Today, we would like to invite you to devote some time to the short documentary films included in the section Panorama of the Polish Film at the 55th Krakow Film Festival.

"Big Man,"dir. Jędrzej Michalak

Each of us has some embarrassing secrets. Some of them concern mistakes from the past, others are very much current, and the necessity to keep these secrets alive is often unbearable. This is exactly the problem - hiding a part of one's identity - with which the protagonist of the short film "Big Man," the striptease performer Krzysiek aka Ferico, has to struggle.

Though what he does is adored, and in the club where he works, he has a group of dedicated fans, the protagonist cannot be fully happy. This is because Krzysiek has a girlfriend, with who he wants to start a family. The girl knows about his profession. Her parents do not.  And this lack of knowledge is the source of the protagonist's frustrations, as so far he used to spend a lot of time training and working as a striptease performer.

In his short documentary film, Jędrzej Michalak does not go too deeply inside the world of male striptease - the director rather aims to show the issue of the lack of acceptance for some professions, which, in Polish prudish reality are doomed to exist on the margins of society. Though Krzysiek is a professional in his job, he has to feel as a second-class citizen.

Dawid Myśliwiec

"Football Brothers,"dir. Marcin Filipowicz

A short story of a certain dream - this is how the short documentary film "Football Brothers" by Marcin Filipowicz can be summed up. It tells the story of two brothers from a village in Beskidy mountains, who dream about professional football of the highest quality. 14-year-old Mateusz and 13-year-old Łukasz want to become football players and devote each free moment to fulfilling their yearning.

The boys are supported by their father, who - though the family is relatively well-off - wants to help his sons have better life than the one he himself had. The protagonists treat their father as a friend, coach and agent, and he returns this by being enormously dedicated to his children's development. And though some of his advice may make you grind your teeth, it is hard to doubt his dedication and devotion to his sons.

Just like in the case of "Biało-czerwoni z Chrząstawy," Mateusz and Łukasz begin their adventure with football far in the football province. However, for them it is the beginning of the road and - as Marcin Filipowicz makes us believe - their future looks a bit brighter. This simple story is recommended particularly for the younger viewers, for whom at present the highest ambition is to have the coolest smartphone.

Dawid Myśliwiec

"The Place,"dir. Julia Popławska

At the first sight, the latest documentary film by Julia Popławska, "The Place," is a portrait of the employers of the Meteorological Observatory at Kaspowy Wierch; however, such a description would be a considerable simplification, since the author goes much further, crosses the boundary of a documentary portrait and makes a small, extremely consistent as far as form is concerned, treatise on the essence of observation.

The essence of observation - it is what the film by Popławska mainly speaks about. The protagonists, the employers of the observatory, appear as people with a mission, service, with something much more important than just work. They bring to mind ancient alchemists, astronauts and the first cosmonauts who dreamt about conquering and describing the universe. This universe in "The Place" is the nature surrounding the observatory and all meteorological phenomena. Julia Popławska looks with delight into this space, looking not only with the eye of the camera, but also through the fascinating tools of the researchers, including a mysterious glass ball in which everything, which surrounds the protagonists, is reflected.

Daniel Stopa

It is only an excerpt from the review, the whole text is available here.