1991-2000ArthouseDocumentaryPolandWojciech Staron

Wojciech Staron – Syberyjska lekcja AKA Siberian Lesson (1998)

The first documentary by Wojciech Staroń. He just finished film school, his wife Małgosia just became a teacher. The year is 1997. They decide to go for a year deep into Siberia: she’ll teach Polish, he’ll shoot a film. And this is that beautiful film, narrated in the first person by Małgosia as she meets all sorts of colorful characters and reflects upon reality with her beautiful, monotone voice, seeing the good in people individually and collectively. This is also about her transformation in this travel undertaken in the centuries-old fashion of the observer who, by observing others, observes herself.

Małgorzata and Wojciech go to Siberia for a year. They want to try their hand at a new role, treating the trip as a time to get to know themselves and the world around them. She teaches Polish at a local school, he makes a film about it.

The situation on the spot turns out to be more difficult than they expected. Teachers are on strike because they have not been paid for their work for a long time, but, as the protagonist notes, they don’t feel at ease in this role, there is no fighting spirit in them. There is an all-encompassing stagnation. Many other people also have to survive without money, e.g. a night watchman who translates the Bible from Polish into Russian at night and comes to Małgosia for lessons.

For many of Małgosia’s students, Polish lessons are an escape from the world around them. For them it becomes a very important experience. “I regained peace here, gained some extraordinary power thanks to my work, thanks to which I am happy. After returning to Warsaw, I would like to keep that power in myself,” she says, preparing to leave.

1.24GB | 57 min 9 s | 1280×720 | mkv


Language:Polish, Russian


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