Sieniawka

In an unreal age, in a landscape scarred by open-cast coal mining, people still live; old men, their faces marked by deep lines. A cosmonaut in a weather-worn boiler-suit inspects the plundered earth: future, past and present come together in Sieniawka, a film of few words. The men in the “outside world” live in the “freedom” of a zone that bears the geographical, political and film historical marks of an apocalyptic present. Other men have fled to the “inner world” of an institution, surrendering in resignation to rigid everyday routine. They wear gloomy pullovers and slippers, their soup is served in buckets, and they smoke together at the open window. But at some point summer has come and the light streaming through the birch trees is dazzlingly bright, full of promise. How real can life be in a place forgotten by history? Sieniawka is a small village in the border zone between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic, a place known for its checkpoint and local psychiatric clinic. Life on an alien planet, barely an hour’s drive from Berlin. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]