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Special Screening

DocedgeKolkata 2015 Closing Film

Abu Haraz
Maciej Drygas, Poland, 2013, 73 minutes
followed by Q&A Session with Maciej Drygas

Abu Haraz is a small village in the middle of the desert in North Sudan, on the river Nile. They are now facing a major change. The construction of a huge dam on the Nile has interfered with the age-old, natural rhythm of the lives of its residents. Their village will soon be under water. The filmmakers have spent several years with them, observing their vain attempts to turn back fate. Abu Haraz is a story of tradition and culture versus economics, power and money. It is a story of pain, loss, despair and the displacement of a community whose lives rarely make it into the news. The film has won several awards and screened at and been in competition at many major international festivals.

Maciej Drygas is a Polish documentary filmmaker. Following his graduation from the Directing Department of the Moscow All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), he worked as an assistant to Krzysztof Zanussi and Krzysztof Kieslowski. His first documentary as director was "Hear My Cry" (1991) , about Ryszard Siwiec, who, in September 1968, protested against communist totalitarianism by setting fire to himself (self-immolation) in front of thousands of people. The incident was censored in the media at the time. His follow-up film, “Weightless”, looks at the human cost of the Russian space programme. 

Drygas is currently director of the radio drama section at the Reportage Lab at Warsaw University and also teaches regularly at the Lodz Film School, Poland. Other award-winning films by Maciej Drygas are Abu Haraz (2012), Violated Letters (2011), “Hear Us All” (2009)’ “The Outer Limits” (2007), “One Day in People`s Poland” (2005), Voice of Hope (2002) and Schizophrenia (2001).

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