"The Hamlet Syndrome" - to be or not to be in Ukraine

"The Hamlet Syndrome" - a documentary by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski (directors of, among others, "Domino Effect" and the famous "The Prince and the Dybbuk") - is celebrating festival triumphs in Poland and abroad, and will hit cinemas from 7 October. It is one of the most talked-about Polish documentaries of the year and a must-see!

The photo of Oxana and Katya / "The Hamlet Syndrome"

 A few months prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, five young women and men participate in a unique stage production that attempts to relate their war experiences to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

For each of them, the stage is a platform to express their grief and trauma through the famous question, “to be or not to be,” a dilemma that applies to their own lives. The protagonists fight against disappointment, powerlessness, and anger, trying to put their lives back in order while processing their painful past: SLAVIK, who went through the hell of war and captivity as a soldier, KATYA, who longs for her mother’s forgiveness for joining the army, RODION, who escaped from Donbas and is now facing growing homophobia, ROMAN, who is still struggling with the traumatic memories of his experience as a paramedic on the battlefield, and OXANA, who struggles on an artistic frontline as an actress.

The rehearsals for the play are combined with an intense glimpse into the characters’ lives: a powerful portrait of a generation coping with the trauma of war which now, after Russia invades Ukraine, is their present and future alike.