The anniversary 20th edition of Millennium Docs Against Gravity will be held online from May 23 to June 4 at mdag.pl! As per usual, the unforgettable film adventures will be accompanied by meetings with creators and heroes, as well as debates around important issues tackled on the big screen. They will take place on the festival's YouTube channel and on MDAG's Facebook page. The broadcasts of the meetings will also be available on the festival website.
The theme of this year's edition of MDAG is "Thou Shalt Not Be Indifferent" and refers to the famous speech of Marian Turski. The phrase has also become the slogan of the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising organised by the POLIN Museum. These words correspond with the mission of Millennium Docs Against Gravity and the film program presented at the festival over the years. "Thou Shalt Not Be Indifferent" is an expression of the values that have accompanied the festival since its inception - being attentive and sensitive (also linguistically) to the people around us.
This year, our thoughts remain with the Ukrainians suffering from the Russian attack, which is why the program includes films examining various aspects of the invasion. In the film "In Ukraine" Piotr Pawlus and Tomasz Wolski show the reconstruction of the country in places liberated from Russian control. Alisa Kovalenko's film "We Will Not Fade Away" takes on a whole new dimension in the face of the Russian invasion of 2022. We're back in 2019 and observe five teenage protagonists enter adulthood and begin to think about their future. Alisa Kovalenko is not interested in making a film about the horrors of war. Instead, thanks to its main characters, it’s a coming-of-age story full of hope and beauty.
The 20th edition of the festival is a perfect opportunity to return to the most important titles of the last two decades but also look closer at the present thanks to new sections in the programme. 20 legendary films for MDAG's 20th anniversary! is the section featuring works that have made a special contribution to the history of Millennium Docs Against Gravity and documentary cinema at large. All the films have been personally selected by the director and founder of the festival - Artur Liebhart. 10 of them were already shown in cinemas and the remaining 10 will be available online. The Power of Sisterhood features films of solidarity, creating safe spaces, finding your way and collective action of women around the world against violence and inequality. Se_x Work is a section devoted to porn and sex work, We're Here, We're Queer answers the questions about the quality of life of LGBTQ+ people in different parts of the world, while The Power of Words is a look at the works and lives of the greatest figures in the literary world, such as Elfriede Jelinek, Annie Ernaux, Stanisław Lem, Guy Debord and Umberto Eco. The What the Doc?! section features unusual stories that amaze, amuse but can also terrify. The Cinéma, Mon Amour section is back to once again show the most important directors of contemporary cinema and the responsibility of documentary filmmakers to their heroes.
The festival will also feature films by established filmmakers and hits from the world's biggest festivals. Anna Hints, winner of the Sundance directing award, will invite the audiences to the Estonian sauna in the film "Smoke Sauna Sisterhood" - the film will be available online only until May 28. The titular sauna serves as a place for women to share their most intimate stories and experiences. The master of documentary cinema Nikolaus Geyrhalter, through suggestive images, shows the global scale of the problem with overproduction of garbage in "Matter Out of Place".
This year, the Polish documentary cinema will have a strong presence at the online edition of the festival. Among them is Wojciech Gostomczyk's portrayal of the legendary Polish performer - "Leon". The film was awarded Best Debut during the festival. Kuba Mikurda, two time winner of the Chopin's Nose at the MDAG, returns to the festival to present the audience with a fresh look at Stanisław Lem's Solaris in the film “Solaris Mon Amour”.
The 20th Millennium Docs Against Gravity online edition will be a fascinating journey not only around the world, but also through many relevant issues - from ecology, through politics, psychology, human rights, art (also avant-garde), pop culture to family relations.