Das Hamlet-Syndrom

Filmstill The Hamlet Syndrome

The Hamlet Syndrome

Das Hamlet-Syndrom
Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosołowski
Competition for the Audience Award 2022
Documentary Film
85 minutes

Five young people from Ukraine talk about their lives after the Maidan Revolution of 2014. Not all of them fought in the Russian-Ukrainian war, but the war, however, shattered their life plans. Representing “Generation Maidan”, they face the question of how to cope with experiences of violence, how to go on. Theatre director Roza Sarkisian produces a Hamlet adaptation with them in which they can use Shakespeare’s tragic character as a mirror and face their traumas on stage again.

For them Hamlet’s question “to be or not to be” is not just a historical text, but a current and existential dilemma that has no clear answer. The film follows the rehearsals where different biographies, self-images and political positions clash: A soldier meets his first LGBT person, the feminist quarrels with the fact that the war has undone hard-won emancipatory achievements. Frictions and differences are exposed, compromises are strenuously negotiated. Eventually the film’s focus widens and leaves the stage to introduce the five as individuals with their own inner struggles. The result is a many-layered, dense portrait of a torn and yet powerful Ukrainian generation who, due to the Russian invasion, find themselves at war again, only a few months after their production premiered.
Luc-Carolin Ziemann

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosołowski
Piotr Rosołowski
Agata Ciernak
Andreas Banz, Matthias Miegel, Magdalena Kaminska, Agata Szymanska, Robert Thalheim
Marcin Lenarczyk, Jaroslaw Sadowski, Andrii Nidzelskyi
Sound Design
Jonathan Schorr
John Gürtler, Jan Miserre
World Sales
Katarzyna Wilk
Eva Witte-Toetzke, Beata Ryczkowska, Alicja Gancarz
Commissioning Editor
Eva Witte-Toetzke
Nominated for: MDR Film Prize, Film Prize Leipziger Ring