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Venice Festival 2023. “The Green Border” by Agnieszka Holland – ceremonial premiere [ZDJĘCIA]

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The 80th Venice International Film Festival is underway. On Tuesday, the ceremonial world premiere of Agnieszka Holland’s 20th feature film “The Green Border” took place. The director was accompanied on the red carpet by a group of co-creators of the film.

“The Green Border” directed by Agnieszka Holland is one of 23 titles selected for the Main Competition this year. For the first time in history in the fight for the Golden Lion there were two films directed or co-directed by Polish women. In addition to Holland’s film, the competition also included a new film by the Małgorzata Szumowska/Michał Englert duo, “The Woman with…”.

Creators and creators of “The Green Border”PAP/EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

Agnieszka Holland’s film has a chance for the Golden Lion

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“The Green Border” is Holland’s third film to be included in the Venice Main Competition. She had her first chance for the Golden Lion in 1992 with the French production “Olivier, Olivier”. Ten years later, she returned to Lido with the famous drama “Julia Comes Home”.

In her 20th feature film, Agnieszka Holland touched on the topic of the global refugee crisis, which she faced through the prism of the humanitarian crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. In 2021, a Belarusian dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenko in a cynical way, he started illegally transferring refugees, among others from IranIraq, Afghanistan, Syria and North African countries across the borders with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.

Agnieszka Holland on the set of the film “The Green Border”Agata Kubis/Kino Świat

Holland: The threat of nationalism and totalitarianism could return at any time

In the early afternoon on Tuesday, a press conference was held with the participation of the director and other invited creators. Also present were: producer Marcin Wierzchosławski, Maja Ostaszewska, Behi Djanati Atai, Dalia Naous, Jalal Altawil, Mohamed Al Rashi, Tomasz Włosok and assistant director Katarzyna Warzecha.

– One of the reasons that made me make the film you will see today are the films I have made in the past – said Agnieszka Holland during Tuesday’s press conference. – I have the impression that the threat posed by nationalism and totalitarianism has not passed. It has only been put to rest and may return at any time, she said.

“We have to face a future that, I fear, may bring what we have experienced in the past,” she added. Holland expressed her belief that the refugee crisis that broke out in 2014 “is a challenge that will influence the shape of Europe in the future.”

The author of “The Green Border” read a statement prepared by the Granica Group – a coalition of organizations and people providing humanitarian aid to those who need it on the Polish-Belarusian border.

“I was asked to read this message: The events narrated in the film are still happening. While we sit here, there are still people hiding in the forests deprived of dignity, safety and human rights. Some of them here in Europe will lose their lives. Not because Europe does not have enough resources to help them, but because it has decided to refuse help,” Holland read, and then recalled the profiles of several people who died on the Polish-Belarusian border.

– At least 45 people have lost their lives on the Polish-Belarusian border since August 2021. Since 2014, 60,000 people have died trying to reach Europe. This number also includes those who crossed the Mediterranean Sea to get here to Italy. Please, let us honor their memory with a minute of silence, said the Polish director at the end.

Agnieszka Holland in the company of child stars of “The Green Border”PAP/EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

The creators of “The Green Border” before the premiere

After 4 p.m., the creators of “The Green Border” appeared on the red carpet in front of the famous Palazzo del Cinema. Holland herself came to the premiere accompanied by the children who starred in her film. The filmmaker posed with the president of the Biennale, Roberto Cicutto, and the director of the Venice International Film Festival, Alberto Barbera.

Apart from Holland, the film’s producers Marcin Wierzchosławski and Fred Bernstein appeared on the red carpet. Actresses Maja Ostaszewska and Dalia Naous were also present. Iranian-French actress Behi Djanati Atai, who plays one of the leading characters, complemented her burgundy dress with a sash with the inscription “Women Life Freedom” – a slogan expressing solidarity with Iranian women whose protests in 2022 were brutally suppressed by the regime in Tehran.

The actors who created moving characters in “The Green Border” also posed for photojournalists: Jalal Altawil and Mohamed Al Rashi from Syria, and the extremely talented Tomasz Włosok. Katarzyna Warzecha, assistant director of “The Green Border”, also visited Venice.

The 80th Venice International Film Festival will last until September 9. “The Green Border” will hit Polish cinemas on September 22.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

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