The Austin Polish Film Festival – A Cultural Revelation

Born in 1976

Who are you; what would you like; what do you think is important?

~posted by Hannah Schaeffer, KMFA administrative assistant

I am as new to KMFA as I am to Austin. I have only lived in the outskirts for the past few years, so I am just now able to truly explore and discover this diverse and wonderful city. Naturally, I was excited to be sent to the Austin Polish Film Festival for my first blogging assignment. I did not know about the Austin Polish Society before the festival, so this event was the perfect opportunity for learning more about their community and Austin as a whole.

The festival spanned over the course of 5 days, and I attended the final day of the festival on Saturday, November 12th at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre. I enjoyed five short films and one full-length feature, including a live interview with one of the headline actors from the final film. I was moved by a beautiful, yet tragic animation about the man who invented moving pictures in color, and entranced by a modern story of love and intrigue in the age of computer/reality simulation.

My favorite feature was a quick documentary from the year 1980 called “Talking Heads” in which Polish citizens were asked three questions: “Who are you, what would you like, and what is important to you?” The film began with charming and hopeful responses from young Polish children. As the interviewees slowly grew older, their hopes, dreams and identities grew more diverse. Words like “choice, work and freedom” transitioned into “democracy, health, suffering and humanity” as a montage of older professionals from academics to miners discussed their hopes for the future on the black-and-white screen. Finally, a 100 year-old woman playfully confessed that she just “wants to live longer.” I was delighted to have learned so much about a foreign society in such a small amount of time.

Needless to say, I was grateful to have experienced this cultural and artistic celebration. The APS has so much to offer Austin, so I hope to see more from them in the near future.

~Hannah Schaeffer 🙂

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