Experiencing Interruptions?

Moje Własne Słowa (In My Words)

The director's grandmother Janina lives with her oldest daughter Dana in a village, idyllically nestled between mountains and dense forests in southwestern Poland. "In My Words" follows aspects of Janina's life from the 1930s, her post-WWII life as a farmer under Communism while raising four daughters, all the way to contemporary Poland. When Dana is not in Germany working as private caretaker to supplement her pension, she cares for and argues with her mother. Bringing attention to people who live in rural areas and who tend to be either romanticized or stigmatized, this film is a meditation on place and landscape, history, personal choices and loss, and all those moments between laughter, grief, and wonder.

  • Viktor Witkowski
    Director
  • Viktor Witkowski
    Writer
  • Janina Zarzycka
    Key Cast
  • Dana Stasicka
    Key Cast
  • Julia Owczarek
    Music
    Beau is Afraid, Ed Sheeran: The Sum of it All, The Chelsea Detective,
  • André Klar
    Sound
    Herders - Guardians of the Earth, The Company You Keep, Save the Wild, The President's Tailor
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    36,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Germany
  • Country of Filming:
    Poland
  • Language:
    Polish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.85:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Greenpoint Film Festival
    New York City
    United States
    August 10, 2024
    World Premiere
  • Black Cat Picture Show
    Augusta
    United States
    August 24, 2024
    Georgia premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Viktor Witkowski

Viktor Witkowski is a painter and filmmaker. He was born in Poland and grew up in Germany where he graduated from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (HBK Braunschweig, Germany) with a combined master’s degree in Studio Art, Art History and Art Education in 2006. The same year, he immigrated to the US where he earned an MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University in 2010. He currently splits his time between Vermont (US) and Leipzig (DE).

Viktor Witkowski’s writing and criticism has been published on Hyperallergic, the Painters’ Table, in The Brooklyn Rail and the New Art Examiner. His films and videos have been screened at numerous festivals in the US and abroad including such venues as the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the York Art Gallery in York (UK), the LA Underground Film Forum in Los Angeles, The Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image, and the Dumbo Film Festival in New York City. In addition, his paintings have been featured in solo and group shows across the US, as well as in France, Germany and Poland.

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Director Statement

My parents left Poland in 1983 to resettle in West Germany. We arrived as political refugees in Friedland – a still-existent camp for immigrants and refugees. Our entire family remained in Poland, and it took five years before we were able to visit them again. Starting in 1988, we visited our family every year for the next twenty years. Because I grew up in Germany, I always held the position of an outsider. To my cousins I was German, to my friends in Germany I was Polish.

Over the following decades, I witnessed the political changes that directly impacted my family: the newly gained freedom when the Wall in East Germany came down, the optimism and sense of individual agency when Poland finally joined the European Union, the growing disillusionment when the ‘old ways’ of life (in particular agriculture) started disappearing and when young people left their ancestral villages in droves to go and find work or a better education abroad. All of these changes are reflected in my conversations with my grandmother and my aunt Dana.