Shooting in Germany and Poland

When I first travelled to Wroclaw in April this year, I did so with the image I had of the Poland I first met in 2001 when I travelled for a couple of days to Łódź. One stays with what one knows, time passes only in the places we witness. Some prejudices I had heard in Germany did another bit, because I kept being surprised how “European” the city was. “It’s just another European city” I kept saying to myself. The selfishness of the tourist who wants to see what he wants to see, and what he doesn’t, disappoints him. If you go to a “modern” city you want to see the latest in modernity. If you go to a “peripheral” country you want to see picturesque decadence. But there is something in between, because when you give yourself enough time, and you move around a bit more, you start to see the complexity, the diversity of the city, which all cities have after all.

Since then, the word “layers” started to resonate in my head. I don’t know exactly when, but it became more and more present, louder and louder. Already when we were shooting in June/July we heard it and saw “layers” everywhere. A theme that has always attracted me…scratching the paint to see what’s underneath.

Another thing that caught me by surprise was the people in the city. Very friendly, very open, in the sense that I completely forgot I was talking to people from a country I hardly knew. They pick up the joke instantly… and they give it back to you. You recognise characters and personalities: Ah, this one looks a lot like so-and-so and that one reminds me of which friend. Just like that. They show affection, for me, in a way that is familiar to me.

Wrocław… “Faraway, so close!”*



A short documentary – Wrocław from 1945 to the present day

(©Deutsches Auswandererhaus 2023)

Direction, camera and editing: Martín Granata

Script, Interviews and literary redaction: Marie Grünter (DAH)

Production: Dra. Simone Blaschka

Camera Assistant: Liliane Reufels

Interview Assistant: Phillip Trzaska