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Lodzermensch » About the Project
A documentary film project about the city of Lodz, Poland (2009/10)

About the Project

Our documentary film project drew together team members from Poland, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Romania and the USA to work on a documentary film project about the Lodzermensch. The film shooting took place in late 2008, the premiere of the 11 short documentaries took place in Lodz (Kino Charlie) in early 2009….

Who was the Lodzermensch?

Łódź was once known as “the Manchester of Poland”, the “Eldorado of the East”, as in the 19th and 20th century the city rose in amazingly quick time to become a major European centre of textile production.

Immigrants from all over Europe were drawn to this “Promised Land”, and it were the Germans, Jews, Polish, and Russians, who dominated the development of Łódź.

Knit together - through trade, business, politics, and burocracy - every group played its specific role - and made up what was and still is called “the Lodz man” (Lodzermensch), equipped with a special wit of life and street wiseness. Was the “Lodzer Mensch” - in his tolerance and openeness towards people of other nation and creed a prototype for a European man today? Or is the Lodzermensch rather a myth, an idealistic reading of a world gone?

On the one hand, the diverging - economical, political, cultural or religious - orientations were fruitful, building a lively local network as well as connections to other countries. But on the other, this was also cause for great conflict - and could eventually not prevent the very violent end of this epoch.

What traces can be found in Łódź today?

What do current and former residents (Polish, Jewish, German) know of their common history? What stories do they tell?

Lodzermensch: “The buildings are still all there, but the people are all gone.” - What stories are hidden in Łódź’s streets, buildings, city palaces, court yards, factories, workers’ homes, cemeteries, the ghetto, etc.

How do the Lodz people live today, do their lives, through fines lines, lead back to the past?

At best, the films will - in their compilation - show a divergent and multifaceted view on Łódź, the past and the present Lodzermensch.

The product

  • Eight short films - each of them standing alone thematically and stylistically - will be produced on DVD.
  • The themes can deal with the past or concentrate wholly on the now; but in one form or another they should link to the question of the “Lodzermensch”
  • The exact length of the films is not prescribed rigorously (as each concept will be different), but in any case the films must all fit into the category of “short film”
  • Film material is shot in HDV format - but other formats are possible, depending on further developments
  • Film screenings are planned in Berlin and Łódź
  • Depending on the result and quality of our product there is an option for further distribution (festivals and television stations in Europe)
  • Trailors can be presented on our website and also on the Procinema website