Shadows of the Empire / Cienie imperium
dir. Karol Starnawski, Poland 2018, 76’

A documentary inspired by Tomasz Grzywaczewski’s book „Granice marzeń” (“The Borders of Dreams”), telling a complicated history of post-Soviet states and their inhabitants. Karol Starnawski directs the camera on people involved in forgotten border conflicts caused by the collapse of the USSR. It is also a bitter image of the imperial attempts of today’s Russia, aimed at making neighbors completely dependent and thus maintaining the former sphere of influence.

Can you live in the shadow of an empire? This question, like a boomerang, comes back in each of the three stories presented in the film. Although their heroes are divided by hundreds of kilometers, nationality and age, they are connected by a similar fear-based experience, but also hope for a peaceful and better life.

Karol Starnawski – director and screenwriter, graduate of the National Film, Television and Theater School in Łódź. Author of several short documentary and feature films, including: “Droga Karolu …”, “Kawaler”, “Przedziały”. “Shadows of the Empire” is his full-length documentary debut.

Tomasz Grzywaczewski – journalist, writer and PhD student in international law, specializing in post-Soviet unrecognized countries. “Koncept” magazine’s editor-in-chief. Author of scientific and analytical publications in the field of international law and international relations. Author of books “Przez dziki Wschód”, „Życie i śmierć na Drodze Umarłych” and „Granice marzeń. O państwach nieuznawanych”. Co-founder of the Horizon Agency reporting-analytical agency.