ARTISTS ON STRIKE
Production: WOJTEK FILMS (Poland) & Filmlux (Italy)
Runtime 75 min. (theatrical release) / 52 min. (TV release)
Screenplay and directing: Elena de Varda
Music Score: Louis Siciliano
PRODUCER CONTACT DATA:
e-mail: Elena.firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
tel: + 48.535.788.061, +39 3479822092
Cast: Krystyna Janda, Olgier Lukasiewicz, Lech Walesa, Teatr Ósmego Dnia [“Eight Day’s Theatre”], Jerzy Kalina, Krzysztof Skiba (Pomaranczowa Alternatywa [“Orange Alernative”] and Big Cyc), Janiccy brothers (Kantor theatre actors), Józef Robakowski, Jerzy Beres, Tymon Tymanski , Krzysztof Skiba and many others.
Between 1975 and 1989, the most important contemporary artistic movement of underground and independent culture in the world developed in Poland. In 1981, Polish artists during martial law signed a document stating that they would not perform or participate in shows or expositions in spaces belonging to the State (televisions, galleries, newspapers and so on), because the State was an enemy. Some of them even refused to participate at the “Biennale” of Venice.
It was the beginning of the most powerful independent artistic movement in the contemporary world: artists started to perform only in private flats and churches (it was a time when the church supported artists), books were printed illegally and distributed on a massive scale by hand, actors refused to perform on public television and in the general climate of fear, artists showed up to perform on the streets, creating massive movements (such as the “Orange Alternative”), their goal to be arrested en masse (the prisons had not enough space and it was causing the government a big problem).
This cultural movement was independent from the syndicate “Solidarnosc”, even though intellectuals and artists were sympathizers. For example, the renowned artist Joseph Beuys donated about 1000 drawings and art pieces to the Museum in Lodz in 1981, to demonstrate his solidarity to Poland. He also took part in some auctions to finance the Solidarity movement. Many artists came from all over the world to fraternize with Polish artists ("Konstruktja w Procesie").
Famous actors, Jane Fonda, Natassia Kinski , Ives Montand and many others, such as the singer Joan Baez, demonstrated their solidarity for the Polish situation. De Niro and Polanski visited Poland to make a film about Walesa, never made. Solidarity was really international!
Through performances, visions, archive material and individual stories of some artists; we create a peculiar fresco of those times which changed Europe under the slogan of “Solidarity”. We come back from the past to the contemporary world, through a space-time journey and we involve some of those artists to participate on a new issue: Consumerism has replaced Communism, how did the idea of freedom and solidarity changed its meaning?
We start from Poland and my personal story: an Italian girl from Milan, an 18 year old “communist” girl, who got a scholarship from the Academy of Fine arts in Krakow in 1987/89 and had to cope with real Communism in Poland: the queues in shops, the lack of grocery products, no access to media and an incredible hidden and clandestine world of art and culture, which she discovers.
The narration will develop from her personal point of view, to become universal: how artists who fought for freedom are having a huge influence on contemporary society? What they are doing now? How they are now dealing with the forgotten symbols of “Freedom” and “Solidarity”?
Now a general amnesia seems to dominate contemporary Polish world.