The Art of Disappearing
An intriguing look at socialist Poland during the turbulent years of transformation through the eyes of Amon Frémon, a Haitian Vodou priest invited to Poland by Jerzy Grotowski. Polish history – everyday life in the 1980s, martial law and the victory of the Solidarity movement – as seen by a foreigner from a totally different cultural background, a Haitian, who is linked with Poland through a blurred memory of his Polish ancestors. The film offers an unorthodox take on the familiar theme of the descendants of Polish Napoleonic soldiers who fought for Haiti’s freedom against the orders of their commanders, which shuns the postcolonial notion of a historic bond between Poland and Haiti. Referencing Vodou rituals and merging them with Mickiewicz’s Forefathers’ Eve, Frémon tries to help his compatriots in Poland to ward off evil spirits by enlisting the combined forces of the living and the dead.
An impressive and brilliant combination of false archival footage (shot on film) and interviews with Frémon’s present-day descendents, The Art of Disappearing is the directing duo’s second mockumentary. Their first one, Rabbit à la Berlin, earned them an Oscar nomination in 2010. The Art of Disappearing surpasses that film in both form and intellectual depth.
This screening will be presented together with Lava: A Tale of Adam Mickiewicz’s ‘Forefathers’ Eve’ by Tadeusz Konwicki.
- Director — Bartosz Konopka, Piotr Rosołowski
- Writers — Piotr Rosołowski, Bartosz Konopka
- Genre — documentary
- Production — Poland
- Year of production — 2012