NOLANDIA is a bold psychological portrait of contemporary Poland from the perspective of a young generation reckoning with Poland’s role in the Holocaust.
This feature-length documentary takes the viewer on a stranger-than-fiction journey where stories of first loves, summer jobs, and family vacations unfold amongst traces of the Holocaust. The film looks at numerous Holocaust spaces in Poland 80 years after WWII and asks how to live with and commemorate these ubiquitous sites of death. NOLANDIA evokes both heartbreak and absurdity in depicting the unsettling coexistence of the impossible contrasts that constitute modern Poland.
About the Director
I am a Polish, non-Jewish documentary filmmaker. Growing up in Poland in the 1990s, I was taught in school that Poles were just victims of WWII—it was never mentioned that we were also perpetrators, witnesses, and often, a mix of all of the above. It was only in my 20s that I came to realize how intimately intertwined are our lives in Poland were with spaces of Jewish trauma, which are omnipresent in this country. The reality of “living on graves” is not unique to citizens of the city of Auschwitz, but concerns all Poles. My work navigates these complex questions of identity, home, memory, complicity, and land with empathy and criticality. NOLANDIA explores both the magnitude of tragedy and the vibrancy of life, initiating vital dialogue amongst Jewish and Polish communities.