Since information became a merchandise every day on television we watch the latest news about wars, catastrophes, scandals, world records, or love affairs. The message about all these things reaches us quickly and efficiently from any place on the Earth.
But is this real truth about the world or just its mere reflection? Is it possible to have a look deeper, under the surface of headline news?
Possibly a picture of a sweaty man holding a parcel and queuing in a long line in front of a police station in Moscow, or a man in an old people’s home in Beijing singing a song about Mao, or a young woman visiting a fortune teller in Minsk and dreaming about a great love, or a man going on board of a passenger ship in Kiev and cursing his past, would tell us more about the present world and its condition rather than brief everyday news.
In 2006 we suggested the documentary method of observing reality to the students of the Lodz Film School. For a few years running we have incorporated the project „Lodz from Dawn till Dusk” into our curriculum.
In 2011 we invited our colleagues, famous Polish documentary makers and film critics such as Marcel Lozinski, Jacek Blawut, Vita Zelakeviciute, Paweł Lozinski, Jacek Petrycki, Rafal Listopad and Mateusz Werner to carry out the project „The World from Dawn till Dusk” in five world capital cities. It was co-financed by Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Polish Film Institute, Polish Television (Channel 2 and Belsat channel) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Poland. The film school students from Minsk, Kiev, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo are going to shoot documentary pictures of their cities. However, the pictures will be different from those we see on television every day. In this way a series of films will be made, which can be a starting point for a deeper reflection on our contemporary world.
Our encounters with the students from such different parts of the world turned out to be equally important, or even more important than the films. For them as well as us it was an enriching experience: the young filmmakers would get to know our Polish documentary method of observation and we had an opportunity to see their world through their talent and their sensitivity. A set of five extremely interesting films, the final result of our cooperation, convinced us that it was worth to continue the project using the same method with the support of the same partners.
In 2013, we were on the go again. This time to Tbilisi, Yerevan, Chisinau and Bydgoszcz. Once again we saw amazing places and met some remarkable people who live there. We could take a closer look at them thanks to the sensitivity of the young filmmakers we worked with during the workshops. Another four documentaries were created which enriched the “World from Dawn till Dusk” collection. The results of the year 2014 are next films: Baku, Istanbul, Kolkata; and the year 2015 – Wroclaw and Havana.
Mirosław Dembinski, Maciej J. Drygas