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SCREENING

At Work: Documentary Shorts I

Ongoing

Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. (Program duration: 105 mins. Various formats.)

The Office (Urzad) 1966, 5 mins. This satire on bureaucracy and clerical soullessness was shot with a hidden camera at a Social Security office. A queue forms in front of the counter window and the clerk repeats the question: “What have you done in your lifetime?”

Hospital (Szpital) 1977, 21 mins. The camera follows orthopedic surgeons on a 32-hour shift, as instruments fall apart in their hands and the power keeps going out. Kieslowski is as impressed by the perseverance, compassion, and humor of the surgeons as he is by the crumbling Polish hospital.

Workers 1971: Nothing about Us without Us (Robotnicy 1971: Nic o nas bez nas) 1972, 47 mins. In the wake of the deadly strikes of 1970, the downfall of First Secretary Gomulka, and the rise of Edward Gierek, who promised a “new Poland,” this film “was intended to portray the workers’ state of mind in 1971.” (Krzysztof Kieslowski)

I Don’t Know (Nie Wiem), 1977, 46 mins. The confession of a man who was the director of a factory in Lower Silesia. “He was a Party member but opposed to the Mafia-like organization of Party members which was active in that factory and region. Those people were stealing and debiting the factory account. He didn’t realize that people higher up were involved in the affair. And they finished him off.’ (Krzysztof Kieslowski)

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