A selection of the finest architectural documentaries on the fate of Socialist Modernism, from Estonia to Croatia. The Utopias and Realities: Socialist Modernism conference and forum is accompanied by two evenings of film screening, each offering a unique insight to the architectural heritage of the region. The movie program was organized in cooperation with the Budapest Architecture Film Days.
Location: Collegium Hungaricum Berlin
10117 Berlin, Dorotheenstraße 12
28 April 2016, Thursday
19:00 TransModern Movie Night #01 The Afterlife of Buildings
Guest House Helios (US, 2013, 60′)
Constructed in 1963, the beach resort Guest House Helios is an artifact of its time, a witness of Yugoslavian Communism. Bearing the same name as its subject, Guest House Helios, this film follows the day-to-day operations of the hotel during one of its final seasons before its scheduled closure and demolition in 2014. Long after the breakup of Yugoslavia, this film documents how the guests and workers of this hotel engage within a structure of hospitality built upon the principles of Yugoslavian Socialism – only now within the conditions of present day capitalism.
Directed by Ryan S JEFFERY.
Santier in lucru (RO, 2014, 83′)
The communist regime has fallen, but the huge construction sites it left behind are still standing. A new wind blows over Romanian cities. 25 years after the economic and political liberation of the country, the urban scenery is being again transformed. Santier in lucru (‘Construction site’) follows the evolution of a country in a continuous economic and political transition, analysing 3 representative cities (Cluj-Napoca, Iaşi and Constanţa) and the mechanisms of a „anarchic democracy” that threatens ecological, social and urban stability.
Directed by Sindy QUÉRÉ, Guillaume LEBON & Bénédicte VACQUEREL. Producer: Enfin Bref Production.
29 April 2016, Friday
19:00 TransModern Movie Night #02 Shorts
Resort (CZ, 2014, 26′)
At the beginning of the 1960s a secret summer getaway for the communist establishment was developed on the banks of Orlík reservoir. The architecturally unique resort was designed by the most progressive Czech names in the field – they had been purposefully imprisoned to force them to work on state projects. In the days of unrestrained capitalism following the revolution, the site came into the hands of now notorious businessmen. This nontraditional documentary portrait, suffused with an air of mystery, captures the genius loci and turbulent history of a hidden summer paradise that was left off every map.
Directed by Martin HRUBY. Producers: Background Films, UMPRUM, Czech TV.
The House Guard (EST, 2015, 26′)
The House Guard is a double portrait – of the Tallinn Linnahall concert and sports venue and its caretaker Peter, who are both bound by seclusion. It tells the story of the decline of a legendary building through one man’s eyes, and the personal story of a man against the backdrop of a vanishing building. It is a dialogue between the two.
Directed by Ingel VAIKLA. Producer: Riho Västrik.
Super-Unit (PL, 2014, 20′)
Is it possible to change people’s lives with an idea? Architect Le Corbusier thought that numbers, measures and plans can do just that. He called his buildings “machines for living”, designed to fulfill all of the basic human needs. Superjednostka (Polish for Superunit) in Katowice is one of several trails to bring his idea to life in the 20th Century. Up to three thousand people can live on 15 floors of this huge block. The lifts only stop every three floors so the residents must go through a maze of corridors and stairs in order to get to their flats. The main characters of the documentary are people living in Superjednostka and going through important moments of their lives there. This is where their emotions throb, their expectations engender, and their desires come true… or not. 762 flat doors and 762 stories. We are opening only a few of them.
Directed by Teresa CZEPIEC. Produced by Wajda Studio.
Relics of Socialist Architecture – Berlin, Bucharest, Prague (CZ, 2016)
3 MINUTES OF BUCHAREST CITY (4:20) – Impressions of the development of the architecture in Bucharest during the 50’s and the later 34 years long Ceausescu era with the impressive Ceausescu palace and the youngest architect Anca Petrescu who designed the biggest building in the world after Pentagon.
(L)OST BERLIN (4:50) – Socialist architecture from East Berlin showing the most important buildings and places from the whole period starting with the images of bombed Berlin and ending with the fall of the Berlin Wall.
ANATOMY OF A PLACE-LADVI PANEL HOUSE (7’) – 1 panel house in Prague district Ládví, 14 floors, anatomy of 6 identical flats showing 6 different interior designs and 6 different stories of its inhabitants.
Directed by Haruna HONCOOP.