De Balie x Amsterdam Polish Film Festival: The Hamlet Syndrome + talk

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APFF 2023: Looking East – Understanding Central Europe

Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosołowski
Running time
Poland, Germany
In partnership with

This programme is part of the Amsterdam Polish Film Festival. You can access this programme with:
– Single ticket: film Hamlet Syndrome + talk
– Day ticket: Hamlet Syndrome + talk and film Klondike

A few months prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski connected Ukrainian theatre maker Roza Sarkisian with five young Ukrainians with the aim to create a performance blending Shakespeare’s Hamlet with the performers’ reality.

Like Hamlet, the protagonists also face great existential dilemmas. They nearly escaped death in previous battles and suffered as fighters who belong to the LGBT or feminist culture in a conservative society. The intense routine they go through in preparation of the play is juxtaposed with the portraits of their personal lives, filled with trauma and pain.

After the film, we engage in an in-depth conversation on the impact of war in Ukraine on people and their personal lives.

About Amsterdam Polish Film Festival

This year the Amsterdam Polish Film Festival, organised by Polish Culture NL in collaboration with De Balie, focuses on the history and current developments in Central Europe, through films dealing with gruesome communist history and conversations shedding light on the impact of the Ukrainian war on the local population.

About the speakers

Elwira Niewiera – director of The Hamlet Syndrome. Elwira is a Polish/German director and screenwriter based in Berlin. In her artistic work, she focuses primarily on social and cultural transformations in Eastern Europe.

Maryna Er Gorbach – director of Klondike. Maryna is a Ukrainian filmmaker who writes, directs, produces, and edits films, often with her husband, Turkish filmmaker Mehmet Bahadir Er. She was among a group of Ukrainian filmmakers who called for international aid for Ukraine in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Anna Greszta – Cultural anthropologist and PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), UvA. She currently works in the ERC-funded Conspiratorial Memory project, focusing on cultural representations of the Russian war in Ukraine. Inspired by and immersed in cultural analysis and anthropological traditions, the project explores the intersections of memory and conspiracy cultures in the landscape of objects representing war. Her previous research experience ranges from investigating Polish-Jewish relations and the memory of the Holocaust. Anna is co-founder of the Amsterdam volunteer group Collect4Ukraine.

Fadoua Alaoui – moderator and presenter. Worked as anchor of the daily morning show on the Dutch Caribbean channel “Nos Pais Television”. She had a wide range of clients in recent years, including the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Municipality of The Hague, FNV, World Cinema Amsterdam and Cinekid.


Elwira NiewieraDirector (The Hamlet Syndrome)
Anna GresztaCultural Anthropologist
Maryna Er GorbachDirector (Klondike)
Fadoua AlaouiModerator

The Amsterdam Polish Film Festival is co-sponsored by: