One Day in People's Poland (2005)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental, History  |   Sub-Genres - Politics & Government, Social History  |   Run Time - 59 min.  |   Countries - France, Germany, Poland  |  
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Via an hour-long collage of black-and-white archival footage and clever, strategically-used voiceover, Maciej Drygas's experimental compilation film One Day in People's Poland creates the look and feel of an average day in Poland under Communist rule: September 27, 1962. On the soundtrack, Drygas's narrators (all laymen instead of professional actors) read actual historical reports from radio broadcasts, police surveillance transcripts, personal letters and news summaries, which the filmmaker simultaneously illustrates with vintage footage of Poles going about their daily business. Drygas uses the police surveillance material to comic effect, juxtaposing it with clips of banal Polish activity (for example, visiting the grocery store) to drolly convey the collective hysteria and paranoia associated with living in an oppressive totalitarian regime, and the everpresent fear of subversion.

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Keywords

big-brother [surveillance], Communist-party, paranoia, subversion, totalitarianism, Communism