Broadway 1602

Anna Molska

23 Jun - 05 Sep 2009

"The Weavers"

June 23 - September 5 2009

BROADWAY 1602 is presenting the US premiere of Polish film-maker Anna Molska’s newest work “The Weavers”.

The film is based on a play by the German Nobel Prize winner, playwright and novelist, Gerhart Johann Hauptmann (1862 - 1946). The Weavers, written in 1892, is a striking drama depicting the revolt of weavers in the Owl Mountains in 1844. Molska’s re-make, taking place in the contemporary context of the mining region of Silesia, is devoid of the rebellion, keeping the original text, choir and author’s staging.

Voice-over of The Weavers

Pieszyce. A spacious gray room. The walls are almost completely covered with dark dirt. A sultry day in late May. The clock strikes noon. Most of the weavers resemble people on trial, waiting for their life or death verdict with tormented anxiety. Their depressed faces. These expressions bear traces of many desperate thoughts. They look very much alike. People of the looms, their arms twisted with hard work.
One can hear the same stories amongst the weavers. That every one of them had an accident twice and that they can’t go on like this any longer. That their wives are barely breathing... but they work their hands off. That they haven’t slept for weeks, but things will work out somehow. If only they could get rid of this weakness in the bones. It’s new year new promises here. The children scream, the goat bleats, and the devil chortles down the chimney.
The song fades away. One could sense despair, pain, fury, hatred and even a longing for vengeance. All of this after a few stanzas of this peculiar performance. The weavers, touched by the lyrics, feel the power in them.
All the papers bring reports of dreadful poverty. One could almost take it for granted that three quarters of the people here are facing starvation. At the same time a funeral takes place in the village. A brass band, teachers, pupils, the pastor and crowds of people. As if the Chinese emperor himself was to be buried.
Until recently, those in high positions were convinced that the weavers are a humble, patient and obedient flock. Then came various misleading humanitarians and all kinds of associations and aid committees. They have put in so much effort to convince the weavers that their situation is terrible.
Last year, Anna Molska finished her studies at the legendary studio of Grzegorz Kowalski at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Artur Zmijewsi and Pavel Althamer attended before her the same studio with its avant-garde approach to art education).
Molksa has recently shown at Art In General (NY), Berlin Biennial 5, Kunsthalle Basel and the New Museum (NY). “The Weavers” premiered in the Polish version in the beginning of 2009 at Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw.

Tags: Anna Molska