Za Żelazną Bramą

Behind The Iron Gate

In her documentary film, Heidrun Holzfeind portrays a central Warsaw city district that was once considered a showcase neighborhood of Polish communist architecture. The nineteen, fifteen-story tower blocks of the residential complex Za Żelazną Bramą were built from 1965 to 1972 for a total of 25,000 residents. However, time has long overtaken the former modernism of the tower blocks. A resident explains that the apartments were popular for their central location and comforts. Some of these benefits have meanwhile been diminished through recent brisk building activity, which has seen the construction of even higher buildings all around them. The film thus lets emerge a picture of everyday reality in today's Poland that is not necessarily a socially-aware one, in that residents racist and anti-Semitic slurs are documented as is the brazen confrontation of a young rapper with a world war veteran. (Patricia Grzonka)

Director's Biography
Heidrun Holzfeind, geboren 1972 in Lienz, Österreich. Ihre Arbeit befragt immanente architektonische und soziale Utopien und lotet die Grenze zwischen Geschichte und Identität, zwischen individuellen Geschichten und den politischen Narrativen der Gegenwart aus. //
OK Artist in Residence 2012
Heidrun Holzfeind
Austria / Poland / USA 2009
55 minutes
OV with English subtitles
Screenplay Heidrun Holzfeind
Cinematography Heidrun Holzfeind
Editing Radek Chrzescianski, Heidrun Holzfeind, David Gray
Music Aphonia, Cluster, Pijani Powietrzem, Zelazna Brama
Content notes