Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Piotr Dumuła

When I am not doing workshops and conversation classes I am busy trying to learn about Polish things, and one example is Polish animation films.  In this blog I plan to write a few reviews to enable you, dear reader, to learn more about culture in Poland*.

You may not know that Poland has had a very healthy culture of animated films.  Foremost among cartoonists since 1980 is Piotr Dumula.

Piotr Dumula is a man who, in his own words (is) very close to such things like religion, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, etc., so my language is very close to these things [...] and is close to the language of dreams, and of symbols, and universal things.

Certainly, the medium of animated films, often using a slow build up without words lends itself towards reflection of deeper things.  He is very much a fan of Dostoevsky and Kafka and has used both of their work in his cartoons, such as in his remake of 'Crime and punishment' (Zbrodnia i kara) and 'Frank Kafka'.

'Czary kapturek' ('Little Black Riding Hood') is one of his more light-hearted pieces, which is based upon the famous story of the 'Little Red Riding Hood'.  In this version the girl kills the wolf and this marks the start of a killing spree, a spree that turns into surreal events that culminate in inter-species sex.

Strangely enough, a basic analysis of the original 'Little Red Riding Hood' story shows that violence, rebirth and sexual energy could have been components of the original story in the first place.

Anyway, enjoy the film!

Should you like it, you may wish to watch more of his animation films, 'Franz Kafka''Łagodna' ('A gentle creature', based on a short story by Dostoevsky) and 'Sciany' ('Walls')

* Notice the wording there, 'culture in Poland'?  Why didn't I call it 'Polish culture'?  Well, Dumala is Polish, but describes himself as being 'quite far from the political and social situation in Poland. I don't feel like a participant of the society. Of course, I have to a little, it's not possible to not [be a part of it], but it's not the point of my interest. I'd rather show my own things, my own feelings.

He does go on to say that he does try to see how his films are connected to the situation of the time in Poland, so there is a connection.  As someone living in Poland he is influenced by events, like I am myself, in fact.  However, he also speaks of being influenced by Kafka and Dostoevsky, both of whom (forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but for some it may not be) were not Polish.  Consequently the culture of his animation films cannot be Polish per se, rather, they reflect different cultures.

Me as a trainer dealing with transcultural learning I would say that :)


1 comment:

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