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  Cycle index  
Democracies
dir. Artur Żmijewski / Poland, Germany 2009 / 145’
subtitles: English
The Third Eye

Film description

Democracies includes 20 short films. Formally, they are maintained on the borderline between a reportage and live coverage of political events in the public space. Żmijewski turns his camera mainly to manifestations of democracy in the most literal meaning of this word. He shows authentic 'popular rule' with the 'people' taking to the streets to demonstrate, protest, and pronounce its opinions. This street polity has different faces. In Berlin, Żmijewski records a feast celebrating Germany's victory over Turkey in the latest football championships. We watch regular uproar in Strasbourg during the anti-NATO anarchistic demonstration, which starts with setting rubbish bins on fire and then turns to buildings. In Tel Aviv, an anti-war manifestation protesting against the winter invasion of Gaza by the Israeli army meets with a host of nationalist and rightist counter-demonstrators. Democracies is a project which goes beyond all categories applied in information societies. Art, documentary, video-journal, political and sociological study, activism - Żmijewski's proposal is not entirely any of these forms, but it has elements reminiscent of all of them.

Stach Szabłowski

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