitiously innovative project. It’s a retelling of Polish history, so often the subject of grand films that exploit the emotional weight of its traumatic turns from Nazism to Stalinism.…

Julia Secklehner | February 20, 2017
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THEATRE REVIEW: Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull’ (Hemar Theatre) at Ognisko Polskie

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Ognisko Polskie, the Polish Hearth Club, is an exquisite venue: glistening chandeliers please the eye, red velvet lines the elegant staircases; this quiet haven in South Kensington is full of Old World charm. Last Saturday night, a traditional version of Chekhov’s play The Seagull was produced here. Set on a lake estate in Imperial Russia,…

Andreea Scridon | February 12, 2017
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THEATRE REVIEW: Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’ at the Union Theatre – simplified production deserves the benefit of the doubt

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Tracy Letts’ adaptation of Chekhov’s 1900 play – directed by Phil Wilmott – gives an English, deadpan intonation to Russian humor. The expansive, often ironic comedy characteristic of Chekhov’s plays persists even though Letts has cut and altered considerable portions of the original text. The layout of the Union Theatre in Southwark, which has the…

Andreea Scridon | January 27, 2017
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On homeland mythologies and empowerment: an interview with Czech film-maker Petr Václav

Just before the Barbican screening of his award-winning 2016 film We Are Never Alone, director Petr Václav took some time to frame his work in a conversation that started out with questions about Czech identity, and ended on post-truth masculinity and why We Are Never Alone is, essentially, a feminist film: women have a future,…

Julia Secklehner | December 12, 2016