Wiktoria Szymańska, Director, Marionetista.
Festival Section: Films on Art Competition.
When the lights go down, Michael Meschke’s wooden marionettes come to life with the pull of a string. Meschke is the founder of Stockholm’s Marionetteatern and one of the most acclaimed puppeteers of the 20th century. Now, over 80 years of age, he opens his archive to share dolls made inspired by puppet theatre traditions from around the world. Antigone, Don Quixote, the Devil, Odysseus personify the most basic emotions, experiences and archetypes of human behaviour. Meschke’s amazing biography, which includes being a Jewish child saved from the Nazis in Gdańsk and smuggled to Sweden, reflects in his art and attitude. He spent his life travelling with his theatre to politically charged and chaotic places such as Hydra during the junta, Prague in 1968 as well as besieged Sarajevo. He believed art to be a form of resistance to regimes, as well a force that frees people from repression. Liberation that is particularly important to children, who in every time and place can understand the universal language of marionettes’ gestures.
Polish director, producer, screenwriter and painter Wiktoria Szymańska was born in Gdańsk, but lives and works in London. Her previous film, Themerson & Themerson (Films on Art Competition, 10th NH) toured the world film festival circuit. She has worked with ARTE, VISAT TV and the Discovery Network television channels. Szymańska is currently completing her feature film debut, Traces, set in Poland and Tanzania with Irène Jacob in the lead.
2010 Themerson & Themerson
2013 Marionetista / The Man Who Made Angels Fly (doc.)
Reporter: Anna Tatarska.