Today is the day! The 22nd WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film festival begins!

The revolution in Chile, Berlin resounding with the music of Turkish immigrants and the search for sustainable fabric - these are just some of the topics of this year's edition of the WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film IFF.

From December 2 to December 11, we’re offering a range of screenings, meetings and debates in Warsaw's Muranów and Kinoteka cinemas. Some of the festival titles can also be found on the platform (available in Poland only). Every evening, we’re meeting at our festival club: Kulturalna at the Palace of Culture and Science.

22nd WATCH DOCS Day 1

On the first day of the festival, you can meet the filmmakers, analyse the filmmaking process at the case study of "Hamlet Syndrome" and dance at the Silent Psisko party, which you can't miss!


6:00 pm The Hamlet Syndrome – an award-winning film by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski, it is one of the most talked-about Polish documentaries of the year. It depicts a generation of young Ukrainians marked by wartime. The starting point here are the preparations for a theatrical performance loosely based on Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. The film is a moving portrait of a generation attempting to face the trauma of the war and the painful past, which - after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine - has now become both their present and their future. After the screening, there will be a case study meet-up with the filmmakers run by Zenia Klimakin – a Ukrainian journalist and activist. The event’s partner is Wladyslaw Slesicki Film Foundation, organised as part of the Doc Hot Selection.

6:15 pm Name of the Game - A disgraced politician, accused of sexual harassment, tries to get back in his party’s favor. Trond Giske, a Norwegian labor party leader, becomes a political outsider as a result of a moral scandal. But he refuses to be cowed by the sexual harassment accusations. Giske invites Håvard Bustnes to accompany him with a camera on a tour of the provinces as a prelude to his triumphant come back into favor. Bustnes takes full advantage of the opportunity to look behind the scenes of boomer supremacy, which is slowly fading away - often due to #metoo scandals.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the director Håvard Bustnes

8:00 pm We Don’t Talk - four young characters in a therapeutic process try to work through the trauma of sexual abuse. Despite anger at their abusers, they are still unable to definitively cut themselves off from the environment in which they were harmed.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the director Marjolein Busstra


Kino Muranów:

6:15 pm A Taste of Whale - Do hundreds of years of tradition justify unnecessary suffering? During the great hunt, the inhabitants of the Faroe Islands annually kill several hundred pilot whales (actually dolphins once considered small whales). The animal slaughter on EU soil (the islands belong to Denmark) arouses outrage around the world, which does not reduce the enthusiasm of the islanders celebrating grindadrap as part of their history, an element of national identity and the only tourist attraction. But grindadrap also attracts the attention of Sea Shepherd activists who arrive at the scene to prevent another hunt.

The screening will be followed by a meeting with the director Vincent Kelner.

Silent Psisko party at Kulturalna, our official festival club. We dance and collect money for doggies! Headphone rental: 25 zł cash only. Partner: Silent Disco Party. 


So what’s the plan for Saturday?

On Saturday, we have our first discussion: Animal human rights, taking place after the screening of the film Sheltered.

What exactly is a good relationship between an animal and a human being? Can this be fully understood from a purely human perspective? Can laws written by man help create such relationships? Are we able to effectively protect other animals from harm caused by ourselves? Speakers:

  • Gabriela Jarzębowska, PhD, author of "Species Cleansing: Cultural Pattern of Rat Control Practices" and lecturer of Anthropozoology at the Artes Liberales Faculty at the University of Warsaw.  
  • Małgorzata Brzezińska and Sylwia Połczyńska from the  Fundacja dla Szczeniąt Judyta (puppy rescue centre), which works to protect puppies, often with mothers. 
  • Justyna Zwolińska, lawyer, behaviorist and lecturer at the Warsaw School of Agriculture and SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities. 
  • Dariusz Gzyra, social activist, journalist and lecturer at the Faculty of Artes Liberales 

(Polish only)