No title

Video film

The main theme of this year’s edition of POLIN Meeting Point was: The End of World War II – History and Remembrance, so I decided to compare personal wartime stories as told by representatives of three nations: German, Israeli and Polish. The main point of this project is conveyed through the testimony of a grandmother of Karolina Szulejewska, one of the participants. We hear the voice of the grandmother, Wacława Nowak, a 93 year old woman who describes her experience of the end of the war in Warsaw. Subsequently, 6 participants, 2 from each country, retell testimonies of their grandparents. By way of first person narration we are getting closer to our grandparents and their experiences, we can feel how it would feel to walk in their shoes. The movie could be perceived as a meeting point of representatives of three nations, but of two generations as well. This project presents war memories in a very personal way and at the same time reasserts us in our roots, reflects our identity and creates it anew. The movie could encourage reflection upon the end of the war, it could make us ask ourselves: what does it mean today and what can the knowledge about the past say about us nowadays. Towards the end of the movie we can hear Wacława Nowak singing the war song Axe, Hoe with the funny line: “Don’t bother me, man!” which can be interpreted as a metaphor of making personal stories of our grandparents belittle. We, the third generation, often hear them say: “There is nothing to talk about.” This movie proves that this is not at all true.

Małecka-Matylda