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Watch Docs Festival. The main prize went to “Hamlet Syndrome”

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“Hamlet’s Syndrome”, about a young generation of Ukrainians who experienced war, was announced the best film of the 22nd edition of the Watch Docs festival. Two honorable mentions were also awarded in the competition.

The winners of the 22nd Watch Docs Festival were announced by director Anna Zamecka. The main prize went to the film “Hamlet Syndrome” directed by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski, presenting a generation of young Ukrainians marked by the war. The starting point here are the preparations for a theatrical performance loosely based on the motifs of Shakespeare’s drama.

Earlier, the creators of “Hamlet Syndrome” won the Golden Hobby-Horse at the Krakow Film Festival and two prestigious awards at the festival in Locarno: the Grand Prix Semaine de la critique and the Independent Critics Award “Boccalino d’Oro” for the best documentary film.

“Ukrainians deserve great respect, help and solidarity”

– When we started working on this film in 2018, such an impulse was to portray the young generation of the Ukrainian Maidan, as well as to draw from oblivion the subject of the war that was still going on in Donbass – said Piotr Rosołowski during the closing gala of the festival. – I remember perfectly well February 24, when we all learned that the first rockets fell on Kiev, and the forgotten war in Donbas turned into probably the biggest conflict in Europe since the end of the Second World War. Our heroes in 2014 were partly on the front in Donbass. Now they are at war again, he said.

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– The war has been going on for almost a year, and I have the impression that we are slowly getting used to the bad and getting worse news that comes to us from the east, from Ukraine. I don’t think we should forget that. I hope that our film reminds us that all Ukrainians, and those who stayed there and fight, or those who fled their country before the war, deserve great respect, help and solidarity, added Rosołowski.

Two honors

Two honorable mentions were also awarded in the competition. The first of the awarded films is Matt Sarnecki’s How to Kill a Journalist, which exposes the corruption of populist governments in Eastern Europe. The second award went to Jan Šikla’s film Reconstruction of the Invasion, telling the story of the 1968 Prague Spring based on previously unpublished archival materials – recordings created by Czech military operators.

This year’s edition of the Watch Docs festival began on December 2 and was held in a hybrid form – screenings were organized in Warsaw cinemas, as well as online. The program included over 50 films devoted to the issue human rights.

Main photo source: TVN24

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