Venice FF - Venice Days

Piotr Chrzan – Klezmer #Venezia72

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9 min. and 25 sec.

An interest in the contrast between realism and the absurd

Play Podcast
9 min. and 25 sec.

Piotr Chrzan – Filmmaker – Klezmer

FRED’s Matt Micucci interviews director Piotr Chrzan, who presented his first fiction feature film KLEMZER at the Venice Days (Giornate degli Autori) section of the 72nd Venice Film Festival.

He talks to us about the historical side of the film, and his own personal motivation with such delicate events that took place in Poland during World War Two in Poland. He also tells us about the contrast between the theatrical and cinematic in his feature, presented by the fact that despite the story being very much dialogue and character driven it takes place wholly outdoors in the distinctive forests of Poland.

On top of this Piotr also talks to us about the challenges he encountered in bringing his first feature to the big screen, and finished off by revealing that he indeed has a few ideas in his head that he would love to see materialize in the future.

KLEMZER: It is a sunny summer day in 1943. Poland is under German occupation. A group of young people, inhabitants of a nearby village, goes to the forest to gather fir cones and brushwood to use as firewood. They talk, flirt and make plans for the future. However this outing has an unexpected outcome: a certain event that is new to them will change their lives and the lives of other people who appear as the story develops.

“One day, I was playing with other children in the yard behind a big, old house in which we lived with a few other families. We were running around, when suddenly our nanny yelled: ‘Don’t go running there, it’s where they buried the Jew!’ We sat down next to her on the grass and she told us about the only Jew that lived in our village before the war. He was shot dead on a summer day during the war by another villager, a General Government Polish policeman. These strange facts, fascinating for a child, stuck in my mind. Years later, from these memories, coupled with what I had read about the Holocaust, Klezmer was born.”

TRANSLATION OF THE INTERVIEW BY: Marina Fabbri

  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Piotr Chrzan
  • Interviewee role
    filmmaker
  • Film title
    Klemzer
  • Festival section
    Venice Days
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