Something Better to Come was good enough for Oslo
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Hanna Polak’s Danish documentary has won the top prize at the Eurodok – European Documentary Film Festival
Polish director-cinematographer Hanna Polak, whose short The Children of Leningradsky (2005) was nominated for an Oscar, has come out on top at Oslo’s Eurodok – European Documentary Film Festival with her film Something Better to Come [+see also:
film profile]; the gathering drew to a close on 22 March.
Her second full-length documentary won the top prize at the festival, where it was duking it out with nine other entries, which screened as part of the five-day programme at the Cinemateket in Oslo’s Film House. In total, 14 local films were shown, and festival director Jan Langlo was pleased with the 20% audience increase.
“Polak has a strong, personal visual language and an ability to get close to people in vulnerable situations without compromising the integrity of the individual; she shows a burning social commitment to outcasts living in extreme poverty, in the marginal zones of a wealthy industrial society,” said the jury.
For 14 years, Polak followed Yula, a girl living with her mother at Moscow’s Svalka, the largest rubbish dump in the world, controlled by the Russian mafia. Life is tough, and Yula dreams of escaping and changing her life, even if it seems impossible; but even in the most unlikely of conditions, beauty and humanity can still arise.
Produced by Sigrid Dyekjær, for Danish Documentary Production, Something Better to Come has previously received such accolades as the Grand Prix at Moscow’s ArtDocFest and the Special Jury Award at Amsterdam’s IDFA.