Poland is a country with a very brutal past, even so recent as just 70 years ago. The Holocaust is something I thought about often as a child, especially as a 3-year-old with a vivid imagination whom my father sat in front of a television to watch Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” film. I have always wanted to visit the concentration camps and let their seriousness and power envelop me, humble me and change me. My visit was one of the most chilling moments of my life, all the more so because of how peaceful and beautiful the camps were, with spring flowers blooming bright and birds playfully jumping over the brick rubble. The calm breeze definitely added to the eeriness.
Poland has this tension that is slowly healing itself as time goes by and newer generations emerge, but you cannot look in any direction without the constant reminder of the past, whether it is the remnants of the ghetto wall or the cautious faces of the elderly. This piece was supposed to be about Auschwitz, but in making the video the surprise was how vibrant, tough and full of life the Polish people are. I was as emotionally impacted with these new wonderful friends and sensory overload of the gorgeous present-day country as I was with sympathy and sadness at the camps. Even though they are very tough souls, I started to admire them and their country.
I chose to not only observe present-day Auschwitz but also present-day Poland, document both, and show them as I felt them… knowing the strength of these people who looked forward and fought tooth and nail so the new generations could live these beautiful lives today inspires me so much. This is my tribute to Poland, its people and the ones who perished in World War II.
The title “Bipoland” is meant to describe the two feelings of the past and present while I was there. On one hand, there is a heaviness that still lingers from WWII, but on the other hand things are as bright and exciting as any other flourishing country.
Please Use Headphones for best sound experience. 🙂
Captured and edited by: Matty Brown
Camera: Handheld Canon 7D
Edited with: Sony Vegas
Music by: Philip Glass “Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: Movement II” Performed by Dennis Russel Davies
Dialogue by: Gerda Weissmann Klein and Winston Churchill (Klein Foundation)
HUGE special thank you to Gonçalo De Almeida Costa and all the awesome people who befriended and helped us while in Poland. Thank you also to Keith Rivers, Nathan Miller, Steven Weinberg, and Ian Todd for your input on this touchy subject and giving me confidence, hehe. Much appreciated guys.