Warsaw, November 2013. Marky collects his mother from an allotment on the city outskirts. It’s too cold to stay there. With them there is a stray dog, Koleś, who has been the mother’s companion. They go to Warsaw, where they’ve been evicted from their flat as a result of brutal housing policies.
„We show Warsaw during the Polish National Independence Day, on 11 November. In 2013, the group that identifies itself as nationalists prepared a large demonstration, which turned into riots, during which one of Warsaw’s squats was attacked. The assault was brutal and almost resulted in the building being burned down. The people living there were trapped and had no way out. It just so happened that I was walking around the streets of Warsaw because I was preparing another film project, and I recorded these events in a documentary-like way. Soon I realised that these scenes had a deeper meaning: they said a lot about contemporary Poland and contemporary Europe. In many countries, the nationalistic movements are growing and rearing their heads, and the film depicts the violent aspect of that phenomenon. In Once Upon a Time in November I present two characters who were in the squat during the 2013 attack, and I explain how they got there. Also, I show a part of everyday life in Warsaw that is rarely presented in Polish cinema.“
Andrzej Jakimowski for Cineuropa.org
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