A Movie Bubble of Pleasure in Poland

    by Stanislas Ide

    I couldn’t really believe it when I read the invitation: the Wallonia-Brussels Federation teamed up with the European Film Academy and the New Horizons festival in Wroclaw in order to send a film critic to Poland for a few days ! Even better, they chose me as the Belgian candidate of the eighth edition of this programme, called ‘A Sunday in the Country’. The whole concept is pretty brilliant. It is based on the idea that European film critics form a family, but living separately. Ten young journalists are invited to gather for four days in a house and watch films, meet with directors, cook together (and drink a fair amount of vodka, but that’s another story). In addition to the delight of discussing cinema with other film bulimics like me, the sheer interest of the whole endeavour hit me. Our profession makes us travel to festivals, and I came back from Wroclaw with ten new allies that I can contact in five days or five years to ask questions about their national movie industry. The four features we watched were DIRTY GOD by director Sasha Polak (Netherlands), THE MIRACLE OF THE SARGASSO SEA by Syllas Tsoumerkas (Greece), FUGUE by Agnieszka Smoczynska (Poland) and DIVINO AMOR by Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil). Four pictures, and two personal movie crushes for Sasha and Agnieszka. Our long talks drove us to question the strings tying our job and industry. How should we react now that the digital era slowly suffocates the paper press? What good is it to kill a movie in a negative review ? How can we stay objective when an interview makes you sympathise with the artist you are facing? Are radio and video the main media for the future of our industry? After only four days of non-stop discussion, I finally came home with the longest list of films I need to catch up. And with an aftertaste of vodka too (but that’s another … well, you got it).

    Stanislas Ide has been writing for the movie section of Metro Belgium since 2018. His training came mainly from the festival side of the industry though. Back in 2011, he took part to the logistical organisation of the LUX Prize of the European Parliament. He then became a coach for the ’28 Times Cinema’ programme at the Venice Film Festival. This is where he joined the extended programming team of the ‘Giornate degli autori’ section of the festival. He is also in charge of the selection of documentaries for ‘Dimanche Orange’, a Brussels-based cultural gathering that he created in 2014 through his non-profit organisation ‘Tissu Orange’.