Thirty minutes is all it takes to get to the village from our house. Forty kilometers. At first, it was a long journey to a place where chaos reigns even though the days pass quietly, where people don’t have work even though they’re always busy with something, and nothing ever changes. We had been making that journey for two years. We filmed a diary of these trips. […] We had a plan, with clear-cut roles for ourselves and them, and a camera we could hide behind. One day, it turned out that the camera no longer separated us, that our heroes stopped noticing it. And then we got so close that we couldn’t help but succumb to this reality. This film is about us, too. (Anka Sasnal, AAVE – Alternative AudioVisual Event) Aleksander is filmed in a little village in the south of Poland situated half way between Tarnów and Kraków. The Sasnals came across this village when they did a photoreconnaissance for their first film It Looks Pretty From a Distance.
ANKA SASNAL, born in 1973 in Tarnów in Poland, studied Polish literature and gender studies. As a screenwriter, editor, and filmmaker, she lives in Kraków together with Wilhelm Sasnal, who was also born in Tarnów in 1972 and studied architecture and painting.
WILHELM SASNAL attracted international attention as a visual artist with a series of solo and group exhibitions in renowned international galleries and art institutions with paintings, comic books, drawings, photographs, and videos. From the first joint film project onwards, significant characteristics of their artistic collaboration are already visible: the intensive focus on language, texts, and literary models, which they transform into an image language that suits them. An explicit political stance can be noted in their films – thematically Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal circle around the current state of Polish society, rising xenophobia, the relationship of Polish society to the Catholic church, and especially the recent Polish past during the Second World War. A dystopian worldview, although not so much a pessimistic one – as they say themselves – may certainly be attributed to their work, along with an undisguised interest in the “dark” side of human beings.
Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal are no strangers to the festival audience in Linz, as they have already been represented in the festival program twice in the past. In 2012, they won the main prize with It Looks Pretty from a Distance, which premiered in Rotterdam, and then returned with Parasite in 2014.
// Films at CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival 2017
// Co-directed films: Słońce, to słońce mnie oślepiło (The Sun, the Sun Blinded Me, 2016), Huba (Parasite, 2014; CE’14), Aleksander (2013, doc), Z daleka widok jest piękny (It Looks Pretty from a Distance, 2011; CE’12), Świniopas (Swineherd, 2008)
// Films by Wilhelm Sasnal: Afternoon of a Faun (2015, short), Columbus (2014, short), Inhuman Hunger (2014, short), Kacper (2010, short), Europa (2007, short), Brazil (2005, short), Marfa (2005, short)
ANKA SASNAL, WILHELM SASNAL
Poland / USA 2013
35 mm / color
OmeU / OV with engl. subtitles
- Anka Sasnal, Wilhelm Sasnal
- Wilhelm Sasnal
- Beata Walentowska
- Igor Kłaczyński, Jan Rey
- Aleksander Piotrowski, Stefania Piotrowska, Paweł Piotrowski
- Anka Sasnal, Wilhelm Sasnal (PL), Anton Kern Gallery (US)
Weltpremiere / World Premiere
Premierenstatus / Premiere Status