23rd Annual Minneapolis - St. Paul International Film Festival

The Center (Pull Focus: European Union)
2004 - Germany - 85

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DIRECTOR: Stanislaw Micha
CAST: Pawel Bartoszewicz, Marc Baumgartner, Ralf Buberti, Dariusz Blaszczyk, Michal Hirko

The geographical center of Europe lies somewhere between North Çape, Greece, Portugal and Russia. But if you ask people where it is, one person will say he has no idea, another is convinced it is in Essen ( or is it Hessen?), a third happens to be on holiday, for a fourth person, it’s right near where he’s standing and a fifth person is still looking,; for a sixth it’s a belfry in Austria, where Napoleon married Maria Teresa. As the concept of Europe expands (with l0 new members of the European Union), how does one establish with any degree of certainty the exact center of the continent? For Polish/German filmmaker Stanislaw Mucha ( his popular “Absolute Warhola” was a well-remembered 2003 fest hit) his leisurely, less-than-scientific search consists in driving around a 300-mile radius from Germany to the Ukraine and asking unsuspecting citizenry the question, sampling in the process of their errors, presumptions and bizarre self-assertions , a hodge-podge of cultures. As on-screen provocateur he is partial to eccentrics, visionaries and local patriots struggling to survive outside Europe’s old borders and inside the new ones without losing their sense of humor and composure. In the western Ukraine town of Rachiv, claiming itself officially the center of Europe since l887, we run, for example, into the last remaining Hasid buying a newspaper calling itself “Centre of Europe” on the masthead -- at Aunt Raja’s kiosk. Then there is the Swiss guy with his global positioning system who settles the matter once and for all. Stanislaw Mucha was born in 1970 in Nowy Targ/Poland. He studied Acting at the Ludwik Solski Drama School in Cracow, graduating with an M.A. in 1993. He then joined Cracow's Old Theatre. In 1995, he moved to Berlin and studied Film Directing at the "Konrad Wolf" Academy of Film & Television (HFF/B), which he concluded in 2000. His films include: Polish Passion (Polnische Passion, documentary, 1996/1997), Back Home to the Reich with Bubi (Mit Bubi heim ins Reich, documentary, 2000), Absolut Warhola (2001), The Center (Die Mitte, 2004), and Reality Shock (2005). Al Milgrom

PRODUCER: Dieter Reifarth, for Strandfilm,Frankfurt
SCREENWRITER: Stanislaw Mucha
EDITOR: Stanislaw Mucha
MUSIC: Moritz Denis,Elke Hosenfeld
PRINT SOURCE: Telepool, Munich

Saturday, April 02 7:30pm 10
Sunday, April 03 7:30pm Crown Theaters Block E

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