The war in Ukraine has profoundly affected the young generation since 2014. A few months prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, five young women and men participated in a unique stage production that likened their war experiences to Hamlet’s dilemma.
For each of them, the stage is a platform on which they can pour out their grievances and troubles through Hamlet’s question, “to be or not to be,” reflecting a dilemma that applies to their own lives.
The Hamlet Syndrome evolves as a documentary portraying a vibrant young generation trying to put their lives back in order while being compelled in the complex process to digest their trauma-inducing experiences.
The Hamlet Syndrome was supported through Elwira Niewiera’s 2021 Chicken & Egg Award.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Elwira Niewiera (she/her) is a Polish-German director and screenwriter based in Berlin. In her artistic work, she focuses primarily on social and cultural transformations in Eastern Europe.
She is a recipient of fellowships from Robert Bosch Stiftung, DEFA-Foundation in Berlin, and Nipkow Programm. Her feature documentary Domino Effect (2014) was shown worldwide at more than 50 festivals, including Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and MoMa Doc Fortnight, and won many awards, including the Golden Dove at DOK Leipzig and Golden Horn at the Krakow Film Festival. The film received a nomination for the Polish Academy Award for Best Documentary.
Her last documentary before beginning production on The Hamlet Syndrome, The Prince and the Dybbuk, premiered at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, where it won Best Documentary on Cinema. In 2019, the film won the Polish Academy Award for Best Documentary. Elwira recently received the Young German Cinema Award by DEFA Foundation in Berlin. She is a member of the European Film Academy.
ABOUT THE PRODUCERS
Piotr Rosolowski (he/him) is a Polish director, screenwriter, and cinematographer based in Berlin. After graduating from Katowice Film School, he was awarded an Academy of Media Arts scholarship in Cologne. Rosolowski is the co-author of the documentary Rabbit à la Berlin, and most recently co-directed Academy Award®-nominated short documentary film, Domino Effect, with Elwira Niewiera. Their documentary film, The Prince and the Dybbuk won the Golden Lion Award for Best Documentary on Cinema at the 74th Venice Film Festival. Piotr also works as a director of photography, and has shot many award-winning feature and short films; among them are Academy Award®-nominated On the line and The wall of Shadows which won the annual prize of the Polish Society of Cinematographers.
Magdalena Kamińska (she/her) runs a production company called Balapolis, and has produced multiple feature films, documentaries, and TV series. In 2015, Kamińska was a finalist in the Biennale College Cinema Awards for producing Baby Bump with director Kuba Czekaj. In 2017, she participated in the EAVE Producers Workshop, before going on to produce Adrian Panek’s Werewolf, which was EFA shortlisted in 2019. Kamińska recently co-produced Hunter’s Son by Ricky Rijneke, White Courage by Marcin Koszałka, and a TV Series Strange Angels.