Fri Oct 21, 10:30 AM
Director: Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosolowski
Poland, Germany
85 minutes
Unclassified 15+

A generation confronting their war trauma.

Special Documentary Theatre Forum with visiting filmmaker Elwira Niewiera follows the screening on Fri 21 Oct – further details below.

In the months leading up to the full-scale Russian invasion, five young Ukrainians prepare to stage a theatre production combining the core themes of Hamlet with their combat experiences in the ongoing war between the two countries since the revolution of 2014. This confronting yet crucial observational documentary captures with raw immediacy the testimony of a generation caught in the eye of the cyclone of history.  Professional costume designers and actors who became medics and soldiers process their trauma through workshopping performances and sharing their brutal memories and physical scars. More than just therapeutic, the process is a transcendent exploration of whether to love or to hate, to forgive or to avenge, to live or to die.

“We came to the conclusion that the archetypal figure of Hamlet—a twenty-something boy whose life suddenly collides with a brutal struggle for power in his homeland—is a parallel for describing the dilemmas of a large part of the politically engaged young Ukrainian generation.” (Co-Director Piotr Rosolowski)

Winner of the Golden Hobby-Horse, Krakow Film Festival (2022).
Winner of the Roman Brodmann Prize, The Documentary House and Institute for Media and Communication Policy, Germany (2022).

The screening of The Hamlet Syndrome on Friday 21 October at 10.30am will be followed by a special live Q&A with the film's director Elwira Niewiera, hosted by acclaimed SA director Chris Drummond (Brink Productions). They will discuss the intersectional capacity of theatre and documentary to create powerful works about contemporary trauma, as well as advocacy documents for critical issues. Elwira will also discuss the processes – including how they managed rehearsals – utilised to produce this ground-breaking screen work. 

Attendance at this Forum is free with a ticket to The Hamlet Syndrome

More information about this special event can be read here. 

Premiere Australian
Film Type Documentary
Program Strand Documentary Competition
Subtitles English
Director Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosolowski
Producer Magdalena Kaminska, Agata Szymanska, Andreas Bank, Matthias Miegel, Robert Thalheim
Cinematographer Piotr Rosołowski
Editor Agata Cierniak
Music Jan Miserre, John Gürtler